Cape May Real Estate & History

 Cape May Real Estate & History


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Lenni Lenape Indians camped on our shores before the European explorers. Two of these Indian bands were the Tuckahoes, who lived along the Tuckahoe River in what is now the county's northern section, and the Kechemeches, who ruled from what is today Cape May Court House south to Cape May Point. Some of our 20th Century roads were originally paths cleared Native Americans.

 Henry Hudson, an English Sea Captain first documented the peninsula that is now Cape May. In 1609 Captain Hudson was sailing his small yacht, the “Half Moon”, when he came upon a small peninsula situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay.  It wasn't until 1620, when a Dutch captain named Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, explored and charted the area between 1611–1614, and established a claim for the province of New Netherland. During this voyage, he named the Bay's south cape, Cape Cornelius and the north, Cape Mey.

 In 1688, Quakers formed the first government based on strict moral order and Quaker piety. At this time a large whaling industry was beginning and many families from New York and New England, as well as a few original Mayflower families, were migrating to the area.

 The tourism industry of Cape May started when roads were laid in the late 1700’s.  The Reading and West Jersey Railroads provided service to Cape Island.  In 1761 Cape May officially became the first seashore resort in America and was considered among the top vacation resorts in the country.   

 In 1878 a five-day-long fire destroyed square blocks of the town center and replacement homes were almost uniformly of Victorian style.  Cape May is noted for its large number of well-maintained Victorian houses as a result of recent preservation efforts an is the second largest collection of such homes in the nation after San  Francisco. In 1976, the entire city of Cape May was officially designated a National Historic Landmark as the Cape May Historic District, making Cape May the only city in the United States wholly designated as such.  That designation is intended to ensure the architectural preservation of these buildings.


Brian c:609-972-6339
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RE/MAX At the Shore
315 Ocean Street, Suite 24
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office: 609-884-4242

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