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Ship Bottom, NJ

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A Bit of History
Ship Bottom is one of the oldest place names on Long Beach Island. According to local historian John Baily Lloyd, author of "Six Miles at Sea", it dates from an unusual shipwreck that occurred in 1817.

The captain of a schooner heading south was navigating through a thick fog when he heard cries from the direction of the shoreline. Encountering a schooner heading North, he alerted the Captain that there might be a ship in trouble near the shore. Although the Captain and his crew could see nothing in the fog, they rowed along the outer bar for several hours searching for the endangered ship. Finally a dark shape appeared - the hull of a ship overturned in the shoals. Corpses hung from the rigging and bobbed in the frigid sea. As one of the captains' men climbed onboard the beached schooner, he heard a noise under his feet, someone tapping the inside of the barnacled hull. With an ax, he chopped a hole in the ship's bottom near the keel and, with much struggle, freed the young woman trapped there. She spoke no English, but after being taken ashore, she expressed her gratitude by drawing a cross of thanks in the sand. No one knows her name or the name of the ship because they were never recorded, but the place of the shipwreck and the rescue became known as Ship Bottom".

On January 10, 1910, the Italian bark Fortuna ran aground the beach at 16th Street during another thick fog. The Captain and crew were rescued, but the ship capsized in the soft sand, a loss except for the impressive sight. The wrecked Fortuna lay on its side for most of 1910, until it was cut up for salvage. But the scene of the wreck is still remembered today, chosen as Ship Bottom's symbol, harkening back to the 1817 shipwreck which gave Ship Bottom its historic name.

Ship Botom Events
The Borough of Ship Bottom is the first town that visitors enter when they arrive on Long Beach Island. The borough's civic association is very active and sponsors public events, such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and a Memorial Day Service at Borough Hall. Ship Bottom has its own volunteer fire company which sponsors an annual circus, carnival and Christmas Tree sale. Ship Bottom also hosts the Ship Bottom Merchants Association Christmas Parade, co-sponsored by the Times-Beacon Newspapers, on the first Saturday in December.
Ship Bottom has a public boat ramp at 10th Street near the entrance to the Island.


Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce
265 West 9th Street
Ship Bottom, NJ 08008
609-494-7211 or 1800-292-6372

GSP to exit 63. Route 72 East, Over Causeway into Ship Bottom.


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