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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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West Cape May to Celebrate 125th Year of Incorporation Sunday

 

By Jack Fichter

WEST CAPE MAY — The West Cape May History Committee will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the borough with a community-wide celebration Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in the West Cape May Fire Hall, 732 N. Broadway.
The committee is planning a festive evening with good food, folklore, prizes and “plain old fashion friendship,” according to a press release.
History Committee President Marie Iaconangelo said Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1st) is expected to read a proclamation from the state senate. Rev. Robert O. Davis will deliver the invocation.
A turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, will be served, said Iaconangelo.
A short video featuring interviews with life-long residents of West Cape May will be shown, produced by Tom Sims of the Cape May Film Society. Those interviewed in the video include Edna Allison, Clara Harris, James Washington, Ed Hutchinson, Charlotte Daly, Barbara Freels, Granville Harris and Ralph Bakley Jr.
A 50-50 raffle will be held as well as a silent auction.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from the clerk’s office in Borough Hall, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.
Iaconangelo said tickets are limited to 200 persons and were selling rapidly. For details, call Borough Hall (609) 884-1005 or the history committee, (609)-884-4279.
West Cape May was part of Lower Township until 1874 and was known as Eldredge until Nov. 8, 1909.
The borough was home to Mayflower descendents, former slaves, riverboat pilots and whalers. West Cape May’s history goes back to the time of the Lenni Lenape Indians and several buildings date to the Colonial period.
The area has a rich agricultural history, which continues to be celebrated each year with a summer farmers’ market, and strawberry and lima bean festivals. It was once known as the “Lima Bean Capital East of the Rockies.” The borough has reported ties to the Underground Railroad and has been home to numerous African Americans.
Iaconangelo said the history committee’s next project is gathering more information on the Underground Railroad sites in the borough. The committee has contacted the National Park Service for assistance.
She said there are homes in the borough with “special closets,” that may have been used for the Underground Railroad.
The History Committee is an educational organization established in 2003 to “preserve, promote and present for educational purposes the history of West Cape May.”

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