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....

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

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

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....

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

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

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

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




Bizarre History of Cape May | Cape May Gazette

The Bizarre History of Cape May with Jacob Schaad Jr.

Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May history not immune to slavery

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, April 05, 2013 11:51 am

Unlike in Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas, slavery was not a hot button issue in Cape May and in much of New Jersey before the Civil War broke out and during the war.

Some hotel owners in the pre-war days, concerned that the controversy was hurting business that came from the South, wished that the issue would go even farther south to South America, for instance. Others, who fought in the Civil War, including local hero Henry Sawyer, said they were doing it not to free the slaves but to stop the South from separating from the Union.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May history not immune to slavery

 

Stites make their mark on Cape Island

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, March 22, 2013 01:00 am

Another family who established an early historic presence in Cape Island before it became Cape May were the Stites, who covered a period from the Colonial days to after the Civil War.

Among their claims for identity are a doctor, who cut off a man’s leg in surgery during the Revolutionary War, and another, who wrote a hymn that is still sung in churches today.

Read more: Stites make their mark on Cape Island

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > First Cape May congressman was told to ‘Sit down, clam’

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, March 12, 2013 04:30 pm

The numbers are not as large as those of the Hand family during the days of Cape Island/Cape May, but the Hughes family has at least one historical advantage over the Hands. It holds the distinction of having produced the first congressman from the land that Henry Hudson explored and Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey is credited with having founded and named after himself.

The congressman was Thomas H. Hughes and his middle initial is important for identification because there were at least three other Thomas Hughes making the history books at that time. This one, though, was the biggest achiever, said to have been an acquaintance of President John Quincy Adams and others of the high and mighty in the new nation.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > First Cape May congressman was told to ‘Sit down, clam’

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Leaming helped lead Cape May County along road to Revolution

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, February 27, 2013 05:39 am

 Their names have not lived on in historical fame as have a Washington, an Adams or a Jefferson, but in their own realm the Leamings, the Hands and the Hughes earned a place in the sun in Cape May for their roles in helping to win a revolution and pave the way for what is now claimed to be the oldest seashore resort in the United States.

Even to this day, centuries later, there is a reminder of the past as their surnames appear on street signs, on store fronts advertising businesses and in the archives of Cape May history.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Leaming helped lead Cape May County along road to Revolution

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Postmasters have put their stamp on Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Sunday, February 24, 2013 01:00 am

 Unless others intervene mail boxes at residences will be empty on Saturdays starting in August, breaking a postal tradition that once included two mail deliveries a day. The Postmaster General of the United States, faced with a financial dilemma, has decided to cut costs by cutting delivery on the weekends, except for packages.

If Norman Rockwell were alive today he would probably paint a picture of a mother, father and their three children waving goodbye to a forlorn letter carrier as he walks down a path to uncertainty.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Postmasters have put their stamp on Cape May

 

Bizarre History of Cape May > Whilldin’s widow was later ‘swindled’ by a man 20 years her junior

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, January 09, 2013 12:55 pm

The Leaming name stands out in the early history of Cape Island, even preceding the Revolutionary War, but Hannah Leaming Whilldin did not become famous on her own until after the Civil War when she was to marry the man to be chosen as one of the first mayors of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Her fame was to grow larger after her husband died when in something of a dime novel romance plot a New York newspaper claimed she was “swindled” by a “man mentioned at least 20 years her junior under profession of love.”

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Whilldin’s widow was later ‘swindled’ by a man 20 years her junior

   

Bizarre History of Cape May > Girl arrives at 12:14 a.m. on New Year’s Day

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, January 04, 2013 11:23 am

 

 Perhaps it was the influence of his early life in Cape May, but whatever the cause Wilmon Whilldin the third made tourism a top priority when he was elected mayor of West Palm Beach, Fla. in 1898 at the age of 55.

Cape May, of course, had a big advantage over West Palm Beach in the tourism industry. It was well on its way as a tourism center when it was incorporated as Cape Island in March of 1851, eight years after Whilldin was born there on July 27, 1843. And after the Civil War, in which Whilldin served as a private, it was to continue in tourism, albeit with some ups and downs, with the changed name of Cape May in the spring of 1869.

Read more: Bizarre History of Cape May > Girl arrives at 12:14 a.m. on New Year’s Day

 

Cape May native was integral to growth of West Palm Beach

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Staff Reports Sunday, December 23, 2012 05:42 pm

More information has surfaced from Florida and Cape May County about the man who was a native of Cape May City and went on to become the mayor of West Palm Beach in Florida as the century turned from the 19th into the 20th.

Wilmon Whilldin was born in Cape May on July 27, 1843, volunteered during the Civil War as a private from Aug. 9, 1861 to June 16, 1862, then migrated to Florida for his health in 1894 and helped start the cities of Orlando and West Palm Beach before he served as one of the first mayors of West Palm Beach from 1898 to 1902 before resigning. He died six years later in 1908.

Read more: Cape May native was integral to growth of West Palm Beach

   

The Bizarre History of Cape May > Whilldin family had longstanding ties to Cape May

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, December 12, 2012 02:00 pm

 The next time you visit Florida, think of the historic Cape May connection if you are in West Palm Beach or Orlando.

The man who brings the communities together was born in Cape May, is a descendant of a Mayflower passenger and went on to become mayor of West Palm Beach in 1898 and 1899. His gravestone in the Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach also cites him as having been “a pioneer in the upbringing of Orlando and West Palm Beach.”

Read more: The Bizarre History of Cape May > Whilldin family had longstanding ties to Cape May

 

The Bizarre History of Cape May > Strom Thurmond preached anti-communism here in 1980

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Sunday, December 02, 2012 08:46 am

When historians write about the past of Cape Island/Cape May, reference is usually made to the five presidents (six if you count the disputed Abe Lincoln) who vacationed here during their terms of office. They include Franklin Pierce, Ulysses S. Grant, James Buchanan, Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison.

Read more: The Bizarre History of Cape May > Strom Thurmond preached anti-communism here in 1980

   

Page 6 of 13