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White and red coastguard boat being lifted high by a wave There is such rich history here in Cape May. Did you know that the history of Cape May dates back to 1620? It was then when a captain named Cornelius Jacobsen Mey charted and named the area for himself. A tiny settlement only grew over time to become the beautiful beach resort it is today. We are so thankful for the many leaders and community volunteers here in Cape May that work hard to keep history alive. Their efforts benefit not only those that call the area home, but also the many visitors that travel here each year. The Cape May Maritime Museum is one special place that we want to highlight today!

The Cape May Maritime Museum has a strong and focused mission. The museum is dedicated to preserving the United States Coast Guard and commercial maritime history of the Cape May, NJ area. They just launched their brand new website early August, 2020, to share their mission and updates on their ongoing projects.

Lifeboat CG-36538 Restoration

A few years ago, the Maritime Museum partnered with the Museum of Cape May County in an effort to bring even more attention to maritime history. You can view a treasure trove of maritime artifacts dating back to the 1700s! The fascinating artifacts that have been recovered by local divers in our local waters tell some incredible stories. Right now, the main focus at the Maritime Museum is the restoration of a rare Motor Lifeboat CG-36538 (circa 1952).  A vital part in our area’s maritime history, this vessel was used in countless rescue missions. This restoration effort is going to require approximately 4,000 hours and will cost around $300,000. If you have a love for history and feel so inclined, they accept donations of all kind!

The CG-36538 has been approved for inclusion on the National Historic Register. A similar 36′ Motor lifeboat – Type TRS has been depicted in the Disney movie, The Finest Hours. You can view some incredible restoration update photos here, as well as an informational video here.

We would love to host you for a restful and relaxing fall getaway at our resort hotel. Enjoy a weekend touring historical sites, enjoying great food, or stroll the beach and shops downtown. There is something for everyone in Cape May and fall is a beautiful time to visit!

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”

– Marcus Garvey, political activist