The Beachcomber

Maritime History of the Jersey Shore Comes Alive at the Tuckerton Seaport

By PAT JOHNSON | Jul 13, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson The Tuckerton Seaport is a recreated maritime village located in historic Tuckerton.

The Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum is a re-created maritime village on 40 acres along the Tuckerton Creek in historic Tuckerton. The Seaport offers a walk back in time to experience the maritime past of the Jersey Shore. Find decoy carvers working in the re-created decoy shops located on the boardwalk, blacksmiths creating special horseshoes for harvesting salt hay on the marsh, a demonstration of how clams, oysters and fish were and are still being harvested, live farm animals and much more. Climb the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse and get a view of the town and bay. A special exhibit on “Turn of the Century Tuckerton” shows how people created a thriving town from the bounty of the bay and forest.

The “Life on the Edge” interactive exhibit presented by Rutgers University’s Marine and Coastal Sciences shows the interaction of the preserved Pine Barrens and bay estuaries and how development impacts the pristine waterways. The New Jersey Surfing Museum is open and hosts its New Jersey Hall of Fame Surfers awards on July 13 at 5 p.m.

There is a playground with a ship to climb for the kiddies, live horseshoe crabs and terrapins to see, and a miniature golf course to master.

The Seaport is located at 120 West Main St. in Tuckerton. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children ages 5 to 12; it’s free for children younger than 5, Seaport members, veterans and one guest, and active military and their families.

Ferry Across the Bay: It’s been over a hundred years since a passenger ferry connected Tuckerton and Beach Haven, but thanks to a partnership between municipalities and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, a free service is set to begin on Aug. 5. A 25-seat pontoon boat named the Pohatcong II will bring Beach Havenites across the bay to visit the Seaport and historic Tuckerton. The ferry service will run Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, departing the Tuckerton Seaport at 8 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Trips from Beach Haven’s Taylor Avenue Public Docks leave at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.  The trip in good weather takes about an hour and a half.  And it’s first come, first served for all trips.

Tuckerton Borough Free Summer Concert Series is held on the Tuckerton Seaport’s outdoor stage starting at 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Fridays. Bring your own beach chairs or blanket. Alcoholic beverages and pets are not allowed, and smoking is permitted only in the clamshell parking lot. July 6 – Basement Musicians sing Johnny Cash and other classics; July 13 – The Kootz, rock ’n’ roll program; July 20– Craig Newell as Elvis; July 20 – BJ and The Band, doo wop program; July 27 – Joey D’s Rockin’ Oldies; Aug. 3 – Rave On, Buddy Holly and more; Aug. 10 – The Fabulous Silver Wings, tribute to country classics; Aug. 17 – RB Express, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s classics; Aug. 24 – Strictly 60s’ Band, Beatles, Stones, Doors, Motown covers.

“Truck”erton with a Side of Bacon: Bacon is back at Tuckerton Seaport on Saturday, July 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sizzle into summer with all things bacon, featuring food trucks and restaurants plus pig races and sizzling cooking demonstrations. Whoever said nothing tastes as good as being skinny obviously never had bacon. Ice-cold craft beer is on tap. Event admission is $10; food and beer prices are set by vendors.

Privateers and Pirate Family Fun Day: Learn about the Golden Age of Piracy from Capt. Jack Black and the crew of the Valhalla pirate ship on Saturday, July 28, from noon to 4 p.m. Search for treasure and make a bounty of “make and take” crafts. This event is fun for all ages.

Lectures: Part of what makes the Seaport so indispensable to the area is the ongoing lectures and classes, both informative and hands-on.

Shrubs of Ocean County: Learn which shrubs work best for the Jersey Shore region in this informative Rutgers Master Gardeners talk at the Seaport on Thursday, July 26, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Hunting Shanty. It’s free with the cost of Seaport admission. RSVP on Facebook or call 609-296-8868.

On Aug. 15 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., hear from an expert on the Plan to Protect the Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor Bays and Estuaries. In 2010, Gov. Chris Christie directed the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection to research and develop a protection plan for the bays of Ocean County. Citizens from the region, recreational users, commercial fishermen, activists, scientists, and land developers all shared their experiences with the NJDEP to develop a research strategy toward formulating new regulatory policies and a management plan for protecting the bay.

This session explores how the research impacted the protection and stewardship planning. Issues of concern include nuisance jellyfish blooms, excess nutrients, the imminent closure of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, the benefits of marine conservation zones, and the status of the fish, crab and shellfish populations. Noteworthy is the collection of data before and after Superstorm Sandy and its impact on the shallow bay. This program is part of the NJ Council for the Humanities Public Scholars Project.

Speaker Thomas Belton is a research associate in science writing with the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and was the research coordinator for the governor’s 2010-16 Action Plan for the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary. His book Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State won an award from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Belton demonstrates the ways that scientists, regulators, lobbyists and politicians interact and offers the public a go-to guide on how to seek environmental protection in practical ways.

Call 609-296-8868 to register.

Classes: The Seaport offers classes in a variety of crafts through the Jersey Shore Folklife Center. To register for a class or for more information, call 609-296-8868.

Make Your Own Wooden Handplane with Greg Melega. A handplane is used while bodysurfing to give the rider lift, direction and speed while on a wave. Worn on your hand and with a pair of swim fins, these little boards can be used in small summer surf or big fast barrels! Learn the process of making a miniature surfcraft while using the tools and concepts of a surfboard shaper. Two classes are offered, July 7 and Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is $150 for Seaport members, $165 for nonmembers.

Wool Appliqué. In this workshop, instructor Patricia Zackey will teach you how to apply patchwork-like designs to small items such as coasters, mug mats and potholders by using a variety of embroidery stitches. These techniques can easily be adapted outside the classroom to table runners, candle lamps and even wool quilts. All supplies and tools are provided. All skill levels are welcome. Fees: Seaport members $30, nonmembers $35.

Seaport Stitchers Quilt Guild: Stop by the Seaport’s Hunting Shanty on Saturday, July 21 or Aug. 4, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to watch the Seaport Stitchers work on current projects. They will be happy to answer questions about the art of quilting and sewing. The Seaport Stitchers Quilt guild is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making and preserving quilts, and teaching the art of quilt making to others. This is a free event.

Mermaid Carving Class: Join carver Mark Bair on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students with all levels of carving experience will learn how to transform a simple piece of basswood into a beautiful mermaid. Carving safety and techniques, tool sharpening, and painting and finishing techniques will also be taught. The fee includes materials, and use of tools: $75 for Seaport members, $85 for nonmembers.

Basket Weave a Bike Basket: On Saturday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., join master basket maker Mary May to make your own over-the-handlebars bike basket. This strong basket is  7 inches wide by 14 inches long by 19 inches high. For a small additional fee you can add reinforced runners to the bottom of your basket. The class fee is $35 plus a $10 materials fee.

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