Updated: May 6
Loch Arbour is a tiny, mysterious Scottish village on the Jersey Shore that appeared for the first time in 1957. Unlike the mythical Brigadoon, Loch Arbour is there to see every day, although you may never notice it while walking on the beach or driving north from Asbury Park or south from Allenhurst.
Only two blocks long from north to south and only one tenth of a square mile in size, Loch Arbour is undeniably the smallest beach town on the Jersey Shore. Less than 200 people live there, so you're not likely to run into a Loch Arbouran at the grocery store. There are no schools and less than a half dozen businesses. Deal Police are contracted to provide Loch Arbour enforcement services. Like Allenhurst, the speed limit is much lower than its neighbors. The police are on the lookout for speeders.
Newest Shore Town & How It Got Its Name
The area that is now Loch Arbour was originally part of Ocean Township when it was created in 1849. In 1957, Ocean Township lost its oceanfront and its namesake when residents seceded
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from the township to create the Village of Loch Arbour, named after the town of Lochaber, Scotland. The reason for leaving was opposition to proposed condos on the beach. Since then the town's residents have rejected plans to rejoin Ocean Township, merge with Allenhurst or merge with Interlaken, the borough to its west that seceded from Ocean Township in 1922.
Steeler Prospect Picks Loch Arbour Over Vegas
Ocean Township and University of Pittsburgh star quarterback Kenny PIckett made big news showing his Jersey Shore pride last week. Instead of going to Las Vegas for the NFL Draft like so many of his colleagues, he gathered with his family and friends at Deal Lake Bar + Co to watch Pittsburgh Steeler legend Franco Harris announced that he was selected 20th overall in the draft. Pickett with be competing for the starting quarterback position after long-time Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired after last season.
Site of Deal's Life-Saving Station or Not?
Before there was the United States Coast Guard, there was the United States Life-Saving Service. In 1848, NJ Congressman William Newell advocated for a law to establish eight unmanned lifesaving stations from Sandy Hook to Long Beach Island to provide "surf boat, rockets, carronades and other necessary apparatus for the better preservation of life and property from shipwreck".
Both the US Coast Guard and the U.S. Life-Saving Service Station Heritage Association note that there was a life station in "Deal", specifically on Deal Lake, although they describe it as "little more than a boat house."
But exactly where was the station? On the Loch Arbour side? Or the Asbury Park side? Prior 1890, Deal Lake was an estuary open to the ocean, not really lake. So just as the station furhter south along the Shark River sat on the north side, I believe Loch Arbour can claim to be the site of one of the original life-saving stations in the United States. If anyone has more info, please let me know!
By 1878, the volunteer life-saving role was assumed by a new federal agency, the Life-Saving Service, which refurbished, replaced or built 40-plus stations from Sandy Hook to Cape May including a new Deal station in 1882. From 1871 through 1914, the Service aided 28,121 vessels, and rescued or aided 178,741 persons. It's unofficial motto: “Remember, you have to go out, but nothing says you have to come back.”
Tips for Visiting Loch Arbour
What's New: More sand was added to the beach over the winter.
Road Access & Parking: There is no charge for parking on most streets. There are a few meters on Ocean Place near beach that required payment in season. Use the FlowBird app (seriously, that's the name) for payment.
Amenities: With your beach badge, you can access the outdoor shower and restrooms for the daily beach badge holders at the James V. Kiely Pavilion which was named after the former president of the Loch Arbour Board of Trustees.
Beaches: Beach badges are only required weekends from May 28 through June 19 and then daily from June 20 to Labor Day. Daily beach badges are $10 Monday through Thursday and $12 Friday through Sunday and holidays. Seasonal beach badges are $110 for people 12 and older. Senior citizen badges are sold out.
Follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he recounts his 2021 walk of every beach along the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Read all updated stories at www.JerseyShoreWalk.com.