"The Garden Spot of the Garden State" Lakewood by KiKitC

Lakewood Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 16 photos

Romance of the Pines

A brief (couple of centuries) history of our town...

It began at the end of Indian trails, where three brothers, John, George and Henry Skidmore built "Three Partners? Mill." In 1814, Jesse Richards settled here and opened "Washington?s Furnace." This was the first mail service to our "town."

In 1832, "Washington's Furnace" was purchased by Joseph W. Brick, who reorganized the business as "Bergen Iron Works." This ran succesfully until his death when the area was named "Bricksburg" in his honor. The largest lake in the village was named "Carasaljo" after Brick?s three daughters, Carolina(Carrie), Sarah (Sally) and Josephine (Jo).

In 1850, Ocean County was created from the southermost towns in Monmouth County, including Bricksburg. In 1863, advances in the railroad connections between New York and Philadelphia connected Bricksburg via the New Jersey Southern Railroad.

1866 saw the discovery of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania ended the bog-iron industry in this area, so several prominent bankers came to Bricksburg to invest in the real estate. One of the investors was Charles H. Kimball, whom the present hospital in Lakewood is named after.

In 1865, Riley A. Brick, the son of Joseph W. Brick, built the Bricksburg House, also known as the "Romantic Laurel House" on Main Street. This resort was known to host the Vanderbilts, Goulds, Rockefellers, Astors, Tilfords, Rhinelanders, Kipps, Arbuckles and other families of social prominence.

March 20, 1880, the Post Office officially recognized the name of the village as "Lakewood." The name was chosen by a door-to-door survey of the residents. On March 23, 1893, the Township of Lakewood was created and incorporated by the State Legislature.

In 1891, the famed Laurel-in-the-Pines Hotel opened, as did the Lakewood Hotel, where President Cleveland chose to pass his dying days as peacefully as possible.

Many important and wealthy people now called Lakewood home or 2nd home. The train arrived from New York every 20 minutes!

John D. Rockefeller made his estate here, and created a fabolous arborterium (sp?) of evergreen trees on the grounds. In the 1930's the estate was passed to the county, forming Ocean County Park. The mansion no longer stands (funds were not available for that much upkeep), but provides everyone with a beautiful day at the park. The Goulds also placed thier estate on the north side of Lake Carasaljo, and has since become the campus of Georgian Court University.

In 1943, Rabbi Aaron Kotler, Dean of Beth Medrash Govoha, purchased a building in Lakewood and opened his Yeshiva with 13 students. This school founded in Belorussia in 1898 for the study of the Torah and Talmud, has expanded and now Lakewood is home to one of the most reknown rabbinical (sp?...thank you gilabrand) schools in the world. Here, Orthodox Jews come from all over to study.

During World War II, the New York baseball Giants trained in Lakewood, and today the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league team plays here.

Today, Lakewood is home to many cultures, including Mexican, Russian, Polish and Jewish.

Jousting? Yes, In Lakewood!

The Lakewood Lion's Club has been holding a Renaissance Festival in Lakewood for over 20 years! Donned in period costume, entertained by medieval music and jesters and watching a live joust tournament, we take a trip back into time. This Renaissance Festival does not have its own buildings, arenas or permanent structures (it's held in Pine Park on W. County Line Road the 3rd Weekend each September). Each year the faire gets bigger and better. The local SCA chapter gives great battle and tournament re-enactments. The jousting is real, though. In fact, the hosts of this festival are setting this faire up as a part of the professional jousting tournement league. Yes, there IS a league for men (and women) to knock each other off of horses with lances.

Our Kiwanis Club (Lakewood) sells turkey legs, ribs and pickles at the faire for a fund raiser. It's always a good time.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A unique mixture of cultures
  • In a nutshell:Will Once Again be the Garden Spot of the Garden State
  • Intro Updated Mar 30, 2012
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Reviews (9)

Comments (36)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2014 at 4:43 AM

    Happy Birthday Christine, the next time i visit my cousin in South River NJ, we must plan a VT Meet in Lakewood ;-)))

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2009 at 4:40 AM

    very nice lake photo!

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    i can remember as a kid being driven to lakewood by my parents - sort of a catskills in new jersey with jewish hotels lining the main street. long ago. nice intro to your home.

  • Chuckaziz's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2009 at 4:00 AM

    Hi Christine, thank you for stopping by. Wow, that's how Greasy Lake looks like. Thanks for sharing the pics. Cheers from Chuck in KL.

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2009 at 3:47 AM

    It's a shame the German food restaurant is closed ... the arboretum looks lovely. And so close to the Big Apple, amazing.

  • Martman's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2009 at 6:08 AM

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my Toronto page. I find your written history of your home town fascinating. WOW!! :-) Best Regards Martin

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2009 at 4:21 AM

    Nice tips on your home town -- the site of Greasy Lake, no less! I'm glad they have managed to preserve the historic Strand Theatre.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    With all the beautiful parks Lakewood must be a nice place to live.

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    have fun at your annual festival :-)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    5-star piece of detective work! Love the sound of the restaurant, pity it's closed (why?). Tx for the Dawlish visit - yep, places are what you make them despite the weather. Cheers, John.

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