Toms River, New Jersey
|Toms River, New Jersey|
|Township of Toms River|
Downtown Toms River
|Motto: Great Places. Familiar Faces.|
Location of Toms River Township in Ocean County, NJ
Census Bureau map of Toms River Township, NJ
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Royal charter||March 1, 1768 (as Dover Township)|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|Renamed||November 14, 2006 (as Toms River Township)|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)|
|• Mayor||Thomas F. Kelaher (term ends December 31, 2015)|
|• Administrator||Paul J. Shives|
|• Clerk||J. Mark Mutter|
|• Total||136.969 km2 (52.884 sq mi)|
|• Land||104.863 km2 (40.488 sq mi)|
|• Water||32.105 km2 (12.396 sq mi) 23.44%|
|Area rank||32nd of 566 in state
7th of 33 in county
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2013)||91,583|
|• Rank||8th of 566 in state
2nd of 33 in county
|• Density||870.1/km2 (2,253.5/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||270th of 566 in state
14th of 33 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882074|
Toms River is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, and the county seat of Ocean County. On November 7, 2006, voters approved a change of the official name from the Township of Dover (or, Dover Township) to the Township of Toms River, effective November 14, 2006. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 91,239, with the township ranking as the 8th-most-populous municipality in the state in 2010 (after having been ranked 7th in 2000) and the second most-populous municipality in Ocean County (behind Lakewood Township, which had a population of 92,843). The 2010 population increased by 1,533 (+1.7%) from the 89,706 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 13,335 (+17.5%) from the 76,371 counted in the 1990 Census.
What is now Toms River Township was established by Royal charter as Dover Township on March 1, 1768, from portions of Shrewsbury Township, while the area was still part of Monmouth County. Dover Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's first 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. Portions of the township were taken to form Jackson Township (March 6, 1844), Union Township (March 10, 1846, now Barnegat Township), Brick Township (February 15, 1850), Manchester Township (April 6, 1865), Berkeley Township (March 31, 1875), Island Heights (May 6, 1887), Lavallette (December 21, 1887) and Seaside Heights (February 26, 1913).
In 2006, Toms River was ranked by Morgan Quitno Press as the 15th safest city in the United States, of 369 cities nationwide. In 2007, Toms River was again ranked as the 14th-safest city in the United States of 371 cities nationwide.
Toms River can be seen in various TV and news media including MTV's Made and Jersey Shore (seasons 1,3,and 5), HBO's Boardwalk Empire and the original The Amityville Horror movie. In 1998, Toms River East Little League won the Little League World Series. The township has what is said to be the second-largest Halloween parade in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Community
- 8 Notable people
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Founding and early history
Much of the early history of the village of Toms River is obscured by conflicting stories. Various sources list the eponym of the town as either English captain William Toms, farmer and ferryman Thomas Luker, or a Native American named Tom. In 1992, as part of celebrations commemorating the township's 225th anniversary, official recognition was granted to the tradition that the "Tom" in "Toms River" was for Thomas Luker, who ran a ferry across Goose Creek (now the Toms River). During the 19th century, Toms River became a center for shipbuilding, whaling, fishing, and iron and lumber production. The settlement and the river were usually spelled "Tom's River" in its early days, though its current spelling has been standard since the middle of the 19th century.
Toms River was located in the southern section of the Township of Shrewsbury that obtained a royal charter to secede in 1767 and form Dover Township. During the American Revolutionary War, Toms River was home to a strategically important salt works that supplied colonial militias, as well as a base for privateer vessels that plundered British and Tory ships off the coast. In March 1782, a group of British and loyalist soldiers attacked a blockhouse along the river that housed the colonial militia and captured Captain Joshua Huddy, who was later hanged at Sandy Hook. Also destroyed were the salt works and most of the houses in the village. The incident greatly complicated the tense relationship between the British, loyalist, and colonial and was a factor in prolonging the peace negotiations that were then in progress in Paris until 1783.
Mid 19th and 20th centuries
In 1850, Toms River became the county seat of the newly created Ocean County when it was formed out of southern Monmouth County. During the second half of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th, many new towns were carved out of Dover Township, including Brick, Jackson, Lakewood and Berkeley. The Village of Toms River attempted twice — in 1914 and 1926 — to secede from Dover Township, but residents were unsuccessful. The part of Toms River on the south side of the river stretching down to Berkeley Township incorporated as South Toms River in 1927, but the core of the original village on the north side remains part of the wider township to this day.
