At the very bottom of New Jersey is a tiny Victorian town called Cape May. This is my home away from home. Filled with historic charm, and “painted ladies” – what we affectionately call the vibrant Victorian homes – you feel as if you’re transported back in time to the 1800s. One particular house has ties to Philadelphia; the Emlen Physick estate. Built by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness in 1879, the Phyick estate was home to Dr. Emlen Physick Jr., grandson of Dr. Phillip Syng Physick, known as the “father of American surgery.”
Dr. Emlen Physick never actually practiced medicine. Instead, he left the bustling streets of Philadelphia for the life of a country gentleman in Cape May. There he farmed on 11 acres, raised dogs and lived with his mother Frances and his maiden aunts Isabelle and Emilie. The estate passed out of the Physick family in 1935, with the passing of it’s last Physick family resident Emilie Parmentier. But some people believe Emilie never left and claim her ghost, among other spirits, lingers in the estate today. Join me on this trip down the shore to Cape May, NJ, as we visit the Emlen Physick Estate and do a little ghost hunting!
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