Wildwood, New Jersey facts for kids

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Wildwood, New Jersey
City
City of Wildwood
Sign at the boardwalk
Sign at the boardwalk
Map of Wildwood in Cape May County. Inset: Location of Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Wildwood in Cape May County. Inset: Location of Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Wildwood, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Wildwood, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Cape May
Incorporated May 1, 1895 (as borough)
January 1, 1912 (as city)
Area
 • Total 1.394 sq mi (3.613 km2)
 • Land 1.304 sq mi (3.379 km2)
 • Water 0.090 sq mi (0.234 km2)  6.49%
Area rank 461st of 566 in state
12th of 16 in county
Elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 5,325
 • Estimate (2015) 5,149
 • Rank 367th of 566 in state
6th of 16 in county
 • Density 4,082.0/sq mi (1,576.1/km2)
 • Density rank 151st of 566 in state
1st of 16 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08260
Area code(s) 609 exchanges: 522, 523, 729, 846
FIPS code 3400981170
GNIS feature ID 0885444
Website www.wildwoodnj.org

Wildwood is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area and is a popular summer resort destination. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's year-round population was 5,325, reflecting a decline of 111 (-2.0%) from the 5,436 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 952 (+21.2%) from the 4,484 counted in the 1990 Census. With visitors, the population can swell to 250,000 during the summer months.

The Wildwoods is used as a collective term for the four communities that have "Wildwood" as part of the municipality name — the Borough of Wildwood Crest, City of Wildwood, Borough of West Wildwood and the City of North Wildwood — together with Diamond Beach, a portion of Lower Township situated on the island. The city, and the surrounding communities that share the name, derives its name from the wild flowers found in the area.

History

Wildwood was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 1, 1895, from portions of Middle Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. On January 1, 1912, Wildwood was incorporated as a city, replacing both Wildwood borough and Holly Beach City.

The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century. A building boom began in the 1950s, due partially to the construction and completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1955.

"Rock Around the Clock", often credited as the first rock and roll record, was first performed on Memorial Day weekend in 1954 at the HofBrau Hotel in Wildwood by Bill Haley & His Comets. The song's status as one of the first rock and roll hits has given rise to the city's claim as "the birthplace of rock and roll".

Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District

Caribbean Motel NJ
The Caribbean Motel

Wildwood is home to over 200 motels, built during the Doo-Wop era of the 1950s and 1960s, in an area recognized by the state of New Jersey, known as the Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District. The term "doo-wop" was coined by Cape May's Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts in the early 1990s to describe the unique, space-age architectural style, which is also referred to as the Googie or populuxe style.

The motels are unique in appearance, with Vegas-like neon signs and fantastic architecture. New construction in the area has seen the demolition of several motels to make room for larger condominiums. The Wildwood Doo Wop Preservation League has taken action to help save and restore these historic buildings. The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest, and the Chateau Bleu Motel in North Wildwoods are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A 1950s Doo Wop museum includes property from demolished motels such as neon signs and furniture. Neo-Doo Wop buildings in the area feature a neon lit Wawa and a 1950s styled Acme Supermarket.

Geography

Wildwood beach north of Mariner's Landing
Beach in Wildwood

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.394 square miles (3.613 km2), including 1.304 square miles (3.379 km2) of land and 0.090 square miles (0.234 km2) of water (6.49%).

The city is located on a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean. On the same island are the towns of North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Diamond Beach, a place in Lower Township. Collectively with the town of West Wildwood (located on a separate, adjacent island), these communities form "The Wildwoods" resort. Wildwood also borders Middle Township.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Five Mile Beach.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 150
1910 898 498.7%
1920 2,790 210.7%
1930 5,330 91.0%
1940 5,150 −3.4%
1950 5,475 6.3%
1960 4,690 −14.3%
1970 4,110 −12.4%
1980 4,913 19.5%
1990 4,484 −8.7%
2000 5,436 21.2%
2010 5,325 −2.0%
Est. 2014 5,149 −3.3%
Population sources:
1900-2000 1900-1920
1900-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,325 people, 2,251 households, and 1,146 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,082.0 per square mile (1,576.1/km2). There were 6,843 housing units at an average density of 5,245.7 per square mile (2,025.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 68.04% (3,623) White, 11.15% (594) Black or African American, 0.73% (39) Native American, 0.79% (42) Asian, 0.13% (7) Pacific Islander, 16.24% (865) from other races, and 2.91% (155) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.21% (1,662) of the population.

