This Day in History – Toms River Toll Bridge Opened in 1914
This photo was of the original bridge crossing the Toms River as it was in 1948. The photo was taken by the now-defunct Newark Sunday Times. The photo is courtesy of OCHistory.org.
The bridge was opened on this day in 1914. It was the brainchild of Leon Berry and Charles Beck. Berry had a vision of bringing cars across the Barnegat Bay into both Seaside Park and Long Beach Island. At the time, only train bridges existed. So in 1912, the pair went to local Toms River business owners and got the backing they needed. He was able to build both causeways and essentially altered history for life on the barrier islands of Ocean County.
Many of the pilings from the original bridge can still be seen today along the northern side of the new bridges.
Editor Note: We’ll do a full and proper story at the centennial mark. We just felt the need to correct an incorrect earlier report. Perhaps the rest of the story would make a good Memorial Day weekend feature. Either way, it will come.
Further to the south, at the southern end of Seaside Park was the old train bridge. Plenty of photos and stories on that one here to go around as well for another day.
All other photos from the New Jersey Courier.