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October 11 , 2008

Victorian Cape May


Elegant remnants of the Victorian era grace almost every corner of Cape May. Wealthy locals built opulent homes like the Emlen Physick Estate and the George Allen House, while grand hotels like Congress Hall and the Chalfonte welcomed visitors from around the country. Even presidents came for the healthful sea air and distinguished venues. Yet the gaieties of these well-heeled patrons were shadowed by strictly defined social roles. Men and women—upper class, as well as cooks and servants—had vastly different experiences in this resort town. Local historian Robert Heinly explores all aspects of this world. Peer into the upstairs and downstairs of these majestic homes to discover what life was like in Victorian Cape May.

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