Mar 08, 2017

Tuckerton Seaport

By Joanne Colella

As the promise of springtime approaches, plans are in the making for days spent once again enjoying the Garden State’s diverse waterfront towns. Among them is the small historic borough of Tuckerton, which is surrounded by Little Egg Harbor Township, in Ocean County.

The cultural centerpiece of Tuckerton is the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum, a working maritime village located on Tuckerton Creek. Celebrating the Jersey Shore’s longtime maritime heritage, artistry, and environment – and the rhythm of life on the Barnegat Bay – the seaport welcomes thousands of visitors each year to come and explore its recreated and historic buildings, exhibits, live aquatic displays, and more. Engaging demonstrations by decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, and baymen are designed to both entertain and educate. A quarter-mile nature trail provides opportunities to seek out and identify a variety of birds and plants, and an array of boats and other watercraft are displayed on land as well as on the water. Special events, interesting classes, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and fun, family-friendly festivals are held throughout the year, making this a fascinating day trip destination for every season and every age.

Encompassing 40 acres, Tuckerton Seaport includes numerous buildings connected by a boardwalk, two houseboats, a decoy gallery and decoy carving workshops, a working boatworks building, a sawmill, a fishery, and the wonderfully recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse, plus a maritime forest and wetlands nature trail, and more. The lighthouse – a reproduction of the one that was built in 1868 on Tucker’s Island – showcases exhibits that include privateers and pirates of the Jersey coast, lighthouse keepers, the origins of the U.S. Life Saving Service, shipwrecks, and the Jersey shore’s first resort. You will also find New Jersey’s largest surfing museum, with over 50 surfboards, clothing, and artifacts on display, as well as an extensive Tuckerton Railroad exhibit, with a working model train.

A large part of the seaport’s mission is to demonstrate the skilled work of the people of Barnegat Bay – including baymen, fishermen, clammers, sailors, sail makers, boat builders, basket makers, quilters, artists, and decoy carvers – and the important role they each play.

Mark your calendars now! Popular upcoming events to watch for in the coming months will include the TRUCKerton Food Truck & Brew Fest – Pork Roll vs. Taylor Ham on May 6, the Privateers & Pirates Festival on June 10, the Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival on June 24 and 25, July 4th Fireworks, the TRUCKerton Food Truck & Brew Fest – Farm to Table Edition on August 12 and 13, the Decoy & Gunning Show on September 23 and 24, Classic & Antique Car & Truck Show on September 30, TRUCKerton Food Truck & Hard Cider Fall Fest on October 7, Lighthouse Challenge 2017 on October 21 and 22, Haunted Seaport on October 26, 27, and 28, and Christkindlmarkt on December 1, 2, and 3.

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum is located at 120 West Main Street in Tuckerton, NJ and is open daily all year, rain or shine. To find out more, including current hours and admission prices, visit www.tuckertonseaport.org or call (609) 296-8868.