Delaware December 13, 2016
Huge Things Actually Happened In These 9 Small Towns In Delaware
Our tiny state is big on history, for sure. Dover native Ceasar Rodney famously fought for our independence in 1776, Delawareans helped revise the Articles of Confederation and establish our current Constitution, Kent and New Castle counties were important stops on the Underground Railroad, and, well, there’s so much more! And because we’ve been a rural state for just about all of our time in the Union (and before it was even established), these tiny towns in Delaware have had huge historical impacts. Read up on some local Delaware history below.
1. Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach has been known as America's summer resort town for decades, but did you know that in 1880, the very first beauty contest in the world occurred on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk?
2. Bethany Beach
1876 - Indian River Lifesaving Station was built in 1876 to rescue mariners that frequently shipwrecked along the Delaware coast. The brave lifeguards at the station saved hundreds of lives, and the Indian River station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
So much history has gone down in Lewes - from the establishment of the first European Settlement in Delaware to the survival of the town during the British Bombardment in 1812. The early history of Delaware is best learned at the Zwaanendael Museum in this small town.
102 Kings Hwy, Lewes, DE 19958
Plenty of history has gone down in Dover, which has been the state's Capitol since 1871, when it redeemed the title from New Castle. Most famously, Dover was home to American Revolutionary leader Caesar Rodney, who rode through the state and through the night to sign for Delaware on the side of Independence.
Oh, and also, the Governors have
lived in a haunted mansion for decades
This small town near the Maryland border is home to the Camden Friends Meeting House, built in 1804 which served as the regional hub of Quakers who were active in the Underground Railroad. Famously, Thomas Garrett (a Wilmington native) assisted Harriet Tubman and other key figures of the Underground Railroad in transporting slaves through Delaware's small towns to their freedom.
You can still visit the Camden Friends meetinghouse, at 122 E Camden-Wyoming Ave, Camden, DE, 19934.
Selbyville has contributed greatly to the culinary history of Delaware - after all, that's where Doyle's Diner still stands as the oldest diner in the state. This small town on the way to the beaches has defended our right to breakfast all day since the early 1930s.
Frederica is famously known as the spot where Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury met in 1780, at what was later called Barratt's Chapel, establishing the Methodist Church for the first time in the United States.
8. Delaware City
Little known Delaware fact: The First State was the, well, first state to start commercial peach farming in the entire country. For decades, Delaware's peach farmers grew more than any other locality in the world. Delaware's agricultural success led to the strengthening of the state's economy as a whole, and it helped the industry weather hard times, crop disease, and industrialization.
9. Ocean View
Ocean View is currently a town of just about a thousand people, but when Cecile Steele was mistakenly shipped 500 chickens, the town was even tinier. Ever the entrepreneur, though, Cecile sold the chickens months later for a whopping 62 cents per pound, and that's how Delaware's enormous broiler chicken industry began. Seriously. You can thank whomever decided Ocean View needed more chickens than people for the Delmarva Chicken Festival, and all of the incredible chicken and dumplings you've eaten over the years.
There’s so much to love about Delaware’s small towns – like the
incredible restaurants they’re hiding, too.