Wildwood, Brief History
In 1609, the English Navigator Henry Hudson was seeking a new route to China. He entered the Delaware Bay on August 28, and realizing that the inlet was not the Northwest Passage, he rounded his boat, the "Half Moon", northward and watched the waves break on a broad, sandy beach of great beauty.
This land was the 1.8 mile stretch of beach that is now called "Five Mile Beach". Originally frequented by the Lenni Lenape Indians, this land was eventually granted to The Duke of York in 1664. In 1717, a small group of investors acquired the land, which was for many, many decades used for farming purposes. It wasn't until 1870 that a few fishermen became the first white settlers and named the land "Angelsea".
In 1874, a railroad was laid from Cape May to Angelsea. At this time, a bridge was also constructed to allow horse & buggies access to the island.
By 1905, the land of Angelsea had been purchased by investors and had begun to grow. Angelsea, along with a few surrounding beaches, were incorporated into a "sister community" of The Wildwoods, comprising North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood City and Wildwood Crest.
Situated thirty miles south of Atlantic City, the five-mile island of The Wildwoods grew into a major resort town by the 1950's. Wildwood boasts the largest collection of mid-century architecture in the United States, now labeled "Doo-Wop Architecture". The World-Famous Boardwalk, built at the turn of the century, consists of more than 70,000 planks and stretches for nearly two miles, or 37 city blocks. Wildwood beaches, by far some of the largest on the East Coast, have been on many "best of" lists, including the Travel Channel's "Best Beaches" show and Conde Naste's "Best Sports Beach" list.
During the off-season, Wildwood has approximately 5,400 residents. The population swells to over 250,000 people in summer. Wildwood remains a great family resort town with plenty to offer all types of visitors. With pristine beaches, crystal clear water and amusements for the whole family, Wildwood is a perfect mix of excitement and relaxation.