Mid and late 20th century
In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the demographics of the township changed substantially, adding over 20,000 residents just in the 1990s. While the village is still the center of municipal and county government, the population in the area exploded in the decades after World War II, due in part to the completion of the Garden State Parkway. Whereas the village was the largest and most densely populated section of the township for over two centuries, the vast majority of residents now shop and work in other sections of the town.
Toms River made international headlines in the 1990s with their Little League Baseball team, nicknamed "Beast from the East", which competed in the Little League World Series three times in five years, winning in 1998 when they defeated Japan by a score of 12-9. Over 40,000 people lined Route 37 for a parade following their victory over Kashima, Japan. Toms River Little League made it to Williamsport in 2010 giving Toms River its record 4th Mid Atlantic championship.
Toms River is also home to many National Champion Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading titles. 1996 Toms River Raider Jr. PeeWee Football team won a National Championship. Cheerleaders from the Toms River Little Indians, Toms River Raiders, and the Toms River Angels (formerly the Saint Joe's Angels) have won many National Titles. The first National Championship title was won in 1993 by the Toms River Little Indian Midget Cheer squad. In 2001, 2002, and 2003 the Toms River Angels brought home national titles resulting in the nations second ever three peat (meaning they brought home three national titles on the same level). In 2005, The Toms River Little Indians brought home two more national titles, and the Toms River Raiders won one. In 2006, The Toms River Angels Midget Large Advanced Cheer Squad and the Toms River Little Indians Midget Small Intermediate Cheer Squad won two more National Titles. In 2007 The Toms River Angels brought home one and the Indians brought back two more to add to their history.
In the mid-1990s, state and federal health and environmental agencies identified an increased incidence of childhood cancers in Toms River from the 1970-1995 period. Multiple investigations by state and federal environmental and health agencies indicated that the likely source of the increased cancer risk was contamination from Toms River Chemical Plant (then operated by Ciba-Geigy), which had been in operation since 1952. The area was designated a United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in 1983 after an underground plume of toxic chemicals was identified. The following year, a discharge pipe was shut down after a sinkhole at the corner of Bay Avenue and Vaughn Avenue revealed that it had been leaking. The plant ceased operation in 1996. A follow up study from the 1996-2000 period indicated that while there were more cancer cases than expected, rates had significantly fallen and the difference was statistically insignificant compared to normal statewide cancer rates. Since 1996, the Toms River water system has been subject to the most stringent water testing in the state and is considered safe for consumption. Dan Fagin's Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book, examined the issue of industrial pollution in detail.
Toms River Township
"Toms River" at one time referred only to the village of Toms River, a small part of the vast Township of Dover that included several other distinct settlements. With the United States Postal Service's adoption of Toms River mailing addresses for Dover Township, coupled with demographic changes in the other sections, those inside and outside began referring to all of mainland Dover Township as Toms River. In the 1990 Census, the census-designated place called "Toms River" only included the downtown village area that included fewer than 8,000 residents in 1990. Due to complaints of confusion, the CDP was broadened to include all of mainland Dover Township to better reflect the more common usage for the area.
Over the years, confusion over the name of the township had become an issue for many residents. A movement organized around the Dover Township Name Change Committee, founded by Mayor Paul Brush and supported by the Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, collected signatures to put a name change question on the ballot in November 2006. On Election Day, November 7, 2006, over 60% of residents voted to approve changing the name from the Township of Dover to the Township of Toms River. The name change campaign featured the slogan "Toms River YES", signifying a yes vote for the name change, and the name was officially changed on November 14, 2006.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 52.884 square miles (136.969 km2), of which, 40.488 square miles (104.863 km2) of it was land and 12.396 square miles (32.105 km2) of it (23.44%) was water. Toms River is 70 miles (110 km) south of Manhattan and 55 miles (89 km) east of Philadelphia.
While most of Toms River is on the mainland, Dover Beaches North and South are situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Dover Beaches South adjoins the independent municipalities of Lavallette to the north and Seaside Heights to the north. Toms River Township borders Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Island Heights, Jackson Township, Lakewood Township, Lavallette, Manchester Township, Seaside Heights and South Toms River.
