Georgian Court College
900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, Ocean County, NJ


Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 91 (toll road.) Bearing to the right after leaving the toll plaza, proceed through the first intersection (Burnt Tavern Road) to the next traffic light and turn right onto Ocean County Route 526, which becomes County Line Road. Continue approximately 4 miles, to Route 9 South (5th traffic light.) Turn left onto Route 9 South and continue to Ninth Street. Turn right onto Ninth Street. Continue to end, College entrance is on your right.


Georgian Court College was formerly the winter home of George Jay Gould, millionaire son of railroad tycoon, Jay Gould. He purchased eleven acres of  land for the estate in 1896. In 1897 he acquired 200 more acres for his estate.

The architect Bruce Price was hired that same year to transform the land into a lavish English Georgian country estate. Gould and Price agreed that the style of the buildings and surrounding grounds would be that of an English estate of the Georgian period; therefore, it was named Georgian Court.

In addition to designing the buildings of the estate, Bruce Price designed three of the four major gardens: the Classic or Italian Garden, the Sunken Garden or Lagoon, and the Formal Garden. The garden designer Takeo Shiota designed the Japanese Garden.

The sandy soils of the New Jersey Pine Barrens were not conducive to the cultivation of the exotic plants the Goulds had planned for the various gardens throughout the estate. In order to provide the rich topsoil needed, 5,000 carloads of fine loam were brought to Georgian Court from neighboring Monmouth County.

George Gould died in 1923. The Sisters of Mercy of New Jersey bought the estate in 1924, moving their College of Mount Saint Mary to the estate. They converted Gould's Casino, where he swam, played tennis and bowled, into an auditorium. The Gould family requested that the name of the estate be retained, so the college became Georgian Court College.

The original St. Mary's Catholic church (1890) in Lakewood was moved to the college campus and the larger St. Mary's By-The-Lake Catholic Church was built on the site of the original church. (Miller 2000:498) 

George J. Gould built an elaborate estate. It was finished on January 18, 1896 and called Georgian Court.

There was a 170 foot bridge, 32 feet wide, across the gully in front of his property.

May 1899 -- Gould introduced his Lakewood polo team. He had constructed four polo fields.

1923 -- Gould dies; his estate divided among his sons and daughters.

1924 -- the estate becomes home to an exclusive school for young ladies and known as Georgian Court College.

McMahon, William. South Jersey Towns: History and Legend. 1997 of a 1973 publication. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Page 323.

S. Mary Grace Burns Arboretum

The arboretum, established in 1989, is named after Sister Mary Grace Burns, who was the chairperson of the biology department and professor of biology from 1927 to 1968. In addition to a large number of exotic plant species, the arboretum features a good collection of native plants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens (New Jersey Pinelands).

Most of the pinelands plants are scattered throughout the arboretum. Most notably, we have a number of very large and old oaks (mostly chestnut, black and white) and pines (mostly shortleaf but also pitch), dating from, as well as preceding, the Gould era. These species are well adapted to our climate and soils, and are found on most parts of the campus. The densest concentration of oaks is on oak knoll, the highest elevation on campus just past the college's entrance gate. The largest white oak in Ocean County is located behind our Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library. The grounds of Lake House and the Music Center have our largest concentration of shortleaf and pitch pines. We are currently working on restoring an undeveloped portion of the campus that contains a remnant pineland community.

More information can be obtained from the Georgian Court College website:

Aug. 11, 2001 Georgian Court College and Lake Shenandoah Co. Park, Lakewood, Ocean Co., N.J.  Torrey Botanical Society trip. With Dr. Michael Gross and Linda Kelly (leaders). List compiled by Dr. William F. Standaert.
Nomenclature follows Gleason & Cronquist (1991). Common names from various sources.
Some Kartesz equivalents given for clarification. Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database.
Various manuals used for cultivated plants. Bailey (1949) and A. L. Jacobson (1996) often useful.
var. ... = unspecified variety. (Vars. listed in Gleason & Cronquist do not match Kartesz's interpretation.)
F Flowering specimen(s) found. [C.] Cultivated.
Fr Fruiting specimen(s) found. [E.] Escaped from cultivation.
List I
Georgian Court College, Lakewood, Ocean Co., N.J.
(Parking Lot A, vicinity of Arts and Science Building, & trail through Natural Area)

Acer negundo var. negundo Box Elder few
Acer platanoides [E.] Norway Maple few
Acer rubrum Red Maple some
Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven few
Albizia julibrissin [C./E.] Mimosa 1 + seedlings; F, Fr
Betula lenta Black Birch few
Catalpa sp. (speciosa?) [C./E.] Northern Catalpa some; im Fr
Cercis canadensis var. canadensis [C./E.] Redbud 1; FR
Cornus florida [C./E.] Flowering Dogwood some; im Fr
Ginkgo biloba [C.] Maidenhair Tree some
Gleditsia triacanthos (unarmed cultivar) [C.] Honey Locust few, patio
Ilex opaca [C./E.] American Holly (Reported by Patrick Cooney)
Juniperus virginiana Eastern Red-cedar some; Fr
Morus alba [E.] White Mulberry few
Morus rubra (or rubra x alba hybrid?) [C.] Red Mulberry 1, edge of woods
Pinus echinata [C.?] Shortleaf Pine 1 sapling
Pinus nigra [C.] Austrian Pine 1
Pinus rigida Pitch Pine few
Pinus strobus [C.] White Pine few
Prunus serotina Black Cherry some; Fr
Pyrus baccata or baccata hybrid [C.] Siberian Crabapple 2; im Fr
Pyrus sp. (ornamental cultivars) [C.] Crabapple common; im Fr
Quercus palustris Pin Oak some
Quercus rubra Red Oak (Reported by Patrick)
Quercus velutina Black Oak some
Robinia pseudoacacia Black Locust common; Fr
Thuja occidentalis [C.] Northern White-cedar (Reported by Patrick)
Tilia americana var. americana Basswood (Reported by Patrick) 1, in woods
Tilia platyphyllos [C.] Largeleaf Linden common, parking area; Fr
Tilia sp. (americana or hybrid?) [C./E.?] Basswood, Linden 1 sapling in woods

Berberis thunbergii [E.] Japanese Barberry 1
Elaeagnus umbellata [E.] Autumn Olive few
Euonymus alatus [E.] Winged Burning Bush few
Hibiscus syriacus [C.] Rose of Sharon few, patio area; F
Ilex verticillata var. ... Winterberry (Reported by Patrick)
Kalmia latifolia Mountain Laurel (Reported by Patrick) 1
Ligustrum sp. [E.] Privet (Reported by Patrick) 1
Lyonia mariana Staggerbush (Reported by Patrick) 1
Mitchella repens Partridge-berry (Reported by Patrick) 1 small patch
Philadelphus inodorus [C./E.] Scentless Mock Orange 1 clump, in woods; im Fr
Philadelphus sp. (second species?) [C./E.] Mock Orange 1, in woods
Phoradendron serotinum Mistletoe 1 clump, on cultivated Gleditsia triacanthos
Physocarpus opulifolius var. opulifolius [C./E.] Ninebark (Seen by Mike Gross & others)
Rhus copallina Winged Sumac some; F
Rosa multiflora Multiflora Rose some; im Fr
Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry common
Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush Blueberry 1
Viburnum opulus var. opulus [C./E.] Guelder Rose 1 clump; Fr
Vinca minor [E.] Common Periwinkle (Reported by Patrick)

Campsis radicans Trumpet Creeper 1
Celastrus orbiculatus [E.] Oriental Bittersweet common; im Fr
Hedera helix [E.] English Ivy common
Lathyrus latifolius [E.] Everlasting Pea few, 1 site; F
Lonicera japonica Japanese Honeysuckle some; F (few)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper some
Polygonum scandens (var. ?) Climbing False Buckwheat few; near F
Smilax rotundifolia Common Greenbrier few
Toxicodendron radicans var. radicans Poison Ivy common; im Fr
Vitis aestivalis var. aestivalis Summer Grape few patches
Vitis vulpina [C./E.] Frost Grape few; im Fr
Wisteria sinensis [E.] Chinese Wisteria few

