Through The Years...


  • 1896: The Children’s Fresh Air Home was founded by L. Ida Dukes, a 41-year old mother of six children. Initially, Mrs. Dukes began to invite children whose families were unable to afford a summer retreat from city life for a day of fun along the Delaware River. Over the next several years, Mrs. Dukes continued her outreach. In 1911, she brought her first group of children to Wildwood, N.J. and in 1923 the Children’s Fresh Air Home opened its doors.


  • 1937: Following the death of Ida Dukes, Miss Myra Loring became the Superintendent of the Children’s Fresh Air Home. Miss Loring served in this position from 1938 to 1988. She refused to accept a salary for her work during her 50-year tenure at the Home. She passed away in 1988.


  • 1988: Kris and Laura Perkins took charge as superintendents for 14 years of strong of leadership in the Children’s Fresh Air Home’s history.
  • 2003: The Fresh Air Home welcomed Craig and Karen Wille to the role of Superintendents. Prior to assuming this role, the Wille’s, residents of Moorestown, NJ, had served in various leadership capacities in the Home for many years.
  • 2006: The Children’s Fresh Air Home board makes the difficult decision to temporarily close the Home for critical repairs and establishes a capital campaign, called the Century Campaign, to support the renovation effort.
  • 2012: The Children’s Fresh Air Home introduces a new summer program during its renovation period to bring the gift of summer to children across the region. The "If Just for a Day" program utilizes the grounds of the Home in North Wildwood and provides a day at the beach and BBQ, filled with lots of fun activities.
  • 2014: The Children’s Fresh Air Home kicks-off a three phase renovation period to the home. Phase one begins with the rebuilding of the home’s foundation in late 2014.