BRICK – Residents and local officials put on their party hats to commemorate Brick’s 173rd birthday.
The birthday bash celebrated the founding of the town, which was created on February 15, 1850. During that time, the population was about 1,558 and the town was made up of several small villages including Bay Head, Mantoloking and Point Pleasant Beach.
“A five-member committee type government was formed and held its first meeting on March 12, 1850 at the home of Richard Burr in Burrsville. The township’s government changed with the growth of the community. The committee-type government of 1850 with five elected committeemen served the township until 1954. From 1954 to 1967 a committee-mayor government served the community,” Brick Township Historian Gene Donatiello wrote in Municipal Meeting Places.
In 1926, the Township Committee held its first meeting in Ivy Hall on the campus of the Orient Baptist Church of Laurelton (First Baptist Church of Laurelton). This was a result of moving the meetings from West Point Pleasant after it seceded from Brick Township.
During those years, the Township Committee had to face the loss of the cranberry industry. Soon a new industry raised revenue for the town and provide jobs for residents. Many developers sought to build resort communities at the time, creating club houses and docks for boats by the beach.
In 1954, the township government finally got a home, with town hall built on Moore Road (Brick Boulevard) and Cedar Bridge Road (where Towne Hall Shoppes are today). The building housed the township government, the municipal court and the New Jersey State Police.
Along with a new town hall came a new form of government, a committee-mayor type government, with the first mayor being elected in 1955.
Nearly 20 years later, the administration outgrew town hall and plans were made for a new one. The new town hall was built on Chambers Bridge Road, where it still resides today, and housed the township government, the justice department and the Brick Branch of the Ocean County Library.
This year Brick Township officially turns 173. The annual birthday party brings the community together to honor its history, and also for a fun day of games, entertainment, and cake!
The idea to hold an annual birthday party evolved in 2016, after an elementary school student made the suggestion to the mayor.
The tradition is hosted by the Mayor’s Student Advisory, which consists of high school students who coordinate the event and volunteer the day of to run it.
“The Brick Mayor’s Student Advisory strives to have all aspects of our community represented at the party. This involves partnership with high school clubs (BTHS and BMHS), local business, township committees and emergency personnel,” Brandi White, Coordinator of the Mayor’s Student Advisory, said.
For the event, student liaisons secure school clubs to have a table with a craft, activity and/or game for the attendees to participate in. Some of clubs included National Honor Society, Key Club, the Art Club and of course, The Mayor’s Student Advisory.
Of course, no birthday party is complete without cake! This year’s cake is courtesy of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS), Brick Chapter.