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.


Left is the dining room in the Hotel. On the right is Gus at the front desk.


Gus & Carrie each pose at the front door of the hotel.

Carrie sitting on porch rail of the hotel.
The 2nd photo shows a closer view of her rose garden along the fenced-in walkway.

Gus & 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.

The hotel, 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 beach.

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 jam.

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.

More 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.

During WWI, 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, please EMAIL us
We are looking for vintage images, and histories of homes in Strathmere.

All photos and text Copyright Carol Baker. Do not copy or reproduce.