Civil War Civilian Living History

Interpreting the American Civil War Home Front

Cape May: The Event, Saturday

What can I say? Jessica did a wonderful job on this event! It was wonderful. So to start, my friend Lisa and I first made a pilgrimage to Gettysburg and Needle & Thread and made our semi-monthly contribution to the Gettysburg economy. We then headed to the shore. The attendees were split into different locations due to the number of people who wanted to participate in this event. Lisa and I were at the Abbey. What a gorgeous house.

I did not take many photos inside the house as Jessica took several. You can find her photos at on Shutterfly.

Lisa and I shared a room and we had our own bathroom with the coolest door!

Upon arrival we received several souvenirs of the event, many produced by Mr. John Peterson; even though he could not be there with us, he was there in spirit.







The first night, Friday, isn’t full on period. Some were in period clothes, others not. We got settled in and then went to find dinner. Downtown Cape May is cute, with the ocean so close, seagulls, and salt water taffy shops. The event really got started on Saturday.

First up was breakfast. A few of the Abbey residents pitched in to make breakfast and the rest of us chipped in cash to pay for the food. This seemed to work well for our house. We had eggs, breads, and fruit. After cleaning up it was time to get ready for the beach. Many of the participants made period bathing costumes. We gathered in the side porch of the house to await everyone before heading down to the beach.







The beach was only a couple of blocks so we all walked down as  a group. Many guests of the surrounding houses were on the porches as we walked by and we received applause. All of the costumes were wonderful; we did make a great impression.

We could not have asked for nicer weather. It was red flag day at the beach so no swimming; however, those in bathing costumes were able to get into the water some. Once the tide started to come in the life guards shooed them all back up the beach.



















While the bathers bathed, the rest of us chatted and answered questions for the very curious public.









Jim Pfeifer, a wet plate artist, joins us for many of Jessica’s events and was at Cape May. We were able to take a group shot at the beach; however, the conditions were not perfect for Jim, but I think this photo looks wonderful.

Lisa and I had a carriage ride scheduled for 1:00 so we left the beach early to get some lunch before hand. We stopped at the Inn of Cape May and had lunch in their restaurant. Cute décor with a view of the ocean.









After lunch we went to catch up with our carriage for a ride around town taking in the architecture. I really need to learn how to be more graceful with my hoops.























































After our trip around town, Lisa and I walked through the pedestrian mall, checked out Congress Hall, and had ice cream. We then returned to the Abby where several others were taking advantage of the beautiful weather on the porch after such an invigorating time at the ocean.










Trish Hasemueller also gave us all lovely card souvenirs.

Jim Pfeifer had relocated his photography to the Abbey and we were able to get some tin types done in the garden.

It was soon time to get ready for dinner. We had a private room at the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant. In our packet of souvenirs was an invitation to the dinner as well as the bill of fare.









Jessica arranged the seating and we all had place cards indicating where we should sit. Generally, following period etiquette, we were seated alternating between men and women.








After dinner we played some parlor games. The first set was Questions and Answers, always entertaining.








Unfortunately, I was quite tired after such an eventful day and returned to the Abbey before the next game began. Sunday would start early to get the house tidied up and off to the picnic.

Categories: Civil War