Avalon, New Jersey
|Avalon, New Jersey|
|Borough of Avalon|
Former Avalon Lighthouse
|Motto: "Cooler by a Mile"|
Avalon Borough highlighted in Cape May County. Inset map: Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Avalon, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 18, 1892|
|Named for||Avalon of Arthurian legend|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||Martin L. Pagliughi (R, term ends June 30, 2019)|
|• Administrator||Andrew J. Bednarek|
|• Clerk||Amy W. Kleuskens|
|• Total||4.927 sq mi (12.760 km2)|
|• Land||4.152 sq mi (10.753 km2)|
|• Water||0.775 sq mi (2.006 km2) 15.72%|
|Area rank||278th of 566 in state
7th of 16 in county
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2014)||1,297|
|• Rank||523rd of 566 in state
12th of 16 in county
|• Density||321.3/sq mi (124.1/km2)|
|• Density rank||473rd of 566 in state
12th of 16 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||609 Exchanges: 263, 368, 967|
|GNIS feature ID||0885146|
Avalon is a borough in Cape May County, New Jersey, on Seven Mile Island. As of the 2010 United States Census, the full-time borough population was 1,334, although it swells during the summer months. The population declined by 809 (-37.8%) from the 2,143 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 334 (+18.5%) from the 1,809 counted in the 1990 Census.
The community is one of the most affluent communities along the Jersey Shore and is home to some of the most expensive real estate on the East Coast. In 2007, Forbes listed Avalon as the 65th most expensive zip code in the United States. Washingtonian even "named Avalon the 'chicest beach' in the mid-Atlantic, the place to see women in diamonds and designer swimwear." A small portion of Avalon is not on Seven Mile Island. The borough is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Avalon was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 18, 1892, from portions of Middle Township, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier. The borough was reincorporated on March 6, 1896, and again on May 4, 1897. Another portion of Middle Township was annexed in 1910. On December 27, 1941, portions of Avalon were ceded to Stone Harbor. The borough is named for Avalon of Arthurian legend.
Avalon, famous for being a South Jersey seashore resort, has the motto "Cooler by a Mile", since it juts out into the Atlantic Ocean about a mile farther than other barrier islands. It was ranked the seventh-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Government
- 4 Education
- 5 Transportation
- 6 History
- 7 Notable people
- 8 Nightlife
- 9 References
- 10 External links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 4.927 square miles (12.760 km2), including 4.152 square miles (10.753 km2) of land and 0.775 square miles (2.006 km2) of water (15.72%).
1930-1990 2000 2010
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,334 people, 692 households, and 415.9 families residing in the borough. The population density was 321.3 per square mile (124.1/km2). There were 5,434 housing units at an average density of 1,308.8 per square mile (505.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.05% (1,308) White, 0.30% (4) Black or African American, 0.30% (4) Native American, 0.22% (3) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.15% (2) from other races, and 0.97% (13) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.17% (29) of the population.
There were 692 households, of which 9.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.45.
In the borough, 8.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 11.8% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 40.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61.8 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $88,527 (with a margin of error of +/- $20,202) and the median family income was $135,781 (+/- $32,487). Males had a median income of $162,125 (+/- $69,973) versus $46,397 (+/- $17,278) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $99,655 (+/- $18,059). About 1.6% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 2,143 people, 1,045 households, and 668 families residing in the borough. The population density was 508.4 people per square mile (196.5/km2). There were 5,281 housing units at an average density of 1,252.9 per square mile (484.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.69% White, 0.14% African American, 0.56% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.05% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.56% of the population.
There were 1,045 households out of which 12.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.56.
In the borough the population was spread out with 14.1% under the age of 18, 2.9% from 18 to 24, 16.3% from 25 to 44, 33.9% from 45 to 64, and 32.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $59,196, and the median income for a family was $72,750. Males had a median income of $60,227 versus $39,886 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $50,016. About 2.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 0.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Borough of Avalon is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government by a mayor and a five-member Borough Council. Members of the Borough Council are elected in nonpartisan elections to four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either two seats (and the mayoral seat) or three seats coming up for election every other year as part of the May municipal election.
As of 2015[update], Avalon's mayor is Martin L. Pagliughi, whose term of office ends on June 30, 2019. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Richard E. Dean (2019), Council Vice President Nancy M. Hudanich (2017), William G. Burns, Jr. (2017; appointed to serve an unexpired term until the November 2015 general election), Charles P. Covington (2019) and John McCorristin (2017).
