Delaware December 28, 2017
These 7 Delaware Towns Have The Silliest Names But Are So Worth A Visit
Delaware’s town names are interesting, to say the least. We’re a state full of little towns, and though we’re one of the smallest states, we’ve still got nearly 100 towns scattered throughout! Here are a few of the silliest named towns in Delaware, and where the names came from.
Odessa was founded in 1721 by a son of Captain Edmund Cantwell, and it was named Cantwell's Bridge. The town became an important port town that shipped out tobacco, corn, and produce down the creek to the Delaware Bay. In 1855, the Delaware railroad was built in nearby Middletown, and the town suffered an economic collapse. While it was struggling to compete with the railroad town, it was renamed Odessa, after the major Russian port. Nowadays, the entire town is pretty much preserved as it was in the days of Cantwell's Bridge, and you can even dine at one of the oldest tavern's in the state.
Delmar lies right on the border of - you guessed it - Delaware and Maryland. This little town was once a booming railroad town, but its history is marred by two town-wide fires destroyed most of the buildings.
Marydel is another cleverly named border town - this time on the western side of our state. While it is a tiny town, it's worth visiting for the beautiful vineyard that sits right on the mason dixon line - Harvest Ridge Winery.
Why is Wyoming named Wyoming? It comes back to the Railroad, again. The town was founded when Camden, Delaware got in a bit of an argument with the Pennsylvania Railroad which had built a station one mile west of the center of town and called this new "town" West Camden. In the 1860s, several people from the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania settled here, and renmamed the area Wyoming.
5. Dewey Beach
Dewey Beach was named after the great Admiral George Dewey became an American hero during the 1898 Battle of Manilla in the Spanish American War. While Dewey was a wonderful Admiral, the town made the list because it's just kind of fun to say... try it. Since its founding, Dewey has become one of the top beach destinations in the country.
Nobody's really sure why Hockessin is named Hockessin. The two main theories are that it was derived from the Lenape word "hòkèsa" meaning "pieces of bark" or from a Quaker misspelling of the word "occasion". Whichever story is accurate doesn't matter much now, as the little town has become one of Northern Delaware's most scenic, charming towns.
Selbyville was originally known as Sandy Branch, but when Sampson Selby began ordering packages to his county store, he labeled them as Selby-ville. The town quickly became known as Selbyville. I think that Selby is on to something... I wonder how easy it would be to change my town's name! Nowadays, it's a charming southern town with some of the best seafood restaurants in the state and spectacular marsh views.
You may note that Slaughter Beach did not make the list… I just couldn’t justify that as a silly name! If you’d like to learn a little more about Delaware’s creepiest named town (and the millions of prehistoric critters that inhabit it…)
read up on it right here.