Article Data
Author: Don Pocher
Affiliation: South Jersey Postcard Club
Written: September 2001

Publication history:
††††††††††† First: SJPCC Newsletter, September 2001
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Number of words: 289 words, including captions on illustrations.
Illustrations: 3 postcards

Wanamaker Camp Island Heights, New Jersey
by Don Pocher


sland Heights was founded as a Methodist, Christian family resort July 1, 1878 to provide a place to hold camp meetings under the temperance influence. ††In 1899, John Wanamaker purchased thirteen acres to be used as a campground for his youthful employees.

††††††††††† He would provide a two - week vacation for all of the boys and girls from his New York and Philadelphia stores.† This would be the first time many of these young people would see the seashore and experience living away from a large city.

††††††††††† These young people were already members of the John Wanamaker Commercial Institute, so when they arrived at Barnegat Bay they marched through town to the camp.† Arriving at camp, they settled into the campís two hundred two-man tents.

††††††††††† Reveille sounded at 7AM to start the day.† Sitting up exercises, clean up, breakfast, assembly, and quarters inspection followed.† The rest of the day, the cadets participated in boating, hiking, fishing, crabbing, calisthenics, rifle practice, baseball, track and other games.

††††††††††† Different companies and regiments competed in intramural sports during their stay. During the evening, there were military drills, parades and concerts until taps sounded at 10:30 PM.

††††††††††† On Sunday, there were religious services for all.

††††††††††† Wanamaker felt that his Island Heights camp would raise the moral and ethical standards of the participants, as well as encourage team spirit in the environment of fun and games.

††††††††††† If the reaction of Island Heights post card buyers is any indication, Wanamakerís camp was a huge success.


Below are some examples of
postcards from John Wanamaker's camp.

John Wanamaker Commercial Institute Camp
Island Heights, N.J

1585 Entrance to Camp, Island Heights, N. J.
The John Wanamaker Commercial Institute

1613 Inspection of Quarter, Girls Camp, Island Heights, N.J.
The John Wanamaker Commercial Institute

Wanamaker Commercial Club Girls
Island Heights, N.J.