The second of the five victims of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, Charles Bruder, 27, a Swiss bellhop for the Essex and Sussex Hotel, was killed on July 6, 1916, while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake. The wave of attacks took place between July 1 and July 12, 1916, along 80 miles (130 km) of Atlantic Ocean coastline and inspired the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley and corresponding film by Steven Spielberg.
The borough and its environs are known as the "Irish Riviera" because of the large Irish-American population in the area, with Spring Lake having the highest percentage of any municipality in the United States.
Spring Lake is home to the Spring Lake 5 Mile Run, a race that was first run in 1977, circling the borough, beginning and ending at the beachfront. The 1999 event drew 15,000 runners.
A group of seagulls move around on Spring Lake's beachfront in the vicinity of a pipe.
A view of the Spring Lake beach, boardwalk, dunes, and oceanfront homes
There were 1,253 households, of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the borough, 21.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 12.2% from 25 to 44, 33.2% from 45 to 64, and 27.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51.9 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $97,885 (with a margin of error of +/- $16,792) and the median family income was $150,156 (+/- $39,466). Males had a median income of $106,853 (+/- $30,491) versus $68,750 (+/- $15,695) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $71,661 (+/- $14,582). About 2.2% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.
There were 1,463 households out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the borough the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 19.6% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 25.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.
As of 2008, the median income for a household in the borough was $115,709. Males had a median income of $88,924 versus $41,000 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $59,445. None of the families and 2.6% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 6.6% of those over 64.
39.4% of Spring Lake residents identified as being of Irish American ancestry in the 2000 Census, the highest percentage of Irish Americans of any place in the United States.
Spring Lake is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in the November general election.
As of 2013[update], the Mayor of Spring Lake is Democrat Jennifer Naughton, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2015. Members of the Spring Lake Borough Council are Council President Janice Venables (D, 2015), David Frost (R, 2016), William C. Fay, III (R, 2015), Paul Jordan (I, 2014), Brendan Judge (R, 2014) and Joe Erbe (R, 2016).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,520 registered voters in Spring Lake, of which 453 (18.0%) were registered as Democrats, 1,104 (43.8%) were registered as Republicans and 961 (38.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were two voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 64.4% of the vote here (1,326 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 32.8% (676 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (20 votes), among the 2,059 ballots cast by the borough's 2,692 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.5%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 64.0% of the vote here (1,427 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 30.1% (670 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (30 votes), among the 2,229 ballots cast by the borough's 2,873 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.6.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 68.8% of the vote here (1,144 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 23.3% (388 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.7% (95 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (11 votes), among the 1,663 ballots cast by the borough's 2,593 registered voters, yielding a 64.1% turnout.
The H. W. Mountz School is a public school that serves students in pre-school through eighth grade. The school had an enrollment of 267 students in the 2010-11 school year.
In John Frankenheimer's 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, the character of Major Bennett Marco (played by Frank Sinatra) suffers from a nightmare set in Spring Lake. He imagines himself and his fellow soldiers sitting through a lecture by Mrs. Henry Whitaker of the Spring Lake Garden Club. A sign reveals the location of the lecture to be the fictional "Spring Lake Hotel". Eventually, the audience sees that the garden club meeting is merely an illusion and the platoon is actually at a meeting of Russian and Chinese officials in Manchuria. The Mrs. Whitaker character is actually a Chinese scientist named Dr. Yen Lo, portrayed by Spring Lake native Khigh Dheigh.
^Corcoran, David. "All That Glitters", The New York Times, July 24, 2005. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Spring Lake... The town was founded in the Gilded Age and in certain ways has never left it."
^Seebohn, Caroline; and Cook, Peter C. Cottages and mansions of the Jersey shore, p. 99. Rutgers University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-8135-4016-X. Accessed July 14, 2011. "One of the most spectacular examples of Spring Lake architecture is the so-called Maloney Cottage, at 101 Morris Avenue. Its wedding-cake opulence, fantastical porches and verandahs up steep flights of stairs, elaborate carpentry, curved balustrades, and dizzying rooflines cause people today to stop and stare. Brilliantly white, intricately decorated, the house represents the Gilded Age of Spring Lake at its most glamorous."
