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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 congressman witnesses attack on the House firsthand

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, October 18, 2012 09:14 pm

 When the congressman from Cape May walked into the chamber of the House of Representatives on the afternoon of Monday, March 1, 1954, he expected a lively exchange to follow among his colleagues on the subject of immigration rights for Mexicans.

What he got instead was a lively fusillade of bullets from Puerto Ricans on the subject of independence.

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The Bizarre History of Cape May >> All roads lead to Cape May

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, October 12, 2012 01:00 am

 Long ago, before there were parking meters or bumper to bumper traffic on rainy summer Sundays, it was not easy to get from point A to point B in Cape May, or anywhere else in the county for that matter. Some in today’s colloquialism might say if you didn’t have a boat to get around you’d really be up the creek or the ocean without a paddle.

The Indians, who may or may not have been permanent residents here depending upon which version you want to believe, had a pretty good handle on how to get around in their boats and on their horses. It wasn’t exactly the Garden State Parkway or the Cape May-Lewes Ferry but they made it happen without benefit of toll booths.

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Bizarre History of Cape May > Did the future Duchess of Windsor stay at Cape May’s Windsor Hotel?

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, October 05, 2012 10:43 am

During World War I, when she is said to have visited Cape May, Bessie Wallis Warfield would never have made the list of famous American women.

Fast forward 22 years later to the sequel to the war that was supposed to end all wars and that same Bessie Warfield was known as the Duchess of Windsor, one of the world’s most famous, and some will say one of its most scandalous, women.

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Bizarre History of Cape May > African Americans made important contributions to Cape May

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:00 am

Although the world did not treat them kindly or fairly, some African Americans in Cape May managed to survive the indignities with history-making contributions to the world around them.

Among the most famous who brought their cause here, either directly or indirectly before and after the city was to be renamed Cape May, were Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Booker Washington.

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Bizarre History of Cape May > Civil War generation also has a claim on ‘greatest’

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, September 20, 2012 01:00 am

How really great was “The Greatest Generation,” as described by Tom Brokaw, former TV anchorman turned author, in his best selling book of the same title?

Is it possible he might have the wrong generation? Perhaps the tribute belongs instead to those who lived through the Civil War.

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Bizarre History of Cape May > Joseph Leach was minister, teacher, newspaper editor and politician

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:00 pm

 The word was out in 1840, even heard as far north as Shutesbury, Mass., 112 miles west of Boston, that there existed a nice place to live in the south of New Jersey, a place called Cape Island, sometimes referred to as Cape May.

The climate, it was said then, was milder than Shutesbury’s, where the temperature dropped to around 23 degrees in January, and there were growing opportunities for anyone desiring to settle there.

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Bizarre History of Cape May > Cape May home to heroes of Civil War and World War II

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Sunday, September 09, 2012 01:00 am

While much fame as a cavalry soldier from Cape May has been given Henry Washington Sawyer for his capture by the South during the Civil War, and his near execution that followed, sometimes forgotten is the name of another Cape May man who was killed while acting heroically during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Edwin Joseph Hill was a chief boatswain aboard the Nevada when the Japanese dropped their destruction on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The ship’s 23 bandsmen and a Marine color guard were standing at attention on the fantail of the battleship waiting to play morning colors when a rear gunner of a Japanese plane spotted them and opened fire.

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Bizarre History of Cape May --The story of Cape Island’s first walking mayor

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, August 28, 2012 03:02 pm

The first mayor of Cape Island, so history has told us, enjoyed walking so much that when he was 20 years old he trekked 400 miles or so from Lancaster, Ohio to his birthplace in Philadelphia.

His name was Isaac Miller Church Jr. and seldom was there a more appropriate name for what life designated him to do. From 1848 to 1852 Church served as pastor of the Cape Island Baptist Church, causing parishioners to quip, “We go to two churches every Sunday morning.”

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Bizarre History of Cape May -- Cape May’s first ‘rock star’ was Anna Jonas Stose

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, August 22, 2012 04:45 pm

Long before Elvis Presley or Chubby Checker came on the scene there arrived in Cape May a woman who was a rock star in her own right.

Her name then in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was Anna Jonas, later to become Anna Jonas Stose, and her rock credentials didn’t include singing, playing an instrument or dancing the “Twist.” Instead, she became internationally famous as a geologist, defining many major geological structures in the central and southern Appalachian areas. She was considered a geological pioneer at a time when there were few women doing field work among rocks.

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Bizarre History of Cape May -- Early physicians left their mark on Cape May County

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:00 am

Imagine a time when there were no heart pills, certainly no Medicare, and when the only anesthesia was a good slug of whiskey while people held you down and extracted part of your body.

Welcome to medicine circa 1800s and 1900s in Cape Island before and soon after it was renamed Cape May. Obviously times were not that scientific then, and some today may argue in absence of tangible evidence that then was better than now, although today’s life longevity proves otherwise.

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