Congress Hall

From Academic Kids

This article refers to Cape May, New Jersey's Congress Hall. Congress Hall can also refer to other structures. See Congress Hall (Disambiguation).

Congress Hall is a hotel located in Cape May, New Jersey. It occupies one city block and is bordered to the south by Beach Drive. The Washington Street Mall lies due East.

Contents

History

Congress Hall was constructed in 1816 as a boarding house for guests to the newly developing Cape May, New Jersey seaside resort. The proprietor of this new establishment was Thomas H. Hughes. He called the boardinghouse "The Big House".

In 1828, Thomas Hughes was elected to the House of Representatives, and thus chose to change the name of his hotel to Congress Hall. In 1878, in the midst of its heighday, Congress Hall burned to the ground in Cape May's Great Fire of 1878. It owners rebuilt the hotel within one year.

Congress Hall and the Presidency

While serving as President of the United States, Presidents Ulyssis Grant, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Benjamin Harrison chose to vacation at Congress Hall. Benjamin Harrison chose to make Congress Hall his official Summer White House. It became the center of state business for several months per year.

John Phillip Sousa

Nineteenth century musician/composer John Phillip Sousa regularly visited Congress Hall, and composed the Congress Hall March to be played there in the summer of 1882.

The Restoration

The restoration of Congress Hall began in 1995, when it was purchased by its present owners. Prior to this date, Congress Hall had fallen into a state of disrepair that made it unsafe for occupation. Today, Congress Hall is a fully functioning resort hotel.

Related Links

[Congress Hall's Official Website (http://www.congresshall.com/pages/histmain_new.html)]

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