The first settlers of the Brick Township area arrived about 1750 and developed the local saw mill industry. Eventually, other timber-related industries would develop, including the pinewood (charcoal) and turpentine industries. At that time, the area was part of Monmouth County and Shrewsbury Township, and later it would become Howell Township.
On February 15, 1850, the State Legislature of New Jersey created Ocean County. As part of the legislation Brick Township was created from sections of Howell and Dover Townships.
The town was named for Joseph W. Brick, the proprietor of Bergen Iron Works and the areas most prominent citizen. Mr. Brick operated Bergen Iron Works, which was located in present-day Lakewood Township, from 1833 until his death in 1847.
When Brick Township was created it included an area extending from the eastern boundary of Jackson Township to the west the Atlantic Ocean to the east from Monmouth County on the north to Dover Township on the south.
SAW AND GRIST MILLS
Since the early settlers came to this area to develop the saw mill industry, there were many mills scattered throughout the area. These mills changed ownership many times during their years of operation. As early as 1755, John Allen established a saw mill on the north branch of Kettle Creek. Ownership passed to Benjamin Fielder, then to John, Reuben and Eden Irons on February 17, 1855. The mill, which no longer exists was located on Old Irons Road in the Lake Riviera section of Brick.
Also in 1755, Tunis Denise established his saw and grist mills near the Metedeconk area. In 1815, the Denise Mills were owned by Silvenus Bills.
On July 28, 1802, Issac Herbert purchased a dwelling and land on the west side of Herbertsville Road (also known as the Road to Point Pleasant or the Road to Freehold depending which way one was traveling) and on the north side of Saw Mill Creek. The creek was dammed up to create a mill pond providing water to power the saw at the mill. Further north off of Herbertsville Road, Thomas Tilton operated a steam powered mill on School house Road (also known as Cedar Lane before 1858).
HAVENS HOMESTEAD MUSEUM (Ca. 1827)
521 Herbertsville Road
Purchased by Curtis Havens on September 25, 1827, from the Allens of Howell Township. The property remained in the Havens family until 1993, when the Havens family turned the building over to the Brick Township Historical Society to operate as a museum. The building has an 1846 addition, which was built to accommodate a growing family and to serve as an inn run by Curtis and Hannah Havens. An Archeological dig of the Havens Farm in 1940, determined that a Lenape encampment has existed there.
SIDNEY HERBERT’S GENERAL STORE
589 Herbertsville Road
The Herbert store sold dry goods, provided mail order service and served as a post office until 1959. It was not uncommon to hear politics discussed around the store as Sidney served on the Township Committee from 1882 to 1893. The original rustic building has been converted to a multi-family dwelling.
HERBERTSVILLE METHODIST CHURCH
621 Herbertsville Road
By the turn of the nineteenth century, Quakers became more numerous in the Herbertsville area. In 1848, the Quakers were holding meetings in the area of 20th Avenue. This area came to be called “Meeting House Hill”. Meetings were moved to the Herbertsville school about 1858. Methodist ministers visited the people of this area to gain converts. In 1830, a church was formed and, in 1875, the church was constructed at its present location. About 1890 a parsonage was built across Herbertsville Road.
THE OLD HERBERTSVILLE SCHOOL, 1858
705 Herbertsville Road
Herbertsville School was built in 1858 as a one-room school on land donated by the Herbert family. A second room was added around 1910. The school was heated by a wood burning stove. Kerosene lamps were replaced by electricity in the 1920’s. The school served the community until 1949, when a new four room school was built on Lanes Mill Road. The original brick building has been covered over with stucco and is now a home.
THE BURR HOUSE Ca. 1810
1581 Burrsville Road
Built about 1810, this quaint farmhouse, with its brick lined walls (nogging), frequently served as a meeting place for the township committee when Richard Burr was a member in the 1850’s. A small one-room outbuilding contains an iron stove and served as a summer kitchen. The burr family was known for its operation of the iron forge at Forge Pond.
DAISY HOUSE Ca. 1830
1666 State Highway 88 West
This federal-style building was built around 1830 for Jonathan Goble. The name Daisy come from a twentieth-century owner of the house. The building has been added to and successfully converted to and office building.
NATIVE AMERICAN SITES
Native American artifacts dating back to the Paleoindian era, have been found scattered throughout Brick Township. “Indian Stage” a ceremonial ground was located on a rise overlooking Forge Pond on State Highway 70 West. An archeological dig in 1940 uncovered a settlement on Saw Mill Creek near the Manasquan River.
