Originally part of Burlington County, Little Egg Harbor took its name from the portion of a bay called Egg Harbor (known today as Little Egg Harbor) by the Dutch sailors because of the eggs found in nearby gull nests. The first known account of the town was made by Captain Cornelius Jacobsen May in 1614.
The first European to settle the township was Hendrick Jacobs Falkenberg, who likely arrived by 1693 when he does not appear on a census of the Swedes along the Delaware River, where he had lived for nearly three decades. Though he was from Holstein (now in Germany), his first wife was a Finn and part of the Swedish community. Falkenberg settled on an 800-acre tract of land that he had acquired from the Lenni Lenape Indians in 1674, and a 1697 deed re-confirmed this earlier purchase. This tract included the two islands of Monhunk and Minnicunk later known as Wills Island and Osborn Island. Falkenberg was a linguist, fluent in the Lenape language, and was considered southern New Jersey’s foremost language interpreter involving land transactions between the Indians and the European settlers, particularly the English Quakers.
One of the first recorded ships of the township was a sloop belonging to Thomas Ridgway Sr. John Mathis Sr. also had a ship which his son, Daniel, sailed the West Indian routes. They made a profit from selling clams and oysters.
The history of the Defense of Little Egg Harbor and the Pulaski Monument are set forth in detail in the attached links:
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