Cold Spring Village is an open air living history museum located a couple of miles north of town. The Village “brings to life the day-to-day activities of villagers living in South Jersey during the age of homespun” (1790-1840). There are 26 antique restored buildings on a 22 acre wooded site, nearly all of which have been moved here from locations around Cape May and Cumberland Counties. Most were transported via flatbed truck and restored once they arrived, although some had to be partly dismantled for the journey. The buildings now house historically-clothed interpreters, who educate visitors about the lifestyles, issues, trades and crafts of that time. These include a blacksmith, spinner, weaver, potter, tinsmith, basket maker, printer & bookbinder, all of whom can be seen in action in season.
But in late September the village is only open at weekends – something we unfortunately didn’t discover until the weekend had come and gone! However, even when all the activity has shut down the grounds of the village are open (until 4.00PM each day) so you’re free to wander, to see the old buildings and soak up a bit of the atmosphere. We enjoyed our stroll here, though it left me wanting more. As well as seeing the interpreters in action it sounds as if it would be a good place to shop for some unusual gifts and souvenirs, as items created by the artisans working here can be purchased in the Country Store. There is also a restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, provided the Village is open. We had a quick glance at the menu outside which sounded pretty tasty.
Had the Village been properly open we would have paid $8 each as entrance fee (children get in for $6) but this off-season entry to the grounds only is offered free of charge.
The Cape May County settlers of nineteenth century lived a life in harmony with the seasons and the environment. The resources of the ocean, bay, meadow and marsh provided their shelter and livelihood. This way of life colored their speech, religious beliefs, and social values. Throughout the season, visitors can share the experience of this bygone era and become directly involved in the daily life of a century and a half ago. Historic Cold Spring Village lets you and your family 'live a little history'. Chat with the 'locals' in the Dennisville Inn or watch the printer produce advertisements for sale of goods and pamphlets for local societies.