Abigale’s Ashes

A Photo of Abigale and The Urn

Text messaging with my son Michael..

  • Michael – Still interested in working on a quasi-business project with me?
  • Mom – Always
  • Michael – Keep an open mind, we’ll talk when you get back
  • Mom – Open mind? The person who found the family at a yard sale that built the Cape May seaside retreat in Turnersville in the Innovasion design studio?

It all started with The Schreadley.  Ed Schreadley is Cheryl’s husband and he is a master carpenter. We decided to do a summer theme for the opening of the design studio.  The song “On The Way To Cape May” was the inspiration.

Our design concept is based on a stroll down memory lane of the South Jersey shore towns in Atlantic and Cape May Counties. The final destination is Innovasion’s interpretation of a Cape May Victorian retreat with a contemporary twist.

From Drab

Sofa

To Fab

Cheryl began to imagine, and what an imagination she has! I won’t go into the details here, but one of her ideas was to have her husband Ed build a mock baby grand piano for the “music room.”.

The Schreadley’s
Ed and The Mock Baby Grand

The Innovasion design studio is actually located in an office space that was used as a real estate office. A door had been installed to separate two first floor tenants. The door is located at the top of a few steps and ends with a landing (the steps to nowhere). The landing is the music room.

The Stairway to Nowhere

Dining Room

The day after Cheryl told me about the Schreadley, I was out shopping yard sales, and I came across photos of people that looked to be about the time period of the seaside retreat that we were creating. The woman who owned the photos said she was selling them because her husband said they already had enough photos of dead people that they knew, they didn’t need to have photos of dead people they didn’t know.

The Family

It didn’t take long for me to begin to imagine and when I got home, I emailed Cheryl and told her I found the family that built the house. And then I started to weave the story…

This home was built by a prominent family from Philadelphia as a seaside retreat.  The Mey’s are descended from Cornelius Jacobsen Mey (from whom the town is named), who explored and chartered the area between 1611-1614.

The Mey’s had four children; Abigale, Rachel, Isaiah and Obediah…

I am thinking about Abigale graduating from the Juliard School of Music and her parents bought her The Schreadley for a graduation gift.  Then I am thinking something tragic would happen to her – like she died in a house fire or her fiance was killed in World War I.  I then passed the baton on to Cheryl for her to finish, but her reaction was “tragic????” I’ll let  you finish the story.

By 11:00 that evening I had an e-mail from Cheryl – she decided to finish the story.

After the graduation party held in New York’s swank hotel, the Plaza, the Mey family was returning home by train when the train derailed outside of Mt. Holly and the Mey girls, Abigale and Rachel were killed.  The piano was delivered the next day.  To this day it has never been played.  Her mother was so distraught over the loss of both girls, she took to her bedroom and died of a broken heart six months later.  Her husband found solace in the arms of another woman and moved to Paris.  The two Mey sons left the shore house but only one returned to live his days walking the beach and haunting the dunes to his last days.

The house ownership has passed to the illegitimate child of the lady from Paris who named the house Chalet de la Perte de L’amour, or as it is known by the locals Love Loss Cottage.

The Music Room

Abigale Overlooking The Schreadley

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