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Toms River, New Jersey: A Deep Dive into History, Neighborhoods, Attractions, and Demographics

Toms River, a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, provides a rich blend of history, charming neighborhoods, exciting attractions, and a diverse population. Its strategic location along the Atlantic Ocean’s picturesque shoreline and its warm and welcoming community make it an attractive place to live and visit.

Matus Law Group is a top-rated Toms River estate planning attorney in Toms River with offices on East Water Street.

History of Toms River

The history of Toms River is fascinating and reflects the growth and development of the United States itself. The Leni Lenape Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the area. In the 17th century, European settlers, primarily from England and Holland, arrived and started developing the area.

In 1850, Toms River became the county seat of the newly created Ocean County. During the American Civil War, the township was a site for a small engagement, known as the “Skirmish at Toms River,” in which Captain William C. Dyer’s Union troops bravely defended a blockhouse against a Confederate raiding party.

Over the years, Toms River evolved from a rural farming community to a bustling suburban town, particularly during the post-World War II boom years.

Sections and Unincorporated Communities

Toms River consists of several different sections and unincorporated communities. These are some of them:

  • Toms River (town center): This area is the heart of the township, with the county courthouse, municipal buildings, and a variety of businesses.
  • Downtown Toms River: Known for its historical buildings, Downtown Toms River hosts various community events and offers dining and shopping opportunities.
  • East Dover: East Dover is primarily a residential area featuring a variety of housing styles, from condos to single-family homes.
  • North Dover: North Dover is known for its more upscale, spacious homes and extensive shopping areas.
  • West Dover: This area has a mix of residential and commercial establishments, with community parks and open spaces.
  • Silverton: This residential neighborhood is located along the Silver Bay and features waterfront homes.
  • Unincorporated communities: These include Dover Beaches North, Dover Beaches South, Gilford Park, North Beach, Ortley Beach, Silverton, and the Toms River CDP. These areas, often associated with Toms River, have their own unique attributes.
Downtown Toms RiverThe heart of the township, Downtown Toms River, hosts the city’s administrative buildings and is known for its historical buildings and shopping facilities.
East DoverPrimarily a residential area featuring a variety of housing styles, from condos to single-family homes.
North DoverKnown for its more upscale, spacious homes and extensive shopping areas.
West DoverThis area has a mix of residential and commercial establishments, with community parks and open spaces.
Unincorporated CommunityDescription
Dover Beaches NorthA coastal community, Dover Beaches North is known for its beachfront homes and seaside attractions.
Dover Beaches SouthSimilar to its northern counterpart, Dover Beaches South also offers stunning coastal views and beach-related recreational activities.
Gilford ParkA predominantly residential area, Gilford Park is known for its quiet, serene neighborhood with close proximity to natural attractions.
North BeachNorth Beach offers coastal living and beach activities. It’s well-loved for its clean, sandy beaches.
Ortley BeachKnown as the “Pearl of the Jersey Shore,” Ortley Beach is a popular destination for summer vacationers with its beautiful beaches and vibrant community.
SilvertonSilverton is known for its water front homes on Silver Bay, Crab’s Claw Inn restaurant, and Cattus Island County Park.
Toms River CDP (Census Designated Place)This is the census-designated place covering the Toms River community within the township. It’s the heart of the township, known for commercial and residential establishments.


Toms River offers a myriad of attractions for all ages and interests:

  • The Robert J. Novins Planetarium: This is a great educational experience where visitors can learn about the cosmos.
  • Insectropolis: Known as the “Bugseum of New Jersey,” this insect learning center is a fun and unique experience for children and adults alike.
  • Cattus Island County Park: A fantastic destination for nature lovers, featuring miles of trails, a butterfly garden, and the Cooper Environmental Center.
  • Ocean County Historical Museum: Housed in a beautiful Victorian house, the museum offers a glimpse into the region’s history.

Statistical Data

As per the United States Census Bureau’s data from 2020, Toms River has a population of approximately 94,000 residents. The median age is around 44 years, and the township has a roughly equal distribution of males and females.

The racial composition is predominantly White, followed by Hispanic, Asian, and Black communities. The median household income is approximately $76,000.

Educationally, about 90% of the adults (25 years and older) in Toms River are high school graduates, and about 30% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.


Toms River, with its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, engaging attractions, and vibrant community, provides an exceptional quality of life to its residents and a unique experience to its visitors. It truly embodies the essence of New Jersey’s spirit and charm.

Unincorporated Community Map
Dover Beaches North
Gilford Park
Ortley Beach

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