Strathmere to celebrate 100th anniversary of its name change on Independence Day

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This 1910 advertisement included a contest to rename the town. The winner received $1,000. Photos courtesy of History and Memories of Strathmere, NJ at www.strathmere.net. This 1910 advertisement included a contest to rename the town. The winner received $1,000. Photos courtesy of History and Memories of Strathmere, NJ at www.strathmere.net.

STRATHMERE – The community that famously can’t be found will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its name change on the Fourth of July.

Strathmere was once referred to as Corson’s Inlet because its shores were along the Corson’s Inlet waterway. It wasn’t until January 1912 that the name was change to Strathmere.
Oddly enough, the town received its new name thanks to a contest held by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
John and Jennie Burk originally owned land here until 1881 when it was deeded to Matilda Landis. Eventually, as more and more development took place, someone decided the place needed its own name.
What better way to do this but a contest? And what better way to market this "Wonderland of Sun and Sea" then to advertise in the Philadelphia newspapers and offer a $1,000 prize?
Those were the stakes, according to a 1910 newspaper ad that offered an excursion to “Where Corson’s Inlet Meets the Combers” where travelers could find out “who will be the lucky namer of this ocean-girdled gem in the diadem of the Jersey Shore.”
“Who will receive the awards for having created a name worthy of this wind-caressed, sunbathed vacationland supreme?” the ad continued.
The $1,000 winner was named and two lots were also given away to one of the 500 passengers who took the special train from Philadelphia via the Market Street ferries to Camden.
The West Jersey and Seashore Railway and the Reading Railway were already running lines down to the shore. A diagram of the rail lines from that time shows that Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor and Wildwood already had their places on the map. The future Strathmere is listed only as “Name It.”
Trains came into Strathmere near where the Corson’s Inlet Bridge is now. The Corson's Inlet train station, as it was known then, was near the West Jersey Cottages, one of the first hotels here, and Gus Wittkamp, owner of the cottages, was a station manager there for many years.
There doesn't seem to be a record of the lucky person whose name was chosen, whether it was an inhabitant or an out-of-towner, but the contest winner's entrant was Strathmere.
According to the website, Strathmere News and Happenings, which hosts the Strathmere Improvement Association’s weekly newsletter, the name Strathmere came from “‘strath’ which...had the same derivation as strand or beach and ‘mere’ which...relates to the sea."
Strathmere will host its annual Fourth of July Parade on Wednesday, July 4. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Strathmere Firehouse. Judging begins at 10 a.m. and the parade steps off at 10:30 a.m.
The parade will go down Commonwealth to Prescott Road, west to Bayview Drive and up Bayview to the Deauville Inn.
Refreshments and an awards presentation will be held afterwards at the Deauville Inn.
Judging categories are Antique Cars, Adult Walkers and Wagons, Mixed Walkers, Wagons and Strollers, Bikes, Trikes and Scooters, Hand-pulled Floats and Motorized Floats.
The parade is sponsored by the Strathmere Improvement Association and the Strathmere Volunteer Fire Company.
For more information, call Ken or Jessica Weaver at 263-6846.

(Information for this article was found at www.strathmere.blogspot.com and Carol Baker's Strathmere website www.strathmere.net.)


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