Why Is Wildwood Crest A Dry Town?

Have you ever wondered why Wildwood Crest is the only dry town on the island?

The Shurman family from Allentown, Pennsylvania asked this question via email and it’s a great one! Let’s break it down.

The city of Wildwood Crest was founded on April 6, 1910. By the late 1919s the city was starting to grow and needed more space.

The town decided that the best thing to do was to connect five-mile-island to two-mile-land. They would do this by filling in Turtle Gut Inlet which sat between the islands.

Once completed hotels/motels and houses sprung up right away. Many restaurants started moving into the area as well.

This was when alcohol was first sold on this section of the Crest.

There were a few places, that don’t exist today, that held liquor licenses. Places like Billy’s Docks (207 West Sweet Briar Road) and Crest Liquor Store (5909 New Jersey Ave).

On November 5th, 1940, a referendum prohibiting the sale of alcohol in the Borough was held. In this referendum, it didn’t mention why they wanted it banned but rather posed the question if you think our city needs alcohol sales when then are other parts of the island that already have it.

It was approved by a vote of 319 in favor of the ban and 117 in support of the status quo. With a population of only 661 at the time, it passed in a flash.

Back in 2019, the city talked about the potential of bringing back the sale of alcohol as a means to bring life back into its downtown.

That passage of the potential referendum would allow had allowed the potential issuance of one liquor consumption license based on the borough’s population

Not too much has been said about it since though.

Did you know the Crest had been dry since 1940?

Check out these other Wildwood videos and articles! 

Wildwood Boardwalk Reconstruction Project Underway

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