South end of Lake Street, Lakehurst, Ocean County, NJ


Lakehurst refers to a location near two lakes and pine woods.

The Work Progress Administration created the 64-acre Lake Horicon from Hurricane Branch of the Toms River.

Some History of Lakehurst:

Source: Christopher T. Baer, William J. Coxey, Paul W. Schopp. 1994. A History of the Jersey Central: New Jersey Southern Division. Palmyra, NJ: West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway historical Society.

1789 -- first bog iron forge in old Dover Township built by David Wright and Caleb Ivins on the north side of Horicon Branch. It was known first as "David Wright's Forge" and then "Federal Furnace."

1815 -- Phoenix Forge, east of Federal Furnace, built (and soon closes).

William Torrey (1798- ) married Adeline Whittemore, daughter of Samuel Whittemore, manufacturer of the wire brushes used to card wool and cotton. Together the couple had three sons: Samuel W. Torrey, William Augustus Torrey (1827-1910), and John Torrey (who later changed his name to John Torrey, Jr. to distinguish himself from his botanist uncle, John Torrey).

William Torrey failed in the depression after 1839.

1841 -- William Torrey buys 27,500 acres around Federal Furnace to produce charcoal. He gained the large piece of property in Manchester through a long chain of debt. The property had a checkered past with many failures. On March 11, 1841 he paid $500 dollars to obtain a clear title to the Manchester tract. By 1841 William followed a customary practice and placed his property in the hands of a trustee for the protection of his wife.

1841  -- Torrey organizes and gives the land for the Presbyterian Church in Manchester. (Torrey and his wife are buried in the adjoining churchyard cemetery.)

1842 -- Torrey builds a railroad from his furnace to Toms River. William tried to make charcoal. To ship it he needed a railroad, but there was none in the area. By February of 1842, however, he had obtained from the legislature an act of authorization for a private railroad line that went from Manchester to Tom's River. It was finished by June.

William Toreey and family live in a two-story house on Church Street.  The former manager of the Federal Forge had lived there. 

William Torrey becomes known as "King of the Pines" because he developed the entire region of Manchester.

1847  -- a fire burned the timber on William Torrey's property and, subsequently, the Manchester tract was sold to Marshall and Smee for $11,000 dollars in 1847.

1850 -- by this date William Torrey was once again bankrupt.

1852 --  Samuel Torrey paid his father's debts and repurchased the Manchester tract for $12,000 dollars. In control once again of some pine barren land, Torrey wanted to continue his railroad dreams. In the 1850's Torrey helped form an alliance with other owners of Pine Barrens real estate, Virginia promoters of Southern self-sufficiency, and New York capitalists to build the New York and Norfolk Air-line Railroad that would combine rail and sail to make the trip from Norfolk, Virginia to New York City. Of course, with the coming of the Civil War the line as such was doomed. But the plans were also very difficult because the state had granted a monopoly to the Camden and Amboy Railroad. The Joint Companies behind the Camden and Amboy controlled the New Jersey senate and they blocked legislation permitting the Air Line. However, the backers of the Air Line railroad were able to get the less-threatening Raritan and Delaware Bay Railroad line through the legislature. Among the executive committee of the Norfolk Air Line convention were William Torrey and James P. Allaire (of Allaire State Park). But the oncoming Civil War soon had the southerners dropping out of the alliance and the R&DB Railroad was on its own.

The R&DB would run to Manchester from New York City and Port Monmouth and then south on a direct route to Egg Harbor City, Mays Landing, and Cape May. A ground breaking ceremony took place at Port Monmouth on May 20, 1856. William Torrey acted as host in place of the ill president. The first section built was from Red Bank to Port Monmouth. A side branch to Long Branch was then established. William Torrey's brother, the great botanist John Torrey, came out for the grand opening trip to Long Branch in 1860.

By the end of February 1861 the track reached Squankum, south of Eatontown. The railroad, however, was not making money and the William Torrey family were now deeper in debt than ever. In this situation, they were even willing to sell out to the Camden and Amboy Railroad, but the rival railroad was not interested.

Grading reached Bergen Iron Works and then pressed on toward Manchester. The Torrey brothers opened their own store in Manchester in June and began paying their construction workers in scrip which was redeemable at face value only at their store.

Progress was so slow and expensive that in 1861 the R&DB had to change its planned destination from Cape May to Camden. That, of course, brought it in direct competition with the railroad monopolists of the C&A RR. William Augustus Torrey ran the first engine into Manchester on April 8, 1862.

Track was extended to Hampton, four miles north of Atsion. And by September 4 the line was able to run from Camden to Long Branch by hooking up with the Camden & Atlantic main line. The line was able to squeak by financially because the great majority of the R&DB's passengers were Union soldiers. But ultimately, it still was not enough to carry the line.

John Torrey, Jr. sold 23,371 acres of the Manchester Tract to James Brown. The family retained about 500 acres west of the railroad. S. W. Torrey resigned his post as president of the railroad. The Brown family moved into the vacuum left by the Torrey family decline to become the controlling interest in the affairs of the R&DB. They also moved to develop the Manchester Tract.

Eventually the court ruled for the C&A and against the D&RB and this loss of rail service did in the latter's big railroad dreams.

