Smuggler’s Paradise

TV viewers may be familiar with the iconic opening from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Bottles of liquor from some unknown smuggler’s boat wash ashore on the Atlantic City coastline at the feet of fictitious Prohibition kingpin, Nucky Thompson. The isolated sandy shore of South Jersey was a convenient offloading spot for Prohibition smugglers. But the same […]

Gone with the Waves

For half a century, South Cape May was the summer retreat of working-class families, tourists and titans of industry. By the early 1950s, most of the town had washed out to sea. But for one early resident, the memories linger on.

The Quinine King— And His House, the Survivor

Cape May—in its heyday as the first and most popular seaside resort—attracted all sorts of VIPs. Lured by the restorative powers of the sea and the status of socializing at the beach were United States presidents, southern plantation owners, entrepreneurs, inventors, industrialists, military heroes, architects, artists and—the Quinine King. William Weightman of Philadelphia, the Quinine […]

Harriet Tubman’s Cape May Connection

The Treasury Department’s recent announcement that freedom fighter Harriet Tubman will replace President and slaveholder Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill finally acknowledges Tubman’s place in the pantheon of American heroes. Most school children learn that Tubman, born a slave, freed herself and then risked her life time and again to return […]

An objective look at the past

When we finally arrive back home after visiting a friend in another city or staying in a vacation cottage for a week, even though we had a wonderful time, we are happy to step across the threshold of our own home. We plop down in our favorite chair or well-worn sofa, and let out a […]