Laurence Harbor, New Jersey facts for kids

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Laurence Harbor, New Jersey
Census-designated place
Map of Laurence Harbor CDP in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
Map of Laurence Harbor CDP in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Middlesex
Township Old Bridge
Area
 • Total 2.953 sq mi (7.648 km2)
 • Land 2.897 sq mi (7.503 km2)
 • Water 0.056 sq mi (0.145 km2)  1.90%
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 6,536
 • Density 2,256.2/sq mi (871.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08878-08879
Area code(s) 732 Exchange: 566
FIPS code 3439360
GNIS feature ID 02390040

Laurence Harbor is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located on the Raritan Bay within Old Bridge Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 6,536.

Geography

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Waterfront at Laurence Harbor, looking westward along the Raritan Bay towards South Amboy

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 2.953 square miles (7.648 km2), including 2.897 square miles (7.503 km2) of land and 0.056 square miles (0.145 km2) of water (1.90%).

The CDP is located off Exit 120 of the Garden State Parkway. The main routes are Laurence Parkway and Route 35. The railroad, which has no station in Laurence Harbor, divides the community into eastern and western sections, the former being locally referred to as 'The Front'. Cliffwood Beach also borders Laurence Harbor when traveling south.

The shore looks directly upon Staten Island's southern shore; the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Lower Manhattan (including the Empire State Building, on a clear night) and Brooklyn can also be seen.

Morgan

Named after the 1703 family had 645 acres (2.61 km2) here and were the cousins of the infamous pirate captain Henry Morgan .Morgan is located one mile to the northwest, across the Cheesequake Creek and the Morgan Bridge on New Jersey Route 35. The Morgan Draw carries the North Jersey Coast Line,

History

Lenape Languages
Lenape tribal zone

The lands known today as Laurence Harbor were part of the southernmost region inhabited by the Lenni Lenape tribe (also known as the Delaware) in the 17th century. In 1664, they became part of greater East Jersey, and in 1684 became part of a South Amboy that was much larger than it is today. In 1869, Madison Township split off from South Amboy, and was renamed as Old Bridge Township in 1975.

European settlement of the area was linked to commerce passing through the Amboys along the Raritan River. From a military perspective, the area was useful for its high bayside cliffs, which allowed for strategic observation of ships traveling between New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean.

Laurence Harbor is named after land developer Laurence Lamb, who bought property in (what was then known as) Madison Township at the turn of the 20th century and subdivided it into bungalow-sized lots. Lamb established a 400-acre (1.6 km2) shorefront golf and country club on the site. Among those who frequented Mr. Lamb's establishment were Clark Gable, Guy Lombardo, the Prince of Wales and the Vanderbilts, who came to party and eat chingarora oysters, for which Raritan Bay was then famous. In 1928, the golf club was sold to developers for the above-mentioned construction of bungalows. A boardwalk, complete with a dance hall, casino, band shell, concession stands and a merry-go-round that played only one song, Let's Remember Pearl Harbor, provided entertainment, hot dogs and ice cream during the 1940s.

For those traveling south from North Jersey or New York, it was the first stretch of Jersey Shore beachfront before reaching Keansburg or Asbury Park.

According to a local historian who grew up in Old Bridge Township, the area was also used during Prohibition by rum runners who would lower their cargo of bootleg liquor overboard into the bay to be hauled ashore by local fishermen.

The Ochwald Brickworks, a brickyard operated in the area where the Bridgepointe townhouses now stand. The brick plant began operation in the early 1900s and continued to the early 1960s. Its 60 workers produced more than 84,000 bricks per day. Nothing remains of the plant as all was demolished for residential dwellings.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 6,715
1980 6,737 0.3%
1990 6,361 −5.6%
2000 6,227 −2.1%
2010 6,536 5.0%
Population sources:1960-1980
2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 6,536 people, 2,536 households, and 1,768 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,256.2 per square mile (871.1/km2). There were 2,650 housing units at an average density of 914.8 per square mile (353.2/km2)*. The racial makeup of the CDP was 80.17% (5,240) White, 5.94% (388) Black or African American, 0.26% (17) Native American, 8.12% (531) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 3.32% (217) from other races, and 2.19% (143) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.03% (721) of the population.

There were 2,536 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.1 years. For every 100 females there were 101.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 99.8 males.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 6,227 people, 2,286 households, and 1,634 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 852.6/km2 (2,210.3/mi2). There were 2,362 housing units at an average density of 323.4/km2 (838.4/mi2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.65% White, 3.57% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.86% of the population.

There were 2,286 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $57,997, and the median income for a family was $61,470. Males had a median income of $46,439 versus $30,918 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $23,619. About 4.3% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Laurence Harbor is home to Laurence Harbor Waterfront Park which consists of a new boardwalk (the old boardwalk was destroyed in the 1940-1950s) which was completed in 2002. The beachfront was redone through a joint venture by Old Bridge Township, New Jersey and Middlesex County Parks Department. It extends approximately one mile from the Old Bridge Police substation south, to the Aberdeen Township neighborhood of Cliffwood Beach, and runs parallel with New Jersey Route 35. This area is very popular for fishing as three jetties extend into the Raritan and are in excellent condition, also recently redone in the past ten years. The park's boardwalk is also popular for jogging and dog walking. At the northern parking lot of the park, there is bay beach swimming access along with a bathroom and showers.

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into Southern New Jersey. Its resulting storm surge, estimated to be in excess of 15–20 feet above sea level, destroyed portions of the Old Bridge Waterfront Park. In the Laurence Harbor section, the entire boardwalk was washed out, including one of the new jetties. Two playgrounds and a pavilion were also damaged. In the Cliffwood Beach section of the park, sections of the boardwalk were destroyed. Of the two playgrounds in this section, one was washed out but the equipment was left intact. The other was nearly destroyed, as evident by a large "merry-go-round" that was cemented down, but the force of the water moved it 15 feet from its original position. All houses along the water front boardwalk had no fload damage, but some had minor wind damage like the rest of New Jersey as expected. A small section of the town below the shore ledge did have flood damage.

Following sandy massive improvements to the boardwalk jetty and parks were quickly performed in 2014 when the resources became available. There are now new parks, board walk, jetty railing, and improved erosion protection along the bays edge. It is fully restored beyond its formor glory thanks to the efforts of the town and FEMA.

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Woman walking her dog in Old Bridge Waterfront Park
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Boardwalk at Old Bridge Waterfront Park

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