Popular in History

History > Local anthem actually written ‘On The Way To Cape May’

It never won a music award, didn’t even come clo....

History > The big fire: 1878 blaze took 10 Cape May hotels

Church bells rang in Cape May at 7 o’clock on th....

History > Did Lincoln ever visit Cape May?

Some accounts have him making fateful decision at ....

History > Henry Sawyer was unlucky winner of Libby Prison ‘death lottery’

It had been some time since Harriet Ware Sawyer ki....

History > Cape May’s history is a jigsaw puzzle of famous figures

Researching the history of Cape May, like other hi....

History > Vacationers have been coming to Cape May since the Revolution

How times have changed at Cape Island that was to ....

History > For Henry Clay, a Cape May vacation was hardly relaxing

Henry Clay sat in his Cape Island vacation quarter....

History > Sawyer’s travails brought Civil War home to Cape May

When shots were fired on April 12, 1961 at Fort Su....

History > Cape man faced death in Confederate prison

Many stories of love and war have been related sin....

History > Cape May could have been ‘Cape Verrazzano’

Italian explorer was first European visitor here ....




Bizarre History of Cape May | Cape May Gazette

The Bizarre History of Cape May with Jacob Schaad Jr.

Bizarre History of Cape May: Emancipation came for one Cape May County slave in 1790

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, February 15, 2014 09:45 am

Before, during and after the Civil War the people of Cape May and thereabouts spoke and acted on the subject of freedom, some of them enthusiastically, others equivocally. How to handle the freedoms was a big topic of conversation in the chambers of government and on the southern-influenced plantations of what was then called Cape Island.

The big issue, of course, was slavery. In 1790, some 14 years after the United States won its freedom from the United Kingdom, there were advocates for the abolition of slavery, but they nevertheless kept slaves under their ownership, selling and buying them just as they did cattle and real estate. The first American census in that year showed there were 141 slaves in Cape May County.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Emancipation came for one Cape May County slave in 1790

 

Bizarre History of Cape May: Was Goody Garlick a witch, and did she come to Cape May?

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, February 08, 2014 04:00 pm

Conflicts occasionally arise in reviewing the facts of history, as in the case of whether Abe Lincoln did or did not visit Cape Island on July 31, 1849 before it became Cape May.

A new issue of far less significance but of fascinating interest has developed in the research of the cape’s history that flashes back to the late 17th century. The protagonist is a woman identified as Elizabeth Garlick who, one account says, came to the cape with her husband years after things got hot for her in Long Island where she could have been burned at the stakes for practicing witchcraft.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Was Goody Garlick a witch, and did she come to Cape May?

   

Bizarre History of Cape May: 23rd president made Cape May his ‘summer White House’

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, January 23, 2014 05:36 pm

He never ranked among the 10 best presidents, not even close, but if they had a social network in the Cape May area in those times Benjamin Harrison would have reached near the top for his local popularity during his summer visits there.

It was an image contrary to the cold and unfriendly personality attributed to him in Washington, D.C., but then, some people, especially the Chamber of Commerce, will say Cape May has a tendency to change personalities, once its visitors enjoy the sunny days and the cool breezes from the ocean.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: 23rd president made Cape May his ‘summer White House’

 

Bizarre History of Cape May: Cape May Lighthouse continues to shine despite past troubles

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, January 16, 2014 01:00 am

 “And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

The people who built the first lighthouse in colonial America may or may not have been inspired by that Biblical quotation, but the words have appropriately lived on in the story telling of the lighthouses of Cape May County, especially the one in Lower Township which is called the Cape May Lighthouse.

“Let there be light,” said someone of lesser authority than the originator in Boston in 1716, and soon there on the island of Little Brewster there was light for the ships at sea in the form of the first lighthouse in the new nation-to-be.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Cape May Lighthouse continues to shine despite past troubles

   

Bizarre History of Cape May: Summer of 1869 started Cape May’s tourism rebound

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, December 26, 2013 05:00 am

 After the Civil War ended with the surrender by General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865 at Virginia’s Appomattox Court House, the county governed at New Jersey’s Cape May Court House began to make its tourism comeback, especially in what was then still known as Cape Island.

It was not until the summer of 1869, however, its war wounds beginning to heal, that Cape Island returned to some of its glory tourism days. Shattered by the war and still antagonistic toward the North, many southerners avoided the seashore resort to which they had brought their dollars before the Civil War broke out.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Summer of 1869 started Cape May’s tourism rebound

 

Bizarre History of Cape May: Music offered comfort and joy in wartime Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, December 20, 2013 09:52 pm

 Music has always been a vital part of Cape May history, whether it was played for joy, for comfort, inspiration or for cultural entertainment. That is especially true in today’s troubled times, some solace coming from the annual music festival of Cape May’s Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, from the outdoor summer concerts and from other local sources.

Churches, of course, have long been the centerpiece of music in the community although everyone has not always been in accord. The different music styles of the past and the present often collide and the conflict does not enhance church attendance unless separate services or masses are held to suit each group’s tastes.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Music offered comfort and joy in wartime Cape May

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > New Jersey volunteers lost nearly a third of their number

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, December 13, 2013 05:50 am

(Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of columns on the 25th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Brigade.)

Peace at a deadly cost had been restored to the banks of the Rappahannock River in January, 1863 after the bloody and senseless battle of Fredericksburg during December. Fierce winds and a heavy snowfall were enough to deter any military of that time from engaging in combat.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > New Jersey volunteers lost nearly a third of their number

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Were Jersey volunteers led by a drunken general at the Battle of Fredericksburg?

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, November 28, 2013 01:00 pm

Historians have called the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862 one of the Union’s most embarrassing defeats of the Civil War. The Jersey boys from Cape May, valiantly though they fought, found themselves right in the midst of it.

They had been on the road and sometimes in the water as members of the 25th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Brigade since cheering crowds sent them on their way from Cape May in September. They went first to a town called Beverly on the Delaware River for training, then to Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and now with the Army of the Potomac in the area of the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Va.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Were Jersey volunteers led by a drunken general at the Battle of Fredericksburg?

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May volunteers were to see one of bloodiest battles of the Civil War

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, November 19, 2013 08:26 pm

 Amidst mixed emotions from the spectators, young soldiers-to-be from Cape Island and Lower Township gathered at the Cold Spring Academy assembly point in September 1862 and began their long journey to answer the call to arms what was described as “a bleeding country.”

As the Civil War was heating up and the demand for more bodies increased, the young of Cape May County responded by volunteering for military service, not too long before the nation began the draft. They were to begin their trip in style in carriages provided by the local gentry, but that was to be replaced in the months ahead by marching in rain and snow and mud in the bloodshed of war.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May volunteers were to see one of bloodiest battles of the Civil War

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Reformers took on government, education in mid-1800’s

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, November 14, 2013 08:25 am

 While the community with the contrary name of Cape Island was growing during the first half of the 19th century, soon came the realization from its movers and shakers that it needed to be more formally organized, not only in government but in education too.

So it was that in 1849, a relatively quiet time between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, that discussions started about improvements at the cape, and two years later the changes began to happen. Six councilmen were elected annually from 1851 to 1867, but from 1867 to 1875 it was changed to three councilmen being elected every year for two-year terms.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Reformers took on government, education in mid-1800’s

   

Page 2 of 13