Address:30 Station Rd., Bayville, NJ 08721
Phone:(732) 269-2144
Fax:(732) 237-2955
Local History

The earliest inhabitants of the area now known as Berkeley Township were the Unalachtigo (the People who live near the ocean), a sub-tribe of the Lenni-Lenape. The People were nomadic and moved about in small bands of about a dozen families. The Cedar Creek was a great source of oysters for them.

White Europeans from England and Holland first settled near waterways, making a living by fishing and boating on the rivers, the bay, and the ocean, and sometimes less legitimately in privateering and smuggling and by looting shipwrecks. Cedar Creek was the center of a timber industry, and sawmills used the creeks and tributaries of the Toms River. At one time, the Berkeley cranberry bogs produced the largest crops in the state, two of which still remain in Double Trouble State Park.

“Bayville” was a post office designation assigned in 1870, and on March 31, 1875, the State of New Jersey officially set off the Township of Berkeley from the Township of Dover. The coming of the railroad around 1881 accelerated development in Pine Beach, Beachwood, Ocean Gate, and Seaside Park, which began as development communities. Prospective buyers there received free train rides from Newark, Philadelphia, and New York. Barnegat Park, later called Pinewald, was also planned, but did not develop until the 1920s when the Royal Pines Hotel was built, only to fail during the Great Depression.

Berkeley Township consists of approximately 41.9 square miles, located in the central part of Ocean County. It is geographically divided into three communities. One community runs along the Barnegat Bay and along both sides of Route 9 from the Toms River in the north, to Cedar Creek, the border line with Lacey Township to the south. Another community in the far northwest corner of the township includes two large older adult housing developments, Holiday City and Silver Ridge. The third community includes the southern half of Pelican Island in Barnegat Bay, South Seaside Park, and Island Beach State Park along the Atlantic Ocean.

The area east of Route 9 is considered wetlands, and the land west of the Garden State Parkway is in the Pinelands. Both, therefore, fall under federal and state requirements for development in such areas. All areas zoned residential are nearly completely built, and any further development is limited.


Created by Linda Feaster; revised by Christi Aldellizzi, Berkeley Library, 2/2017.

Branch History

The original site of the Berkeley Branch of the Ocean County Library was a township-owned building which had been a construction office. Community support, particularly from the Friends of the Berkeley Library, gave impetus to the establishment of the new branch at 42 Station Road. The door was opened to the public on May 26, 1981, but the official Grand Opening Ceremony was not held until June 6. The Township spent approximately $40,000 to convert the ground level floor of the building to library purposes. Donations were presented from several community organizations.

In 1984, a $15,000 state grant financed renovations to the basement. This made room for a children's area and a small meeting space. The Friends devoted their energies to fundraising events which provided furnishings and equipment for the library. Construction of an addition to the building was the goal of a township-wide fund raising effort which the Friends launched in the spring of 1985.

A new and much larger building was recommended by the Ocean County Library Master Plan in 1986. Prompted by the support of the Friends, negotiations were begun between Berkeley Township, the County of Ocean, and the Library Commission for a new building. A contract was signed in June, 1987 for a 14,260 square foot building to be constructed on five acres of land adjacent to the existing branch. Costs for the construction were split between the County and the Township, and aided by a grant from the State Library of $276,488 from the Library Services and Construction Assistance funding.

 A lack of municipal water delayed final plans. In the meantime, 2,000 square feet were added to the building plans to house the Library's Printing and Graphics department. It was determined that a storage tank could be installed to provide the necessary water for a sprinkler system which Fire Codes required for a building of this size.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held under the trees near the old building on March 15, 1990. The dedication and grand opening of the Berkeley Branch at its new location at 30 Station Road was held on October 29, 1991. At the edge of the parking area, clouds of dust could be seen as a bulldozer completed razing the old library building.


Created by Linda Feaster; revised by Christi Aldellizzi, Berkeley Library, 2/2017.

Calendar of Events