Dover Beaches North (2010 Census population of 1,239), Dover Beaches South (1,209) and Toms River CDP (88,791) are census-designated places and unincorporated communities located within Toms River Township. Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names within the township include Andrew Point, Andrews, Bay Shore, Cattus Island, Cedar Grove, Chadwick, Coates Point, East Dover, Gilford Park, Gilmores Island, Green Island, Long Point, Normandy Beach, Ocean Beach, Ortley Beach, Pelican Island, Pine View, Pleasant Plains, Shelter Cove, Silverton, Tilton Point, West Dover and White Oak Bottom.
Toms River includes the ZIP Codes 08753, 08754, 08755, 08756, 08757 and 08739. Ortley Beach (Dover Beaches South) shares ZIP code 08751 with Seaside Heights. Manchester Township does not have its own Post Office, and parts of Manchester use a Toms River mailing address under ZIP code 08757.
Toms River has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers, mild winters, and warm springs and autumns. The township was severely affected by the damage brought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Many lowlying areas of the township, including Silverton and the downtown area, saw their worst flooding ever when the storm surge overwhelmed the Barnegat Bay up and down the Jersey Shore. The barrier islands, just across the bridge, suffered even worse devastation from the storm surge brought by the Hurricane.
|Climate data for Toms River|
|Record high °F (°C)||72
|Average high °F (°C)||41
|Average low °F (°C)||22
|Record low °F (°C)||−19
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.92
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.01
|Avg. precipitation days||11||10||11||11||11||10||9||9||8||8||10||10||118|
|Avg. snowy days||4||3||2||.5||0||0||0||0||0||0||.2||2||11.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||155.0||155.4||201.5||216.0||244.9||270.0||275.9||260.4||219.0||204.6||156.0||136.4||2,495.1|
|Population sources: 1790-1920
1850-2000 1850-1870 1850
1870 1880-1890 1890-1910
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 91,239 people, 34,760 households, and 24,367 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,253.5 per square mile (870.1/km2). There were 43,334 housing units at an average density of 1,070.3 per square mile (413.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 89.91% (82,035) White, 2.70% (2,465) Black or African American, 0.17% (156) Native American, 3.58% (3,266) Asian, 0.02% (17) Pacific Islander, 1.96% (1,785) from other races, and 1.66% (1,515) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 7.93% (7,231) of the population.
There were 34,760 households, of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the township, 21.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.0 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $71,934 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,094) and the median family income was $83,924 (+/- $2,842). Males had a median income of $59,860 (+/- $2,733) versus $42,192 (+/- $2,081) for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,423 (+/- $926). About 4.5% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 89,706 people, 33,510 households, and 24,428 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,189.5 people per square mile (845.4/km²). There were 41,116 housing units at an average density of 1,003.5 per square mile (387.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.57% White, 1.75% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.54% of the population.
There were 33,510 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the township the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $54,776, and the median income for a family was $62,561. Males had a median income of $47,390 versus $30,834 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,010. About 4.0% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Since 2002, Toms River Township has operated within the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) under the Mayor-Council form of New Jersey municipal government. The council consists of seven members, four of whom represent one of four wards of the township and three who are chosen at-large. The mayor and the seven council members are chosen on a partisan basis as part of the November general election to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with the mayor and three at-large seats elected together and the four ward seats chosen simultaneously two years later.
As of 2015[update], the Mayor of Toms River is Republican Thomas P. Kelaher, whose term of office expires December 31, 2015. Council members are Council President Maria Maruca (R, 2017; Ward 1), Jeffrey J. Carr (R, 2017; Ward 3), Maurice "Mo" B. Hill, Jr. (R, 2015; at large), Brian S. Kubiel (R, 2017; Ward 2), Alfonso Manforti (R, 2017; Ward 4), John "Sevas" Sevastakis (R, 2015; at large) and George Wittmann (R, 2015; at large).