In July 2015, William G. Burns, Jr., was appointed to fill the vacant seat expiring 2017 of David Ellenberg, who resigned from office earlier that mont.
Mayor Pagliughi and Councilmembers Covington and Dean ran unopposed in the May 2011 municipal election. With 245 of 1,330 registered voters participating (turnout of 18.42%) all three candidates were re-elected.
In the May 2013 election, incumbents Ellenberg and Hudanich were re-elected, as newcomer John McCorristin won the seat that had previously been held by Joseph Tipping who didn't run for another term of office.
Federal, state, and county representation
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). 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 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the General Assembly by Bob Andrzejczak (D, Middle Township) and R. Bruce Land (D, Vineland). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year; At an annual reorganization held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Director and another to serve as Vice-Director. As of 2015[update], Cape May County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton (Middle Township, term ends December 31, 2016), Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (Sea Isle City, 2015), Kristine Gabor (Upper Township, 2017), E. Marie Hayes (Ocean City, 2016), and Will Morey (Wildwood Crest, 2017). The county's constitutional officers are Sheriff Gary Schafer (Middle Township, 2017), Surrogate M. Susan Sheppard (Ocean City, 2017), and County Clerk Rita Fulginiti (Ocean City, 2015).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,307 registered voters in Avalon, of which 206 (15.8%) were registered as Democrats, 676 (51.7%) were registered as Republicans and 425 (32.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 66.5% of the vote (622 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 32.9% (308 votes), and other candidates with 0.6% (6 votes), among the 943 ballots cast by the borough's 1,331 registered voters (7 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 70.8%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 62.4% of the vote (663 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 35.7% (379 votes), with 1,063 ballots cast among the borough's 1,325 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 66.1% of the vote (766 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received around 32.6% (377 votes), with 1,158 ballots cast among the borough's 1,419 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 81.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 84.0% of the vote (589 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 15.3% (107 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (5 votes), among the 710 ballots cast by the borough's 1,279 registered voters (9 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 55.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 64.7% of the vote (547 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 29.0% (245 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 5.0% (42 votes), with 845 ballots cast among the borough's 1,357 registered voters, yielding a 62.3% turnout.
Avalon School District is a public school district that serves students in public school for first through eighth grade at Avalon Elementary School and at Stone Harbor Elementary School. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 66 students and 13.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 4.96:1.
Starting with the 2011-12 school year, in an agreement with the Avalon School District, public school students in grades K-4 from both communities attend school in Stone Harbor while all students in grades 5-8 attend school in Avalon.
Students in public school for ninth through twelfth grades attend Middle Township High School in Cape May Court House, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Middle Township Public Schools, which also serves students from Avalon, Dennis Township and Woodbine.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 41.61 miles (66.96 km) of roadways, of which 36.19 miles (58.24 km) were maintained by the municipality and 5.42 miles (8.72 km) by Cape May County.
There is also a seasonal trolley service that runs through the seven-mile-long island. Avalon also has multiple New Jersey Transit bus stops, and is served by the 315 to and from Philadelphia and the 319 that provides service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
Originally a thriving juniper forest, reportedly occupied by Lenni Lenape Native Americans, the area was purchased by Aaron Leaming in December 1722 for 79 pounds. Known as Seven Mile Beach (present day Avalon and Stone Harbor), it was owned and retained by the Leamings for approximately 100 years. Legends say that pirates buried their bounty on Seven Mile Island, and that Henry Hudson may have dropped anchor somewhere offshore but these legends are not historically confirmed. The island served as a cattle range and was also used for its plentiful timber. The Leamings eventually sold the land, and the island exchanged hands in a number of transactions afterwards. In April 1887, the Seven Mile Beach company was formed. As early as 1893, Avalon was advertised as a resort town. With this rapid development, homes and businesses were erected. The native juniper forest was graded and cut, and the sandy hills were leveled off, making the island mostly flat. Today it is extremely rare to see hills or native juniper in Avalon.
By the early 1900s, the Leaming Railroad bridge was constructed, allowing train connections into the town. This increased the traffic from nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Around 1944 the West Jersey and Seashore railroad lines merged with the Reading Railroad. This effectively ended the era of travel by train to the island. A hurricane took several streets and Avalon now has a north end beginning at 7th street. In the mid-1950s the Wolfington Family of Philadelphia purchased and operated the Puritan Hotel later enlarged and renamed the Whitebriar Hotel on the beach block at 21st Street. The Whitebriar was managed for two seasons in the mid-1950s, one of the future 'great hosts' of several hotels in the Greater Philadelphia area, Robert C. Bennett. He was the son of another 'famous' hotelier, Claude H. Bennett of the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. Currently the most widely used method of transportation to and from Avalon is by car or boat; however, buses run on a regular schedule all over the shore towns.
