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In 1871 William B. Bradner and James A. Bradley purchased 54 acres of land north of Avon. They named this area “Ocean Park”. However, it was suggested that they change the name in order not to be confused with nearby Oceanport. Since William Bradner did not want to suggest his own name, the area was named Bradley Beach, after James A. Bradley. The town was incorporated in March of 1893, making it one of Monmouth County's youngest municipalities. By the 1920's, Bradley Beach was a very popular resort for tourists from New York and Philadelphia. The beachfront boasted several hundred changing rooms as well as two swimming pools and a number of stores. Bradley Beach has maintained its reputation as a great resort town. Today, there is a year-round population of 5,000 that increases to approximately 30,000 during the summer months. Visitors can enjoy clean, lifeguarded beaches, shopping and fine dining.
The Bradley Beach School District is a single school district serving public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Bradley Beach School served an enrollment of 322 students in the 2005-06 school year. For public school students in grades 9-12, the school district maintains a sending/receiving relationship on a full-time basis with Asbury Park High School. A lottery system for entry into the Neptune High School and an application program with Red Bank Regional High School or any of the schools in the Monmouth County Vocational School District is also an option for students. Students may also attend Academy Charter High School, located in Lake Como, which serves residents of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Deal, Interlaken and Lake Como, and accepts students on a lottery basis.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,793 people, 2,297 households, and 1,086 families residing in Bradley Beach. The population density was 8,097.6 people per square mile (3,136.6/km2). There were 3,132 housing units at an average density of 5,291.4/sq mi (2,049.6/km2). There were 2,297 households out of which 18.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them.