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Tom MacArthur (R, Toms River). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
For the 2014-15 Session, the 10th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James W. Holzapfel (R, Toms River Township) and in the General Assembly by Gregory P. McGuckin (R, Toms River Township) and David W. Wolfe (R, Brick Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2015[update], Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett, Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2015, Pine Beach; Finance, Parks and Recreation), Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little (R, 2015, Surf City; Human Services), John P. Kelly (R, 2016, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety), James F. Lacey (R, 2016, Brick Township; Transportation) and Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2017, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2015, Barnegat Light), Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2016; Toms River) and Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2018, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 59,987 registered voters in Toms River Township, of which 11,617 (19.4%) were registered as Democrats, 15,749 (26.3%) were registered as Republicans and 32,592 (54.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 29 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 65.7% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 83.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 57.0% of the vote (22,773 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 42.0% (16,776 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (408 votes), among the 40,235 ballots cast by the township's 62,614 registered voters (278 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.3%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 57.2% of the vote (25,881 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 40.8% (18,439 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (600 votes), among the 45,215 ballots cast by the township's 62,909 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.9%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 60.7% of the vote (26,203 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 38.1% (16,467 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (360 votes), among the 43,170 ballots cast by the township's 59,544 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.5.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 74.5% of the vote (19,317 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.2% (6,269 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (330 votes), among the 26,470 ballots cast by the township's 61,593 registered voters (554 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.8% of the votes (19,906 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 26.7% (7,948 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.6% (1,372 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (283 votes), among the 29,782 ballots cast by the township's 61,578 registered voters, yielding a 48.4% turnout.
Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the Toms River Regional Schools, a regional public school system (centered primarily in Toms River Township) that is the largest suburban school district in New Jersey. In addition to students from Toms River, the district also serves the adjoining boroughs of Beachwood, Pine Beach and South Toms River. It is the largest suburban school district in the state, and the fourth largest school district in New Jersey (after Newark, Jersey City and Paterson). It is also the largest school district in the state that is not an Abbott District. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 18 schools had an enrollment of 16,981 students and 1,166.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.55:1.
Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Beachwood Elementary School (591 students; K-5), Cedar Grove Elementary School (883; K-5), Joseph A. Citta Elementary School (672; K-5), East Dover Elementary School (757; K-5), Hooper Avenue Elementary School (756; K-5), North Dover Elementary School (648; K-5), Pine Beach Elementary School (440; K-5), Silver Bay Elementary School (661; K-5), South Toms River Elementary School (375; K-5), Walnut Street Elementary School (841; K-5), Washington Street Elementary School (385; K-5), West Dover Elementary School (407; K-5), Toms River Intermediate East (1,468; 6-8), Toms River Intermediate North (1,423; 6-8), Toms River Intermediate South (1,052; 6-8), Toms River High School East (1,719; 9-12), Toms River High School North (2,368; 9-12) and Toms River High School South (1,535; 9-12).
Donovan Catholic High School, Ocean County's only Catholic high school, is located in Toms River, operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. The diocese also operates St. Joseph's Grade School for students in Kindergarten though 8th grade.
Ocean County College, a two-year college that offers four-year options in cooperation with other New Jersey colleges and universities, is located on Hooper Avenue in Toms River. In May 2014, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation announced a $5.7 million donation to establish The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. This is the largest single donation received in OCC's 50-year history.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 453.89 miles (730.47 km) of roadways, of which 351.13 miles (565.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 72.45 miles (116.60 km) by Ocean County and 24.04 miles (38.69 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 6.27 miles (10.09 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Toms River is crisscrossed by several major roadways, including the Garden State Parkway and U.S. Route 9, as well as Route 35, Route 37, Route 70, Route 166, County Route 527, County Route 530, County Route 549, County Route 571.
Two of the most congested roads are Hooper Avenue and Route 37. Route 37 sees extra traffic from travelers to the Jersey shore during the summertime, due to it being a main artery to the shore from the Garden State Parkway at interchange 82. The township is also home to one of the state's only at-grade cloverleafs, at the intersection of Hooper Avenue and County Route 571 (Bay Avenue).
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority proposed in 1971 to build the Driscoll Expressway which was to start from exit 80 of the parkway and end 3 miles (4.8 km) north of exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike in South Brunswick Township. This project was killed in 1980.
The major bus station in Toms River is located downtown, off exit 81 of the Garden State Parkway. The township is served by New Jersey Transit bus routes 67 (to Newark and Journal Square), 137 (to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) in Midtown Manhattan), 319 (PABT in New York City and the Atlantic City Bus Terminal), and 559 (to the Atlantic City Bus Terminal).
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders operates the Ocean Ride bus line within Toms River, as well as to Brick Township, Whiting / Manchester Township, Lakewood Township, Lacey Township, Little Egg Harbor Township, Berkeley Township, Barnegat Township, Plumsted Township, Point Pleasant, and Long Beach Island.
