“Oh, and while you’re in the area you should see the sunken warship.”
I’d found myself chatting to the lady at the motel; she was letting me know all of the weird attractions in the area. I got in my car and followed her directions to Sunset Beach in Cape May Point, New Jersey
The remains of the SS Atlantus are clearly visible from the beach. The stern—long since lilted onto its side—is visible always; only the tiniest part of the bow peaks above the water unless it’s low-tide.
It was built in 1918 as part of the war effort. There being no steel, it was made of concrete. The SS Atlantus came into service just as the war was ending and was used primarily to transport troops back to the USA form Europe. It was retired for salvage in 1920 but was later bought by Colonel Jesse Rosenfeld to be used as part of a dock here in Cape May. That was 1926 and here’s what it looked like then:
This photo was taken on the 8th of June, 1926. That same day there was a storm, the ship broke free of its moorings and ran aground a little way out to sea. All attempts to free it failed and that’s where it lies today.
The ship has been gradually decaying since then, sinking further and further under water. For more images of its decay over the last 90 years—including when it was used to advertise boat insurance—see here. It can only be the matter of a few more years before the whole ship is completely submerged..
The Wreck of the SS Atlantus
Address: Drive east along Sunset Boulevard. Stop driving before you run out of continent. You’ll be at the parking lot for Sunset Beach. The SS Atlantus rests 150 feet out to sea.