Shifting sands have revealed a piece of history on the ocean beach of Cape May, NJ. More than 100 feet of rusted, weathered, and preserved railroad track suddenly appeared along Sunset Beach last week.
In the early 1900's the tracks led to the Cape May Sand Co., but shifting sand from storms covered them up decades ago. According to historians, the last time these railroad tracks were exposed was back in the 1935.
The sand-mining operation began in 1905 and operated into the 1930s. Old pictures show steam shovels being used to dig up beach and dune sand. It was dumped into open train cars and hauled to an outdoor sorting facility nearby and then to a six-story, clapboard-sided wash house to sift out the seashells. The processed sand was then sent to glass factories. Old piling and piping are also showing up on the beach; part of the intake and outfall piping.
In a few of the photos a sunken ship can be seen, it is the concrete-constructed S.S. Atlantus. Launched in 1918, during a 1926 violent storm it slipped its mooring and plunged bow-first into the sand. Several attempts were made to free the transport ship, but none were successful.
OCCASIONALLY NATURE PRESENTS US WITH A TRIP IN HER TIME MACHINE, AND WE ARE GRACED WITH THE FACT THAT IT IS IN A TIME WHEN IT HAS BEEN RECORDED BY YOU AND YOUR TALENT, AND SHARED WITH THE MAGIC OF THE PRESENT DAY PHENOMENOM OF THE INTERNET...GREAT WORK MATTHEW...
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© Matthew Malkiewicz - Lost Tracks of Time