Little Silver is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 5,950, a drop of 220 (−3.6%) from the 6,170 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 449 (+7.8%) from the 5,721 counted in the 1990 Census.
Little Silver was established with a King's land grant in 1663 and settled in 1667. Little Silver was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 19, 1923, from portions of Shrewsbury Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 28, 1923.
Prior to the settlement of Europeans, the area that is now Little Silver was inhabited by the Navesink Native Americans.
There are several tales of how Little Silver received its name. In one, brothers Joseph and Peter Parker, who settled in this area in 1667 and owned land bounded by Parker's Creek on the south and Little Silver Creek on the north, named their holdings "Little Silver" after their father's (George Parker) estate in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The original Parker Homestead, dating to 1725 and one of the state's oldest, was acquired by the borough and is undergoing renovation.
Other explanations for the derivation of the name are the payment to Native Americans for purchase of the land and the placid appearance of the water.
The borough's earliest European residents were primarily farmers, fishermen and merchants.
Early families and businesses include:
John T. Lovett owned a nursery that once covered almost half the borough, supplying large catalog houses such as Sears Roebuck, Macy's and Newberry's. In 1878 he circulated a petition to the community recommending that the name be revised and on July 30, 1879, the Post Office name was changed from "Parkersville" to "Little Silver".
The borough has had a varied history as a resort, agricultural area and fishing town.