The Commonwealth (shipwreck)
On January 4, 1890, the Commonwealth, piloted by Captain W.S. Willets, sank. This 197-ton ship was en route from New York City to Philadelphia with a cargo of molasses, coffee, tobacco, tea, coconut oil, and camphor. Straying from its course in rough weather, the Commonwealth ran aground in Townsend's Inlet. The crew was rescued and most of the cargo was salvaged. However, after a week trapped in the sandy bottom of the inlet, the ship began to come apart in the waves. Some of the remaining cargo washed ashore and most of it was taken by the early residents of Avalon. The wreck, unable to be recovered, was sold to John Townshend on February 2.
The Nor'easter of 1962
In March 1962, a major Nor'easter, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, tore through the U.S. East Coast causing massive ocean swells. Much of Avalon suffered very serious flooding and major coastline loss. Much of the island was under water for four to five days, with damage to homes dependent on the foundation construction of the home, and location on the island.
Protection efforts against storms
While there have been many strong storms since 1962, extensive rock jetty construction on Townsends Inlet (as recent as Summer 2006) has mostly succeeded in protecting the inlet-side homes. However, beaches and property facing the ocean at 8th through 12th Streets have struggled to prevent further loss of this barrier island through various anti-erosion schemes, including extending the 8th Street rock jetty, the installation of an artificial reef and the beach replenishment. So far, there has been no more "shrinkage" of the island at this location, but at a very high monetary cost. Several times, in 2015, the causeway leading north from Avalon to Townsends Inlet, has been closed by flooding during stormy weather.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Avalon include:
- Geno Auriemma (born 1954), head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team.
- Neil Hartman, Comcast Sportsnet personality.
- Paul Holmgren (born 1955), former General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers and current president.
- Tim Kerr (born 1960), formerly played for the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Ed McMahon (1923–2009), television show host.
- Joe Paterno (1926–2012), Penn State football head coach 
- Michael W. Rice (born 1945), CEO/Chairman of Utz Quality Foods.
- Ed Stefanski, Former General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Given Avalon's size, the borough has an active night life scene at such establishments as The Princeton, The Circle Tavern, Jack's Place, Whitebrier, Bobby Dee's Rock N Chair, The Golden Inn, and The Windrift.
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- Barlow, Bill. "'Team Avalon' running unopposed: Three seek fresh terms after long service", Shore News Today, March 30, 2011. Accessed December 4, 2011. "Mayor Martin Pagliughi, Council President Dick Dean and Avalon Councilman Chuck Covington are set to run for reelection together as 'Team Avalon' in the May 10 municipal election. That means everyone on the ballot will be on the same team. According to Avalon spokesman Scott Wahl, no one else turned in petitions to appear on the ballot. If re-elected, as seems quite likely, this July Pagliughi will start his 20th year as Avalon's mayor, which he ran for after a four-year term on council."
- Staff. "Avalon, Sea Isle, Wildwood hold municipal elections Tuesday", The Press of Atlantic City, May 10, 2011. Accessed December 4, 2011. "Avalon, Sea Isle City and Wildwood will hold nonpartisan municipal elections today from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. In Avalon, Mayor Martin L. Pagliughi and Councilmen Charles P. Covington and Richard E. Dean are running unopposed."
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- Procida, Lee. "Avalon, Sea Isle City each elect 2 incumbents, 1 newcomer in unopposed elections", The Press of Atlantic City, May 15, 2013. Accessed August 20, 2013. "In Avalon, incumbents David B. Ellenberg and Nancy Hudanich won re-election to four-year terms, while John McCorristin won a seat on Borough Council... In Avalon, Councilman Joseph Tipping chose not to run for re-election because of health reasons."
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- Avalon Elementary School 2014 School Report Card, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 11, 2015. "The district has entered into a 'send-receive' agreement with the neighboring district on the island to consolidate the instructional programs in the two schools. Stone Harbor houses the K-4 programs for both districts and Avalon houses grades 5-8."
- Middle Township High School 2014 School Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 11, 2015. "Middle Township High School is a four-year, accredited, comprehensive high school situated in central Cape May County. The school serves the communities of Middle Township, Dennis Township, Avalon, Stone Harbor, and now Woodbine Borough."
