Welcome to the 
Emlen Physick Estate, 
Cape May, New Jersey's 
only Victorian house museum


1048 WASHINGTON ST.

A visit to the Physick Estate today offers a look back at our Victorian past as evidenced by its architecture, decorative arts, customs, and the lives of one particular Cape May family, the Physicks. Emlen Physick Jr., his widowed mother, Frances Ralston, and his maiden aunt Emilie Parmentier moved into their home when it was completed in 1879.


Emlen, who never married, was descended from a famous and wealthy Philadelphia family. His grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, was considered the father of American surgery and invented numerous surgical procedures and medical instruments that are still in use today.

While he did graduate from medical school, Emlen never practiced medicine. In Cape May, he led the life of a gentleman farmer, owning two tenant farms and keeping livestock on his estate on Washington StreetHe bought and sold a great deal of real estate in Cape May, and took an active interest in local doings by voicing his opinions at city council meetings.


The Physicks' distinctive home illustrates their changing tastes as well as the particulars of the Victorian lifestyle inCape May.


The first floor of the Physick House Museum is fully accessible.


Free on-site parking/RV-friendly

Find out more about the Physick Estate:
NEW THEME FOR 2013: Victorian Luxuries
This year our theme at the Physick Estate is Victorian Luxuries – that is, the differences between this house and a regular middle-class home. Our idea of what’s luxurious is really the Victorian idea. When the world is filled with identical factory-made things, handmade is viewed as luxurious. When everything around you is mass-produced, custom designed just-for-you is luxurious. When the technology of everyday life is changing fast, having the very latest gadget is luxurious. Dr. Physick’s vases were handmade and hand-painted faience. His house and even his furniture was architect-designed – no off-the-shelf retail stuff for him. He had indoor bathrooms and piped hot water when everyone around him contented themselves with outhouses and boiling water in pots on the stove. Dr. P. was clearly the classy, cool, man-about-town of Victorian Cape May. See the trappings of his life of luxury during tours of the Emlen Physick Estate beginning April 26.
Join the Friends of the Physick Estate
For years, the Emlen Physick Estate has been a “must see” destination for visitors to Cape May, as well as an outstanding educational experience for local schoolchildren. Help us to enhance this jewel of Victoriana and expand its outreach by joining the Friends of the Physick Estate, an affinity group of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

For more information on current events sponsored by the 
Friends of the Physick Estate, CLICK HERE
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Check out Dr. Physick's family tree!
The Physick House in Philadelphia was the 19th century home of our Dr. Physick's grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, who became known as the Father of American Surgery, and also created the first carbonated soft drink in America! 
Get Directions To:
1048 Washington St.
Cape May NJ 08204
USA