Hello ! Here it is June at the Jersey Shore and we haven't been to the beach yet. In today's update we are going offshore to Ludlam's Beach Island to visit the
resort of Sea Isle City. Get comfortable, this is a fairly lengthy update
The first visitors to the island were Leni-Lenape natives, who journeyed from the mainland to fish and to collect shells for wampum, which was made from the
purple lining of clam shells. Joeseph Ludlam was the first owner of the island, purchasing the land in 1692 from the West Jersey Proprietors, a group of
prominent Quakers that included Pennsylvania founder William Penn. Ludlam divided the island into three sections. The southern section was sold to John Townsend
in 1695, who named it Townsend's Inlet. The island was used by whalers and as a grazing land for herds of cattle and sheep which were made to swim from the
mainland. Once there, they were allowed to roam free, grazing on the island's lush grasses. Pistols found in the dunes indicate the remote island was also used
by pirates in the 18th century.
The island, without a ready supply of fresh water, remained uninhabited for nearly 200 years. In 1880, Charles Landis purchased the island with an idea to
create a resort resembling the Italian city of Venice, with it's numerous canals and waterways. In 1882, Sea Isle City was formed from the island section of
Dennis Township. Work proceeded rapidly, and by 1883 a road and two rail connections were completed from the mainland. The city boomed and several resort hotels
were built. By the end of the nineteenth century, Sea Isle City was competing with Cape May and Atlantic City as one of the premier resort destinations in South
Sea Isle City Song by Billy Goats Gruff
The city of Sea Isle occupies the central portion of Ludlam's Beach Island. The northern sections of Townsend's Inlet are on the south end of the tile.
The only way in to town is over the Sea Isle City Causeway, a two lane road coming from Route 9 in Ocean View and Garden State Parkway exit 17. Summer traffic
on this road , particularly on Fridays coming in and Sundays going out, is extremely heavy. Traffic jams can back up the entire length of the causeway.
Entering Sea Isle (looking west). Once over the bridge, the causeway is named JFK Boulevard, and continues to the beach. Ludlam's Landing, where livestock were
made to swim to the island from in the 1700's is now a marina (top of the pic) .
As per John Landis' vision of Cape May County's Venice, canals were dug creating small islands in the marshes
View south from the causeway Bridge. Ludlam's Landing is on the right of the channel.
Crossing the bridge, the first thing one sees is the docks. Here you can purchase fresh seafood or go out on one of the many charter and party fishing boats to
catch your own.
The quaint wooden hotels from the 1800's have been replaced by more modern structures.
Same area, looking north from 39th Street Beach.
Night shot of downtown. Unlike the mainland sections of the county, the barrier islands don't "roll up the sidewalks" after sunset.
Sea Isle City has a vibrant night life, with numerous clubs and bars like La Costa and The Ocean Drive. Drunken party goers are a nusiance for folks living in
the vicinity of these social hot spots. It's not unlikely to find a drunk passed out in your azaleas or relieving themselves on your front lawn. The production
crew of the TV show Jersey Shore once proposed to shoot its third season in Sea Isle, only to be met with "No thanks, we have more than enough drunken idiots to
deal with already"
Most of Sea Isle's business district is located on Landis Avenue. Resort condos and time shares line the beach. The Boardwalk (actually a tarmac path since the
city found it more economical than finding and reassembling the scattered remains of a wooden structure after each coastal storm) runs along the beachfront
south to 58th Street.
Crossing the island at 57th Street, we come to a newer section of the city that was built on top of the tidemarsh
Real life pic of same area.
Looking west at Play by the Bay, which features basketball and tennis courts, softball and soccer fields,an arcade and a skate park . The only shopping center
on the island is located nearby, at 60th and Landis.
Further south is the northern edge of the town of Townsend's Inlet. Property values are very high along the waterfront, but honestly, who wouldn't want to live
at the beach if they could afford it?
I'll leave you all with another Sea Isle Youtube video, This one's a time lapse drive down Ocean Drive (Landis Avenue) from Strathmere through Sea Isle. They hit the northern edge of the tile at about 1:07 in . Enjoy !
Benedict : Thanks for the kind words !
ggamgus : lol. Funny thing is that most of the cast of Jersey Shore aren't even from New Jersey. We here at the shore get invaded by thousands of folks just like them , coming "down the shore" from New York or Philly beginning at the end of May. We try to deal with them with a cheerful disdain, but by the time September rolls around, most locals have had enough and can't wait to see them go. Mind you , most of the tourists are decent enough, but we do get our share of idiots like the ones depicted on TV.
shanemelbourne : I spent an entire night searching the exchange for stuff that might be usable in this journal and came up with some really good stuff. Thanks for stopping by !
militantradical : Thanks! I'll keep trying .
Bluemoose : Thanks for the comment ! On the mainland, many municipalities have minimum lot sizes to spread things out a bit. It's a bit more cramped on the islands.
SimCoug : I love the family fun center. Good place to go , especially when the beaches are too crowded. The putt-putt range is SG Mini Golf, another one of Simgoober's outstanding works. I'm a huge fan of his BATs.