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Atlantic City History
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Atlantic City.

Atlantic City History

Atlantic City is relatively new, with only a 200- year history, as it was developed as an extension of Philadelphia during the late 19th century. Since its beginnings, the city has always been a haven for travelers looking for an exciting getaway.

Originally, the island was a summer residence for the Lenni Lenape Indians because of its location. They were close to the water for fishing and near wildlife. In

the1670s, the first owner purchased land for $.04 per. acre The land began developing at this time and in the late 1830s, the first business, a licensed Boarding House, was opened. On July 5, 1854, the Camden-Atlantic City Railroad brought the island’s first tourists and thus began the growth of the tourist economy, turning Atlantic City into a tourist town.

That same year, after a shipwreck carrying German immigrants, the Absecon Lighthouse was erected by the suggestion of Dr. Jonathan Pitney, an original founder of the city. During this time, large, expensive hotels were opened, catering to the nation’s elite. This only built the town into one of class and grandeur.

The Boardwalk was then developed with the purpose of keeping sand out of the businessmen’s clothes and shoes. In 1880, the city was officially opened to the public. In addition to the hotels, the city built elaborate and luxurious vacation homes purchased by wealthy Philadelphia citizens.

After World War II, Atlantic City lost its splendor and many chose not to make this their vacation destination. With air travel becoming more popular, residents of Philadelphia and New York took to the skies, choosing to travel to further destinations, rather than their own backyard for a weekend trip. However, this all changed when gambling was passed in 1976. Now, Atlantic City continues to grow, real estate is valued in the millions and the city has emerged as a world-famous travel spot for any age and any budget.


Atlantic City Travel Guides
 Frommer's Atlantic City
 Lonely Planet Atlantic City
 Let's Go Atlantic City
 Fodors Atlantic City