Cape May

The Lobster House Restaurant

QUESTION:  What is the name of the red carotenoid molecule called that, when combined with an abnormal protein, causes the distinctive blue color of one in every two million lobsters?
A)  This is too easy to answer, so I won't deign to try.
B)  Astaxanthin
C)  Mexylprotanthin
D)  Flagrocyasin

Cape May, New Jersey is a wonderful destination if you're looking for a relaxing, somewhat high-end beach community. Of course, the question of where to go for dinner might arise if you make the journey, and that's where the American Treasure Tour might be of service. Located in the Toy Box, on our matchbox display right inside the door, is a matchbook advertising The Lobster House Restaurant, located at Fisherman's Wharf. For all the matchbooks we have discussed thus far, The Lobster House is actually the first restaurant so honored that remains in business to this day, with no indication of that changing any time soon. The restaurant was established by the local Laudeman family, Wally and Marijane, as an extension of The Cold Spring Fish & Supply Company, back in 1955.  The land on which the wharf is attached came into the family in 1939 when Wally's father, Jess, bought it from the Reading Railroad. 

It is very safe to say the Laudeman family has done with the wharf, the fish company, and the restaurant. In fact, Lobster House is on a list of fifty of the most profitable privately owned restaurants in the country. While lobster is in their name, their true specialty is New Jersey scallops.  Current owners Keith, Donna, and Randy Laudeman, two brothers and a sister, all work together managing the entire enterprise.  The restaurant seats 550, and there is a schooner abutting it called The American which serves as a cocktail bar. There is also a raw bar today. All this, and we have the matchbook to show off right here at the American Treasure Tour!

ANSWER:  B).Astaxanthin.  Or possibly A) if you're an expert on lobster coloration.  Full disclosure, we completely made up the last two words.  We hope they sound scientific, if nothing else.

Cape May, New Jersey

QUESTION:  Cape May, New Jersey is named after the explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey.  For what nation did Mey claim the land?
A)  Great Britain
B)  France
C)  The Netherlands
D)  Spain

When European explorers began claiming the lands of the New World for their native countries, they rarely factored in the local inhabitants, who often lived on the lands they settled for centuries before. The Kechemeche branch of the Lenni-Lenape tribe of Native Americans hunted at the southeasternmost tip of what is now New Jersey when they first encountered Europeans in 1621.  Soon after, the fishing and whaling industries began to dominate the region. In the years to come, though, residents of the nearby city of Philadelphia recognized that the bucolic setting of Cape May could serve as an attractive place to go for relaxation.  In 1766, they started traveling by horse to the region, looking to restore their health and have a little fun. Cape May is now widely considered one of the oldest vacation destinations in the United States. Boarding houses began popping up in the 1830's to cater to the well-to-do, and then hotels.  In 1852, construction began on the Mt. Vernon Hotel, what was to be the largest facility of its kind in the entire world, able to comfortably serve 3,500 patrons. Sadly, it burned down four years later, prior to completion.

Visitors to Cape May today enjoy the now-famous Victorian mansions that dominate the town today. Competition with other oceanfront communities, including Atlantic City and Newport, Rhode Island, compelled the "Queen of the Seaside Resorts" to promote itself as a wholesome place for the whole family to enjoy. They did something right, because it continues to be a destination for summer travelers to this day. Cape May is 120 miles southeast of the American Treasure Tour in Oaks, Pennsylvania, which may compel you to wonder why we are talking about it. Well, check back in on Monday for your answer.

ANSWER:  C)  The Netherlands.