Keyport, NJ – An Ode To My Home Town

Due to my father’s ongoing cancer battle, I came to Jersey for a week to meet with doctors and deal with some additional affairs. While at my dad’s home, I got the chance to walk around my hometown with my new camera. Having fun with my camera, I decided to do a photo essay of my beautiful hometown:

Waterfront

A town since 1830, but a part of a plantation long before that, Keyport has a long history dating back before the Revolutionary War. One of its biggest and earliest industry was the oyster industry due to its location right on the Raritan Bay. The industry has since dried up due to overfishing, but the waterfront is still an important part of the town. Filled with a beautiful walkway along the water, park, and loads of history, people continue to walk, ride, and crab along its beautiful shores

Keyport sits on the Raritan Bay, giving visitors and citizens a view of Manhattan in the distance

Along the water sit the remains of a dock that burnt down in the 1800s. Today the remains house much marine life that makes this bay beautiful.

Many people walk along the beautiful waterfront, enjoying the view and the weather

In the early 2000s, the town made improvements to the waterfront that included a popular gazebo and park

Historic Houses

So many of the houses in Keyport are historic, built in the 1800s with unique and interesting architectural features. Many are protected and gems of the town. Even the house I grew up in, was built in 1892 and considered the youngest on the block. Looking at these houses is one of my favorite things to do in Keyport

Many houses in town sport plaques that certify the year the house was built, showing how old much of the town truly is

Many of the houses are Victorians have unique architectural details such as intricate woodwork, towers, and large porches.

This house is one of my favorites. As a child, during a town event, the owner gave tours, and my father and I were able to walk around the inside, seeing the built-ins and woodwork in the doorways and stairs. But the neatest part was being taken to the servants’ stairs and seeing that there was a whole separate area of the house still there that was historically dedicated to the household staff.

Art and Gardening

Keyport has a thriving art and gardening culture. The gardens club is a popular organization that maintains the beautiful grounds of the town.

The beautiful landscape along the water is courtesy of the Keyport Garden Club

But one of the most awesome parts of the town is the mosaic art. The Keyport Art Society commissioned Isaiah Zagar to design amazing murals on recycling bins and on benches by the waterfront as a way to beautify the town. Some of the murals were destroyed after Hurricane Sandy, but the group raised funds to rebuild the destroyed pieces.

Even the garbage cans are decorated through the waterfront

The mosaic benches are the gems of the art in town. Many come to sit and admire the beautiful artwork through these benches by the water.

An up-close view of one of my favorite pieces, a mermaid sleeping, with such beautiful detail in her hair, face and jewelry

Downtown

One of the most amazing parts of this 1 square mile town is its downtown. A few blocks of cute antique shops, bakeries and restaurants, hair salons, and kitschy boutiques. Besides the shops, during the summer there are always events from dogs night out to Thursday concerts and movies on the water. The town always rallies and comes together, and it’s a beautiful place to be.

West Front Street has rows of antique stores, restaurants, and other mom and pop shops

The antique stores are plentiful in Keyport and full of fun vintage items, from the turn of the 20th-century furniture to Star Wars toys from just a few decades ago

Keyport Fishery is one of the most popular spots in Keyport, always the source of the freshest fish and the best-fried fish platters for lunch or dinner

As I’ve been walking around my hometown, so many people have come up to me, recognizing me from my childhood or from my resemblance to my father, a popular figure in town. They tell me they are praying for him and his health. They offer support in different ways. It’s times like this I love and appreciate the small town feel, the closeness of the people, and the beauty of the community. This truly is the “Pearl of the Bayshore”

My father is well liked in town and I’m thankful for the support and prayers of all of this amazing community

3 thoughts on “Keyport, NJ – An Ode To My Home Town

  1. Very nicely done !
    Impressive to say the least ! !
    As a fellow ” Keyporter ” you have done justice to the town I grew up in also.
    Regards
    Rick Bohnsack

  2. I lived there too, went to Keyport Central and Keyport Highschool. My father lived there his entire life. I moved to Puerto Rico 34 years ago. Nice to see Keyport through your eyes and see is as beautiful as always.

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