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Saturday, September 24, 2016

The "Bed & Breakfast Town Known As Cape May" Story

The Mainstay B&B on Columbia St. in Cape May, New Jersey.
It was an ordinary day.  Just turned right at the Catholic Church at the end of Washington Mall in Cape May, New Jersey.  My mission is to find Columbia Street and take a photo of the Mainstay Inn which is one of the premier Bed & Breakfast (B&B) in  this quaint little seashore town.  After walking a few blocks toward the Atlantic Ocean I saw the street sign indicating Columbia and turned left.  Wasn't more than a few minutes until I was standing in front of 635 Columbia, snapping a few photos of the Mainstay Inn.  
The elegant front pillars draw visitors to its doors.
The Inn was elegant with old-time Southern charm oozing all over.  The floor to ceiling first story four-over-six windows were just beautiful and the gingerbread touches throughout the home were remarkable.  A home like this makes it easy to take a fantastic photo. The Mainstay Inn looks as if it has been standing at this location forever, but it was first located at 24 Jackson Street.  
The Windward House B&B on Jackson Street.
The owners, Tom and Sue Carroll, opened Cape May's first B&B when they opened the Mainstay in a stately Victorian mansion in 1972.  Their first edition of the Mainstay was featured in Norman Simpson's Country Inns & Back Roads and shortly thereafter the B&B industry in Cape May began.  Up and down many of the streets in downtown Cape May, home after home has been converted into charming B&B rentals.  The tall shade trees throughout the town lend to the atmosphere of an old southern movie set. And ... I love it!  
Another inviting porch to drawn to welcome guests.
Yes ... LDub, who lives in a contemp- orary home suited for the beach, really loves the old town charm of Cape May.  It was in 1977 that the Carroll's sold their home on Jackson and moved to their current location on Columbia.  Then they began an informal class for would-be B&B owners which helped them become innkeepers.  Eventually, about 75 to 80 B&Bs lined the streets in Cape May.  The original Mainstay Inn is now known as the Windward House and owned and operated by Pete and Ester Scalone.  It too is beautiful with its aqua color theme and striped awnings.  Carol and I have stayed at B&Bs before, but never in Cape May.  After walking the streets in Cape May, we both said that may have to change.  The vibrant town looks like a must visit for us in the near future.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  

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