Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Stockton Hotel = Cape May NJ

In 1869 the West Jersey Railroad built the luxurious Stockton Hotel at a cost of over $300,000. ( I am posting a rare view of the hotel from my collection )

The mammoth new hotel could accommodate over 475 guests and the dining hall could accommodate 800. The Stockton was designed by noted architect Stephen Decatur Button who created plans for over thirty buildings in the city. Many historians believe he was responsible for the "feel" of the Cape May we love and cherish today. He not only designed numerous buildings but his style was incorporated in "pattern books;" books used by local builders for cottagers who could not afford their own architect.

The Cape May Ocean Wave reported on the new hotel:

"By the time dinner and speeches were fairly over, the evening train from Philadelphia arrived, when guests crowded in, filling an extra page of the register with names of permanent boarders, and these have continued to daily increase ever since."

The hotel survived the Great Fire of 1878 that destroyed 35 acres of the city center. The Stockton Hotel had a long run eventually being torn down in 1910 to make way for new construction.  The next time you are in Cape May take a walk down Gurney Street from the beach and you will see the eight Stockton Row cottages on your left that were once shadowed by the massive hotel.  They were built by the same railroad in 1870/1871. 

( photo copyright 2009 Emil R Salvini )


  1. My grandfather was the driver for John Betz, a Philadelphia brewer. Mr. Betz bought the hotel in 1893 and my grandfather came to Cape May with him. The family has been here ever since.

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  3. Nice article.. I like your content and would like to share feedback of one of my client who Stayed in Stockton Hotels, overall experience in was good, food was good especially the breakfast, comfortable room..

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