There were 2,251 households out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.5% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females there were 105.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 104.8 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $32,783 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,471) and the median family income was $45,125 (+/- $24,251). Males had a median income of $24,416 (+/- $1,945) versus $26,043 (+/- $7,007) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,118 (+/- $3,877). About 16.2% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 5,436 people, 2,333 households, and 1,273 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,212.6 people per square mile (1,627.0/km2). There were 6,488 housing units at an average density of 5,027.9 per square mile (1,941.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.55% White, 16.65% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 8.85% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.62% of the population.

Among Wildwood's Hispanic community in 2000, 69.7% were from Puerto Rico, while an additional 17.0% were from Mexico.

There were 2,333 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,981, and the median income for a family was $28,288. Males had a median income of $30,787 versus $23,320 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,682. About 20.2% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.7% of those under age 18 and 21.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

The city had a total of 32.38 miles (52.11 km) of roadways, of which 29.93 miles (48.17 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.37 miles (3.81 km) by Cape May County and 0.08 miles (0.13 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Route 47 (Rio Grande Avenue) has its southern terminus in Wildwood and continues into Lower Township via the George Reading Wildwood Bridge, which provides access to the Garden State Parkway. County Route 621 (New Jersey Avenue) runs for 1.3 miles (2.1 km) through the borough, from Wildwood Crest to the south to North Wildwood in the north.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus service to Philadelphia on the 313 and 315 routes and to Atlantic City on the 552 route, with seasonal service to Philadelphia on the 316 route and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 319 route.

In popular culture

  • Bruce Willis worked as a bartender in Wildwood in his early days and can be seen on the Wildwood Days documentary.
  • Cozy Morley, a once popular entertainer and club owner here, recorded a song called On The Way To Cape May.
  • Wildwood is home to the beverage known as the "Lime Rickey".
  • The song "Wildwood Days" by Bobby Rydell is about the shore town.
  • The song "Everything's Wild in Wildwood" by The Treniers was inspired by summers in the early '50s during which they played residencies at a night club in the town.
  • "Wildwood Blues", the 1967 song by the psychedelic rock band Nazz, is based on the Wildwood scene.
WildwoodsConventionCenter
Wildwoods Convention Center
  • A portion of the rock band Kiss's 1975 album Alive! was recorded from a July 23, 1975 concert at the old Wildwoods Convention Center.
  • In the 1987 movie Wall Street, when Charlie Sheen's character tells Daryl Hannah's character she could have bought a beach house for four hundred thousand dollars (the value of a painting they were looking at) she sardonically replies, "Sure you could, in Wildwood New Jersey".
  • WWE Raw came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2005. WWE SmackDown came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2006. WWE Raw broke an attendance record at the Wildwood convention center on August 10, 2007.
  • A CKY song entitled "The Boardwalk Body" was written about a body found under the boardwalk on one of lead singer Deron Miller's childhood trips to Wildwood.
  • The video for Jason Aldean's song "Laughed Until We Cried" is set in Wildwood.
  • In the 2008 movie Wipe Out, the beach scenes were shot in Wildwood.
  • A season 4 episode of Hoarders features Randy Senna, the owner of "Randyland" based out of Wildwood.
  • On June 20, 2012, Kenny Chesney performed a free concert sponsored by American Express as part of their Unstaged series. The event took place on the Wildwood beach with 20,000 in attendance.
  • In early 2016, filming began for a movie titled Wetlands, featuring actress Heather Graham.

Images for kids


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