Early development of the Borough occurred as a result of land subdivision and the advent of rail service to the area. A large hotel was the focal point of each of the four districts. The Villa Park House was erected in Villa Park, the Monmouth House was the keystone of Spring Lake Beach, and the Brightens had Wilburton-by-the-Sea (now the Breakers Hotel). The intended hotel for Como was used solely as a private home. Through the foresight, efforts and promotion of various Spring Lake pioneers like William Reid, John Rodgers, Joseph Tuttle, C. Wilbur Tuttle, Robert Worthington, Rev. A.A. Willits, O.H. Brown and E.V. Patterson, the town eventually became a fashionable seaside resort. In the early 1900's, the town boasted fine hotels, lavish estates, and pretentious private homes (known as "cottages"),surrounded by the beautiful clear pond renamed "Spring Lake."
On September 19, 1900, a disastrous fire destroyed several buildings including a number of large cottages in Hastings Square, (the block on which the Essex & Sussex Condominium now stands), structures in the former First Avenue business district, and the well-known Monmouth House and Carleton Hotel. Third Avenue, established in the late 1800's as the Brighton-North Brighton business district, then became the primary commercial center for the borough.
Two structures in town, the Normandy Inn and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, are on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Spring Lake is a unique year-round community that welcomes a large influx of summer vacationers. The town boasts a comfortable two mile non-commercial boardwalk that borders a beautiful sand beach, lovely bed and breakfast inns, a quaint downtown area and a number of charming historic Victorian homes.
For more information please go to the Spring Lake Historical Society Website.