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.
From 1850 through the early 1900s, Cape May came into its own as a summer resort. In fact, those early tourists didn’t “vacation” in Cape May, says Robert Heinly. “They ‘resorted’.”
Browsing through an antique store is like opening a time capsule — a journey back through the decades. A pair of well-worn women’s shoes from the late 1800s sit perched on a Glen Campbell record. A child’s perambulator snuggles next to a family photo album. And Shari Lewis’ Lamb Chop puppet finds good company with the boxed Elvis Presley doll, a Charlie Weaver mechanical toy and a life-sized Marilyn Monroe cut-out.
In Cape May, where Victoriana is taken to an extreme, Sherlock Holmes is celebrated with spring and fall “Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekends,” events drawing hundreds to the sleepy shore town to investigate alongside Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson.
For much of this century the term Victorian, which literally describes things and events during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901 have always conjured up images of things prudish, repressed and old-fashioned. And although such associations have some basis in fact, they do not adequately describe the nature of this complex, paradoxical age, known as a… Read more »
Tom Carroll has been a resident of Cape May for nearly 30 years, with 24 of those years spent as activity duty in the Coast Guard. Tom, in fact, comes from a Coast Guard family. His brother was a helicopter pilot and his father was Coast Guard auxilliary. He grew up on the water and… Read more »
It was the 1920s. Roaring, people called them. Crazy. The “bees knees.” And the United States was in deep conflict. The Eighteenth Amendment had just been passed — prohibiting the manufacture, sales and transportation of all alcohol. This new law was to counteract what some considered a “decline of morality.” Young people were bobbing hair… Read more »
Having grown up in many areas of the country, and almost always living in houses at least a hundred years-old, I’ve had a fair share of “ghostly” experiences. Many, of course, can be written off as coincidence, and some as simple quirks. But there are a few that I, a mostly practical and skeptical person, cannot deny.
It’s been said Cape May is full of ghosts. Books have been written on the subject and there are even “ghost tours” to be taken. And, surely, one look at the town with its collection of 19th-century buildings could lead one to suspect there must be a few lingering souls lost in time, trying to make their way home.
There have been hundreds of hurricane watches and warnings throughout the centuries yet Cape Island has never felt the truth wrath of a full-fledged hurricane. Northeastern Atlantic coastal storms, however, locally known as ‘nor’easters’ have wreaked havoc on her coast for centuries. Above is South Cape May photographed around 1917.