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Historic Victorian Homes to Visit in Cape May

Feb 21, 2019 Southern Mansion 2019

Gingerbread trim, gables, turrets…oh my! These iconic details of the Victorian style can be seen almost everywhere in the seaside town of Cape May, New Jersey. With the highest concentration of Victorian homes (second to San Francisco), Cape May draws in visitors from around the world each year. With so much to see, it’s hard to know where to begin. To help you get started, we’ve gathered up a few of our favorite historic Victorian homes to visit in Cape May.

A brief history

After the big fire in 1878, which destroyed most of the town, Cape May looked to quickly re-build itself. At the time the Victorian era was at its height, so the reconstruction of the town included many Victorian style homes.

Over the years as some of these homes began to deteriorate, there were plans for new construction homes in the works. Soon efforts were made to preserve these beautiful structures with Cape May being named as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Along with this designation, the restoration and preservation of these historic homes soon became a focus for the town. Some remained residences while some were converted into bed and breakfasts, like the Southern Mansion.

While it is easy to spot these vibrant beauties, there are a few streets that boast the biggest population. Perry St., Jackson St., Decatur, and Ocean St. are all good places to start. Northeast of the Washington Street Mall, Hughes Street, and Columbia Street are also good additions to your house tour. Washington Street Mall is also home to some notable Victorian homes that were converted into local shops.

Christopher Gallagher House

A stately house built in 1882 that has been restored to its original beauty, inside and out. Currently, a residential home, the story of its restoration can be read here.

Address: 45 Jackson St.

Emlen Physick House

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image provided by: @lovecapemay

As Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick House is one where visitors can tour inside and discover unique Victorian furnishings, intricate architecture, and soak up a bit of Cape May history. The house is also home to many annual events and happenings, one of which is a local tour of the Victorian homes that line the streets of Cape May.

Address: 1048 Washington St.

Dr. Henry F. Hunt House

Renovated in the 1890s, this now residential home is a beautiful rendition of Victorian style at its best.

Address: 209 Congress Place

Morris House

Built between 1867-68, the Morris House is a wonderful representation of Victorian architecture. With scalloped details, colorful trim and two large front porches this house is a site for sore eyes.

Formerly Poor Richard’s Inn

image of historic victorian home in Cape May

image provided by: @lovecapemay

What used to be a fully operating bed and breakfast, Poor Richard’s Inn is now a current residential home but worth a walk by. Located along Jackson Street, near Congress Hall, it is one of our favorite historic Victorian Homes to visit in Cape May.

Address: 17 Jackson St., Cape May, NJ 08204

J. Stratton Ware House

Built in 1868 (or later) this colorful gem is a beautiful resemblance of Gothic Revival architecture. With the colorful matching fence that surrounds the grounds, it is one house that is easily recognized.

Address: 655 Hughes Street

Southern Mansion

image of the Southern Mansion

One of the most well-known historic Victorian homes in Cape May is the George Allen House, also known to most as Southern Mansion. Originally a residential home built in 1863 owned by a wealthy industrialist, George Allen, Southern Mansion was restored as a bed and breakfast in 1994.

Now today Southern Mansion stands tall as a beautiful reminder of what life was like hundreds of years ago in Cape May. Each one of our well-appointed rooms offers unique and historical furnishings in a romantic and luxurious setting.

Uncover a little piece of Cape May history with a stay at Southern Mansion. Start planning your stay with us today and enjoy one of our monthly specials by booking directly with us! 

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