There are a number of taxi services around and within Toms River. Fares vary depending on the service.
The Central Railroad of New Jersey and Pennsylvania Railroad ended service to the township in the late 1940s. The nearest rail station is the terminus of the North Jersey Coast Line in Bay Head. Service is currently being evaluated to nearby Lakehurst on the proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex Line.
- Toms River has been featured in television, including MTV which filmed three episodes of the show Made and scenes from MTV's Jersey Shore there.
- Toms River is home to many beaches located along the Jersey Shore, including Ortley Beach, Normandy Beach, Monterey Beach, Ocean Beach, Chadwick Beach and Silver Beach.
- The New Jersey Chili and Salsa Cook-Off, as well as the New Jersey Ice Cream Festival are held in Toms River.
- The Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library is the headquarters of the Ocean County Library system and the largest public library in Ocean County. In January 2006, a renovation project was completed that doubled the size of the facility.
- Toms River is home to the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex, the only indoor athletic complex bubble in Ocean County and one of the largest in New Jersey. It was severely damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy, reopening in January 2013 after repairs were completed.
- New Jersey's largest non-teaching hospital, Community Medical Center, is located in Toms River.
- The Pine Belt Arena, a public arena connected to Toms River High School North, is used for major concert events and small local events throughout the year to raise money for the school district.
- Toms River Fest, is held during the summer in Toms River, bringing many people from in and out of the area, with 25,000 attendees at the 2008 event.
- Toms River has many shopping malls including Ocean County Mall (the only enclosed mall in Ocean County) and Seacourt Pavilion, located across Bay Avenue from the Ocean County Mall.
- Toms River is home to Artisan's Brewery, one of New Jersey's 26 breweries.
- The 1979 movie The Amityville Horror was filmed in Toms River, rather than Amityville on Long Island. Local police and ambulance workers played extras. The Toms River Volunteer Fire Company Number One was used to provide the "rain" during one of the exterior scenes. If you look closely, you can see that it is sunny and not "raining" in the background, the next street over.
- Downtown Toms River hosts many community events, including festivals and the second largest Halloween parade in the world. The official logo is a 'T' with a river, forming an 'R', through it. The slogan is "Great Places. Familiar Faces."
- Toms River gained some notoriety in 1984 when local businessman Robert O. Marshall was charged with (and later convicted of) the contract killing of his wife, Maria. The case attracted the attention of true crime author Joe McGinniss, whose bestselling book on the Marshall case, Blind Faith, was published in 1989 and adapted into an Emmy-nominated 1990 television miniseries starring Robert Urich and Joanna Kerns.
- Several surrounding municipalities, due to lack of Post Offices, have Toms River mailing addresses, including South Toms River, parts of Manchester Township and parts of Berkeley Township.
- Home to the Waterhouse Museum, which features the works of painter Charles Waterhouse.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Toms River include:
- Darian Barnes (born 1980), former NFL fullback.
- Alex Blackwell (born 1970), former NBA forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Tom Brown, Jr., naturalist, tracker, survivalist and author.
- Syma Chowdhry, television news reporter in Philadelphia at KYW-TV.
- Danny Clinch (born 1964), photographer.
- Chris Connor (1927–2009), jazz singer.
- Jerry Dipoto (born 1968), former professional baseball player and an executive who is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- Frankie Edgar (born 1981), former UFC Lightweight Champion.
- Charlie Frazier (born 1980), former professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins, brother of Todd Frazier.
- Jeff Frazier (born 1982), former professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, brother of Todd Frazier.
- Todd Frazier (born 1986), professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds, 34th overall draft pick in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, brother of Jeff Frazier.
- Mia Galeotalanza, contestant on Survivor: Vanuatu.
- Brian Geraghty (born 1974), actor, We Are Marshall (2006), The Guardian (2006), Bobby (2006) and Jarhead (2005).
- Jared Gertner, stage actor who played a co-starring role in the first touring and London productions of The Book of Mormon.
- Ted Gillen (born 1968), former professional soccer player.
- J. M. Gold (born 1980), former professional baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Alf Goullet (1891-1995), Australian-born cyclist who won more than 400 races on three continents, including 15 six-day races.
- Bob Grant (1929-2013), radio host.
- Sheree Gray (born 1985), soccer defender who represents Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer.
- James W. Holzapfel (born 1944), member of the New Jersey State Senate from the 10th Legislative District.
