Chapter 5 Getting About at the Shore
shore area was not on the
transportation mainline since most travel in 1850 was between New York City, Philadelphia
and Washington, DC.
Four stagecoaches seating seven passengers left each city at 5 AM and
traveled for fifteen hours for a cost of $10. Each coach stopped in Trenton. A mail stagecoach could seat six
passengers and departed at 1:00 PM for Philadelphia . Since there were no bridges or
tunnels New York passengers were ferried across
the Hudson River to Jersey City and Paul’s
Hook, then loaded on coaches.
costs of mailing a letter was based on distance-30 miles costs .08cents, over 30
miles costs .10 cents, 150 miles costs 12 ½ cents, 400 miles costs 18 ½ cents,
and beyond costs .25 cents. Post offices opened briefly on Sundays since that
might be the only day patrons were able to come in to town. In 1810 Congress
required Postmasters to deliver mail seven days a week.
Traveling around the
area was very difficult because of so many river
crossings. Houseboats to
Brooklyn cost .75
cents for a carriage and .12 cents per person. Three steamboats traveled from
New York to
each day at a cost of $8.00 per
person. A sailboat from
New York to
took four days.
John Stevens applied for a
for a railroad between
New York and
in 1814, but
it took another fifteen years for a locomotive to run between the cities.
Private toll roads crossed the area. Horse farms are still numerous in the area
for boarding and training racehorses.
The shore area of
Branch developed as
a popular resort area for presidents and the upper classes from
, which was
the social and cultural capital at the time. Philadelphians brought their
cultural activities, dances, waltzes, reels and jigs with them to the resort
hotels. Many of Ike’s grandchildren became musicians who entertained summer
visitors. There were plays, theatre and concerts throughout the summer seasons
for the Irish, Episcopalian and Catholic visitors, but unacceptable to the
Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and Quakers at the