^Staff. "The Shark That Inspired 'Jaws'", The Early Show, February 11, 2009. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Taking a dip in the ocean just hasn't been the same since the release of "Jaws" more than 25 years ago. But what many people don't know is that the film is based on a series of deadly shark attacks in the summer of 1916 along the New Jersey shoreline.... The second victim was a bellboy from Switzerland working at a hotel in Spring Lake. His name was Charles Bruder, and he was a very strong swimmer."
^History, Spring Lake Five Mie Run. Accessed July 17, 2012. "At first glance it may seem odd that a small town on the Jersey Shore would be home to one of the largest and best running events in the nation. Since it was first held in 1977, the Spring Lake Five Mile Run has grown from a small local fun run into New Jersey’s largest road race and a nationally recognized event. "
^Sending districts, Manasquan Public Schools. Accessed July 30, 2012. "The district educates over 1700 students. Close to seven-hundred students attend our K-8 elementary school. Manasquan High School receives students from eight different districts; Avon, Bradley Beach, Brielle, Belmar, Lake Como, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and Spring Lake Heights."
^"I Have a Lady in the Balcony", McFarland & Company. Accessed November 12, 2008. "George Ansbro was an announcer for the NBC and ABC networks for six decades. He worked in both the live radio era of big bands and soap operas and the television era, retiring from ABC in 1990. He lives in Spring Lake, New Jersey."
^Stump, Scott. "Carmody struggles to overcome history", Asbury Park Press, December 18, 2005. "The former Spring Lake resident is no stranger to traveling long distances, considering Northwestern's roster has been heavily sprinkled with foreign players during his tenure."
^Staff. "Building at Spring Lake, N.J.", The New York Times, August 13, 1939. Accessed April 3, 2011. "Armino A. Campagna, New York builder, has started construction of a group of all-year homes on the former estate of the late Robert A. Chesebrough on Pitney Avenue Spring Lake N. J."
^Meet the Writers: Mary Higgins Clark, accessed March 22, 2007. "They now live in Saddle River, New Jersey; they also have an apartment in Manhattan and summer homes in Spring Lake, New Jersey and Dennis, Massachusetts."
^The UnHamptons: 9 Jersey Shore, New York (magazine), May 28, 2001. Accessed July 28, 2007. "Spring Lake counts among its residents author Mary Higgins Clark, who set her latest novel here, as well as newscaster Jack Ford and Houston Astro Craig Biggio."
^via The New York Times, "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN' STAR KNEW THE STAGE WAS FOR HER", Orlando Sentinel, November 28, 1985. Accessed July 14, 2011. "[Mary D'Arcy], who is now 30 years old, still lives in Weehawken because, she said, "you'd have to be a millionaire to live in Manhattan with the same lifestyle." But on weekends, she and her husband, Karl Jurman, a pianist and theater conductor, go off to Spring Lake, N.J., to paint and plaster a house they recently bought."
^"Who's your daddy?", The Boston Globe, October 14, 2004. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Dave McDonald of Spring Lake, NJ proudly displays the very close knockoff of the original and controversial Major League Baseball t-shirt."
^Vitullo-Martin, Julia. "The (Spring) Lake Effect", The New York Sun, September 26, 2005. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Or as mystery writer and Spring Lake homeowner Mary Higgins Clark wrote of a character in her novel "On the Street Where You Live": He "enjoyed Spring Lake best once late autumn set in. By then the summer people had closed their houses, not appearing even for weekends.'"
^Staff. "SPRING LAKE OFFERS A PEACE OF THE PAST", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 6, 1983. Accessed July 17, 2012. "Three years ago, when the producers of the movie Ragtime were looking for a setting for scenes that were supposed to depict Atlantic City at the turn of the [20th] century, they chose Spring Lake and its grand, ocean-front Essex and Sussex Hotel."
^Marcus, Greil. The Manchurian Candidate, p. 19. Macmillan Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-85170-931-1. Accessed July 14, 2011. "It's 1954. Major Ben Marco of the US Army, played by Frank Sinatra, is lying on his bed, fully clothed in his uniform, dreaming the same dream he dreams every night. He's sweating. As his lips twitch, the camera moves in and we enter his dream. We're in an old hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey; a meeting of the Ladies Garden Club is in progress."