Old Manasquan
  photo circa 1892

New Light on the Early History of the Manasquan Friends Meeting

Excerpted from Edward J. Raser


No significant settlement occured in the Manasquan area until after 1685, when sale of the Squan lots began. The patentees of these lots mostly lived in the Schrewsbury-Middletown area, and acquired these lots largely for their decendants or for investment. Actual settlement proceeded slowly, so that before 1800 settlers were thinly distributed between Shark River and manasquan River, and westerly to Squancum, on largish farms with no village centers of consequence.....

In August 1773 a Shrewsbury Monthly Meeting committee, appointed to research the origins of its constituent meetings, reported on its findings. The report [hereinafter referred to as the Chronicle of 1773] stated the "About the year 1703 a Meeting settled at Squan [and was] held in private Houses, till about the year 1730 when their Meeting House [was] built...." (M:11). This leaves no doubt that the Manasquan Friends followed the typical path, soon associating themselves with the Shrewsbury Monthly Meeting ( and not obtaining their own meeting house until about 1730. Assertions that they built a meeting house as early as 1693-1706 clearly are incorrect.

The Chronical of 1773 states that the [then] meeting house was built about 1730. When the old meeting house still extant in December 1885 was sold at auction, it was reported in a newspaper article as being "the oldest building now standing in Monmouth County" (N:1) When the new (present-day) meeting house was dedicated seven months later, in July 1886, it was said that this "ancient building [had been] used as a meeting house for more than one hundred and fifty years' (n:6). This would place the old meeting house as built before 1736.


Cronology of Historical Deeds for the Manasquan Meeting Site


Old Manasquan Meeting

  Old Plan

Ground Plot Records: ( transcription of writing below the above photograph)

Joseph Tilton to Monthly Meeting of friends, Conveyed 5 mo.27, 1807 to it.
Beginning on courseof 29 deg. E. deg 1 chain from the N. corner of the meeting house to a white oak tree being the S.E.corner of a lot sold by Joseph Tilton to George Soper.

Benjamin Pearce to Monthly Meeting of Friends, conveyed lot 1st Month 30, 1845 to it. Beginning at the S.E. corner of the meeting house, thence westerly along the house and yard 169 feet. Second; Northerly along the yard 77 feet to a stone in Hullitts line. Third; westerly to Hulittts line 91 feet to a stone. Fourth; Southerly 81 feet to a stone, Fifth; Easterly 194 feeet to a stone on the east side of Highway. Sixth; Northerly 165 feet to the beginning. Supposed to cu in 50/100ths of an acre.

The meeting House was a two story structure, but in the memorable storm of 1808, it was damaged to suchan extent, the committee caused it to be remodeled as in the photograph. the unused timbers were for framing horse sheds still standing.

Dotted line indicate lot conveyed by Nathan Wooley 50/100 of an acre, to it; First; South 79 deg. West 30 deg. Second; 25 chains. Third; North 79 deg. East 30 deg.-2.25 chains. Fourth; North 3 deg, East 30 deg to 2.23 chains

The old meeting house was replaced by the present building in 1884. Soon afterward the old one was disposed of an taken away on account of the risk of fire.


List of persons buried in Friends Burying Ground 1822 - 1911
List of persons Buried in the Friends Burying Ground 1766 - 1970
Earliest mentions of Manasquan collected by D. Freiday
Historical Sketches of Manasquan by T. Chalkley Matlack 1938
Annonimous Historical Sketch
Compilation of Manasquan History by P. Guthorn
Genealogical History of Marriages at Manasquan


Old Squan Meeting

  Old Squan Meeting
  Old Squan Meeting2

From the Red Bank Register Newspaper- Nov. 17, 1886Old Church Torn Dwn
courtesy of Randall Gabrielan, Monmouth County Historian


William Pearce, the story of the local Quaker who fought in the Revolutionary army and is buried in the Manasquan cemetery.


Meeting House circa 1899

  meetimeeting house 1899photos by Willis Vail
  meeting house 1899

Meeting House circa 1915


Meeting House  1900

photo R. Heller circa 1919

circa 1925; Swathmore archive, research K. Heim
circa 1938; Swathmore archive, research K. Heim

Meeting House circa 1938

  MeetingHouseCirca1938photo: Forman Applegate
  F. Applegate 1948Meeting Shed Circa 1941

Clara Benson-1941

  Clara Benson
Clara Benson Clara Benson Note

Quaker Youth circa 1943

photos: Joan Lane

Horse Shed circa 1950

  Horse shed
photo: Joan Lane

Meeting Entrance circa 1961

  fannie and Hattie Reynoldsphoto: Delores Applegate