It's crazy how something like a fire brings back memories from your childhood. Earlier this week, a fire broke out on Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach.

If you're not from the area but have visited Point Pleasant Beach before, you've no doubt seen this island, even if you weren't aware of it. It's located just east of the North Jersey Coastline on the Manasquan River.

Route 35 is also to the west of the island and is visible from the bridge going over the river. In fact, the train tracks go over the western part of the island.

The island itself is part of the county park system and is a conservation area. How the fire started is unknown (as of this article), and nobody was hurt in the blaze.

If you're trying to picture where Gull Island is, check out the map below. You'll notice Route 35 to the left, Jenkinsons to the right, and the North Jersey Coastline along the left side of the island.

Map of Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Google Maps

Now you might be thinking, why would fire on an undeveloped island bring back childhood memories? And the answer to that is simple.

Fishing on the lake at sunset. Fishing background.

Back when I was a kid, my dad would take me here to go fishing. Most of the time, we would fish from where the parking lot is. But every now and then, we would walk the train tracks over the river and fish from the island.

Looking toward Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Google Maps

The picture above is from the lot we would park the car in. And the land on the other side of the waterway is Gull Island.

When I was growing up, it was so amazing to see the differences in the tides. Low tide was always the best since you can walk out much further and look for hermit crabs.

Or sometimes, you might get lucky and occasionally come across a little guy like this.

Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

I was always into exploring, which is one thing that hasn't changed now that I'm a father with twin boys. You never knew what you would find.

Of course, I wasn't focused on the one thing I should be doing, which was fishing. I give it to my brother, he was always locked into it with my dad. I guess I just had other adventures on my mind.

And then there was the thrill of the train coming down the tracks. You knew time was near when the train bridge down the way went from the open to the closed position.

North Jersey Coastline crossing Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Google Maps

We would go fishing here no matter the time of year. Even on bad days when the fish weren't biting, my dad always managed to catch something (we swear he spoke to the fish).

So hearing about the fire on Gull Island this week made me think of those moments when I was growing up. Of a place that hasn't really changed much since then thanks to the fact that the island was never developed.

View of Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Google Maps

Even the train bridge is still the same as I remember it. So I guess the thought of fire causing a change of something that's been the same for years stirred up those memories.


As of this writing, I haven't had a chance to see the damage firsthand, so I don't have any pictures of my own showing the aftermath.

Whether the fire dramatically changed the landscape or not is irrelevant. The point is, sometimes when an event like this happens at a place you spent a decent amount of your childhood at, it's likely you'll think back to better times.

View of Gull Island from the Rt 35 Bridge in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Google Maps

Speaking of better times, there's a lot around the Garden State that can bring us back to our childhood days. Or, maybe just make you curious with how things used to be.

Before we look at the fire that happened on Gull Island, let's change gears and check out this old bridge in South Jersey that still exists but is no longer in use. If you were around when this bridge was still open, it might also bring back memories for you.

But even if you weren't, it's still a reminder of how things once were across the Garden State.

(Thanks to our colleague Chris Coleman from our sister station in Atlantic City for checking this out)

Bridge Built in 1905 in Rural Salem County, Closed Since 1991

Out in rural Salem County, ironically on New Bridge Road in the community of Hancock's Bridge, sits a 116-year-old bridge that is one of the coolest in our area -- and you have probably never driven on it.
Stylized green sketch map of New Jersey illustration vector

Feeling nostalgic yet? It's yet another reminder of what used to be in the Garden State.

If you'd like to see photos of the fire that occurred on Gull Island, Click here. As for me? I know the island will come back to its former self. For now, I'll always have those memories.

Speaking of memories, who remembers this gem from the Garden State Parkway?

A look back at the NJ Garden State Parkway token

A nostalgic token of NJ history dating back to the 1980's.


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