Somers Point Timeline

Somers Point Timeline



1620 Captain Mey explores the coast of southern New Jersey.

1688 Adlord Bowde bought land from Lenni-Lenapi along the Great Egg Harbor Bay, NJ.

1695 John Somers and John Scull held Quaker meetings at the Somerset Plantation, later to be called Somers Point.

1720-1726 Somers Mansion, Somers Point's oldest building still standing, was being constructed.

1776-1783 Revolutionary War. Richard Somers was a Colonel of militia, judge of the county court, and an active Whig in the Revolution. Privateers capture British ships. Lousy Harbor (Bass Harbor) earns its name based on folklore telling of captured British sailors infested with lice.

1797 Customs House established indicating the area's importance as a port and shipbuilding area. The sloops John Clark, John Wesley. J . F. Armstrong and the schooner Ioetta were built. The schooner Eva I. Smith was built at Israel Scull's yard.

1804 Battle of Tripoli, Barbary Wars. Master Commandant Richard Somers dies fighting the Barbary Pirates. Monument erected at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.

1812 The USA fights the British again! A sand fort was built on Bay Avenue. A local story tells that the British Navy entered our Great Egg Harbor Bay. Local people tricked the British by marching in the night with flaming torches that made the British think our area was well guarded with Revolutionary soldiers. There is a monument at Morrow Beach marking the site of a sand fort.

1829 John J. Audubon visits on a nature tour to sketch birds. Somers Point was a popular destination for hunting. Our Great Egg Harbor Bay was named with Egg because the original settlers discovered thousands of bird eggs around the bay. Somers Point is located along an international Avian Flyway.

1861-1865 Civil War. The majority of residents are Quakers who peacefully oppose slavery and help escaping slaves. Local folklore tells of a secret tunnel in Somers Mansion. Smuggling? Underground Railroad?

1886 Somers Point incorporated as a borough with 48 votes.

1890 Census recorded population of 191 in Somers Point.

1893 Thirteen ships were built in Somers Point. Boatbuilding was an important part of the local economy.

1914 New York Ave school was built.

1917-1918 War World I. German "U Boat" submarines sink many ships along New Jersey's coastline.

1920 Prohibition. Rumrunners smuggle alcohol across bays, rivers, and creeks. Speakeasys in Somers Point.

1929 Stock Market crash. The Great Depression begins. The original Dawes Avenue School was built. Gold doubloons found in our bay cause people to hunt for Captain Kidd's treasure. Many Indian arrowheads found at the coastal bluff area known as High Banks. (JFK Park)

1940 Population 1,992.

1941-45 World War II. Residents experience blackouts. German U-Boats stalk the coastline.

1967 Jordan Road School was built.

1998 The New Dawes Ave School was built.

2007 Dawes Avenue School celebrates
Love The Bluff Day