Greater Cape May Historical Society

About Us

2022 Board Membership and Assignments

President and Historian Harry C. Bellangy
Secretary and Administrator Kathleen Wyatt
Treasurer Nancy Bowers
Colonial House Museum Curator Al Conly
PennyWise Project Curator Jennifer Brownstone Kopp
Colonial House Education Coordinator Open
Membership and Communications Tobie Banscher
Board Members George Werner


Mission Statement

The mission of the Greater Cape May Historical Society is to collect, preserve, document, interpret and share the history of the greater Cape May area.

Vision Statement

The Greater Cape May Historical Society has a public private partnership with the City of Cape May for the support and operation of the Colonial House. The Society will maintain the Colonial House along with its collection of paper documents and in doing so, provide a museum open to the public without bias and free of charge. The Society intends to make the paper collection available to the public on the internet. This partnership will provide the city with a designated area whereby visitors may obtain information and direction to other sites within the City and County to promote tourism. The Society seeks to have an ethical, open, and friendly group of volunteers to maintain the Society's mission and vision.


The headquarters of this organization, incorporated in August, 1974, is the Colonial House Museum c 1730, located at 653½ Washington Street, Cape May, next to Cape May City Hall. This house was originally a tavern and the family home of Revolutionary War Patriot Memucan Hughes. The front room features a tavern room. Other rooms open to the public in this unsung survivor from Cape Island’s very beginning depict a colonial era cooking/eating room. A room, added in the 1930’s, is a research/exhibit room.


The Greater Cape May Historical Society saved the Colonial House from demolition in 1974. The Society, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization, receives funds from an annual fair, membership, and grants administered by the Cape May County Culture & Heritage Commission, from funds granted by the New Jersey Historical Commission and from other grant opportunities.

Download our By-laws
PDF Word document

Acknowledgement of Support

Colonial House Operating Grant: This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Cape May County Culture and Heritage Commission, from funds granted by the New Jersey Historical Commission for 2018.

Colonial House Preservation: In late winter of 2015, the exhibit room rear windows were painted and reglazed. The remaining five storm windows were built and installed to eliminate water intrusion while providing additional security. The porch metal roof was painted and the porch deck was stained with wood preservative. This project has been accomplished with financial assistance from the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with and administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust.

Colonial House Garden Project: This project will install a new array of native plants, herbs, hardy perennials along the path from the front of the house to the Pat Pocher Memorial Herb Garden. The project is a collaborative effort between the Society, the Garden Club of Cape May, and the City of Cape May Public Works. If you wish to donate to the Garden Project, you may use the Pay Pal button on this website, or send your donation to: GCMHS Pat Pocher Garden Fund, PO Box 495 Cape May, New Jersey 08204.

Cape Publishing: The Greater Cape May Historical Society wishes to acknowledge the many years of support for our website. We could not have kept the Colonial House doors open except for their generosity and good will. Cape Publishing produces, Cape May Magazine, and Cape May Restaurant Week.

Exit Zero: The Greater Cape May Historical Society wishes to acknowledge the generosity and good will that Exit Zero provides for advertising over the years. Pick up a copy of Exit Zero and patronize the business advertisers—shop local. You will be providing jobs and supporting our community.

Resources and Links

Genealogy Questions

Cape May County Museum
504 North Route 9
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: 609-465-3535

The Cape May County Genealogical Library offers extensive information on our county’s rich past as well as the people who forged its history. Many local families today can trace their ancestors' roots deep in our sand. With the second largest population of Mayflower descendants in the nation, Cape May County’s family lines reach back to the earliest founders. In addition to our vast genealogy records, their library and archives offers an unparalleled depth of information about the history of Cape May County. Family files, maps, journals and press clippings are all available to bring your search alive. Not sure where to begin? Have a specific question? Their staff is available to assist you in your search.

Historic Property Questions

We get a number of questions that are related to historic property and want to share this resource from New Jersey Historic Trust.

Dispelling Common Myths: An Organizing Tool for Historic Preservation Advocates (PDF - opens in a new window)

Area Links

Links to additional information and sites in the local area. A new window will open when viewing sites outside To return to our site, please close the new browser window.