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.
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