- Marty Jannetty (born 1962), professional wrestler, best known as one-half of The Rockers in the World Wrestling Federation.
- Pavle Jovanovic (born 1977), Olympic bobsled competitor.
- Chris Konopka (born 1985), MLS player for the Philadelphia Union.
- Stephenie LaGrossa (born 1979), contestant on Survivor: Palau, Survivor: Guatemala and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, under the Heroes tribe.
- Al Leiter (born 1965), former Major League Baseball player who pitched for both the New York Mets and new York Yankees.
- Mark Leiter (born 1963), former Major League Baseball player
- Leonard Lomell (born 1919), U.S. Army Ranger who destroyed German gun emplacements on D-Day.
- Robert O. Marshall (born 1939), businessman whose 1980s conviction in the contract murder of his wife was the subject of a controversial 1989 book and 1990 television miniseries.
- Demetri Martin (born 1973), comedian, featured on The Daily Show and Comedy Central Presents.
- Robert and Michael Meeropol (born 1951 and 1952, respectively), sons of convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
- Joe Michelini (born 1988) musician, singer, songwriter and frontman for the indie/folk rock band River City Extension.
- Scott Palguta (born 1982), assistant men's soccer coach at Colorado College who played for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
- Sam Porcello (c. 1936-2012), food scientist, developed the Oreo cookie's creme filling.
- Garret Reynolds, professional BMX rider.
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- Dremousis, Litsa. Demetri Martin, The Believer (magazine), February 2006. Accessed June 23, 2007. "The son of a Greek Orthodox priest (note: Orthodox priests can marry prior to ordination) and a nutritionist, Martin grew up with his brother and sister in Toms River, New Jersey."
- Roberts, Sam. "Metro Matters; Rosenberg Case: Family's Struggle At Reconciliation", The New York Times, June 20, 1988. Accessed February 15, 2012. "His nephews, Michael and Robert Meeropol, planned no special remembrance. Robert intended only to take a long walk alone near his home in Massachusetts to reflect on that afternoon in Toms River, N.J., when his older brother, then 10, was ushered outside to join him after the television broadcast of the Yankees-Tigers game was interrupted repeatedly by news bulletins about the impending execution of their parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg."
- Spelling, Ian. "N.J.'s River City Extension opens for Avett Brothers at PNC Arts Center", The Record (Bergen County), September 22, 2011. Accessed January 25, 2015. "Joe Michelini formed River City Extension in 2007, and since then enough members have joined and left the Toms River-based band that the group's founder and lead singer considers their current tour a series of get-to-know-you shows. 'It's like we're forced to overcome a lot of obstacles at once and in a very short amount of time,' Michelini says by telephone from his Toms River home."
- Scott Palguta, Colorado College. Accessed January 12, 2014. "Palguta, a native of Toms River, N.J., was a two-time all-Ivy League selection at Cornell University, where he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration."
- Hinckley, David. "Man who developed Oreo cookie filling dead at 76; Sam J. Porcello was known at Nabisco as 'Mr. Oreo'He died Saturday at 76, and worked at Nabisco for 34 years", Daily News (New York), May 20, 2012. Accessed January 25, 2015. "That’s not all that Sam J. Porcello of Toms River, N.J., did. But if it had been, that would have been enough. This obituary had me at 'Oreo.'"
- Palmer, Chris. "Meet Garrett Reynolds, the anti-BMX star", ESPN. Accessed September 14, 2010.
- Vice Admiral Charles E. Rosendahl Collection, University of Texas at Dallas. Accessed June 23, 2007. "1960: Retired to Toms River to write and to organize Lighter-Than-Air Museum Association at Lakehurst."
- "Destined to Coach", The Colorado Springs Gazette, March 16, 2004.
- Garafolo, Mike. "NY Giants Game Day: Look for running game to exploit weak Atlanta defense", The Star-Ledger, November 22, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2011. "The Giants’ defenders said all week third-string RB Jason Snelling (a Toms River native who moved to Virginia before high school) is just as dangerous."
- Toms River Township web site
- Toms River Regional Schools
- Toms River Regional Schools's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Toms River Regional Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library
- Dover Township: A Brief History - from the Asbury Park Press.
- Toms River Community web site
- Toms River Community web site dedicated to the worlds 2nd largest Halloween Parade
- Toms River Community News
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