National Register Listings in
Cape May County, New Jersey

New Jersey was the site of the first organized baseball game, played in Hoboken on June 19, 1846. The New York Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1 in a game that lasted four innings.
Cape May County, located in the southernmost part of New Jersey, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was inhabited by the Native American Lenape tribe until the arrival of European settlers. The first European explorer to reach the area was Henry Hudson in 1609, followed by English explorer Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, after whom Cape May is named. Dutch and Swedish settlers established small settlements in the area in the 17th century, but it was the English who eventually gained control of the region.

In the 18th century, Cape May County grew as a center for maritime activities, with a bustling shipbuilding industry and a thriving trade network. The county's strategic location made it a crucial hub for trade between the colonies and the Caribbean, fostering economic growth and attracting new settlers. During the American Revolution, the county played a role in various military actions, including a naval skirmish in the Delaware Bay.

By the mid-19th century, Cape May County had developed into a popular vacation destination. Its pristine beaches and healthy sea air attracted wealthy tourists from urban areas, leading to the construction of grand Victorian-style homes and hotels. Cape May City became a fashionable resort town, known as the "Queen of the Seaside Resorts." The opening of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad in 1854 further bolstered tourism, making the area easily accessible to visitors.

In the 20th century, Cape May County continued to thrive as a tourist destination, while also becoming an important military site. During World War II, the United States Navy established a naval base in the county, which later became a training center for Coast Guard recruits. Today, Cape May County remains a popular tourist spot, with its beautiful beaches, charming Victorian architecture, and rich historical heritage attracting visitors from near and far.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Cape May County, New Jersey.

  • 1692 - Cape May County founded as one of New Jersey's original counties.
  • 1702 - West Jersey and East Jersey merged into one royal colony, and Cape May County became part of New Jersey.
  • 1765 - Cape May County officially established and named after Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, a Dutch explorer.
  • 1776 - Cape May County played a role in the American Revolutionary War as British troops occupied the region.
  • 1804 - Cape May Court House became the county's seat of government.
  • 1851 - Cape May City incorporated as a borough.
  • 1857 - Ocean City formed as a Christian seaside resort.
  • 1869 - Avalon and Sea Isle City incorporated as boroughs.
  • 1997 - Cape May County designated as a National Historic Landmark due to its well-preserved Victorian architecture.