Did You Know There Was a Shore Town Swallowed by The Sea?
Once upon a time Cape May was a lot larger than it is now, until that portion disappeared underwater. This shore town was once called South Cape May.
Did any of you know about this? Because I was surprised when I found this article on Only in Your State! It wasn't until the article pointed it out, that I realized Cape May sort of does look like there's a chunk missing.
Apparently, during the 19th century there was a little area known as South Cape May. It was settled in 1840 and became part of the Lower Township in 1894. The area was made up of marshlands and meadows and was home to the Mount Vernon Hotel which held the largest restaurant in the world at the time (for a little while).
Pretty cool right?
Unfortunately the area was faced with hurricanes and storms and peaked during the Great Depression. By 1936, it suffered through a devastating Nor'Easter and the Great Hurricane of 1944. As a result, South Cape May became inhabitable for its residents (which was only 66 residents).
The coolest fact out of all of this is that the area actually built a tin elephant named Jumbo in 1885. It would have served the exact same purpose as Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ. Sadly, it never drew crowds and was also submerged by water.
You can still take a visit to the former Jersey Shore town! Today, it's been restored as a "paradise" with freshwater wetlands and saltwater shores, as Only in Your State puts it.
You learn something new every day!
Read the story of a man who has fond memories of the shore town on NY Times.
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