News spread about this newly discovered pristine coastal getaway called Cape Island in New Jersey. The elite class from cities like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington began swarming here. In 1834 there were 6 boarding houses in town.
Not long after, hotels started poping up to accommodate the growing population of visitors. The New Atlantic was built in 1942 which housed up to 300 guests. In 1947, United States Congressman, Henry Clay of Kentucky helped make this upcoming island resort famous by vacationing here and documenting his 2-week stay.
Since the island was separated by the mainland by a wide canal, the only way to get ther was by ferry. Even the ferry had no docking point so riders disembarked onto smaller boats which brought them ashore where they were greeted by horse drawn taxis.
This was the Victorian period which is largely how and why Cape May established its architectural character. Large frame hotels began dotting the beachfront. Music, food and lavish balls were attended by hundreds of people.
Cape May has long been a place for festivities including music, parties, the arts and fine dining. This has not changed.
Come experience historic Cape May again. While you zoom into town from the Garden State Parkway, imagine the millions of visitors centuries ago who likely spent days on end traveling in a horse-drawn carriage to get here.
Cape May is always open to lovers of architecture, history and art. Come down any time and enjoy.