Delaware Attractions August 28, 2018
There Are More Than 80 Historic Buildings In This Special Delaware Town
One of the most fascinating places in Delaware is the historic town of Odessa, where there are over 80 buildings preserved in a National Historic District. The town itself dates back to the 1700s, when it was an important port town on the Appoquinimink Creek. At that time, it was known as Cantwell’s Bridge. By the time the railroad made its way through the state, bypassing Cantwell’s Bridge for the more centrally located Middletown, residents were feeling the effect of reduced ship travel. In an effort to revive their town, they renamed it Odessa, hoping to bring to mind the majestic Ukranian port city.
Though it is no longer a logistics hub, the well preserved historic district is worth a day trip, no matter how far you may have to travel.
As you can see from this photo of High Street in 1978, Odessa seems to be frozen in time.
The historic district contains a mix of t includes a mix of commercial and residential buildings, dating back to the 1700s and 1800s.
The oldest building in town is the Collins-Sharp house, which was completed in 1700.
Some of the oldest buildings still standing include the Appoquinimink Friends' Meeting House, built in 1785.
This meeting house is probably the smallest brick place of worship in America - as it only measures 20' x 22 '.
The historic old bank on Main Street is a gorgeous example of colonial architecture.
The entire downtown district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. In 1984, the district was expanded to feature and preserve more historic buildings. Today, it contains 82 buildings.
The Old Academy was built in 1844, and today it serves as a centerpiece of town.
Many people use the Academy as a starting point on their tour of historic Odessa.
Old St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church is one of the most historic structures in Delaware, and it's separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This gorgeous church was built in 1851–1852. It remained a house of worship for over 100 years, before turning into a local museum and cultural center.
One of my favorite destinations in Odessa is Cantwell's Tavern, which has recently been restored!
This building was one of Odessa's original taverns and stagecoach stops, back when the town was known as Cantwell's Bridge. Today, it serves up delicious, traditional dishes to Odessa's visitors.
The gorgeous Corbit-Sharp House might be the most famous of the Odessa Historic Buildings.
This beautiful home was built from 1772 to 1774 and until the 1930s, it belonged to the family of William Corbit, a prominent local tanner who originally built it. In 1938, Rodney Sharp purchased the house, and began to restore the historic buildings of Odessa.
During the month of December, the Historic Odessa Foundation offers holiday tours of many homes.
Though visiting Odessa is a wonderful treat any time of year, enjoying the holidays in Odessa is an experience you'll always hold dear.
To learn more about the history of Cantwell’s Bridge and how it became Odessa, read
This Old Port Town In Delaware Has A Fascinating History. If you want to learn more about Cantwell’s Tavern, check out The Timeless Delaware Restaurant Everyone Needs To Visit At Least Once.