New Jersey Counties: First Wall Maps and Atlases
Cape May County
|Founded: 1685; boundaries established in 1692|
|Total Area: 620 square miles|
|Population: 7,130 (1860); 97,265 (2010)|
|County Seat: Cape May Court House|
|Largest City: Ocean City|
1872: County Wall Map
First wall map of Cape May County. It includes a large separate map of Cape May City at a scale of 16 rods to 1 inch. The central map, from top to bottom, features the county's four townships—Upper, Dennis, Middle, Lower—in alternating yellow and pink tones. At the very bottom, Cape May City, which incorporated in 1869, is colored green. Maps of thirteen additional communities, with scales ranging from 20 to 90 rods to 1 inch, border the central map (_clockwise from top left_): Marshallville, Tuckahoe, Seaville, Petersburgh, South Seaville, Goshen, South Mayville & Gravelly Run, Cape May Court House, Cold Spring, Green Creek, South Dennisville, and North Dennisville. Four other maps are devoted to areas along the seashore road. Also, there are business directories for the four townships and Cape May City, as well as a table of distances between major towns.
The Cape May and Millville Rail Road line dominates the map. Its railroad service to Cape May was activated in August 1863. Later, the line came under the control of the West Jersey Railroad, which, in turn, became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system. Much of the large swath of area in the north that is labeled "Great Cedar Swamp" is now a division of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. Note that there are no towns or cities along the entire extent of the ocean side of the county: no Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle, or Ocean City.
1834: Cape May County. . . . The county is divided into 4 t-ships; its pop., in 1830, was 4396 souls; being about 20 to the square mile; of whom 2400 were white males, 2308 white females, 118 free coloured males, 107 free coloured females, 3 slaves; among these were 1 deaf and dumb, but there were none blind nor alien. . . . At an early period of its history the inhabitants were engaged in the whale fishery; at present, their chief support is derived from the timber and cord wood trade, raising of cattle, and supplying the market with oysters, clams, fish, &c. At Cape Island, a considerable revenue is derived from the company who visit the sea shore during the hot weather. By the assessor's report for 1832, the county contained but 20,244 acres of improved land, a little more than one-eighth part of its area; 669 householders, 8 grist mills, the chief part of which are moved by wind, 16 saw mills, 29 stores, 679 horses, and 2093 neat cattle over 3 years of age; and paid for t-ship purposes $324.60; for state purposes $646.02, and $2000 for county uses. . . . This portion of the state has not generally been holden in due estimation. If its inhabitants be not numerous, they are generally as independent as any others in the state, and enjoy as abundantly the comforts of life. They are hospitable, and respectable for the propriety of their manners, and are blessed, usually, with excellent health. Until lately they have known little, practically, of those necessary evils of social life, the physician and the lawyer [Gordon, pp. 116–117].
1868: This county is level, and its formation alluvial. Along on the seaside, several beaches, known as "Two-mile Beach," "Five-mile," "Leaming's," "Ludlum's," and "Peck's," unitedly extend the whole length of the county. They are covered with grass, and afford excellent pasturage. West of this is a marsh, from 2 to 3 miles wide, broken by many small sald-water lakes, communicating by inlets with the ocean. There is a similar marsh, though not interspersed with lakes, on the western, and one on the northern boundary of the county. The soil of the county is composed generally of sand, loam, and gravel, which in many places is covered with oak, and in the northern part pine is found. The inhabitants are mostly engaged in agriculture; wheat, rye, oats, and Indian corn being the principal crops. Large quantities of timber are annually exported to market. Nearly all of the hay is obtained from the salt-marshes.1
The southernmost point of New Jersey: