Page 32 - 2019 Jersey Cape Vacation Guide
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T H E T O W N S of the Jersey Cape are full of historical significance and we invite you to come enjoy the sights and visit the places that bring our history to life. The local residents of Cape May County have a deep appreciation for the history of the Jersey Cape peninsula which was named nearly 400 years ago when Dutch explorer Cornelis Mey named it after himself (was later changed to May) in 1620. However, it was Henry Hudson who first discovered the Cape May peninsula in 1609 while searching for a passage to the East Indies.
Since its discovery, Cape May County had been primarily an agricultural and fishing community until about 1801 when a Philadelphia newspaper ad “Sea Shore Entertainment at Cape May” highlighted people frolicking in the sea, eating fine seafood, and drinking liquors. This 1801 advertisement, by Ellis Hughes of Cape Island (now Cape May City), outlined his services and attractions at his public house. Hughes proclaimed “It is the most delightful spot the citizens can retire to in the hot season.” The change to a tourism based community came during the 1950s and likely will continue to be the backbone of the economy for many years to come.
Attractions throughout the Cape beautifully illustrate this unique history up to the present at places like the Endicott Reardon Family Museum in Ocean View, the WW II Lookout Tower in Cape May, the Cape May County Historical Museum, and coming soon the East Coast Music Hall of Fame in Wildwood. ■

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