How much do you really know about the Wildwoods Boardwalk? We’ve compiled some little-known facts that just might blow your mind…
• In 1903 Wildwood’s leaders decided to provide a wide, elevated walkway closer to the ocean. It connected with Ocean Pier, the first amusement pier to be opened, at Poplar Avenue. During the first decade of the 20th century, the boardwalk spread across the shoreline, from Second Avenue in North Wildwood to Cresse Avenue in Wildwood. Another boardwalk from Cresse to Aster Road in Wildwood Crest washed away in 1909 and was replaced by Seaview Avenue.
• In 1920 Wildwood City Commissioner Oliver Bright, determined to move the boardwalk even closer to the ocean despite public opposition, organized hundreds of workers to tear up the existing boards in his district in one night. The new walk was ready for the summer, but Bright was bounced from office.
• Over the years, amusement centers sprang up all along the boards, such as Fun Chase Pier, the Starlight Ballroom, and Blaker’s Pavillion at Cedar Avenue. Baby Boomers recall times spent at Casino, Marine, and Fun Piers, and Sportland Pier and Pool.
• Hunt’s Pier, built on the site of Fun Chase Pier, was a favorite of the 1960s and early ’70s, with the Flyer roller coaster, Golden Nugget Mine Ride, and Pirate Ship haunted house. Hunt’s closed in the 1980s, re-opening briefly as Dinosaur Beach Theme Park.
• Morey’s Piers, now occupying three sprawling amusement piers, began as just a modest section of the Wildwoods boardwalk. In 1969, Bill and Will Morey Sr. purchased two lots of boardwalk in North Wildwood at 25th and 26th streets. They called this space Surfside Pier and opened the following summer with a giant fiberglass slide called the Wipe Out. Guests paid 25 cents to slide down the ride in burlap sacks.
• Today, the Wildwoods Boardwalk has more than 70,000 wooden planks and stretches for nearly 2.5 miles.
• A 220-foot long, 30-foot high mural called the Whaling Wall, painted by world-renowned environmental artist Wyland, can be viewed at Garfield Avenue and the Boardwalk.
• Every Monday night, The Cape Atlantic Irish Pipe Brigade marches and plays the length of the Boardwalk in full Celtic attire.
• The Wildwoods Boardwalk Sightseer Tram Cars were originally built for the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York City. For fifty-six continuous years the Tram Cars have ferried tens of millions of visitors and locals alike along our Boardwalk. Today, the Tram Cars can operate for up to 12 hours at a time on the power of a single 2,000 pound electric battery!
*Facts courtesy of dowildwood.com and “A Brief History of the Wildwoods” by Robert J. Scully, Museum Curator of The Wildwood Historical Society George F. Boyer Historical Museum.