About Our Neighborhood: The History Of Cedarcroft
The Cedarcroft area of Brick includes several streets on each side of Princeton Avenue. Its oldest section, developed in the late 1930's, is located on the south side of Princeton Avenue. This section includes streets which all have Indian names: Cherokee Lane, Iroquois Drive, Deerfoot Lane, Seminole Lane, Osage Drive, Seneca Court, Arrowhead Drive, Cayuga Lane, and Cedarcroft Drive. According to the Brick Township tax map, Cedarcroft Drive is also known as Metedeconk Drive. It is this street which runs along the Metedeconk River.
The name Cedarcroft is derived from "Croft Land" (Scot) meaning "Land of Superior Quality." Cedar in respect to and regard for several age old veteran native red cedars still surviving here. Due to its water protection on 3 sides little damage has been done by forest fires which accounts mainly for the unusual growth and variety of wildlife specimens.
The origins of Cedarcroft were traced through the deeds of one of the developments original homeowners. Katherine Jomo and her husband Joseph purchased their home on Cedarcroft Drive from Mr. and Mrs. John Vreeland on June 1, 1946. Mr. Vreeland purchased the land from the Pine Shores Corporation on July 18, 1941.
The Pine Shores Corporation was dedicated to the preservation of the natural state of Cedarcroft. The Vanard Corporation was in charge of the development of Cedarcroft. They distributed a pamphlet in the late 1930's or early 1940's at a Home Show in Philadelphia. Each developer had a booth where pictures of their developments were displayed.
The property was sold to the Pine Shores Corporation by the Havens family. It was part of the estate of A.O.S. Havens, deceased. The sale took place on December 17, 1936. Several tracts of land were included in the deal which netted $46,000 for the Havens family.
John G. W. Havens, who had purchased land in the Cedarcroft area in 1853, was Ocean County's State Senator from 1872 to 1875. He also directed the 4th Life Saving District which served to save lives when ships were wrecked along the coastline. John Wardell, who also signed the 1853 deed, died on January 24, 1879. His family owned Wardell's Neck, a large tract of land on the north side of the Metedeconk River.
The deed between Pine Shores and the Vreelands included an easement for a portion of land to be used "for the purpose of bathing, fishing, boating and recreational purposes." This easement from Pine Shores was shared by all property owners of Cedarcroft. The deed also included some restrictions. It was specified that only a single family dwelling be erected on the premises. The deed limited the size and type of fencing allowed. It prohibited "any goats, chickens, dog kennels or livestock of any kind."
The Cedarcroft Club was incorporated July 26, 1940, under the laws of the State of New Jersey for the express purpose of promoting a ways and means to protect the best interest of all property owners in Cedarcroft, today and in the future, by the simple method of sincere cooperation, by and between each and every property owner.
The clubhouse at Cedarcroft was designed by Joseph Jomo. Katherine Jomo explained that the cottage style was chosen so that it would blend in naturally with the other homes in Cedarcroft. The original homes were small cottages which looked like little log cabins. The living rooms all had fire- places and high ceilings. The local fieldstone used in the fireplaces was also used to create an ornamental design and wall next to the front door of each home. These ornamental stone walls can still be seen today on the original homes in the development.