The West Jersey Cottages
After the ownership of the entire island
went from The Burks to Matilda Landis, The Sea Isle City
Improvement Company started dividing and developing the island
from Corson's Inlet, down to Townsend's Inlet. In 1894, Louise
& William Peterson bought a piece of property near the
northern point of Corson's Inlet. In 1895, they built a 14 room
hotel, and they named it 'West Jersey Cottage' after the railroad
line that came through the town. There was a small railway
station where the train stopped, right next to the hotel.
Meanwhile, Louise's brother Gus and his wife Carrie moved from
Philadelphia to Corson's Inlet, not only to help out with the
hotel, but in hopes that the fresh salt water air would be good
for Gus' health. In 1899, Louise died, and she left the hotel to
her brother Gus, who not only happily ran the hotel, but was also
the station manager at the small railway stop. One of his duties
was to take care of opening the bridge in the railine, to let the
boats through in the bay. In 1902, they built an annex to the
hotel, connected by a small porch/walk.Then a small boathouse was
built behind the hotels in 1906. Back then Strathmere was still
known as Corson's Inlet, up until the name officially changed to
Strathmere in 1912. The hotel catered to a few year round
residents and men who made a living as fishermen. During WWI it
housed some of the soldiers who patroled the beaches.
The West Jersey Cottage seen from the front, and from the corner entrance.
is the dining room in the Hotel. On the right is Gus at the front
& Carrie each pose at the front door of the hotel.
sitting on porch rail of the hotel.
The 2nd photo shows a closer
view of her rose garden along the fenced-in walkway.
Carrie near the railroad track across from the hotel & annex.
The 2nd photo is Gus on the right and I think the other guy might be one of his older sons.
The annex to the hotel shown below, after it was built in
1902. The 2nd photo was taken after 'Brighton Shores' came and
tried to develope Strathmere. If you look very close, you can see
one of the two trees that Brighton Shores planted in front of the
house (it's just a narrow twig of a tree towards the left side of
the photo) They planted trees all over the point area of the
island. Those 2 trees still stand in front of our house today.
in the center with the flag, the annex to the right, and the
train station to the left-front. Circa 1912
This postcard of the Hotel and Annex is postmarked 1909. The town was still known as Corson's Inlet then.
Below is a postcard that was mailed in 1912. Note that the
postcard is printed 'Corson's Inlet' on the front, it is
postmarked 1912 Strathmere on the back. This was the year that
the named changed from Corson's Inlet to Strathmere.
On the right is a side view of the main hotel. Photo was taken from the bay
The next 2 pictures were taken in 1917. The view is from atop the
a-frame of the railroad bridge that went across the bay. You can
see the rail line leading into the town, and the side view of the
main West Jersey hotel building.
In 1901, Gus
& Carrie's daughter Bertha was born in a 2nd floor bedroom of
the main hotel. Bertha was the first baby to be born in the town.
In her laters years, she could remember a time that was before
there were cars. Once as a child, Bertha fell and broke her arm.
They had to wait for the doctor to come by train the following
day to treat her arm. The family raised pigs, cows, chickens and
ducks on the land, which was still mainly vacant in the early
1900s. The family had a pet goat that they hooked up to a cart to
pull things around the island. The fishing was plentiful and you
could dig soft shell clams out on the beach, by the bucketful.
You could pick beach plums by the basket, for making your own
Below shows Gus with the kids
piled in the wheelbarrel, behind them is the train station.The
middle photo shows the family's famous pet goat hitched up to
wagon in front of the house. Lastly I believe is Bertha, in a toy
pedal car, with her older brother and one their dogs.They are
standing in the fenced walkway in front of the hotel.
Below, the first photo shows Bertha and brother Harlan
with their Mother, and another lady. Next is Bertha and some
local kids. Lastly is Bertha and a girl named Violet on the boardwalk leading to the West Jersey Cottage.
Below, photos from the Teens - Bertha and her friend Ida. Bertha
grabs herself a man! Bertha and some bathing beauties.
pictures of Bertha! First Bertha stands next to a whale that
washed up on the beach at 56th street in Sea Isle,1918. Next
she's dressed up for Halloween, and lastly she holds someone's
baby under a 'Boats for Hire' sign on the bay.
soldiers were stationed in Strathmere to patrol the beaches.
Bertha said that several of the soldiers stayed at the West
Jerset Cottages. Below shows a few of them goofing off in front
of the hotel. The Bertha takes over the patrol.
The West Jersey Cottage page 2 - more vintage photos
If you have any info, or images that we can add to the site,
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All photos and text Copyright Carol Baker. Do not copy or reproduce.