BUTCHER’S FORGE 1808-1849
State Highway 70 about 1/4th mile west of the Laurelton Intersection.
The forge, established by John Lippencott in 1808, became commonly known as Butcher’s Forge for one of its later owners. The community surrounding the forge became known as Burrsville for the Burr family, which later gained sole ownership of the forge. The forge, using local bog iron and imported iron produced water pipes. According to the New Jersey Gazetteer in 1838, the pond formed by damming the upper Metedeconk River, was the largest mill pond in the state. The village around the forge included a grist mill, a tavern, two stores and fifteen to twenty houses. All were lost in 1848 when the dam broke after heavy rains washing away the forge and village.
NEJECHO, NEW JERSEY EPISCOPAL CHOIR CAMP
Located on the south shore of the Metedeconk River and on the north side of Mantoloking Road in the Adamston section of Brick Township. Camp NEJECHO was organized to enhance the lives of needy boys and girls. Boys attended for one to two weeks at a time and the last two weeks of the summer season was reserved for girls. The camp provided a summer getaway for children from city areas of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
OSBORNVILLE PROTESTANT CHURCH
588 Mantoloking Road
Established in 1850 as the Methodist Protestant Church, the original building was disassembled, moved by wagon in 1855 and reconstructed at its present location. The original building burned down in 1915. The present structure was built on the old foundation in the same year, surrounding the church is a cemetery.
PATTERSON’S CRANBERRY HOUSE Ca. 1900
197 Drum Point Road
Situated on the corners of Drum Point and Cherry Quay Roads, this was the home of Mutah Vannote Patterson and her husband John Patterson, who operated a very successful cranberry business in Cedar Bridge, Osbornville and Laurelton. Ocean County and Brick Township were well known for their production of cranberries at the turn of the century. Local people used cranberries as a spread on sandwiches, for salads, in muffins and over ice cream.
GRAVELLEY GRAVEYARD AKA OLD WOOLLEY CEMETERY
Fairview Avenue 1/4 mile south off of Princeton Avenue
Gravelley Graveyard, also known as the Old Woolley Cemetery, is the oldest burial ground within present day Brick Township. Located on a rise above the north bank of the Metedeconk River, it contains less than one hundred graves. Enoch Jones purchased about eight acres of land from the estate of Adam Woolley. Enoch in turn, deeded the land to Jessie Jones, setting aside less than one-half acre for a public cemetery. Among this buried there are Enoch Jones, who served with George Washington in the American Revolutionary War and who helped defend Toms River during a battle with British forces; Issac Elmer, a Township Overseer and veteran of the War of 1812, and William S. Johnson, a member of the first township committee in 1850.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF LAURELTON Ca. 1857
1824 State Highway 88 East
The Orient Baptist Church or First Baptist Church of Laurelton, as it is presently known, was a continuation of the Old Church of the Pines . In 1842, that church was moved to Manasquan and on September 23, 1843, the members voted to move their house of worship to Burreville. The present building, the oldest church building in Brick Township today, was constructed by James L Dorsett in 1857 and is listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery behind the church was expanded in 1893 when plots sold for $10.00 each. In 1903, a parsonage was built east of the church.
TROLLEY LINE 1903-1923
On March 4, 1903, George O. Vanderbilt filed papers to build the Trenton, Lakewood and Atlantic Railway, an electric railway to run from Point Pleasant to Trenton, New Jersey in less than one hour. He had purchased the right-of-way passing through Brick Township. The right-of-way was cleared and graded, streams were bridged and rails laid as far as Coolidge Drive in Brick when money ran out and construction ended. Sold at auction on January 3, 1923, the right-of-way eventually came under the ownership of Central Jersey Power and Light Company.
VAN WICKLE POTTERY FACTORY 1828 - 1850
State Highway 70 and Riviera Drive
Between 1824 and 1838, Nicholas Van Wickle purchased 400 acres of land on both sides of the road to Squan Village and along the west shore of the Manasquan River to establish his pottery factory. Van Wickle supplied the local population and general stores with gray and blue jugs, crocks, bowls, mugs etc. In addition to the pottery business, Mr. Van Wickle served as Monmouth County Freeholder as a New Jersey Assemblyman.