The History of the Borough of Deal
The English settlements in Shrewsbury and Middletown started in 1664 and 1665 when a group of men from Rhode Island were issued the now famous "Monmouth Patent". The English men started laying out their lands and by 1670, the first reference is made to Deal – Thomas (Whyte) White, a carpenter from Deale, Kent County, England, purchased 500 areas along the coastal section of Shrewsbury, "at a place commonly called Deal." White is believed to have named the area after his English birthplace and he was soon joined by a number of his fellow countrymen – Frances Jeffery, Judiah Allen, Frances Troker, Thomas Potter and Gavin Drummond took up land and settled near Thomas White’s land, in what was then Deal.
Before suitable houses were built, these early pioneers of Deal, dug make shift caves upon the banks of the many brooks in the area. Thomas Potter is believed to have built such a cave upon the bank of Poplar Brook, which was discovered in 1860 by Edwin Woolley, who was a descendent of Potter.
Within a short time these early settlers of Deal built homes called barns, cleared the brush and trees from their land and planted their crops. So rapid was their advance that a petition was submitted to the Commissioner of Roads in 1683 for a road to be laid out through Deal completed before 1703, the road was known for many years as the Long Branch/Deal Turnpike. Today it is called Norwood Avenue and serves as the "Main Street" of the tiny seaside community.
Deal remained a farming and fishing settlement until the latter part of the 19th century. The original family’s passed down their lands, from generation to generation. Even today, there are descendents of a number of the original pioneers of Deal, living around the area.
By the early 1890’s the community’s of Long Branch and Asbury Park were flourishing. A number of developers purchased the area now known as Deal and quickly laid out a residential community with very little commercial space. During the past 100 years, Deal has withstood steady growth. The town is completely developed and most comes alive during the summer months, when the Deal Casino and Conover Pavilion become the center of town.
If you would like to obtain more information concerning the Borough of Deal, please contact James Foley, Borough of Deal, Historian, Stephen Carasia, Borough of Deal Administrator or Robert Speck, President of the Deal Historical Society.