This site features articles about the history of the Wildwoods, a barrier-island community on the Southern New Jersey shore.
The banner above is from one of the first weekly newsletters published for the island. Many of the advertisements and news clippings are from the same newspaper. They appear here courtesy of the Wildwood Historical Society.
For a quick primer on the history of this "5 miles of health and happiness," you can start with "A Brief History of the Wildwoods."
If you want to learn more about some of the local landmarks and characters, then try some of these:
There's the saga of the notorious "Mud Hen," the first railroad to serve the Wildwoods.
Or take a romp through 5-Mile Beach during prohibition--an era of Wildwoods history that proved to be more "wet" than even the "Storm of '62!"
In the "History of Fishing in the Wildwoods", we trace the roots of the fishing industry from the days of the early Scandinavian settlers to the sport fishermen of today.
"Oliver Bright's Boardwalk Caper" describes the bold actions of one of the Wildwoods' infamous commisioners who is responsible for kidnapping our beloved "boards" and moving it to where it still stands today.
And if you're stuck on Rio grande Boulevard, waiting because the bridge is up, you'll have time to read about the George Redding Bridge and its namesake...the man who led the drive for getting it built.
As car traffic flocked to the shore to "rock around the clock," the Wildwoods became the "Las Vegas of the East" and issued in the "Doo Wop" era.
What does the future hold for this rapidly-changing resort town? Perhaps we can look to its past for clues...
We hope you enjoy reading the articles. If you find you are yearning for more, head over to the Wildwood History Museum.
Information in these articles is compiled from the following sources:
- Wildwood: The Middle of the Island by George Boyer
- Cape May County, New Jersey: the Making of an American Resort By Jeffrey M. Dorwart
- Lenni Lenape of Cape May County by Jesse R. Combs
- Early promotional flyers from the Holly Beach and Wild-wood Improvement Companies
- Photos, postcards and brochures provided by the Wildwood Historical Society
Articles by Maureen Cawley