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Of Tide And Time:
A Narrative History of LBI

Note in a Bottle

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Long Beach Island History
Of Tide and Time

The life and history of a barrier island are controlled by the ocean that rises and falls on its beaches. The tides come in and then go out, a small part of a larger cycle that for us is eternal and everlasting. Constantly changing the shape of the coastline, eroding away and building anew, creating new coves, shoals, beaches, and inlets, the ocean shapes the island. It is the creator and the destroyer, the instrument of life's great cycle of loss and rebirth.

The physical attributes of an island are not the only elements shaped by the ebb and flow of the tide. When the Human Race decides to populate a barrier island, it is also dominated by the forces that control the life of the island. Long Beach Island's history has been written by the Atlantic, both physically and socially. The landmarks of civilization (ships, buildings, railroads, boardwalks, and bridges) were constructed on the island by people, but once there, they were governed by the whims of Nature. All things in time surrender to the tide.

However, the human species is able to adapt. As the tide came in and washed the old away, people were able to create anew. Society integrated itself into the cycle of Nature, and became a part of it. The History of Long Beach Island is a record of the rise and fall of the tide of Mankind.

The currents of time have etched several distinct eras into the sands of LBI. The record of these periods of time include letters, photos, books and the memories of long-term residents of the island. In this virtual history of Long Beach Island, we will comb the beach of the past and discover those treasures buried in the endless cycles of tide and time.

As you explore the chapters of Tide and Time, notice that each has a metaphorical introduction. A few paragraphs flirting with the ideas of the ocean's might and of its effect on our lives. Then, continue on to the informative articles that will hopefully instruct and entertain.

Next Chapter: Shipwreck

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