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Former Coordinators
Sue Loder 1999-2006
Janice Brown 2007-2008
Last Updated
(and all links checked)
December 29, 2014
Current Coordinator
Laverne Tornow

Welcome to Cape May County


Borough, New Jersey

Information located at On a USGenWeb/NJGenWeb Web site TRANSCRIBED BY JANICE BROWN, County Coordinator in 2006

The original source of this information is in the public domain, however use of this text file, other than for personal use, is restricted without written permission from the transcriber (who has edited, compiled and added new copyrighted text to same).

The Early Settlers

The first permanent colony in the area of Cape May County was located north of Cape May Point on the shores of the Delaware Bay, between 1680 and 1710. The men who came to this area were whalers from Long Island and New England. [Cedar Swamp Creek by Joyce Van Vorst, 1977].

From: The history of Cape May County, New Jersey, from the aboriginal times to the present day, by Lewis T. Stevens; Cape May City, N.J.: 1897, page 449

Cape May Point was set off as a political division in 1878, and continued to be a borough until 1896. Its borough government, after 1890, became a matter of uncertainty, its final abandonment of local government being the outcome of the unconstitutionality of the law under which it existed. It is now a part of Lower Township. It has an electric light works, a water plant, four or five hotels, several boarding houses, a public school, a Baptist, a Catholic and an Episcopal Church.

Source: "An historical tour of Cape May County, New Jersey," by Julius Way; Sea Isle City, N.J.: Atlantic Printing and Publishing Co., 1930.

Page 51

Cape May Point (formerly Sea Grove) is situated at the western extremity of Sunset Drive at the edge of Delaware Bay. This resort was foudned in 1875 by Alexander Whilliden, Dr. V. M.D. Marcy, John Wanamaker, Dr. J. Newton Walker and Downs Edmonds.

John Wanamker had a handsome summer residence for many years at the Point, where he also built Beadle Memorial Chapel. He was appointed Postmaster General by President Harrison in 1889 and was visited by the President and family, where they expressed much appreciation of the attractions of the resort, that, through the efforts of Mr. Wanamaker and a few friends, a beautiful cottage was built and presented to the President, Cape May Point becoming the Summer Capital during the season of 1890. During the season of 1891, the President established his executive office at Congress Hall in Cape May City, which was open from July 3, until September 15.

The old Lighthouse is always interesting to the visitor and will well repay for the energy expended in climbing to the observatory at the top, where a wonderful view is given of the ocean, bay and surrounding territory.

"A letter to the Port Wardens of Philadelphia, dated November 12, 1785 shows that a lot had been bought at Cape May, on which a beacon or lighthouse was to be erected." (Stevens History of Cape May County.)

The present lighthouse was built in 1859. It is 100 feet in circumference at its base and 180 feet high. It contains over 200 steps within its spiral stairway and is constructed of brick laid in cement mortar. The light of the revolving type, flashing every thirty seconds and can be seen twenty miles. Visitors are welcome at certain house.

Tomlin's "Cape May Spray," thus describes the natural beauty of this resort: "Cape May Point, a place of natural beauty, the ocean meeting the bay, the rips, the setting sun, the cedars bending low from strong winds, their limbs trailing close to or upon the ground, the incoming and outgoing ships of all kinds and sizes, and that beautiful lake (Lake Lilly) for boating, skating, rowing, ice boating, with Amnon island for a landing place within its waters, the bridge across its eastern end with the mass of lilies and other flowers contrasting with the adjoining sand dunes, some wooded and others not; cottages in groves, and down upon all each night sines the great Cape May light, revolving, lighting the darkness, warning the sailor as well as acting as his guide, and beautifying Cape May Point and its surrounding waters."

The landing of the Cape May-Lewes ferry will be here. It is planned to have boats leave every hour, making the New Jersey coast resorts easily accessible to the people of the South and affording a delightful sight-seeing trip over the waters of the bay, which together with the modern concrete roads at either terminus, will present to the tourist one of the most pleasing trips in all the world.

Saccolepsis gibba was found on the shores of Lake Lily, at Cape May Point by Mr. C.S. Williamson in September 1905.