Thursday, August 9, 2012

Looking for Something to Do in Cape May? Visit the Cape May 1879 Emlen Physick Estate and glimpse into life as is was lived in Cape May more than 100 Yeats ago.

Looking for Something to Do in Cape May?   

Visit the Cape May 1879 Emlen Physick Estate and glimpse into life as is was lived in Cape May more than 100 Years ago.

Looking for Something to Do in Cape May? Last week we checked out the Emlyn Physick Estate to go back in history. This 18 room mansion attributed to acclaimed American architect Frank Furness, was built in 1879 for Dr. Emlen Physick Jr. (1855-1916), descendant of a well-known Philadelphia family, his widowed mother, Mrs. Ralston, and maiden Aunt Emilie.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) was formed in 1970 to save the Physick Estate from the wrecking ball. The Center operates the estate as a Victorian historic house museum. A visit to the Physick Estate today offers a look back at our Victorian past as evidenced by its architecture, decorative arts, customs, and the lives of one particular Cape May family, the Physicks. Emlen Physick Jr., his widowed mother, Frances Ralston, and his maiden aunt Emilie Parmentier moved into their home when it was completed in 1879.  Emlen, who never married, was descended from a famous and wealthy Philadelphia family.  His grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, was considered the father of American surgery and invented numerous surgical procedures and medical instruments that are still in use today.
While he did graduate from medical school, Emlen never practiced medicine. In Cape May, he led the life of a gentleman farmer, owning two tenant farms and keeping livestock on his estate on Washington Street. He bought and sold a great deal of real estate in Cape May, and took an active interest in local doings by voicing his opinions at city council meetings.
The Physicks' distinctive home illustrates their changing tastes as well as the particulars of the Victorian lifestyle in Cape May. Courtesy of the Mid AtlanticCenter for Arts Cape May

Cape May

NEW THEME FOR 2012: What Those Victorians Wore

In the 1860s, women wore a wire cage under their skirts to give them a dome shape. In the 1880s they wore a shelf in the back to make their behinds stick out a foot. They wore woolen long johns all summer long, up to five layers of underwear and so many buttons, flounces, fringes, pleats, and gathers on their clothes that they looked upholstered like a sofa. Because social class was so fluid during the 19th century – you could be born poor and rise to the middle class or you could be born middle class and become rich – people were always imitating the clothing of richer people. As soon as this happened, the rich people would move on to something else and the cycle would start again. Eventually even servants were wearing corsets and bustles or crinolines. Fashions changed faster and faster during the 1800s.Why were these people so strange? Weren’t they hot? Didn’t they stink? Find out during tours of the Emlen Physick Estate beginning April 27.

 Behind the Scenes Tour of the Physick Estate    Click here for dates and times.

Admit it: You like to sneak a peek into the medicine cabinet when you visit a friend’s home. Now’s here’s your chance to do the same thing at Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate. Tag along with Curator Elan Zingman-Leith on the Behind the Scenes Tour and find out what’s really in those kitchen drawers or where the family stashed the silverware that they didn’t show off to guests. There’s more under the beds than dust bunnies and you get to peek.  Tickets $15 (free to Friends of the Physick EstateClick here for membership information) For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278

About Cape May and Cape May

Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in Cape May County, New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. With a rich history, award-winning beaches & boating, designation as a top birding location, and many Victorian structures, Cape May is a seaside resort drawing visitors from around the world. Cape May was recognized as one of America's top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel and its beach was ranked fifth in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches. is a custom photo sharing site in which you can explore local Cape May images, download your favorite vacation spot or order a custom framed picture or a one of kind gift of your vacation memory. Cape May is a local Cape May Web Site featuring Things to Do in Cape May, along with Cape May Digital Coupons for savings. If you’re looking for information and reviews for your next trip to Cape may, you’ve come to the right place. At Cape May we’ll give you the most current information from Yelp and real time local You Tube Videos to preview your next vacation or week-end trip.  We offer the best in recent reviews from Real People with Real Reviews from Yelp.  Looking for Something to Do in Cape May New Jersey ? Spend a day at the beach, or go Dolphin and Whale Watching. Visit a local winery or check out the lighthouse and sunken ship at Cape May State Park. Cape May offers beach lovers Victorian architecture, fine dining, bird watching, boating and fishing in addition to world class resort and vacation accommodations.  If you’re looking for information and reviews for your next trip to Cape may, you’ve come to the right place.Cape May has been part of the South Jersey Cape May area since 1988. Let us put our local experience to work for you.

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