Colonial House Closed for 2020 Season


The Greater Cape May Historical Society will not open the Colonial House for the 2020 season. The decision to stay closed was a difficult choice for the Society formed in 1974. President Harry Bellangy cited the health and safety of the volunteers and visitors to the Colonial House is of great importance. “The Colonial House”, Bellangy said, ”has not been closed for the season that he could remember. Many of the small museums in the county are struggling with this decision. It is difficult, if not impossible; to stay socially distant is a small colonial house”.

In 2019, the Society volunteers open the Colonial House doors meeting over 600 visitors many from other countries who found Cape May City delightful.  “The Colonial House offers this opportunity for visitors to meet the locals and ask for recommendations on what to see, best shops, and restaurants.”

Visitors are more than welcome to visit the Space Shuttle Tree. On April 4, 1997, the Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on a four- day mission orbited the earth 63 times, traveling a total of 1.5 million miles. Astronaut Gregory Linteris, a New Jersey native, took Eastern White Pine seeds with him on that flight. NASA gave those seeds to the New Jersey Forestry Service that grew only 35 trees. The seeds germinated in only 7 days, about one-half the normal germination time. They were dedicated to the memory of the seven crew members who perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003. The Space Shuttle Tree growing on the grounds of the Colonial House positions the very old and the very new in a very visible location, 653½ Washington Street, Cape May, NJ next door to City Hall.

The Cape May Garden Club maintains the Colonial House gardens and seasonal décor. The Cape May Garden Club is our partner in environmental best practices using hardy local plants and plain old weeding by hand, the old-fashioned way.

The Greater Cape May Historical Society saved the Colonial House from demolition in 1974. The Society, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization receives funds from individual and business membership and grants administered by the Cape May County Culture & Heritage Commission from funds granted by the New Jersey Historical Commission and from other grant opportunities. The Greater Cape May Historical Society, a qualified organization of the New Jersey Cultural Trust; and a Member of the American Association of State and Local History.  Watch for the announcement of virtual exhibits this season. We have a lot of Cape May history to share. As we say, Cape May is our Museum.

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