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Lakewood Township

Lakewood Township municipal offices are located at 231 Third Street, Lakewood, NJ 08701; phone: 732-364-2500.

Lakewood as described in 1939 [1]

Lakewood, once built around an iron works, is today dependent on a winter resort business promoted by the dry, temperate climate of the pine district. John D. Rockefeller, Sr. had an estate here and there were other costly houses along the shores of Lake Carasaljo. U.S. 9, running through the center of the town, is lined almost solidly with frame and stucco hotels, some of them reflecting in unkempt lawns the business lost in recent years when many wealthy patrons began to take their winter vacations in the South.

Establishment of a smelter in 1812, to utilize bog-iron deposits, gave the town the name of Washington Furnace. Later the community became known as Bergen Works and next as Bricksburg, in honor of James W. Brick, the ironmaster. Two New York Stock Exchange brokers bought 19,000 acres of pine woods in 1879 and built the Laurel House, which entertained Rudyard Kipling, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, William Faversham, Emma Calve, and other celebrities. It was torn down several years ago.

Around Lake Carasaljo, with its borders of pines, cedars, and laurel, elaborate cottages and grounds were built by the Astors, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Rockefellers, Tilfords, Kipps, Rhinelanders, and other socially prominent New Yorkers of the 1890s. The name of the lake is a combination of Carrie, Sally, and Josephine, daughters of James Brick.

Georgian Court College occupies a 200 acre campus on the northern side of the lake. Originally a Catholic institution for girls in Plainfield, its collegiate division was moved in 1923 to the George J. Gould estate in Lakewood. The buildings are surrounded by sunken gardens, formal Italian gardens, Japanese gardens, and a golf course. Fountains and statuary are lavishly disposed about the grounds. The stables of the estate were so elegantly appointed that it was a simple matter to convert them into women's dormitories.

The Newman School for Boys, a Catholic institution, occupies two former estates on the lake. The lawn before Locke Hall, the central structure, slopes down to a pool surrounded by hundreds of daffodils and narcissi that make a brilliant spring display.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey, New Jersey: A Guide to Its Present and Past, American Guide Series, The Viking Press, 1939, New York
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