"a living history ... which will surely pass the test of time.... Scores and scores of wonderful old photographs."

— The SandPaper

Stafford Chronicles

A History of Manahawkin,
New Jersey


"For those who love the town and its memories, the book is priceless."

— The Beacon
/ Beach Haven Time

223 pp.,180 photographs
8" x 10" Hardcover
ISBN: 0-945582-72-2

"It’s an outsized book, crammed with more than 200 pages of nostalgia-drenched words and pictures.... a wealth of memories in this evocative book."

— The Stafford Leader

For many travelers on their way to or from Long Beach Island, Manahawkin may only be the Parkway exit and main highway to the beach. But this rapidly growing community by the bay has a rich past that is intimately tied with the Island and the maritime and coastal traditions of the South Jersey shore. This new hardcover pictorial history explores a shore town whose roots go back in time to before the Revolutionary War. The stories are based in southern Ocean County, but they range to high points of Shore history from the 1600s to the present.

With stories of people, families and landmarks, Stafford Chronicles vividly reconstructs different ways of life in a town that has seen many changes. We hear accounts handed down of sea serpents and ancient whalers. Others tell of the feel of salt spray that braced men working in the now-defunct pound fishing industry on their way through the breakers "over on the beach". Or how women made their mark in the local workplace, such as at New Jersey Bell Telephone in the 1940s. A resident recalls his youth, playing sandlot baseball with Doc Cramer before Doc's pro days. Another tells of fishing from the window, growing up in a house situated on the old plank causeway bridge. And we learn that some of the East Coast's first surfboards were shaped in Manahawkin backyards.

Readers will discover local landmarks - some long gone, others in a new incarnation; they will learn why there is an Old Stone Store and a Manahawkin Lake; they will relive the days of the Tuckerton and Long Beach Railroad; they will visit with world-renowned decoy carver Hurley Conklin; they will discover who Doc Hilliard and Doc Lane were; they will hear living history told by those who lived it. Other chapters have written accounts from older times, such as excerpts from Nathaniel Bishop's "Four Months in a Sneakbox," detailing his trip down the Mississippi.

Stafford Chronicles is a remarkable collection of essays, reminiscences, memories and photographs. Reading it is like sitting on the porch, talking with your neighbors.

This is an essential book for both the families of the founders and newer residents to the region; it gives both a sense of the place and binds the community together. It is also an essential historical document about the Jersey Shore.


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