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Spring Lake, New Jersey
Borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States
The second of the five victims of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, Charles Bruder, 27, a Swiss bellhop for the Essex and Sussex Hotel, was killed on July 6, 1916, while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake. The wave of attacks took place between July 1 and July 12, 1916, along 80 miles (130 km) of Atlantic Ocean coastline and is often attributed as having inspired the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley and the corresponding film by Steven Spielberg, though Benchley has explicitly denied the claim.
The borough and its environs are known as the "Irish Riviera" because of the large Irish-American population in the area, with Spring Lake having the highest percentage of any municipality in the United States.
The Spring Lake 5 Mile Run, a race that was first run in 1977, circles the borough, beginning and ending at the beachfront. The 2014 race had 10,360 finishers, out of 12,500 registered; it is the country's largest 5-mile race. In 2015, the race was listed as one of the top 100 races in America by Runner's World magazine.
A group of seagulls move around on Spring Lake's beachfront in the vicinity of a pipe.
A view of the Spring Lake beach, boardwalk, dunes, and oceanfront homes
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.75 square miles (4.52 km2), including 1.33 square miles (3.45 km2) of land and 0.41 square miles (1.07 km2) of water (23.60%).
North Spring Lake was an independent borough established in 1884 which comprised the northern portion of Spring Lake. The borough was disestablished and its territory was annexed by Spring Lake in 1903.
Of the 1,253 households, 22.6% had children under the age of 18; 56.8% were married couples living together; 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 33.8% were non-families. Of all households, 31.3% were made up of individuals and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.01.
21.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 12.2% from 25 to 44, 33.2% from 45 to 64, and 27.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 89.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 83.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $97,885 (with a margin of error of +/- $16,792) and the median family income was $150,156 (+/- $39,466). Males had a median income of $106,853 (+/- $30,491) versus $68,750 (+/- $15,695) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $71,661 (+/- $14,582). About 2.2% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.
There were 1,463 households, out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 19.6% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 25.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.
As of 2008, the median income for a household in the borough was $115,709. Males had a median income of $88,924 versus $41,000 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $59,445. None of the families and 2.6% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 6.6% of those over 64.
39.4% of Spring Lake residents identified as being of Irish American ancestry in the 2000 Census, the highest percentage of Irish Americans of any place in the United States.
Spring Lake is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 565) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Spring Lake is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2020[update], the Mayor of Spring Lake is Democrat Jennifer Naughton, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2023. Members of the Spring Lake Borough Council are Council President Brendan Judge (R, 2020), Robert Drasheff (D, 2021), Joseph T. Erbe Jr. (R, 2022), David R. Frost (R, 2022), Matthew Q. Sagui (R, 2020) and Syd Whalley (D, 2021).
Monmouth County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director. As of 2020[update], Monmouth County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2022; term as freeholder director ends 2021),
Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley (R, Hazlet Township, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2021; term as deputy freeholder director ends 2021),Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township, 2020),
Nick DiRocco (R, Wall Township, 2022), and
Patrick G. Impreveduto (R, Holmdel Township, 2020).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,520 registered voters in Spring Lake, of which 453 (18.0%) were registered as Democrats, 1,104 (43.8%) were registered as Republicans and 961 (38.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were two voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 70.4% of the vote (1,258 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 28.7% (514 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (16 votes), among the 1,804 ballots cast by the borough's 2,544 registered voters (16 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 70.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 64.4% of the vote (1,326 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 32.8% (676 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (20 votes), among the 2,059 ballots cast by the borough's 2,692 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.5%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 64.0% of the vote (1,427 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 30.1% (670 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (30 votes), among the 2,229 ballots cast by the borough's 2,873 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 82.7% of the vote (1,226 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 15.5% (230 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (26 votes), among the 1,505 ballots cast by the borough's 2,542 registered voters (23 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 59.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 68.8% of the vote (1,144 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 23.3% (388 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.7% (95 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (11 votes), among the 1,663 ballots cast by the borough's 2,593 registered voters, yielding a 64.1% turnout.
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 28.19 miles (45.37 km) of roadways, of which 26.06 miles (41.94 km) were maintained by the municipality and 2.13 miles (3.43 km) by Monmouth County.
No major roads pass through the borough, with the most significant routes being minor county roads such as County Route 18. Route 71 is accessible in bordering Spring Lake Heights. The Garden State Parkway and I-195 are accessible in neighboring Wall Township.
NJ Transit bus service is available between the borough and Philadelphia on the 317 route, with local service offered on the 830 route.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Spring Lake, New Jersey has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Cfa climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F (> 0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature >= 50.0 °F (>= 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature >= 71.6 °F (>= 22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months at Spring Lake, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values >= 95 °F (>= 35 °C). On average, the wettest month of the year is July which corresponds with the annual peak in thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F (< -18 °C). The plant hardiness zone at Spring Lake Beach is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 3.8 °F (-15.7 °C). The average seasonal (November-April) snowfall total is between 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm) and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.