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- Elliott, Rich. "Hoop recruit spikes UConn", News-Times (Danbury), August 26, 2008. Accessed March 1, 2011. "Auriemma, his wife, Kathy, and Ernie and Joanie Delle Donne had dinner several times this summer at the Jersey Shore to discuss the situation. Auriemma owns a house in Avalon, N.J. The Delle Donnes own a house in nearby Stone Harbor."
- Giuca, Linda. "CELEBRITY COOKIE COUNTDOWN: Geno Auriemma", Hartford Courant. Accessed March 1, 2011. "The Auriemmas spent Thanksgiving at their home in Avalon, N.J., close to the Philadelphia area where the couple's respective families live."
- Neil Hartman, Alternative Energy Development Group. Accessed August 23, 2015. "He resides in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey with his wife and two children. He also owns a home in Avalon, New Jersey."
- Staff. "Bike crash bloodies Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren", Sporting News, September 6, 2011. Accessed October 16, 2012. "Holmgren owns a home in Avalon and is a Somerset, N.J., resident, according to The Press of Atlantic City."
- Staff. "Flyers GM Holmgren injured in bike crash in Avalon", The Press of Atlantic City, September 6, 2011. Accessed October 16, 2012. "Holmgren, who owns a home in Avalon, has been the team's general manager since 2006. He also played for the Flyers from 1976-83 and coached the team from 1988-92."
- Staff. "FOR A RADIO PAIR, BAD RECEPTION \ MONKEY BOY AND AN INTERN WERE TURNED AWAY FROM THE ARENA. AND SO WAS THEIR STANLEY CUP.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4, 1997. Accessed November 20, 2008. "``It's great to be back, said Kerr, 37, who lives in Avalon."
- Lulgjuraj, Susan. "Many Philadelphia Flyers past and present call Cape May County home", The Press of Atlantic City, May 24, 2010. Accessed March 1, 2011. "Tim Kerr has a huge presence in the Avalon and Stone Harbor area. The three-time All-Star played in Philadelphia for 11 seasons from 1980 to 1991 and holds Philadelphia's team record for the most 50-goal seasons with four. He owns Tim Kerr's Powerplay Realty on Dune Drive, which sells and rents homes in the Avalon and Stone Harbor area. For several years, Kerr also has run a charity run that bears his name. Kerr splits time between his homes in Avalon and Moorestown, Burlington County, said Tim Kerr Realty sales associate Ann Delaney."
- Browne, Greg. "ED MCMAHON DIES; HAD STRONG TIES TO AVALON", WMGM-TV, June 23, 2009. Accessed June 2, 2011. "For 30 years, Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson's loyal sidekick and straight-man on 'The Tonight Show', but what many people may not know is that McMahon was also a loyal fan and summer resident of Avalon for nearly two decades.In the late 1960s McMahon built a summer beach house on 18th Street in which he and his family spent many summers, up until the early 80's."
- McLane, Jeff. "Paterno eager for football", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 19, 2008. Accessed August 6, 2008. "Perhaps Paterno's eagerness to attend the event has grown in the last month, one spent partly at his beach house in Avalon, N.J."
- Strauss, Robert. "ZONING; Big Money, Big Plans Equal Big Headaches", The New York Times, October 1, 2006. Accessed October 16, 2012. "The Rices -- his grandparents started the Utz company nearly 100 years ago -- bought the property of just over an acre on the high dunes in 2000 for $3.5 million and tore down a late-1940's cottage. They applied for permits from the State Department of Environmental Protection and from Avalon to build an approximately 20,000-square-foot house but were refused, and eventually compromised with the current plans for a house with 40 rooms and 15 bathrooms."
- Mazda, Jason. "NBA's No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner brings 76ers buzz to beach", The Press of Atlantic City, August 1, 2010. Accessed October 16, 2012. "'I'm a sports fan in general, and this is my third year coming to this thing,' said Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who, like Stefanski, owns a home in Avalon."
- Nightlife & Bars, 7MileIslandReview.com. Accessed September 2, 2014.
- Avalon Borough website
- Avalon Elementary School
- Avalon Elementary School's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Avalon Elementary School, National Center for Education Statistics
- Avalon History
- The Cape May County Gazette Local community newspaper
- The Beachcomber
- Avalon New Jersey Information, Directions and History
- Seven Mile Times
Sea Isle City
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