It was never meant to be permanent, but the massive concrete bunker built as a military structure during World War II is still sitting out on the beach in Cape May County, New Jersey, startling visitors to the area and dismissed as just a fact of life by the locals. The concrete building, complete with walls that measure seven feet thick, was constructed on top of thick wooden pilings that had yet to give out, even if the rest of the structure is in less-than-ideal shape.
Called a magazine by an informational sign that no longer exists, it is assumed that the bunker once held munitions. The marker explained, according to a Web page built specific in honor of the site: “This bunker or gun emplacement was built in 1942. The round turrets on either side held six-inch guns. The horseshoe-shaped structures which can be seen out in front at low tide are Panama Mounts. These were built in July, 1941, prior to the construction of the more permanent bunker, and held four 155mm coast artillery guns. A sister bunker stands across the bay in Lewes, Delaware.”
When it was built in 1942, the bunker was more than 900 feet or so from the ocean, on high ground. It was covered in sod so as to blend in with the surroundings, which explains why it’s not so pretty today, with the sides exposed. The tide has since changed, though, and it’s impossible to walk under the structure as you once could; the water is always washing up underneath the bunker, which, over the years, appears to be moving out to sea.
- Cape May Views: The Bunker at Cape May Point: http://www.capemayviews.com/Attractions/Lighthouse/bunker.htm
- Stinch: Battery 223, Cape May, New Jersey: http://www.stinch.com/military/battery223.html
- Weird New Jersey: Cape May Bunker: http://www.weirdnj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=92&Itemid=28
- Cape May: "Need a Bunker? This One’s Ready to Go!" (September 2001): http://capemay.com/magazine/2001/09/need-a-bunker-this-ones-ready-to-go/