Schools, Seniors and Sunny Days in Manchester
How things came to be in one of the nation's largest senior-citizens communities
How times have changed....
Fifty years ago, Manchester Township consisted of 82.9 square miles of pine forests situated on both sides of Route 70, starting at the Toms River border and extending west toward Philadelphia. Deer, wild turkey, fox, and racoons inhabited the area and ran wild throughout.
There were small settlements notably in the Whiting area and surrounding what is now the small borough of Lakehurst, which broke from the township in 1921.
The most noteworthy location in the township is the Lakehurst Naval Airstation, site of the famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937. It is important to note that the airstation is actually situated in Manchester and not Lakehurst.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a large number of senior citizens developments were constructed in the township. The most prominent include Crestwood Village, Cedar Glen Lakes, Cedar Glen West, Leisure Knoll and Leisure Village West.
Many younger people with families have also settled in the township, especially in the area known as Pine Lake Park, which contains a good size man-made lake.
The current population of Manchester is approximately 38,000. The largest population in the township remains in the 65 and older range, but younger families have created the need for a full service school system of approximately 3,200 students consisting of Manchester Township High School, Manchester Township Middle School, Manchester Township Elementary School, Ridgeway School and the Whiting School.
A total of 190 students from Lakehurst attend the Manchester Township High School.
With the diversity of population, Manchester Township provides a variety of public and private services for the residents. The local government consists of the Mayor and Council. The current Mayor who has served since the 1990s is Michael Fressola.