New Jersey January 16, 2017
The Story Of This Abandoned New Jersey Beach Town Is Incredibly Eerie
New Jersey has quite a few abandoned towns, but none offer the scenic views of Sea Breeze. The beautiful bayfront escape is accessible to the public and hosts haunting reminders of the past.
Sea Breeze, part of Fairfield Township in Cumberland County, was once a thriving resort town.
It gained popularity in the late 1880s when ferry service began between Sea Breeze and Philadelphia. Tourists flocked to the area and soon a hotel was built. The Warner Hotel, constructed in 1887, offered 40 rooms, a bar, bathing facilities and recreational activities to guests. The community came together for clambakes and boat races, until the hotel burned down in 1890.
A second hotel was built just over a decade later - The Seabreeze Hotel. Guests could rent boats to take out on the Delaware Bay and, rumor has it, they could also enjoy a stiff drink...even during Prohibition. Like its predecessor, the hotel burned down in 1940. A popular tavern and several dozen summer homes could once be found in the area. The Sea Breeze Tavern, opened after Prohibition, operated exclusively as a bar until the 1940s when food was added. Though it started out as a small spot on a barge, it eventually grew into a thriving eatery. Run by the family of the original owners until 1985, it was unfortunately destroyed by Hurricane Gloria. Many homes in the area met the same fate, though quite a few remained. A sea wall was built to protect what was left, but with little success. As the years went on, homes were lost to floods, fires and demolished by the EPA. Currently, several private residents remain, along with abandoned properties.
Though private property is off limits, some still come to spend time on the beach.
A dedicated few enjoy the spectacular sunsets, solitude and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing. Enjoy, but use caution. You're around 3 miles from any sort of civilization and the area is still prone to flooding.
If you should decide to visit Sea Breeze, remember to respect the area and obey “no trespassing” signs. Isn’t it a bit eerie to see a once thriving neighborhood now loaded with debris, with little more than the sound of waves crashing against the shore? For more abandoned New Jersey, check out this factory off the Turnpike.