Sea Breeze, NJ
Only one way in and only one way out.
I like to study maps for a lot of my adventures for this website. I found this area because of a very long beach I saw on google earth. After I did a bit of research, I soon found out it’s an abandoned town. Sea Breeze is much like Thompsons beach I have written about before. I soon discovered after even more research, that this place was a very happening town in the early 1900s.
Sea Breeze was first incorporated in the 1800s. A rebuilt steamship called the John A. Warner would transport folks from Philadelphia to this bay town. The “John A. Warner” played a huge part in the civil war. It transported union soldiers to and fro the battlegrounds. This ship was built locally in Wilmington, DE. and was the fastest ship of that era. The John A. Warner is referred to as one of the three musketeers that trolled the Delaware. The other 2 were called Columbia and Twilight. During the Civil War, the John A. Warner was a haven for wounded soldiers. It transported Union soldiers to a hospital in North Jersey for recovery. I have been able to find some old writings of the soldiers onboard. It also aided in the transport of the soldiers for combat in the South.
Almost 20 years later, this poor steamer was a bit defunct. However, two businessmen from Gloucester City, NJ. sought an opportunity and fixed this bad boy back up. They began an operation of transporting vacationers to and from Sea Breeze in 1887. At this time, is when Sea Breeze was in its heyday. There was an amusement pier with a carousel, a tavern, and a hotel. Plus, an expansive beach for bathing beauties.
It was the Bees Knees leading up to the 20th century to the prohibition era. Its access to the water was a great way to secretly transport illegal alcohol during this time. Making it a popular drinking refuge like Atlantic City was at the time. Drink up my friends.
After the prohibition, there were a few taverns that burned down. People didn’t need to travel here for liquor any longer since it was legal. The Jersey Shore became popular with the expansive boardwalks and attractions. A highway was developed traveling from Philadelphia to the Atlantic City. Also, a railway.
Sea Breeze was becoming a distant memory because of the location and no direct route or access to get here.
It became a small fishing village over the last 70 years, with a nice beach, and bay front homes. A true oasis from everyday life. Serene and quiet.
By 2008, beach erosion and severe storms over the years were damaging homes. Six of the nineteen homeowners asked the government to buy their homes. In 2010, the last remaining homeowners sold their property.
It is now an abandoned town. My GPS wouldn’t even pick it up and was “blacked out.” The government has knocked down most of the homes and what remains is the beach, some old homes, and a few back bay docks. A few homes were tragically burned to the ground. In what some people say was a bit “sketchy.” Since most folks were trying to sell their homes to the government with no avail. Eventually the government purchased the homes outright, but with a big fight from the local residents to do so.
Sea Breeze is now a wildlife refuge. It is a gorgeous property. Expansive views of the bay and wildlife all around you. The ride coming in is gorgeous and is nicely isolated so that there aren’t many people around except for a few folks catching fish.
A great place to bring the dogs and let them explore. To feel free and let the wind blow in your hair. There is true beauty all around you.
Enjoy your day here. Just bring the bug spray and pack a picnic lunch! It’s truly a magical place.