Bound by Family and Faith: The Story of the Allen A.M.E. Church

When two or more African-American women are gathered together in Cape May, they almost immediately start talking about their cousins. In fact, they probably are cousins. They might be second cousins twice removed, or first cousins on their grandmothers’ side, or they might actually be aunts and nieces. But they will be talking about cousins,…

In the service of The Queen

The Queen Victoria on Ocean Street may well be the most authentic of the bed and breakfast inns in Cape May. Built in 1881 by Douglas Gregory, a river pilot, today it stands as a shining example of Victorian architecture. Originally the Gregory home, the house was sold on May 26, 1913 to Dr. Franklin…

Harvest Season is Crush Time

It’s harvest time, the big sink-or-swim moment where winemakers learn if Mother Nature’s been good to them. Local wineries kick into high gear starting in late August, when the literal fruit of the year’s labor is picked, crushed, fermented, bottled, and finally enjoyed. Harvest time means all hands on deck at Hawk Haven Vineyard &…

Your friend, Charlie

When Kathy Brand wanted to teach her sixth grade class about World War II, she called out the army—literally. In the early 1990s, as the Canton, Ohio special-needs educator prepared her lesson plan, she learned that the U.S. Army’s 69th Infantry Division was planning a reunion in Cincinnati. Brand arranged a meeting with the vets,…

Past Tense: Exploring a former Cape May house with a history

The old house is gone now. A victim of demolition. For more than a decade, the former homestead sat sadly by the side of Seashore Road, just south of the Cape May Canal near Seahorse Farm, deteriorating, rotting—awaiting any hope of salvation. But decades of apathy wore away any possibility the building could be saved….

Rescue Squad

It’s a system of loyalty and trust. Loyalty to those who visit Cape May beaches, and trust among the lifeguards themselves. No occupation seems to embody the all-American summer like that of a well-tanned, able-bodied, vigilant and attentive lifeguard. Lifeguards sit upon their chair, constantly scanning the horizon looking for anything amiss. Clad in red…

The Beaten Track

When a November 2014 storm uncovered a span of railroad track at Sunset Beach, people were surprised. Few knew why train tracks would even be there, or about the forgotten role of trains in Cape May’s history. Across much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, trains made a huge impact on our country’s history and…

In the beginning

Forty-two years ago, God visited the Mainstay Inn. Well, it wasn’t actually the Supreme Being, and it wasn’t quite the Mainstay Inn, at least not the one that stands proudly on the intersection of Columbia Avenue and Stockton Place now. But back in the early 1970s, the self-appointed deity of the bed-and-breakfast industry was one…