Acalypha rhomboidea Three-seeded Mercury (Reported by Patrick)
Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard some; Fr
Allium vineale Wild Garlic (Reported by Patrick)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia Common Ragweed few
Anthemis arvensis Corn Chamomile 1 small patch; F
Apocynum cannabinum Indian Hemp few; F(1)
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed some
Asclepias tuberosa var. tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed (Reported by Patrick)
Asparagus officinalis [E.] Asparagus (Reported by Patrick); Fr
Centaurea maculosa Spotted Knapweed few; F
Cerastium vulgatum Common Mouse-ear Chickweed few; Fr
Chaenorrhinum minus Dwarf Snapdragon 1; F
Chrysopsis mariana Maryland Goldenaster some, 1 site; F
Cichorium intybus Chicory (Reported by Patrick); F
Cirsium arvense var. ... Canada Thistle (Reported by Patrick)
Cirsium discolor Field Thistle (Reported by Patrick)
Crotalaria sagittalis Rattlebox few, 1 site; F, im Fr
Daucus carota Wild Carrot some; F
Dianthus armeria Deptford Pink 2; F
Epipactis helleborine Helleborine 1
Erechtites hieraciifolia Pilewort 1
Erigeron strigosus var. strigosus Lesser Daisy Fleabane some; F
Eupatorium album (var. album?) White Thoroughwort some; near F
Eupatorium hyssopifolium var. hyssopifolium Hyssop-leaved Thoroughwort some; near F
Euphorbia maculata Spotted Spurge common, parking area; F, Fr
Euphorbia nutans Eyebane (Reported by Patrick)
Euthamia graminifolia var. nuttallii Grass-leaved Goldenrod some; near F
Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium 1
Geum canadense White Avens (Seen by Mike Gross & others) 1; F
Hypochoeris radicata Cat's-ear some; F
Lapsana communis Nipplewort 2; Fr
Lepidium virginicum var. virginicum Peppergrass some; im Fr
Linaria vulgaris Butter and Eggs (Reported by Patrick); F
Liriope spicata [C.] Creeping Lily-turf 1 large patch, garden; F
Lysimachia nummularia Moneywort few patches
Medicago lupulina Black Medick some; F
Mentha spicata [E.] Spearmint 1 patch; F
Mollugo verticillata Carpetweed few, parking area; F, Fr
Oenothera biennis var. biennis Evening-primrose few; F
Oxalis stricta Common Yellow Wood-sorrel few; F, im Fr
Phytolacca americana Pokeweed (Reported by Patrick) 1; near F
Plantago lanceolata English Plantain some; F, Fr
Polygonum arenastrum Dooryard Knotweed some; F, Fr
Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum Cespitose Smartweed few; F, Fr
Portulaca oleracea Purslane (Seen by Karl Anderson) 1, parking area
Potentilla argentea Silver Cinquefoil few; F
Potentilla canadensis Dwarf Cinquefoil (Reported by Patrick)
Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata Selfheal some; F, Fr
Ranunculus acris var. acris Tall Buttercup few; Fr
Ranunculus sp. (repens?) Creeping Buttercup? few; Fr
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Black-eyed Susan (Reported by Patrick); F
Rumex acetosella Sheep Sorrel 1; Fr
Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock 2
Sagina sp. Pearlwort (Seen by Karl Anderson?) 1 tuft
Sagittaria latifolia var. ... Broad-leaved Arrowhead 1 patch; F
Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade (Reported by Patrick) 1; F
Solidago juncea Early Goldenrod some; near F
Solidago nemoralis var. nemoralis Gray Goldenrod few; F
Solidago odora var. odora Anisescented Goldenrod some; F
Solidago rugosa ssp. r. var. rugosa Rough Goldenrod some
Spiranthes tuberosa Little Ladies'-tresses 2, 1 site; F
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion few; F(1)
Trifolium arvense Rabbitfoot Clover (Reported by Patrick); F
Trifolium pratense Red Clover (Reported by Patrick) 1; F
Trifolium repens White Clover some; F
Urtica dioica var. dioica Stinging Nettle 1 clump F
-Perhaps also U. d. var. procera (Slender Nettle) - 1. Not studied carefully.
Verbascum blattaria Moth Mullein few; F, im Fr
Verbascum thapsus Common Mullein some; Fr
Verbena urticifolia var. urticifolia White Vervain few; Fr
Veronica officinalis Common Speedwell few small patches
Veronica serpyllifolia var. serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Speedwell 1; F

Juncus sp. Common Rush few, 1 site; Fr
-Hybrid between pylaei and effusus? [Intergrade between vars.--Kartesz] Few ridges, but long terminal bract.
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis Path Rush common; Fr

Cyperus esculentus Yellow Nutsedge (Seen by Linda Kelly & others) 1
Cyperus sp. (grayi?) Gray's Flatsedge (Seen by Linda & others) some
Cyperus strigosus Straw-colored Flatsedge some; F, Fr

Agrostis gigantea Redtop some; Fr
Andropogon virginicus var. virginicus Broomsedge locally common; old Fr
Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal Grass few; past Fr
Dactylis glomerata Orchard Grass some; Fr
Digitaria sanguinalis Hairy Crabgrass common; F, Fr
Echinochloa crusgalli var. crusgalli Barnyard-grass few, 1 site; F
Eleusine indica Goosegrass few; Fr
Eragrostis cilianensis Stinkgrass some, on trail; Fr
Eragrostis pectinacea var. pectinacea Carolina Lovegrass few; F?
Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Lovegrass few; Fr
Leptoloma cognatum Fall Witch-grass 1; Fr
Lolium perenne var. perenne Perennial Ryegrass few; Fr
Muhlenbergia schreberi Nimblewill (Seen by Linda & others)
Paspalum sp. (setaceum var. ...?) Slender Paspalum? (Reported by Patrick)
Phleum pratense Timothy (Reported by Patrick)
Phragmites australis Common Reed 1 small patch
Poa annua Annual Bluegrass (Reported by Patrick)
Setaria faberi Nodding Foxtail some; Fr?
Setaria viridis var. viridis Green Foxtail common; Fr
Tridens flavus var. flavus Purpletop some; near F

Ferns & fern allies:
Asplenium platyneuron Ebony Spleenwort few