For more than half a century, Egg Harbor City
was a German town. However, it was recognized as early as 1868 that the
settlement could not maintain for long its purely German character. Blacks moved
into the area before the end of the century, their children learning to speak
fluent German. Italians were attracted by the wine industry, by Egg Harbor
City's second-most prominent enterprise, tailoring, and by the railroad's need
for cheap labor. The railroad imported as many as eighty Italian immigrants to
the town in a single month in 1890. The gradual disappearance of the German
flavor of the community was evident in its churches, which changed from German
to bilingual services, then finally to English. The minutes of the City Council
were recorded in German for the last time in 1916. When the First World War
ended, Egg Harbor City had become as American as any other town in South Jersey.
Mr. Koedel's book from our catalog.