Welcome to the next segment of my city journal. After eighteen months of terraforming, I'm ready to begin the next phase of the project : populating the region and recreating what's here . I've settled on a natural growth process that suprisingly mirrors the historical growth of the region. I'll be developing the mainland sections first. Historically, the mainland areas were developed first due to the presence of fresh water needed for settlement and development. In the Sim version, I'm starting on the mainland to develop an industrial and residential base to support the more commercial tourist communities on the barrier islands. ( At least that's the plan for now. We'll see how or if it works as I go along). Initial development will for the most part be Sim-vanilla , albeit with a few "sprinkles" added here and there as needed. I'll be going back at a later time to fine tune the cities I've built once I'm convinced the project will work. Updates will be smaller than those in terraforming section of the journal, but hopefully more frequent.
Upon entering Cape May County from Cumberland County (via NJ Route 47) the first town encountered is Dennisville. Like most of the towns along the northern Delaware Bayshore it is fairly rural in nature , and has changed little since its founding in the early 1700s.
The land was purchased in 1687 by its namesake,John Dennis, from a Lenni Lenape native named Panktoe. In 1726, the land was sold to Joseph Ludlam, whose sons Anthony and Joseph settled on either side of Dennis Creek and founded the town .Branches of Dennis Creek were dammed to create Ludlam and Johnson's Ponds, creating a supply of fresh water for the colonists. In 1742, wagon loads of rock and dirt were brought in and a causeway was constructed over the broad marshland bordering Dennis Creek, linking the two banks. The entire area was collectively known as Dennis Creek until 1854. Afterwards, the area west of Johnson Pond was known as North Dennis and the area south of Dennis Creek was known as South Dennis. Dennisville proper lies between the two. In this update, we will focus on Dennisville.
The bulk of Dennisville stands between Johnson Pond and Dennis Creek
In colonial America, a thriving shipbuilding industry arose along the banks of Dennis Creek. Due to the narrow width of the creek, ships had to be launched sideways and floated downstream to Delaware Bay on each successive high tide. Agricultural products and lumber were shipped up the Delaware River to the major cities of the colonies, notably Philadelphia and the colonial capitol at Burlington.
Many captains acquired a great fortune from this enterprise, and built elegant frame houses in Dennisville, many of which still stand today.
The historic section of Dennisville is bounded on the south by Route 47, known locally as Delsea Drive, on the north by Petersburg Road ( County Road 610) , and to the easy by the semi-abandoned tracks of the Cape May Seashore Line, which is occasionally used as a storage line for excess rolling stock. North of Petersburg Road, between Fidler and Academy Roads, is Dennis Township Elementary School.
A closer look at Dennis Township Elementary ( looking south), which handles the K-8 education of all of Dennis Township.
The former site of an old auto junkyard south of Delsea Drive has been converted into a scrap metal recycling facility. A solar power array had been recently added to the cleared land. With incentives from the state and county, more and more Cape May County residents are producing thier own power. Solar and wind plants are becoming more common in the 21st century, helping the region become more energy independent.
All's quiet on Main Street. Most of the traffic stays on Route 47
Sim version of Main Street, looking east down Church Avenue. The steeple of the First Methodist Church can be seen from miles away.
This concludes our look at Dennisville. I hope you enjoyed your visit !
Benedict : Glad to be back, and even happier that my terraforming ordeal is finally over.
ee99 : Thanks for your kind words! Hope to see you here again