Sunday, April 12, 2009

Somers Point Historic Plaques

THE ANCHORAGE

Dating from the late 1800's, this empire-style building was one of the many tavern-hotels in the historic district. Tourists came for fishing parties, sea bathing, hearty food, healthful salt air, and a view of the bay from the veranda.

Bay and Delaware Avenues
(Marker donated by the Anchorage Tavern and the City of Somers Point).


BAY AVENUE NIGHT LIFE

Gateway Casino, Tony Mart's, Bay Shores, Steel's Ship Bar were all located at this end of Bay Avenue. They made up the musical heart of the bayfront, from the big bands and marathon dances of the 30's and 40's to the rock & roll greats of the 50's and 60's.

Marker located on East side of Bay Avenue across from George Street
(Marker donated by the Crab Trap Restaurant and the City of Somers Point)


BASS HARBOR

Bass Harbor was a busy port for barges and sloops which carried produce, wood and ice to local businesses and residences. From privateering and smuggling, to clamming and fishing, to recreational boating, the bayfront has always played an active part in the economy of Somers Point.

Marker located on Bay Avenue at Harbor Cove

(Marker donated by Harbor Cove and the City of Somers Point)

OLD CITY HALL

Built in 1906, this Greek Revival building originally housed the police department and the first fire department and its horsedrawn pump wagons. The tower in the rear was used to dry the fire hoses. On special occassions, the mayor addressed the townspeople from the balcony on the second floor. The city hall acted as the hub for city services until 1985. It was saved from demolition and converted into a branch of the Atlantic County Library in 2000.

(Marker donated by Charlie's Bar & Restaurant and the City of Somers Point)

TRANSPORTATION

SHore Road, completed in 1731, was the Main arery for transportation and trade connecting Nacote Creek (Port Republic) to Somerset Plantation (Somers Point) and to Cape May County by Job's Ferry. In 1880, connecting Philadelphia to Ocean City, stopping at SOmers Point, the West Jersey Railroad connected Atlantic City to Somers Point. Trolley Cars ran from Atlantic City to Somers Point on Shore Road, and the Shore Fast Line, circa 1906, made its way under the Shore Road Bridge aznd at the waterfront traversed the bay to Ocean City.

(Marker donated by Bay Harbor Reality and the City of Somers Point)


U.S. NAVY COMMANDANT
RICHARD SOMERS' BIRTHPLACE

Born at this site on September 15, 1778. Educated in Philadelphia, Somers led the Battle of Tripoli and sacrificed his life on September 4, 1804. He is memoralized by both a monument at the U.S. Naval Academy and a U.S. Navy ship commissioned in his name. He was the son of Col. Richard Somers and Sophia Stillwell who occupied the homestead and tavern at this location. Col. Somers was a patriot and privateer during the Revolutionary War. He inherited the homestead from his father, Richard, builder of Somers Mansion.

Shore Road and Bethel Road
(Marker donated by Primo Pizza and the City of Somers Point)

SHIPBUILDING

Due to the deepwater harbor and the availabitly of timber, shipbuilding thrived along the Great Egg Harbor Bay from 1860-1890. Three-masted schooners, the likes of th Emma Cottinghama nd the 21 Friends, as well as sloops and barges dotted the bayfront. Van Sant's at the foot of New Jersey Avenue was the last of the large shipyards. Boats were launched at the ends of Somers Avenue, George Street and Delaware Avenue. Horese pulled boats from Sooy's Boatyard at Pennsylvania and Shore Road down Dalaware Avenue to the bay.

Bay and Higbee Avenue
(Marker donated by Shore Memorial Hospital and the City of Somers Point)

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