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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 > Spanish flu victims were ‘piled in the street’ in 1918 Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, July 20, 2013 07:21 am

 The first war against Germany was nearing its end in 1918 when a far deadlier enemy arrived to challenge Cape May and the rest of the world.

This enemy fired no rifles, threw no hand grenades, dropped no bombs on people. In fact, it was invisible until its tragic effects were seen on the lifeless bodies of its victims.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Spanish flu victims were ‘piled in the street’ in 1918 Cape May

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > County ‘almshouse’ was 19th century’s version of social safety net

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Sunday, July 14, 2013 07:34 am

 It is interesting to observe in these days as we argue about the best way to pay for healthcare that there was another time in the United States when our forefathers attacked the problem in a simpler and, perhaps, not as professional manner as today to help the indigent and the ill.

No one had ever heard then of such things as Medicare, AARP, Social Security and private insurances. Mention CAT scans to anyone and they might have thought you were talking about the family feline.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > County ‘almshouse’ was 19th century’s version of social safety net

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May went from celebrating King George’s birthday to a new nation’s

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, July 04, 2013 04:35 pm

 Given its longevity and its claim that it is the oldest seashore resort in the nation, Cape May, nee Cape Island, can also claim that it is among the first (if not the first) seashore places to celebrate the Fourth of July.

There is evidence, in fact, that they liked to celebrate in general at the cape long before the Revolution, when the colonists were friendly with the king. Every year they held long distance birthday parties for King George III although, of course, he wasn’t here to blow out the candles. They rang bells, started bonfires, held what they called processions which probably were parades, and made glowing speeches in his honor.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May went from celebrating King George’s birthday to a new nation’s

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Cross-dressing New Jersey governor was a headache for Queen Anne

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, June 28, 2013 12:00 am

It was time, declared Queen Anne of Great Britain, for her to send someone to govern at that wild place on the other side of the ocean renamed New Jersey.

She wanted it to be peaceful over there because she had enough on her plate in England, not the least of which was 17 pregnancies in 17 years of her 49 years of life. Certainly she didn’t need any more controversy from foreign shores. So she kept it in the family by sending her cousin, Edward Hyde, to become the first officially sanctioned governor of New Jersey, which combined East and West Jersey.

Whether she chose him for his qualifications or because she wanted to see him far away from the throne has not been clear in history.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Cross-dressing New Jersey governor was a headache for Queen Anne

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Enemies accused early Royal governor of being a cross-dresser

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, June 22, 2013 05:54 am

When locals talk about Cape May history, the conversation usually traces back to the colorful 19th century hey days of visiting presidents, huge hotels and the high profile get-togethers that accommodated them.

Much of this was shaped, however, by the events of two centuries earlier in the 1600s when there were no inklings about a place called Congress Hall or boardwalks or something called parking meters.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Enemies accused early Royal governor of being a cross-dresser

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Ben Franklin’s connection to Cape May made through a woman’s cap

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, June 15, 2013 12:49 pm

 It can be said, albeit without certainty, that Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah have a historical connection with the bayside section of Town Bank, now part of Lower Township.

In his book, “Cape May County, New Jersey, The Making of An American Resort Community,” author Jeffery M. Dorwart says Franklin “according to tradition visited kin on the Jersey Cape.” He adds that Franklin encouraged Jacob Spicer, one of the first white settlers and land owners here, to develop a knitted mitten, cap and stocking industry that was to employ Cape May County women on their spinning wheels. It turned out to be a profitable business in the 1750s.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Ben Franklin’s connection to Cape May made through a woman’s cap

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Slavery in Cape May County lasted 146 years

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, June 05, 2013 02:50 pm

 The first reported slaves were brought to the area now known as Cape May and Lower Township in 1688. The last slave was said to have been freed in 1834.

During those 146 years, the territory to become Cape May County was to tell its own story of slavery, some of it more moderate than the South, but all of it negative in its final summary.

The man who started it never lived here, and never even set foot on the soil, but still was a powerful influence in the early development of the cape.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Slavery in Cape May County lasted 146 years

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May’s first high school was located in pastor’s kitchen

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, May 29, 2013 03:57 am

For Cape Island, the years before the Civil War were different than the rest of the county.

While the other communities were struggling economically, Cape Island, later to be named Cape May, was enjoying a tourism boom. While the neighboring towns were building modest structures, entrepreneurs of Cape Island were building huge hotels to house visitors, some of them the high and the mighty in government, some even presidents of the United States.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May’s first high school was located in pastor’s kitchen

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > 1850s brought a number of firsts to Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, May 21, 2013 02:51 pm

Ominous as the signs were on the issue of slavery, the years before the Civil War did provide some historic recognitions for Cape Island, which was still years away from being known as Cape May.

It was during this period of the 1850s that the first newspaper was printed in the county. The first school superintendent in Cape Island was appointed in 1851, a decade from the start of what some called the “big rebellion” and others identified as the “war between the states” or a name to survive longer and in prominence, the Civil War.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > 1850s brought a number of firsts to Cape May

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Telegraph helped to bring Civil War home to ambivalent Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, May 14, 2013 08:53 pm

 At the beginning, after the Confederates seized Fort Sumter in April 1861, the freeholders of this county weren’t all that supportive of the Civil War. Although the local voters had endorsed Abraham Lincoln, politics being what they were and still are, enthusiasm for the new president was not shared by all members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders

When in May, less than a month after the first shots were fired, the freeholders were asked to help in the restoration of a cannon used in the War of 1812, they rejected the request. They also turned down a plea to help the newly appointed Cape Island Home Guard, which was intended to defend the area in case there was an invasion or other enemy activity.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Telegraph helped to bring Civil War home to ambivalent Cape May

   

Page 4 of 13