The region where Atlantic City now stands was an island marked by the existence of dense woods. The area was also noted by the prominent presence of dunes. The Lenni Lenape Indians, an Algonquian-speaking people chose Atlanta City as their summer residence.
These primitive residents coined the island Absegami, which actually meant “little water.” It was a general expression for the bay symbolizing that the opposite shore was visible. In due course, the name was altered to Absecon Island. Colonial explorers in South Jersey overlooked the island because it could only be accessed by boat.
Though the specific date of the early permanent community has never been resolved, it is commonly accepted that Jeremiah Leeds was the first to construct and reside in a dwelling place on the island by 1800.
With time, the prospective appeal of the island’s cool breezes and beaches were acknowledged and the suggestion to build a resort was proposed by Dr. Jonathan Pitney, a local physician.
Atlantic City’s closeness to important population areas, combined with a suitable, affordable entrance by train, permitted thousands to escape the suffocating climates of the hot cities. They enjoyed the summer excitement at the cool seashore. The city developed at a fast pace, offering lodging, dining, entertainment and amusement for all age groups and budgets.
Gradually Atlantic City turned into a key holiday destination.
As time passed, Atlantic City later gained prominence when gambling was legalized. It generated a huge outcry of opposition, but still became, the first gambling casino resort area. Gambling developed into an important leisure activity in contemporary Atlantic City with most of the major hotels setting up casinos of their own.