7 Mile Island History & Real Estate

Posted on: January 2, 2021

Avalon & Stone Harbor History | Real Estate & Development

Avalon and Stone Harbor are notoriously known for their exceptional collection of real estate. Over many years, the market has moved more towards high-end and luxurious secondary vacation homes. The development of real estate has happened over time, as new technologies and money has flowed into the market. The limited supply of real estate and affluent owners has resulted in astronomical market values. The new construction builds are now pushing the limits of both space and luxury craftsmanship. Looking at the past, it is amazing to see how far the island has come developmentally speaking. Below we will dive into a brief timeline of our incredible island and how it has evolved. In the early days of discovery, the island was not always a vacation destination. Now as a secondary market, Avalon and Stone Harbor are home to some of the finest vacation rentals in NJ.

Starting at the beginning, the first lasting buildings were built on the island in the early 1800s. Throughout history, the island was purchased and sold more than a few times. But in 1887, the Seven Mile Beach Company purchased all the land. The company then decided to split the island into two different settlements, Avalon in the north and Stone Harbor at the south. The first home built was in Avalon, and was known as Old Limerick. This construction stood between 30th and 31st Street in modern day Avalon. Today in this location, you can find summer vacation rentals and many beach houses for rent. The Seven Mile Beach Company was given the first deed to build the West Jersey Railroad for a rail line running the entire length of the island. The deed included six plots along the island to be used as train stations and service buildings for travelers. At the time, construction of the railroad was quite difficult. They had to build the structure across Townsend’s Inlet to Sea Isle City. The first structure failed and crashed into the ocean before it could even be used. The second suffered a similar fate in an autumn store, and the third was lost to the ocean along with some equipment, before it could be completed.  The fourth attempt was successful, and train service began to be offered for Avalon starting from 37th street.


Photo Credit: Avalon History Center (facebook)


With the transportation set up, the Seven Mile Beach Company started to rethink how the island could be used. In retrospect, Avalon and Stone Harbor has always been a destination for NJ vacation rentals, including oceanfront rentals NJ. But this trend all started with a few sample cottages. They were built to lodge travelers who were looking to go south for a while, in a lesser populated area. By 1893, the Seven Mile Beach Company was already advertising Avalon as a resort destination. The small community expanded rapidly during these early years, and many homes and businesses were constructed. These early residents and travelers lived a much different life than us. They relied on rain as a source of water for drinking and cooking. Avalon’s water works was built in 1898, and then further extended in 1901. To satisfy the rapidly growing community, the forests of the island were cut down, and the dunes around the community were leveled to flatten the island. This space was used to build more NJ vacation rentals as well as oceanfront rentals. Today, only a few hills and juniper trees remain in Avalon and Stone Harbor. Everything else has been developed to the fullest potential! 


Photo Credit: Avalon History Center (facebook)


By 1905, Avalon had roughly seventy-five houses, one school, and two churches. At this point Avalon was twenty years ahead of Stone Harbor in terms of real estate development. The Avalon Beach Development Company bought the island in 1907 with the intention of turning Avalon into a trendsetting and exclusive resort. The Company wanted Avalon to be “The Jewel of the Jersey Coast”, and to be superior to the other resorts along the shore. And thus, the Avalon Beach Development Company spent over $500,000 from both public and private donors to develop and improve Avalon. Shortly after in 1913, the construction of a 1.25 mile-boardwalk between 21st and 32nd street was built. In 1962, there was an extremely large storm, known as Ash Wednesday storm. It was the king of all nor’easter tropical storms. This storm assaulted our island for over 3 days, with exceptionally high tides incited by the moon. Waves up to 40 feet were reported off the coast. This caused havoc and washed part of the island back to sea. The worst damage happened in the northern part of Avalon, where 7th street and below were overtaken by the severe tides, and swept into the ocean. If you were ever wondering why only a small part of 6th, 7th, and 8th street exist in Avalon: it was the great storm. A large portion of the beachfront properties, where many of our oceanfront rentals reside, were destroyed. 


Photo Credit: Avalon History Center (facebook)


The beach was having issues keeping the sand on the coast.  Beach Erosion continued to be a major issue for the town, as more land was becoming lost due to storms. Today, more large rocks are being used to strategically reinforce the sand dunes on the inlet side of Avalon and protect the coastline.  Engineers are using the latest technology to attempt to stem the tide of erosion, but it is clearly a difficult uphill battle. However, it is encouraging to note that Avalon’s neighbor  to the south, Stone Harbor has not only been able to stop beach erosion, but has also been able to reverse it.  Indeed, successful use of anti-erosion technology has seen the coast around Stone Harbor increase in size over the years.


Photo Credit: Avalon History Center (facebook)


Today Avalon and Stone Harbor are popular family resort destinations. For decades, our island has been a place visited by millions of people each year. We are honored to be a part of this community and provide access to the residing real estate. Vacation rentals in New Jersey are not going anywhere, the demand is very high. Many believe there is no better place to be in the summer season. Please contact us to get in touch with an agent, they will be able to find you NJ vacation rentals. Avalon and Stone Harbor rentals have a large range when discussing location, space, amenities, and price. New Jersey oceanfront rentals are less common with owners choosing to use their property. With that being said, our team will provide the best service in finding the best beach homes for rent. We have an inventory of properties to choose from. But not all properties are listed as active in the rental search system. Therefore drop your information into our contact from and we will be in contact with you regarding New Jersey beachfront rentals. New Jersey is home to some of the most exceptional real estate rentals. Your best life begins steps away from the beach in Avalon and Stone Harbor! 


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