Boat Rentals on Lake Carasaljo, Lakewood, Bring Peacefulness and Unity
We did not all come over on the same ship, but we are all in the same boat. —Bernard Baruch
Jonathan Ely, owner of Traveling Tykes boat rentals, a company that specializes in family friendly parties and entertainment, is fortunate that his vision of families of all races and religions enjoying leisure time together on Lakewood’s Lake Carasaljo has become a reality.
Visitors to the lake will see a fleet of 50-plus paddle boats, swan boats and family boats that range in size from small enough for a couple to large enough for a party of 12. Paddle boats are powered by the people riding in them, while pontoon boats that can accommodate large groups are powered with electric motors. What you won’t see are high-speed watercraft.
“We wanted to retain the quiet, pastoral nature of Lake Carasaljo,” said Lakewood Mayor Isaac Akerman. “The response so far has been wonderful. I live near the lake and it’s great to see people enjoying it regardless of their age or income.”
Ely’s ideas took shape several years ago while he was enjoying a stroll along Lake Carasaljo. This lake had once brought people together. Why couldn’t that happen again? He thought the perfect way to do it would be with boats.
He may not have realized it at the time, but the location was ideal in more ways than one. The man-made lake was created in 1883 by Joseph Woolston Brick, a major figure in the history of both Lakewood and Brick, which is named after him. Appropriately enough, the Lakewood lake was named after Brick’s family, specifically his three daughters, Caroline, Sarah (“Sally”), and Josephine.
Almost 130 years later, many people are enjoying Ely’s efforts to bring a family focus back to the lake, and Lakewood township officials have embraced the idea. “The township has been absolutely supportive of my efforts here. Without their support this would never have happened,” Ely said.
Initially the township loaned him municipally owned floating docks once used for swimmers, which helped him get the boating project off the ground in 2010. Ely now owns his own docks, along with his fleet of boats. The boat rentals have proved so popular that Ely now makes the boats available year-round, dependent on weather. On mild days this autumn and winter, expect to see the lake still bustling with activity.
A Lakewood resident for 13 years, Ely sees strength in the town’s diversity and believes if the town continues to develop things that bring the community together, then people from all walks of life can come together under common interests, in turn making the community stronger. He wants to be part of making that happen.
Ely said, “It has been gratifying to see that the project has, indeed, brought people together. The boats have even drawn in entire classrooms from schools, such as Yeshivah Toras Emes, Yeshivah Kol Torah, and others.”
About Traveling Tykes: Traveling Tykes, North Lake Drive and Second Street at the Amphitheater, Sunday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. until dark. Rentals start at $11.00.For more information, call 732-942-1123.