Climate data for Spring Lake Beach, NJ (1981-2010 Averages)
In John Frankenheimer's 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, the character of Major Bennett Marco (played by Frank Sinatra) suffers from a nightmare set in Spring Lake. He imagines himself and his fellow soldiers sitting through a lecture by Mrs. Henry Whitaker of the Spring Lake Garden Club. A sign reveals the location of the lecture to be the fictional "Spring Lake Hotel". Eventually, the audience sees that the garden club meeting is merely an illusion and the platoon is actually at a meeting of Russian and Chinese officials in Manchuria. The Mrs. Whitaker character is actually a Chinese scientist named Dr. Yen Lo, portrayed by Spring Lake native Khigh Dhiegh.
^Brief History, Borough of Spring Lake. Accessed October 8, 2015. "In the early 1900s, the town boasted fine hotels, lavish estates, and pretentious private homes (known as "cottages"), surrounded by the beautiful clear pond renamed 'Spring Lake.'"
^Corcoran, David. "All That Glitters", The New York Times, July 24, 2005. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Spring Lake... The town was founded in the Gilded Age and in certain ways has never left it."
^Seebohn, Caroline; and Cook, Peter C. Cottages and mansions of the Jersey shore, p. 99. Rutgers University Press, 2007. ISBN0-8135-4016-X. Accessed July 14, 2011. "One of the most spectacular examples of Spring Lake architecture is the so-called Maloney Cottage, at 101 Morris Avenue. Its wedding-cake opulence, fantastical porches and verandahs up steep flights of stairs, elaborate carpentry, curved balustrades, and dizzying rooflines cause people today to stop and stare. Brilliantly white, intricately decorated, the house represents the Gilded Age of Spring Lake at its most glamorous."
^Larsen, Erik. "How Monmouth County's south shore became the 'Irish Riviera'", Asbury Park Press, March 17, 2018. Accessed March 11, 2020. "On St. Patrick's Day in 1901, workers laid the cornerstone of St. Catharine Roman Catholic Church in Spring Lake. The church, which essentially is a mini-cathedral, was built in renaissance architecture to resemble St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and includes frescoes that depict life in medieval and modern Ireland. The church was built by Martin Maloney, who was born in Ballingarry, Ireland, in 1847 during the Irish Potato Famine."
^Staff. "The Shark That Inspired 'Jaws'", The Early Show, February 11, 2009. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Taking a dip in the ocean just hasn't been the same since the release of "Jaws" more than 25 years ago. But what many people don't know is that the film is based on a series of deadly shark attacks in the summer of 1916 along the New Jersey shoreline.... The second victim was a bellboy from Switzerland working at a hotel in Spring Lake. His name was Charles Bruder, and he was a very strong swimmer."
^Broad, William J."Scientists Say Frenzy Over Shark Attacks Is Unwarranted", The New York Times, September 5, 2001. Accessed October 15, 2015. "As proof, they note a series of fatal shark attacks that terrorized the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1916, events that inspired the movie Jaws.... Correction: September 8, 2001, Saturday An article on Wednesday and one in the New Jersey section on Sunday about fears over sharks referred incorrectly to the inspiration for the 1974 novel Jaws. Its author, Peter Benchley, says the book was not inspired by attacks off New Jersey in 1916.
^History, Spring Lake Five Mie Run. Accessed July 17, 2012. "At first glance it may seem odd that a small town on the Jersey Shore would be home to one of the largest and best running events in the nation. Since it was first held in 1977, the Spring Lake Five Mile Run has grown from a small local fun run into New Jersey's largest road race and a nationally recognized event. "
^Hinck, Penny. "Ten Thousand Finishers at 2014 Spring Lake Five Mile Run", Atlantic Highlands Herald, May 27, 2014. Accessed May 9, 2016. " Ten thousand three hundred sixty road racers (5,018 males - 5,342 females, 12,500 registered) was the huge number that finished this year in the 38th annual Spring Lake Five Mile Run on the perfect-running-weather morning of May 24."
^Biography, Congressman Chris Smith. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Elected in 1980, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton, N.J.) is currently in his 19th two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents of the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^. United States Senate. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
^Spring Lake Borough Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Spring Lake School District. Accessed June 21, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight in the Spring Lake Borough School District. Grades nine through twelve students attend Manasquan High School on a sending-receiving relationship. Composition: The Spring Lake Borough School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Spring Lake Borough."
^Guion, Payton. "These 43 N.J. school districts have fewer than 200 students", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 2017. Accessed January 30, 2020. "Based on data from the state Department of Education from the last school year and the Census Bureau, NJ Advance Media made a list of the smallest of the small school districts in the state, excluding charter schools and specialty institutions.... 43. Spring Lake Borough; Enrollment: 197; Grades: K-8; County: Monmouth County; Town population: 2,993"
^Mueller, Mark. "Which N.J. schools were named National Blue Ribbon schools?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 29, 2015. Accessed November 14, 2016. "Fifteen New Jersey schools have been recognized by the federal government as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation that celebrates excellence in academics or progress in closing the achievement gap among groups of students.... Each of the 15 New Jersey schools was chosen for the 'exemplary high performing' category, which weighs state or national tests, high school graduation rates and the performance of subgroups of students, such as those who are economically disadvantaged."
