[Original Hand Drawn and Illustrated Manuscript:] Map of Lots on the Ocean Front of Poverty Beach, in Cape May City, New Jersey Track of the Cape May and Sewell’s Point Railroad, Hotel and Grounds of the Company. Showing the Yacht Landings and Sailing Grounds.
The development of an important New Jersey summer resort
In 1880, The Cape May & Sewell’s Point Railroad Company was incorporated by real estate developer and railroad and steamship owner, Jonathan Cone. This original hand drawn and colored railroad map shows building lots and company developed property at Poverty Beach, north of Cape May, New Jersey.
The railroad line shown here extended north from Cape May along Stockton Street and Poverty Beach to the Inlet House hotel and the yacht pier at Sewell’s Point. A small perspective drawing of the hotel and a sidewheel steamer are clearly depicted in the drawing. It should be noted that Jonathan Cane was also the owner of the Republic, a sidewheel steamer that traveled between Philadelphia and Cape May.
Cone’s plan for developing his railroad, steamship, and real estate interests are manifested in this hand drawn and colored map with its clearly delineated property lots, land improvements, such as a sea wall, and public amenities like a public park and yacht basin. The map likely dates to ca. 1880–1893. The map appears to be promotional or idealized and may date closer to 1880. The Cape May & Sewell’s Point Railroad was bankrupted in the financial panic of 1893. The printed label is intriguing and suggests that it was specially made and overwashed and drawn preparative to being reproduced as a published map.
A colorfully drawn nineteenth-century railroad and real estate map showing the development of an important New Jersey summer resort.
Description: [Original Hand Drawn and Illustrated Manuscript:] Map of Lots on the Ocean Front of Poverty Beach, in Cape May City, New Jersey Track of the Cape May and Sewell’s Point Railroad, Hotel and Grounds of the Company. Showing the Yacht Landings and Sailing Grounds.
[Likely New Jersey? N. C. Price, C.E., ca. 1880–1893]. 22½ x 43 inches. Pen, Ink, and Wash Map. Printed title label affixed to recto; manuscript docketing, Poverty Beach, on verso. Ink and wash drawing partially overlaid on upper margin of printed label. Light vertical creasing; toning; some soiling and one short inexpert tape repair on verso; overall, very good.
Ref. Dorwart, Cape May County, New Jersey, The Making of an American Resort Community (Piscataway NJ, 1992).