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  • Day11

    Historic Cape May

    July 17, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Andrew barbequed hot dogs fr lunch so we felt like real Americans as we ate on the front porch. Kelly's mother arrived and we finally got to meet her. The kids were excited to see Granny Pat.

    Mercina, Andrew and I (the cultured ones of the group) walked into town to see the Emlen Physick Estate which is a huge house in town which has been restored and turned into a museum. We learned all about Dr Physick (who gained his qualification but never practised medicine, preferring to live on his inheritance as a gentleman farmer) his mother Mrs Ralston (who buried a couple of husbands) and her sister who lived with them and never married. The house was an excellent example of the way the extremely wealthy lived in Victorian times.

    Then we took a trolley bus tour of historic Cape May. We had seen these buses pass by the Ashley Rose many times and had wondered what they said about the property. The tour was 45 minutes and very interesting. There are so many beautifully restored Victorian houses - each brightly painted with delicate lattice work. We leant a lot about the history of the town. It was a summer retreat for the wealthy until the mid 1800's when it fell out of favour. In the late 1800's it again became popular with the middle classes.

    In 1880 there was a huge fire which destroyed a third of the town. The town was rebuilt in the Victorian era which explains why there are so many houses built in that style. Most of the houses have large wrap around porches, bay windows and gingerbread trim.

    As we got closer to the Ashley Rose, we became more excited. Finally, the moment had a arrived - "When indoor plumbing was finally available, they just built rooms onto the sides of their houses. You can see on the second floor of this house there is an addition which houses the new fangled indoor bathroom". Andrew was extremely disappointed to learn that his house was a bathroom stop! He is going to speak to the president of the association that runs these tours. Despite driving past the Casablanca and the Harrisons as well as the Ashley Rose a few times on the tour, this was the only mention of one of his properties!

    We really enjoyed the tour.

    A storm is brewing outside. Thunder and lightening and heavy rains are on the way. It should be very exciting
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