Anyway, since I can't find any news worth reporting this morning, I thought I would cut and paste a few links, and part of a story, to 1980's-era stories about Cape May. That is the decade that cemented my love for Cape May, and it's interesting to see what's changed and what's stayed the same. Here are two stories from the NY Times archive: August 17, 1984 Ambling on Sunswept Cape May in New Jersey and July 4, 1982, For the Shore, the Season is Here.
From the July 1982 story:
And from the 1984 story:CAPE MAY- Strolling through this resort community of magnificent Victorianstyle homes, antiques shops and gaslight street lamps, it is easy for a first-time visitor to get the impression that he has lost his direction and, quite possibly, his sense of time.It is also easy to entertain the notion that, were it up to the city's 4,500 year-round residents, every vestige of the 20th century would be ripped out and unceremoniously thrown out of town.Yet, at this time of the year, Cape May has an aura about it that can be linked with resorts all along the New Jersey coast. From the playlands in Long Branch, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights and Atlantic City to the beaches that abound from Sandy Hook and Sea Bright all the way to Cape May, the various communities are drawing visitors lured by traditions of the past and the cool, fresh breezes that roll in from the Atlantic.Cape May, however, seems to be a community less concerned with its Victorian-era image of tree-lined streets, rustic shops and open-air cafes than with the ''laid-back'' quality of life that it engenders for residents and visitors alike.''Cape May is more than a resort, it is a way of life, a state of mind,'' said Richard Samuelson, owner of Poor Richard's Inn, a restored Victorian-style guest house on Jackson Street.Mr. Samuelson and his wife, Harriet, both artists, moved here from New York City in 1977, bought a distinctive Victorian home badly in need of repair and converted it into an eight-room guest house.''The reason we moved becomes clearer and clearer every day,'' Mrs. Samuelson said as she and her husband discussed their move from New York; Steven Maxwell, their 10-month-old son, and their ultimate dream of making enough money, through rental of their guest house, to devote the winter months to art.''In New York, people are judged by their success, their clothes and the image they project,'' Mrs. Samuelson said. ''Here in Cape May, you are judged by the kind of person you are and the kind of life you lead. If you ask me, that's a lot healthier.''
You should really read both articles!The most authentically restored of the Victorian homes is the Emlen Physick house at 1048 Washington Street. The estate, designed by the Philadelphia architect Frank Furness in 1881, has 16 rooms, a sunken marble bathtub, disappearing porch doors, tiled fireplaces and handsome chandeliers. The tour of the estate costs $4 and lasts an hour.The Chalfonte Hotel, at Howard and Sewell Streets, built in 1876, is the town's oldest hotel and a must stop on any walking tour. Col. Henry Sawyer, who built it, holds a footnote in history. He became the first exchange prisoner when the Confederacy traded him for W. H. Fitzhugh Lee, son of Gen. Robert E. Lee, in an agreement worked out by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.Rates at the Chalfonte are $69 to $98 for a double room, including breakfast and dinner. The telephone number is (609) 884-8409. It is a large hotel and a popular one, and reservations may be hard to get.The Mainstay Inn, at 635 Columbia Avenue, one of the city's best examples of Italianate architecture, can also be toured, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 4 P.M. Built in 1872 as a ''gentlemen's gaming club'' by Charles Jackson, described as a flashy New York gambler, the renovated home, filled with period antiques and now owned by Tom and Sue Carroll, more than lives down its racy past.The tour costs $3.50 and includes tea and refreshments. Rates are $55 to $77 for a double room, including breakfast and afternoon tea. Telephone: (609) 884-8690.Enthusiasts of Gothic Revival architecture will want to see the Abbey, at the corner of Columbia and Guerney Streets, the town's finest example of that 19th-century style. The Abbey, which is run by Jay and Marianne Schatz, offers rooms for $50 to $80 a night, including breakfast, beach passes and afternoon refreshments. Telephone: (609) 884-4506.Many of the inns ask for a three- night minimum stay during the season, but since this season has been less busy than usual, according to innkeepers, it is worth calling around. Visitors may also want to inquire at the Victorian Rose, 75 Columbia Avenue, which charges $45 to $75 double occupancy, (609) 884-2497; Captain Mey's Inn, 202 Ocean Street, $50 to $80 double occupancy, (609) 884-7793 or 9637; or the Brass Bed, 719 Columbia Avenue, $40 to $60 for a shared bath and $50 to $70 for a private bath, (609) 884-8075. More modern accommodations can be found in motels like the Jetty on Beach Avenue, $89 for a double, (609) 884-4640.
And since today is Monday, and at least one of the articles mentions the Chalfonte, here is today's Sign of the Day: