Cape May, New Jersey 5-26-2017

The Marina has a courtesy car that will take you where you need to go, so we took advantage of it and went down town to view the picturesque Victorian Landscape.

Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May peninsula New Jersey where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.  One of the country’s oldest vacation resort destinations, with a rich history, award-winning beaches, and many examples of Victorian architecture, drawing visitors from around the world.  The city was named for Dutch Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Met in 1620, who explored and charted the area between 1611-1614, and established a claim for the province of New Netherland.  It was later settled by New Englander from the New Haven Colony.  What is now Cape May was originally formed as the borough of Cape Island in 1848.  It was reincorporated as Cape Island City in 1851 and finally became Cape May City in 1869.

Because of  World War II submarine threats off the East Coast of the U.S. especially off the shore of Cape May and at the mouth of the Delaware Bay numerous U.S. Navy facilities were located here in order to protect American coastal shipping.  Cape May Naval facilities provided significant help in reducing the number of ships and crew members lost at sea.

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Cape May began hosting vacationers from Philadelphia in the mid 18th century and is recognized as the country oldest seaside resort.  In 1878 a five-day long fire destroyed square blocks of the town center and as part of the reconstruction efforts replacement homes were almost uniformly of Victorian style.  You can see by the top picture that fog was starting to roll in after the rain we had in the morning.

Cape May is noted for its large number of well maintained Victorian houses, the second largest collection of such homes in the nation after San Francisco.  We really enjoyed walking around Cape May seeing all the amazing homes some of which are now B&Bs that dot the landscape.

 Emlen Physick Estate built for the family in 1879.

This pink house is for Amy our daughter she loves to shop at Victoria Secrets and when I saw this house I thought of her and Pink.

Cape May is home to an outdoor walking mall spanning three blocks, with brick pathways, decorative fountains, and wooden benches surrounding garden planters.  The bell is from the ship S.S. Cape May built-in 1943 and was 417 feet long.  The Ships Bell was presented to the city in 1974.W

 

Cape Mays fire house museum houses a 1928 American Lagrange fire engine ( being restored), vintage engines, fire fighting history, historic firefighting tools, and photographs of past fires and department employees.  Kent enjoys visiting fires houses and reading the history.  The museum represent the appearance of a Victorian firehouse.

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This beautiful structure that is now Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church was once a small wooden building.  Saint Mary’s Church as it was then know was built-in 1848.  In 1878 the church was spared by the great fire and moved to where the new church was built-in 1913 and renamed to Our Lady Star of the Sea.

When you go inside you can appreciated its exquisite interior beauty, its cathedral-like essence, the Carrera marble, and the magnificent stained glass windows.

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I lite a candle and said a pray for my parents and Kent’s in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Cape May NJ.

Cape Island Baptist church 1712 the oldest church in Cape May has been an integral part of there lives.  The First Presbyterian Church was built-in 1832 and was known as the Visitor’s church.  Several other churches were built over the years with the last one in 1892 and was named the First Presbyterian Church.  Saint Peters by the Sea Episcopal Church it was originally built for Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exhibition then moved to Cape May Point in 1879.

We had lunch at The Ugly Mug which opened in 1926, where mugs cover the ceiling.  Each member of the Ugly Mug club has his own mug as they did in the old day’s of vaudeville and barbershop quarters.  Deceased members of the club are honored by having their mug hung facing the ocean.

I just had to go into the Dellas 5 & 10 to see what it looked like.  It has an old-fashioned soda fountain where the counter is almost as long as the store is wide.  Where you can order old fashion sodas, banana splits, hot fudge sundaes, and food.   You can almost hear the “soda jerks” behind the counter with the white caps on their heads singing “At the hop”.  You feel like your back in the 50s again.  The original owner Norman Dellas purchased the store in 1947.

Cape May Lighthouse located in New Jersey at the tip of Cape May was built-in 1859, automated in 1946, and continues operation to this day.  It is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point.  The first was built-in 1823, and the second in 1847.  The exact locations of the first two lighthouse are now underwater due to erosion.   The tower is 157 ft. tall from the ground to the towers cast iron spiral staircase.  There are 217 steps with 199 steps in the towers cast iron spiral staircase.  When we went to look at it today the sky was overcast and we could hear the ocean behind it.

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Saint Mary by The Sea

Saint Mary by The Sea is a summer retreat house for the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It has stood for over a century in the quiet landscape of Cape May Point at the tip of the New Jersey Coast.  In 1941 the U.S. Government requested that the property be leased to the Army for a $100 a year until 1946.  The sisters returned to find the property in shambles and a complete renovation was necessary.  Because the ocean had been scattered with mines the sister were not permitted to swim until 1966 when the ban was lifted.

This was the view and path we took to the Ocean by the Saint Mary By The Sea.  What a view the sister had when they would visit Cape May.

These are pictures of the ocean and the board walk.  You can see by the bottom pictures the fog that was coming in.  By noon the fog had lifted and sun came out for a while.  We made it back to the boat before the rain started.  We had a nice day touring Cap May it’s one of the leading wedding destinations in the United States.  Where you can choose a beach wedding with the Atlantic Ocean as your background or a Victorian wedding complete with horse and carriage.

 

 

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