Seventy-six years ago Lakehurst was the scene of one of the most iconic and notorious air disasters in history, the explosion of the German zeppelin Hindenburg. Memories fade throughout the decades, and while most people have seen the old newsreels of the disaster, few people actually remember where the disaster took place.
Today Lakehurst is a quiet residential community located in South Jersey that offers residents the best of both worlds, easy access to the bright lights both New York City and Philadelphia have to offer with the convenience of being close to all the shorefront resorts and pleasures of New Jersey.
From Industrial Production to Summer Resort
At the turn of the century, Lakehurst was renowned as a posh winter resort town when the Pine Tree Inn was constructed in 1898. The luxurious Blue Comet train stopped there to deliver passengers to the stately inn.
But Lakehurst's history goes back even further. The area first came into prominence as an industrial center during and after the Revolutionary War. It was the site of the Federal Forge, a major producer of iron products, including the cannon balls that were made for General George Washington's troops. A rope mill in town was powered by an elaborate water flume ran underground from nearby Lake Horicon to the factory. The town also had a railroad roundhouse, turntable, maintenance shops and boiler shops.
Known as Manchester until 1921, Lakehurst had its beginnings in 1821, when Samuel Whittemore gave one square mile of land (640 acres) to his daughter, Adeline, and her husband, William Torrey. Torrey mapped the tract of land, while Adeline named most of the streets after trees.