^Sending Districts, Manasquan Public Schools. Accessed May 29, 2016. "Manasquan High School receives students from seven different districts; Avon, Brielle, Belmar, Lake Como, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and Spring Lake Heights. Including our Manasquan students, the high school population is just under one thousand students."
^Stump, Scott. "Carmody struggles to overcome history", Asbury Park Press, December 18, 2005. "The former Spring Lake resident is no stranger to traveling long distances, considering Northwestern's roster has been heavily sprinkled with foreign players during his tenure."
^Tesoriero, Tobi. "People On The Move: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande", Living In Media, October 23, 2008, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 18, 2012. Accessed October 8, 2015. "This is not to say, however, that Casagrande has deserted her Jersey Shore roots (she is originally from Spring Lake); she still loves the shore and plans to pass along her love of the ocean and sand to her son."
^Staff. "Building at Spring Lake, N.J.", The New York Times, August 13, 1939. Accessed April 3, 2011. "Armino A. Campagna, New York builder, has started construction of a group of all-year homes on the former estate of the late Robert A. Chesebrough on Pitney Avenue Spring Lake N. J."
^The UnHamptons: 9 Jersey Shore, New York (magazine), May 28, 2001. Accessed July 28, 2007. "Spring Lake counts among its residents author Mary Higgins Clark, who set her latest novel here, as well as newscaster Jack Ford and Houston Astro Craig Biggio."
^Meet the Writers: Mary Higgins Clark, accessed March 22, 2007. "They now live in Saddle River, New Jersey; they also have an apartment in Manhattan and summer homes in Spring Lake, New Jersey and Dennis, Massachusetts."
^Manzi, Jim. "In Defense of a Small Town", National Review, June 6, 2008. Accessed March 1, 2020. "I grew up in a small beach town in New Jersey named Spring Lake that is pretty much Mayberry-by-the-Sea: 3,475 people and no traffic lights."
^"Who's your daddy?", The Boston Globe, October 14, 2004. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Dave McDonald of Spring Lake, NJ proudly displays the very close knockoff of the original and controversial Major League Baseball t-shirt."
^"James Mitchell Sits In One Of The Capital's Hottest Spots As The New Secretary Of Labor", Asbury Park Press, November 22, 1953. Accessed March 17, 2017. "To this day, his family and friends are convinced that if he hadn't been feeling wretched from the onset of chicken pox, the nation would have an admiral instead of a secretary of labor named James Paul Mitchell, of 214 South Boulevard, Spring Lake, N.J."
^McDougal, Dennis (October 2007). Five Easy Decades: How Jack Nicholson Became the Biggest Movie Star in Modern Times. Wiley. p. 16. ISBN978-0-471-72246-5. "When Jack was ready for high school, the family moved once more-this time two miles (3 km) farther south to old-money Spring Lake, Jersey's so called Irish Riviera, where Ethel May set up her beauty parlor in a rambling duplex at 505 Mercer Avenue."
^John Wiggers, Peach Basket Society. Accessed August 4, 2019. "Born: August 6, 1917 Spring Lake, NJ"
^"Charles D. Wrege Obituary", Academy of Management. Accessed August 14, 2018. "Charles D. Wrege, the Academy of Management's Historian and Archivist, passed away on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, at his home in Spring Lake, NJ. Chuck - to his friends and colleagues - was born on March 11, 1924, in Newark, NJ, where he attended Arts High."
^Vitullo-Martin, Julia. "The (Spring) Lake Effect", The New York Sun, September 26, 2005. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Or as mystery writer and Spring Lake homeowner Mary Higgins Clark wrote of a character in her novel "On the Street Where You Live": He "enjoyed Spring Lake best once late autumn set in. By then the summer people had closed their houses, not appearing even for weekends.'"
^Staff. "Spring Lake Offers a Piece of the Past", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 6, 1983. Accessed July 17, 2012. "Three years ago, when the producers of the movie Ragtime were looking for a setting for scenes that were supposed to depict Atlantic City at the turn of the [20th] century, they chose Spring Lake and its grand, ocean-front Essex and Sussex Hotel."
^Marcus, Greil. The Manchurian Candidate, p. 19. Macmillan Publishers, 2002. ISBN0-85170-931-1. Accessed July 14, 2011. "It's 1954. Major Ben Marco of the US Army, played by Frank Sinatra, is lying on his bed, fully clothed in his uniform, dreaming the same dream he dreams every night. He's sweating. As his lips twitch, the camera moves in and we enter his dream. We're in an old hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey; a meeting of the Ladies Garden Club is in progress."