When the twentieth century was young, visitors to Cape May knew exactly how to show the folks back home the attractions, accommodations, and ambiance of “the Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”: they sent a penny postcard. Publishers such as local entrepreneur Joseph K. Hand provided a vast choice of views, capturing white sands crowded with colorful tents and wool-suited bathers or beachfront hotels such as the Stockton, Lafayette, and Congress Hall. Popular postcards depicted amusement centers and nearby diversions: the Casino, Red Mill, Corinthian Yacht Club, Fun Factory, Convention Hall, and Cape May Point Lighthouse. Reprinted Victorian views of hotels destroyed by fire served as reminders of the resort’s glory days. Real-photo cards chronicled newsworthy events including the creation of the harbor, construction of the huge Hotel Cape May, and the 1907 fire at the Iron Pier.
Author Bio: Today, both visitors and residents can rediscover pre-World War II Cape May through those same vintage postcards, retrieved and researched by deltiologists Don and Pat Pocher. Readers can marvel at the elegant interior of the recently demolished Christian Admiral or imagine the rigorous training at World War I Camp Wissahickon as they explore, in over two hundred postcard images, the rich heritage of Cape May.