Beach Haven West History

The site that Beach Haven West is located on was known as Remson Meadows along the Manahawkin Bayfront. In 1950, the salt marshes were bought by the Shapiro brothers, Herbert and Jerome, who developed vacation homes throughout the Jersey Shore. Using a dredge towed up from North Carolina, construction began on Beach Haven West’s 130-plus saltwater lagoons and 5,000 single-family homes.

Beach Haven West was built in phases, the first opening in 1957. The first phase contained the lagoons and cul-de-sacs branching between Morris Boulevard and Jennifer Lane. By the early 1960s, the second phase was completed, this one spanning between Jonathan Drive and Walter Boulevard. Afterwords, the third phase was completed, which contained the development along Mill Creek Road between Route 72 and Jonathan Drive, as well as the Charles Boulevard spur. By the 1970s, the lagoon-front community was expanded down Mill Creek Road towards East Point.

The Shapiros later sold their remaining properties to Lincoln Properties, LLC, another shore development firm. They completed the Mill Creek Road section along Mill Creek down to Barnegat Bay at East Point, added the southern lagoons along Newell Avenue known as Village Harbour, and developed the Colony Lakes section by 1986.

Beach Haven West Homes

The first model home, an expandable Cape Cod-style house, opened on Selma Drive in 1957. Like many Capes, this home had one finished floor with two bedrooms, the attic was capable of expansion with dormers, and there was an outside shower. The style was pure 1950s: wide-exposure asbestos siding, aluminum jalousie windows throughout, and dark wood paneling inside. The colors were all pastels, ranging from canary yellow, pistachio green, and bright pink, to name a few. Mass production methods were utilized to erect the homes efficiently.

The lots were all 50 feet wide along the lagoon and 80 feet deep running towards the street. Phase one featured 60-foot-wide (18 m) lots. Double lots and irregular lots were available along the bends and corners of the lagoon. In the 1950s, waterfront lots with a house sold for $6,990, and financing of $66 a month was available.

Soon, additional models were added and the two-bedroom cape was dropped. The least expensive was the Sandpiper model, totaling $11,990. which was a 3 bedroom ranch. Keeping the same modern architectural style, the three bedrooms were arranged along the front of the house facing the street. Behind them was a single full bath, a kitchenette, and a living room. All interior spaces featured exposed rafter vaulted ceilings with rigid insulation on the roof. Base models featured a screened porch stretching completely across the back of the house, which was covered by a long, gently sloping roof. A common upgrade was to have the porch enclosed with jalousie windows. The home was completed with an outdoor shower, an option of either a wooden bulkhead or a wooden deck along the lagoon, and two young willow trees in the back yard.

The largest model available was the Continental Riviera, which sold for about $23,000 in the 1970s. Homes in East Point and Village Harbour were built in the typical 1980s Post-Modern style. Colony Lakes homes were Colonial representative. All homes built by Lincoln were reversed living homes, where the bedrooms were downstairs and the living spaces on the second floor.