Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Restless Boardwalk - Wildwood

Fans of Wildwood know how long that walk can be at low tide from the boardwalk to the refreshing surf on a hot summer day. Well the wooden walkway did not begin life at its current location. The boardwalk was moved numerous times over the twentieth century and often significant buildings were moved with it. 

To understand the history of the Wildwood boardwalk one needs to know that sections of the walkway were moved quite often as the beach grew because of man-made obstructions to the natural sand flow.  Most people do not know that in the nineteenth century Cape May was known nationally for its massive beach and long, gradual strand that permitted sea-bathers to walk quite a distance into the sea in waist-high water. The local Cape May joke is that if you want to know where Cape May's once beautiful, wide strand disappeared just look north to Wildwood. 

 In 1911, the boardwalk. along with Ocean Pier, was moved closer to the Atlantic. 

Pictured here is a copy of the loser's proposal to move the walkway in 1911. Imagine all that work for just under $16,000.
I am also attaching a photo of the Ocean Pier being moved east with the new boardwalk.

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