There is a well-known motion picture line that goes “Build it and they will come.” This quote could have been designed decades just before when producing about the rise of the Jersey Shore and, a lot more particularly, Atlantic Metropolis.
In 1904, Alfred Heston spelled out in his background of the city, “Twenty decades before the railroad was considered of Dr. Jonathan Pitney, of Absecon, appreciated the actual physical advantages of Absecon Beach as a seaside vacation resort for metropolis individuals, but when the railway trouble experienced been solved in his mind, and in the intellect of Samuel Richards, they experienced to fulfill road blocks, 1 of which was the deep-rooted prejudice from the possibility of making a town on a waste of sand and cedars. … Dr. Pitney used when to the (New Jersey) Legislature for a railroad charter and unsuccessful. Absolutely nothing daunted, nevertheless, he returned to Trenton the next winter and succeeded in acquiring the requisite constitution.”
In March 1852, the Camden and Atlantic Railroad Co. was granted its formal charter “to study, lay out, and build a railroad from the metropolis of Camden, in the county of Camden, or from some position in the mile of stated city, to be identified on by the reported enterprise to operate by the counties of Camden and Atlantic, to the sea at or around Absecon inlet, in the reported county of Absecon inlet, in the stated county of Atlantic.”
The corporation was specified nearly total power.
“It shall be lawful for the explained enterprise, by its officers, brokers, engineers, superintendents, contractors, workmen, and other individuals in their utilize, to enter on, acquire possession of, keep, have, use, occupy, and excavate any these kinds of lands, and to erect embankments, bridges, ferries, and all other will work essential to lay rails, and to do all other points which shall be suitable or essential for the completion or restore of the mentioned street or streets.”
Typical New Jersey politics of the time, there was also a small reward to point out officers for supporting the task.
“… be it enacted That the governor, the chancellor, the justices of the supreme court, and the judges of the courtroom of glitches of this condition, whilst travelling for the function of discharging the obligations of their places of work, and the members and officers of equally residences of the legislature of this condition, in the course of their once-a-year or other classes, shall move and repass on the railroad of reported company, in their cars and trucks cost-free of demand.”
Irish-born Robert Osborne was hired to be the chief engineer to oversee the survey and building of the line. He now experienced expertise in developing railroads in Eire and Pennsylvania.
“On the 31st of August 1852, I submitted to the Board proposals for the building of the total street, based mostly on approximated mounted premiums for every mile: and on the 1st of September, 1852, those proposals ended up recognized, issue to particular alterations of the line. … This change was a detour that shortened my prolonged tangent some ten miles, and remaining only the present straight line of 20-5 continuous miles.”
Osborne remembered that in a afterwards conference, “When just before the board, I unrolled a wonderful and very well-concluded map of the proposed new bathing location, they noticed in massive letters of gold, stretching in excess of the waves that had been delineated thereon as breaking on Absecon seashore, the text ‘Atlantic City.’ This title was at after approved by the board. It was unanimously adopted, and Atlantic City that working day arrived into existence on paper, and in thirteen and a half months afterward, viz, on the 3d of March 1854, was established by act of incorporation, a town in truth.”
Quickly the venture moved ahead.
“There was no formal breaking ground the contractors have been set to do the job as shortly as their residences could be erected, and in September 1852, the building by grading was began. … Observe was laid on the street among Camden and Haddonfield, and also at Absecon, throughout August 1853. Passenger trains commenced functioning from Camden to Haddonfield in August 1853, and to Winslow, 20-7 miles, routinely in January 1854. The wharves at this day at Camden, and the station grounds there were being virtually concluded.”
The building of company-owned wharves would allow a ferry services to operate from Philadelphia to the railroad terminus at Camden. At the time there were no bridges spanning the Delaware River.
While most of New Jersey was flat, the design moved quickly, but as the do the job neared the coastline, there were being some complications.
“In February, 1854 a substantial storm tide was driven throughout the meadows and damaged the grading of the highway-bed and on the 16th of April adhering to, soon after the work experienced been replaced, a Northeast storm and spring tide designed a clean sweep of the identical operate. This class of road-bed was then deserted, and the keep track of was laid on the initial sod except at the thoroughfare the place it has rested in spite of storm and flood for 5 and twenty years.”
In July 1854, the whole line was completely ready. The West Jersey Pioneer of July 8 documented, “The opening ceremonies of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, which unites Camden with Atlantic Town, a new city projected at Absecon, took put on Saturday July 1. A large number of company experienced been invited among whom were associates of the push from Philadelphia and New York, and lots of gentlemen of be aware. The working day was scrumptious, and each heart seemed elated at prospect of having an tour for the initially time on an iron observe, through the centre of South Jersey, to the sea, and of experiencing a delightful plunge in ‘old ocean’s briny waves.’”
The big day was ultimately in this article.
“At 9 o’clock about 6 hundred folks remaining Vine Street wharf, and proceeded to Cooper’s Level, where a train of 9 vehicles were being in waiting around to obtain them, and wherever they ended up greeted by a large deputation from Camden. … At 50 percent previous 9 the educate begun and arrived at Haddonfield in twenty minutes.”
All along the route there were being cheering crowds who have been witnessing heritage getting produced.
“The bash arrived on the Beach front at fifty percent-past 12 o’clock, and lots of indulged in a ‘dip’ in the surf. After this procedure, a splendid collation, geared up by Col. R.B. Jones, of Philadelphia, and established out in the eating home of the yet unfinished United States Resort, was talked about, and sufficient justice was finished to the fantastic factors.”
The railroad was accomplished right before the first lodge, but the guests had gotten a seem into the long run.
“After indulging in an soon after-evening meal bathe, the corporation took a study of the website of the new Atlantic Town, and at 50 % previous five o’clock the whistle sounded the sign and the excursionists have been once more enroute for the city, which they achieved about 10 o’clock, effectively pleased with the vacation and gratified with the treatment method they had gained at the hands of the enterprise.”
Atlantic City was the speak of the country, and so was the time period “daytrip.” From Philadelphia to the ocean and back in just one working day. The environment was going more quickly.
The railroad experienced been built, and they did come!
Up coming Week: Danger on the rails.