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....

King Nummy sold tribe’s land to settlers, forcing them to move

If you can’t find Thomas Nummie in your history ....

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....

Bizarre History: Tourists weren't fooled by cold snap on April 1, 1923

It’s common during Easter time that tourism offi....

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

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

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

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

No separation between church and state in early Cape May

The freedoms for which colonists fought in the Ame....

Early postal service was mostly an informal system

While America was achieving its goal of independen....



Bizarre History of Cape May | Cape May Gazette

The Bizarre History of Cape May with Jacob Schaad Jr.

King Nummy sold tribe’s land to settlers, forcing them to move

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, March 08, 2014 04:01 pm

If you can’t find Thomas Nummie in your history books, try King Nummy instead.

Probably in keeping with the European tradition, there were several American Indians called kings riding around in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the 17th century. Trenton had its King Teddyuscung, Hackensack its King Oratam and Pennsylvania King Tamany. There is no record of a King Elvis, however.

King Nummy was no dummy. Somewhere along the line the one-time Thomas Numee became head of the Unalachtigo Tribe, a branch of the Lenni-Lenape. Part of his territory included what is now Rio Grande in Middle Township, Town Bank in Lower Township and Cape May. Still unsettled, the land and its waters from ocean to bay were ripe for real estate transactions. Nummy was right in the middle of the deals, sometimes with the Dutch who were there before the English.

Read more: King Nummy sold tribe’s land to settlers, forcing them to move

 

Bizarre History of Cape May: Early cape preacher lost much, but not his faith

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, February 26, 2014 04:35 pm

Fifty-five years after the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church was founded, a pastor arrived who has become an important part of Colonial history for his missionary work with American Indians and for his attempts to convert them to Christianity.

The Rev. John Brainerd, who filled a vacancy at the now 300-year-old church during the winter of 1769-1770, has gone down in history as having given his days and nights to the temporal and spiritual good of the American Indians.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Early cape preacher lost much, but not his faith

   

Bizarre History of Cape May: Two local churches have prevailed for centuries

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, February 21, 2014 06:44 pm

While the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church proudly celebrates its 300th anniversary this year it could look back to almost two years ago when the Baptist Church of Cape May Court House marked its 300th birthday and established the claim to be the oldest church in Cape May County.

The Baptists, who celebrated their milestone by publishing a glossy 168-page coffee table book of text and photos about their history, started their local church on June 24, 1712. Two years later, about ten miles to the south in Lower Township, came the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church, its precise date of charter clouded by the passage of time.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May: Two local churches have prevailed for centuries

 

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 08:45 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 03:00 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 04:36 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 12:00 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 04:00 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 08:52 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 04:50 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

   

Page 2 of 14