At Tuckerton Seaport, visitors can come for the history, stay for a ‘board meeting’

     The Tuckerton Seaport is home to the NJ Surf Museum, tracing the sport's history since it came to the state in 1912.

    The Tuckerton Seaport is home to the NJ Surf Museum, tracing the sport's history since it came to the state in 1912.

    Tuesday night, we visited the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum, along the banks of the Tuckerton “Crick” in southern Ocean County, for the latest in WHYY’s series of Ready For Next Time? Rethinking the Shore After Sandy forums.

    I’m writing up my report from the event, which like one earlier Tuesday at the St. Francis Community Center on Long Beach Island, was lively and well-attended. But I didn’t want to let the Tuckerton Seaport and its attractions get lost in the mix.

    Frankly, that’s what happens to southern Ocean County — the communities east of the Garden State Parkway become drive-by country on the road between LBI and Atlantic City or points south. Now, in my experience, the people who live in that area, off the long marshland roads leading to West Creek or Cedar Run, are usually happy to keep things low-key and generally enjoy being off the beaten path.

    But I don’t think they’ll mind if I encourage you to put the Tuckerton Seaport on your Jersey Shore to-do list, because it’s well worth the trip. 

    The seaport is a collection of 17 historic and recreated buildings, comprising a maritime village that traces the history of the people who have lived, worked and played along the water. Exhibits highlight the original Lenape people who were the first baymen, through the white settlers and privateers who came later, to the current events of Superstorm Sandy.

    The 40-acre site includes wildlife trails, a history of the Tuckerton Railroad (which brought the first shoobies), the Jersey Shore Folklife Center, the Jacques Cousteau National Estaurine Research Interpretive Center and the NJ Surf Museum. If you’re feeling like Moondoggie, you can hop on a surfboard and hang ten even on a rainy day, on the Surfboard Simulator.  

    The Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum is located at 120 W. Main St. in Tuckerton, a short drive off Exits 50 or 58 of the Garden State Parkway. Call (609) 296-8868 for more information.

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