Remembering South Cape May: The Jersey Shore Town that Vanished into the Sea

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Few would imagine that the land currently occupied by the Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, or "the Meadows," was once the picturesque Jersey Shore town of South Cape May. By the early twentieth century, a striking hotel and homes designed by renowned Victorian-era architects dotted the landscape. Residents and visitors alike spotted rumrunners racing across the beachfront during Prohibition and endured World War II with German submarines lurking just offshore. But by 1954, barely a trace of the town remained except for about twenty of the original houses, which were moved a mile away. Join one of the town's last residents, Joseph Burcher, as he chronicles life in South Cape May before the angry Atlantic swallowed this serene town.
ISBN: 9781596293144
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: New Jersey
Series: Lost
Images: 79
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Joseph G. Burcher is one of the last surviving residents of South Cape May. His earliest memory of the borough dates to the mid-1920s, when he first visited his grandparents at the cottage built for them in 1923. Shortly afterward, Joe began spending all his summer months as a child and young adult in South Cape May, up through the early 1940s, when he joined the U.S. Navy. Joe's father, Edgar F. Burcher Sr., was South Cape May's last borough clerk, serving from 1941 to 1945. Two homes owned by members of the Burcher family were among the last left standing in South Cape May in the early 1950s. An alumnus of Temple University, where he earned a master of arts in education, Joe is an associate professor emeritus of the College of New Jersey. His active career at the college spanned three decades and focused on early childhood education. Since 1952, Joe has spent his summers at his cottage in West Cape May on Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the original site of South Cape May. Robert Kenselaar has been on the staff of the New York Public Library since 1982, starting as a music librarian, then working as a research collection development specialist and now serving in its Development Office. His library experience also includes work with local history collections while on the staff of the Newark (New Jersey) Public Library, in addition to serving as assistant curator of the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies. He has served on the writing staff of the Aquarian Weekly, and his other publications include articles in the Rutgers Annual Review of Jazz Studies, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music and Cape May Magazine. He holds a master of arts in American civilization from New York University and a master of library service from Rutgers University.
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