Founded in 1850, but with roots dating to before the American Revolution, Manchester Township is a community of many faces. Springing from the sawmills and bog iron operations that once dotted the Pine Barrens, the village of Manchester began life as a railroad town founded by William Torrey. By the early 20th century, the village had become the borough of Lakehurst, while the surrounding community broke off into Manchester Township, a sleepy region made up of distinct areas like Whiting, Ridgeway, and Pine Lake. As Lakehurst evolved into a vacation retreat for the wealthy (thanks to the luxurious Pine Tree Inn), Manchester welcomed the naval base that would become the site of the infamous Hindenburg disaster. By the 1950s, the community began to shift again, and it eventually became one of New Jersey’s great retirement destinations.
Part of Arcadia’s landmark Images of America series, which can be found in bookstores across the United States, Lakehurst Borough and Manchester Township is a visual chronicle of a region of central New Jersey best known for its Pine Barrens, historic airships, and regional railroad barons. Compiled, researched, and written with Cedric Derecho, the book offers hundreds of photographs, dozens of them never before seen, and all of them accompanied by meticulously researched captions outlining the history of this fascinating community.
How did New Jersey’s retirement mecca come to be? What was life like in the community where the Hindenburg exploded? What connection does this town have with the Olympics? What was life like in the Pine Barrens? How did new residents from the cities of North Jersey change the region?
All of these questions and more are answered through vivid pictures in this book.
The book is available in paperback Oct. 2020 by Arcadia Publishing.
Praise for Eric’s local history writing
“Eric, You have captured the essence of Lakehurst in this book. With every page I turned I either thought to myself, hey I know that place or wow I didn’t know that. Thank you for bringing our small town to life and giving it the grandeur it deserves..” – Amazon Review
“I consider myself a bit of a history buff – but love a good story as well. This book is the best of both worlds. The author (Eric San Juan) did an amazing job of making the history of a tiny New Jersey town into a charming and interesting book. I was always fascinated with the town of Lakehurst because of its history around the Hindenburg disaster, but this book opened my eyes to history I was never aware of. .” – Amazon Review