1865 -- William Torrey instrumental in breaking Manchester Township from Dover Township.
(Miller, 2000:110-111)

Near Lake Horicon is the grave and the gravesites of William Torrey and his wife. The graves say:

William Torrey (5/6/1798; 6/15/1891)
Adeline Whittemore (1/14/1799; 10/09/1890)


Pinelands ecosystem, including Atlantic white cedar grove.


paved parking, playground, swimming beach, and a boat ramp for non-motorized craft.


nature trail heads southward around the lake approximately seven tenths of a mile; starts at the beach parking lot; ends at a feeder stream.

Linda Kelly

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Chamaecyparis thyoides (white cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Magnolia virginiana (sweet bay magnolia)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

Cercis canadensis (red bud)
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leather leaf)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush) *
Decodon verticillata (swamp loosestrife) *
Eubotrys racemosa (male berry)
Gaylussacia dumosa (dwarf huckleberry)
Hypericum stragulum (St. Andrews cross) *
Ilex glabra (inkberry holly)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)

Ipomoea lacunosa (white morning glory) *
Ipomoea hederacea (ivy-leaved morning glory) *
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper )
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Strophostyles helvula (annual woolly bean) *
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury) *
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster noveboracensis (New York aster)
Bartonia virginica (Virginia screw stem)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil) *
Diodia teres (buttonweed) *
Drosera filiformis (thread-leaf sundew)
Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leaved sundew)
Euthamia tenuifolium (grass-leaved goldenrod) *
Froelichia gracilis (cotton grass)
Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort) *
Hypochoeris radicata (cat's ear) *
Iris sp. (iris)
Lachnanthes tinctoria (red root)
Lobelia nuttallii (Nuttall's lobelia) *
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia water horehound) *
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Plantago aristata (bracted plantain)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygala lutea (orange milkwort) *
Polygala verticillata (whorled milkwort) *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum hydropiperoides (mild water pepper) *
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) *
Rhexia virginica (meadow beauty) *
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) *
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) *
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort) *
Utricularia spp. (bladderworts)
Utricularia subulata (bladderwort)
Xyris difformis (yellow-eyed grass) *
Xyris smalliana (Small's bladderwort)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus pelocarpus (brown-fruited rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Cladium mariscoides (twig rush)
Cyperus dentatus (flatsedge)
Cyperus retrorsus (flatsedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Eleocharis tenuis (spike rush)
Eriocaulon virginiana (cotton grass)
Rhynchospora capitellata (beak rush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Glyceria obtusa (blunt mannagrass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium alopecuroides (foxtail club moss)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

Soccer Field and Pond near Lake Hurst Bog

Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)

Chamaecrista sp. (partridge pea)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush) *
Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Aster dumosus (bushy aster)
Bidens discoidea (few bracted beggar ticks)
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks)
Brasenia schreberi (water shield)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) *
Diodia teres ( button weed)
Drosera rotundifolia (round leaved sundew)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Eupatorium hyssopifolium (hyssop-leaved boneset) *
Eupatorium pilosum (rough boneset) *
Euthamia tenuifolia (narrow-leaved goldenrod)*
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Hosta sp. (hosta) *
Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort) *
Lespedeza captitata (bush clover)
Lobelia nuttallii (Nuttall's lobelia) *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock) *
Plantago aristata (bracted plantain)
Potamogeton spirillus (pondweed)
Sparganium androcladum (burreed)
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Typha latifolia (cattail)
Xyris difformis (yellow-eyed grass) *
Xyris smalliana (yellow-eyed grass) *

Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus pelocarpus (brown-fruited rush)

Eleocharis microcarpa (spike rush)
Eleocharis ovata (spike rush)
Rhynchospora capitellata (beak rush)
Scirpus cyperinus (wooly grass bulrush)

Digitaria sp. (crabgrass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)

Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

reindeer lichen

Sheep's-Bit (Jasione montana) common in a field south of Lakehurst.

Source:  Guy Tudor.  Now You See It, Now You Don't: A selected list of New York and New Jersey wildflowers and flowerings shrubs not covered in the standard regional guides. The Linnaean News Letter. Volume 59, Number 3, May 2005. 

June 15, 1991

This trip combined history and botany. In the early morning, William S. Dewey, author of Early Manchester and William Torrey, gave a historic tour of the William Torrey (brother of John Torrey) presence in Manchester Township. The sites of the William Torrey and William Torrey Jr. homes were pointed out. The monument to William Torrey and his wife, in the old Presbyterian Cemetery on Church Street, was visited, 100 years exactly after the demise of William Torrey. And, a stop was made to see the old Torrey Company store, still standing but unsafe to enter, on Union Avenue.

After lunch, trip participants visited a dry upland pine forest, a sandy roadside, a bog, and several other Pine Barrens habitats. Among the plants seen were Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Sandwort (Minuartia caroliniana), Grass-pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus), Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides), Goldcrest (Lophiola aurea), Orange Milkwort (Polygala lutea), Curly-grass Fern (Schizaea pusilla), 3 species of Bladderworts (Utricularia fibrosa, U cornuta, and U subulata), American Chaffseed (Schwalbea americana), and a variety of heaths and oaks.

Attendance was 27 and included members of the TBC, the PBC, and local organizations. The weather was warm and pleasant. The leaders were Larry Crockett and Karl Anderson.