Ocean County New Jersey is south of New York, on the Atlantic coast, is the second Dover in New Jersey - but even though it has a population of 89,706, on many maps you will not find it! Instead you will see Toms River - where the post office is!
When Tom Luker arrived here in 1712, he found a river, the great Atlantic Ocean and heavily wooded pine forests that were inhabited by Lenni Lenape Indians. Where he settled, the Indians called Toms River.
Over the next few years fishermen and whalers along with lumberjacks and sawyers settled in and around the area, which was, by then, called Dover. A name given by someone from Dover, Kent, perhaps, Lady Debra Moody, Thomas Applegate, and a member of McKelvey or Tilton family - if a reader can help, please could they let me know?
In January 1767 the settlement, canvassed George III's Royal Assembly, to become the township of Dover. Six months later this was granted and consisted of 282,240 acres and included the village of Toms River. Dover, at this time, was in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Less than ten years later the American War of Independence (1776-83) broke out. Immediately, in attempt to bring the colonies to heel, the British blockaded salt from the Azores and Canary Islands. Salt was used for preserving meat and fish and was very important to the survival of the American colonies.
Not long after Peace talks were started in Paris and part of the settlement was a tic for tac exchange of prisoners and those executed. By the time it came to recompense Captain Huddy's execution, there were no remaining executed British Officer. It was therefore agreed that in exchange for the death of Huddy a British officer would die. Straws were drawn and a Captain Charles Asgill drew the fateful short straw. He was immediately imprisoned and sentenced to be hanged
Distraught, Charles Asgill's mother went to Paris in order to plea for her son's life, but all she achieved was delaying the ratification of the Peace Treaty and irritating the negotiators. Not to be put off, the desperate mother wrote to George Washington, the soon to be the first President of USA. He read her pleas with sympathy and recognised that no useful purpose would come of the hanging. Naturally, the British agreed and the Captain was released on 7th November 1782. The Peace Treaty was signed in 1783.
Following independence, Dover continued to grow and prosper and in 1850, when Ocean County was formed, the township became the County seat. In 1952 Ciba-Geigy bought a site covering some 1,200 acres and became the major employer, it is now closed.
The present mayor is Paul C. Brush and the town's economy centres on tourism, fishing, forestry, the hospital and schools.
Thanks to : J Mark Mutter,