We plan to continue adding historical facts related to our community. Our SomerPedia is interactive!!!
While clamming, people required numerous tools, such as clam tongs, scratch rakes, and regular rakes. There are numerous methods to clam. There is tonging, scratch-raking, treading, and raking. For tonging, clam tongs are used from a boat. One of the preferred boats of baymen is the garvey. The clam tong handles, called stales, work like scissors. A pin holds the stales together so it can open and close the basket. The stales can be different sizes depending on the tide. The tooth bar is metal to dig in the mud. The teeth are on an angle to dig. For scratch-raking, you must get in the water. In water about waste deep, you keep raking the scratch rake back and forth until you feel a clam. Then, you scoop up the clam. For treading, the clammer gets into the water and feel for clams with their feet. When you feel a clam, you simply bend down and pick up the clam. A shinicock rake is another type of rake that is used while the clammer remains in the boat. It has a handle in the shape of a t and a large metal rake at the end. Many clams can be dug up at a time using this method. Researched by Nick. Visit Mr. Carr and Mr. Hyatt interviews.
The Allied invasion of Hitler's "Fortress Europe" began in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944 when American and British paratroops dropped behind the intended invasion beaches to disrupt German communications. At dawn, the sea invasion began as an Allied Armada disgorged thousands of troops at five beaches along France's Normandy coast. By the end of the day, the Allies had achieved a tenuous toehold that would be laboriously expanded over the next weeks and would lead ultimately to the Nazi defeat in the West. For more information, visit the interview of Mrs. Baum, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Risley, and Mr. Hyatt and Mrs. Shaffer and Mrs. Murray Research by Frank. Excerpts from Eyewitness to History
Almost everyone knows what the Ku Klux Klan is. A violent group who are extreme racists. They were started by a man by the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was an ex-Confederate general. They burned black churches and murdered, threatened, and raped the black population. They are also against other races and religions too, however. Their hatred against blacks is the most famous because the blacks were enslaved unlike the other races they hate.
Research by Nick. Excerpts from Worldbook
Marathon dancing is a dance activity originating in the mid-1300s that became very trendy in the 1920s and 30s. Many out of work people competed in the contests in order to achieve fame or win monetary prizes. The craze started in 1923, when a 32-year old American woman named Alma Cummings danced for 27 hours without stopping. She broke the previous British record and wore out six different partners while she was at it. Dancers defied protests and restrictions in striving to break previously set records, propelled by the excitement of competition, the possibility of brief fame, and cheered on by family and friends. Local dance studios all over the country, such as McMillan’s Dancing Academy in Houston, held marathons. After 1923, marathons began to change shape. Sports and entertainment promoters realized that good money could be made from commercializing and standardizing the contests. Rules often demanded that couples register and stay together, stating that if one partner dropped out, the other had to leave too. They regulated rest periods: fifteen minutes for every hour of dancing, often in separate quarters for men and women, during which they could sleep, change clothes, or have a massage (which contestants themselves paid for). Though healthier for the dancers than the earlier non-stop contests, these rest periods allowed the marathons to continue for days, weeks, and even months. To break the monotony of constant dancing for spectators, promoters added distractions, usually performances both by contestants and by guest artists. They invited professional dancers and teachers to enter the contest, often paying them to participate. During the Depression, marathons reflected the status of America at the time. A heavily staged form of forced labor, marathons relied on the amount of time spectators and contestants, out of work victims of the Depression, had on their hands. Dance marathon participants went great lenghts of endurance for rather small winnings considering the time spent.According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the record for the longest dance marathon lasted 5,152 hours. It was held at the Merry Garden Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois, and the winning couple of Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux won $2,000 in a contest that ran from August 29, 1930, to April 1, 1931. It was reported that dance marathons were directly and indirectly responsible for numerous deaths, although no figures on the amount were reported. Nevertheless, in 1933 the Governor of New York signed a bill that limited dancing to 8 hours. A few states earlier had outright banned marathon dancing after the 1923 death of Homer Moorehouse, who collapsed after dancing for 87 straight hours nonstop. Visit Mr. Hyatt's interview. Research by Frank . Exerpts from Reference.com
Rationing during World War II was tough. Only food available to everybody was rationed. People also had a certain allotment of foods… · 225 grams of Sugar · 100 grams of Bacon & Ham · 50 grams of Butter · 50 grams of Cheese · 3 pints of Milk · Every two months-450 grams of Jam · 1 Egg per week/1 pack of Dried Egg every month · Every four weeks-350 grams of Sweets · 100 grams of Margarine · 50 grams of Tea · 100 grams of Cooking Fat. Many people also grew their own fruits and vegetables. Fish were not rationed, since it was virtually unobtainable in most of the country. However, people in Somers Point were able to catch fish. Many people were unwell: -50% working class women were unwell -80% of children under five had some bone abnormality -90% had deformed/decaying teeth Therefore, rationing was very tough. Research by Frank . Exerpts from Living Archive
A word that was used by the locals of South Jersey to describe the tourists that travel to the shore in summertime. Its root is from the two words "shoe" and "bee", which described their travels. In the 20's and 30's the tourists used to swarm to the shore like bees on trains that traveled to South Jersey, thus creating the "bee". Also, these tourists carried their food in shoe boxes, hence the "shoe". Research by Frank. Excerpts from Mortimer's Cafe Companion
The War of 1812 is one of the forgotten wars of the United States. The war lasted for over two years, and while it ended much like it started; in stalemate; it was in fact a war that once and for all confirmed American Independence. There were a number of American naval victories in which American vessels proved themselves superior to similarly sized British vessels. These victories coming after victories in the Quasi War (an even more forgotten war) launched American naval traditions. Also, while the Americans failed to capture Canada, they also successfully stopped the breach on New Orleans and Baltimore by the British.Researched by Frank and Nick . Excerpts from History Central
The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals -- many whites but predominently black -- who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year -- according to one estimate, the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. An organized system to assist runaway slaves seems to have begun towards the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a "society of Quakers, formed for such purposes." The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed "The Underground Railroad," after the then emerging steam railroads. The system even used terms used in railroading: the homes and businesses where fugitives would rest and eat were called "stations" and "depots" and were run by "stationmasters," those who contributed money or goods were "stockholders," and the "conductor" was responsible for moving fugitives from one station to the next.Research by Nick and Frank. Excerpts from PBS
During World War II, Somers Point had to have blackouts at night so German subs would not see our ships and would not open fire on them. People hung heavy curtains and painted the half of their lightbulbs facing the ocean black. Cars had half of their headlights painted black. One teacher at the high school went out to the Music Pier to look out for ships and planes. She went from after school in the afternoon to midnight every day. She said there were problems out there, as she saw ships and other things. Some residents reported German subs coming ashore on accident or to spy. Because of this, many residents feared a German invasion! Research by Nick.excerpts from Mrs Baum's interview