According to an old undated newspaper filed away at the Cape May County Museum, an author identified only as Z.H. recalls a story told to him about Captain Kidd’s treasure supposedly buried in Cape May County.
It has been Cape May legend that Abraham Lincoln and his wife spent time here. There is no factual documentation that they enjoyed summer here as other presidents did, some visiting more than once.
The post of lighthouse keeper entailed a unique lifestyle for the keeper and his family. The duties were often lonely and tedious and could be downright dangerous when storms buffeted the lantern. It was especially perilous if weather forced the keeper to climb from the watch room to the lantern landing and remove snow and ice from the 16 windows 12 stories up.
What do Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Ford and Norman Rockwell have in common? At one point in their famous lives, they all came to Cape May.
Harriett Tubman worked as a cook in Cape May in 1852, earning money to help runaway bondsmen. She learned how the Greenwich Line worked, and of routes in Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties, including obscure Indian trails.
What began as a simple boarding house soon grew into a reputable hotel under the direction of Colonel Henry Sawyer. He was a local hero — it was said that every man, woman and child in Cape May could recite Sawyer’s “Lottery of Death” story by heart.
A simple carpenter stares death in the eye, and lives to build one of Cape May’s living treasures. A story rooted in American history, the tale of Henry Washington Sawyer is one of courage, strength and pride.
People and events which go beyond tales of Victoriana and visiting presidents. Ancestry dating to colonial days. Remembrances of community life during the last century. Stories of life, love and loss — stories that never made the history books.
This is Cape Island’s African-American heritage… A legacy now being understood, preserved and celebrated today through oral history, photographs and mementos in an exhibit titled “A Feeling of Community Revisited: Cape Island’s African-American Heritage.”