Resort Era

As early as 1690 until around 1920, Gloucester was a destination for visitors wanting to take in the cool breezes along the Delaware River.

Visitors from Philadelphia would escape the summer heat in the city by boat to the eastern shores of the Delaware of Gloucester Point.

During colonial times the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club would assemble at Gloucester Town in the fall and winter month to start the chase.

Others would come to Gloucester to partake in the the chalybeate spring water.

In the spring months, the Shad fisheries would bring in the crowds seeking the famous Planked Shad.    And it was with the Planked Shad dinners that the crowds would become larger and travel great distances to the Gloucester waterfront.  

The crowds would make use of the Gloucester ferry landings for day trips. As more crowds came, more attractions and accommodations would be be built.  

Buena Vista Gardens:

Hagarty's Hotel and Pavilion:

Guy's Pavilion :

Fath's Pavilion:

Thompson's Hotel and Pavilion:

Surf House:

Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show:

Annie Oakley:

Walt Whitman:

Thomas Eakins:

The Philadelphia A's Base Ball Team:

Race Track:

Gambling Halls:

Fireworks Park:

Sunday Beer:

Gloucester Boardwalk:

Planked Shad:

Poor Man's Cape May:

Trolley Line:

The summer of 1888 

Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show

Anne Oakley joins the show. 

In the play and movie "Annie Get Your Gun" is based on her and Pawnee Bill is always trying to get Anne Oakley to join his show, it actually happens in Gloucester City in 1888.


Advertisement for Thompson's Hotel 


The Gloucester Beach.

( Drawn by Billing )

September 28, 1888

"T.C. Foster's sloop yacht The Restless in race of Quaker City Yacht Club"  at Gloucester City.

Morris, Marriott Canby, 1863-1948, photographer.

Persistent link:

Library Company of Philadelphia| Print Department| Marriott C. Morris Collection [P.9895.1367]

Thompson's Hotel and Pavilion

Thompson's Pavilion could hold 4,000 people.

Thompson woulds build a boardwalk along the waterfront.

Fath's Pavilion

Guy's Pavilion


Patrick McGlade's Pavilion

The Boardwalk War on the Delaware River

Walt Whitman note about Billy Thompson inviting him to Gloucester for some baked shad...

"April 19, 1888

Billy Thompson of Gloucester, has just been here to invite me down to baked shad dinner at his place, Tuesday next, about 2. Wished me to invite you in his name & my own - you come here, say past 1/2 past 12 & we will drive down in my rig - Be back by dark or before - come round & let me know for certain"