“Some of my favorite childhood memories took place in Cape May and at the Montreal – such as spending time with my beloved grandfather, and learning to swim in the Montreal’s pool,” shares Kathy Orr, meteorologist for Philadelphia, PA’s Fox 29, in the foreword she drafted to dedicate our Cape May hotel’s new biographical book, ‘A Cape May Story.’”
Heartwarming memories like this, historical facts and nostalgic photos are found throughout the fun, fact-filled coffee table book. Written by Cape May resident and author Diane Stopyra, ‘A Cape May Story’ honors this family-friendly vacation resort’s 50th anniversary.
We really wanted this book to represent all of the memories that we so lovingly share at the Montreal Beach Resort, as well as recall the memories of how it all began.
The 160-plus-page book, ‘A Cape May Story,’ documents the Montreal Beach Resort’s history and growth throughout the years, the book will be available for sale at $24.95. The Montreal Beach Resort opens for its 50th season on April 8.
The book follows hotel founders Harry and Sophie Hirsch as they wed, move to America from Poland, and raise a family and a highly successful business, against all odds. As the story reveals, the fact that generations of our family exist today is nothing less than miraculous.
Where it all began
This Cape May Hotel’s 50-year tale starts as far from Cape May’s sandy shores as anyone could possibly imagine. Hotel founder, the late Harry Hirsch, was 15 when the Nazi army invaded Poland and he was imprisoned in Auschwitz. He and his wife, Sophie, survived Nazi Germany to eventually come to America and live the American dream. In 1951, Harry and Sophie Hirsch arrived from Europe in a Philadelphia port via cargo ship. Having been raised in the isolated villages of Poland, neither spoke a word of English. With much perseverance, good fortune and the kindness of strangers, they began to build a life for themselves in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
The reader is given a glimpse into the life of Harry and Sophie as they start a new life in America after narrowly surviving the Holocaust; how they worked to put food on the table while keeping their eyes firmly on their American dream; and how they wound up on the shores of Cape May in 1966, to become the founders of what is today the Montreal Beach Resort.
Cape May history buffs will enjoy the journey through Cape May’s exciting – and sometimes tumultuous – history over the past 50-plus years.
All work and lots of play
As the book reveals, after Sophie’s passing in 1975, Harry was all work, but when it came to his guests, he made time for play. Harry liked nothing more than sharing a cup of coffee on the motel’s balcony with any and all of his visitors. Now, we hope our longtime visitors will invite the memory of Harry into their households through the stories in this new book. Many of the family’s best memories and moments at the hotel are shared throughout the book’s pages.
Also included in the book are “Guest Appearances” by some of our family’s favorite people… our guests! Over our many years of being in business, we have welcomed some amazing guests to our family-friendly Cape May hotel, some of which share their memories with us, along with vintage photos and letters.
Interested in reading more? Buy the book online here!
‘A Cape May Story’ is just one way we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary. Our Cape May hotel will open its doors on April 8, 2016 for its 50th season, and invites long-time patrons and new guests to be a part of this special upcoming year. We are planning an array of special events just for the occasion – along with special memorabilia and keepsakes, including a commemorative wine – “Chateau Montreal/Harry’s Reserve” – bottled exclusively for our 50th anniversary.
Advanced reservations for the 2016 season are encouraged and available online at https://www.montrealbeachresort.com/. Package Specials are also available at https://www.montrealbeachresort.com/specials.php.
Come discover your Montreal Moment and share some of ours during our 50th birthday at The Montreal Beach Resort.