Cape May Part 1.
Nearly twenty years before Charles I of England lost his head in an argument with his parliament, there were already European settlers living at the site of the town now known as Cape May, NJ.
Another two hundred years or so would pass before the town became the seaside resort destination still popular to this day. Walking its streets, one could be forgiven for thinking the place much younger than its near 350 years.
Most of the existing architecture is of the Victorian period which inaccurately dates the town to that time. This is because almost all the original buildings burned down in the great fire of 1878.
Once the original wooden building was rebuilt in brick and renamed Congress Hall, the grand edifice above became an exclusive hotel and was even the summer White House of 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison for the duration of his term. Several other Presidents also stayed there over the years, which is part of what lends Cape May its air of stately grandeur.
The other features that lend grandeur are of course the famed Painted ladies, those Victorian houses that the town is famed for.
Jersey girl and I spent a wonderfully relaxed day wandering around among these painted beauties. It seemed like every corner we turned revealed a new and stunning vision to be photographed and admired.
This visit we covered a lot more ground than on the previous occasion and I got to see some truly fine examples of Victorian splendour.
As I’ve said before, the entire place resembles a town full of life sized dollhouses. I never thought such a thing would appeal to me, but I must admit, I find the entire cape irresistible. I’ve simply never seen anything quite like Cape May.
Words and images are my own.