Around 1609 Henry Hudson sailed along the coast of New Jersey coming to an inlet which he named Barende-gat, a Dutch word meaning an inlet with breakers. This name was replaced by Barndegat by early mapmakers and later evolved into the present day spelling of Barnegat.
During Barnegat’s early days, most of her men were whalers who built their whaling boats out of the cedars of the Great Swamp. Later, around the time of the Revolutionary War, Barnegat ships carried cargoes of cedar rails and pine wood to New York. With the advent of the steam powered ship in the beginning of the 19th century, the demand for pine wood as a fuel kept the Barnegat seamen even busier carrying the wood to Virginia and other points along the east coast.
Between 1820-1840, the supply of pine wood diminished, and Barnegat’s seamen turned to the charcoal trade, then to transporting freight from New York to parts of New England, Virginia and as far south as Florida. This trade was at its height during and after the Civil War. The majority of Barnegat’s men were either captains of their own ships, or sailors and crewmen aboard these ships. It was not unusual at the time for the captain, mates and crew to all be Barnegatters
Located on East Bay Avenue, Heritage Village features an four major buildings and three smaller structures – the Lippincott-Faulkenburg House, the Barber Shop, the Edwards House, the Butcher Shop, a corn crib, a motel cabin, and a three-hole “necessary.” Heritage Village is open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information, visit Barnegat Historical Society website.