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  • Writer's pictureMatt Wright

A Little History About Rehoboth Beach

Like the neighboring seaside town of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach is one of the most important towns in Delaware's fast-growing Sussex County region. Flanked by popular resorts and the picturesque Delaware Seashore State Park and offers some of the best in the world for the visitor. [Sources: 1, 10]

The Delaware Department of Transportation operates a park and ride space within the city limits called Rehoboth Beach Park and Ride, which is located on Shuttle Road off Delaware Route 1, the coastal highway. DART, the first federally operated resort transit bus service, provides frequent connections between the city and the rest of Delaware Beach during the summer months via Park and Ride Square. Grove Park, north of Rehoboth Avenue, the Visitor Center, Chamber of Commerce, Rehoboth Beach Museum and the much-feared Tropic of Rehoboth's Avenue in the western district of South Rehoboth are all set in the exciting and peaceful shadow of the origins of the Rehoboth Beach Encampment Ground at the top of the city, where the Rehoboth and Lewes Canal, as well as the drawbridge over the canal, mark the western boundaries of the square mile that makes up the town of Rehoboth as a community. [Sources: 1, 2, 5]

During the summer months, the Delaware River and Bay Authority operates shuttle buses from Tang Outlet Park and Ride Los to Rehoboth Beach and to Cape May-Lewes Ferry which operates ferry services from Lewes to Cape May in New Jersey. Originally called Henlopen, the town's name has changed over the years to a beach.

The arrival of the railway allowed visitors to travel from northern Delaware and Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania cities, which led to the beginning of Rehoboth Beach as a tourist destination. When the city was founded in the 1870s, a Methodist gathering camp on the beach was abandoned, but it drew visitors from all over Delaware, helped by the new waterfront and railroad that ran through downtown. The Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting and Meeting Association disbanded in 1881 and the city was incorporated by the Delaware State Legislature General Assembly as Cape Henlopen City in 1891. [Sources: 2, 4]

The name comes, of course, from Rehoboth Bay, which was named in the 17th century by early English explorers of the Virginia colony in search of a passage westward. The coast resembled its current location before the first Europeans arrived in the area around Hoboth Beach in the 17th century, and a number of Native American tribes settled there, notably the Lenape of Delaware, the Nanticoke, the Assateague and the Sikkonese. When the first European settlers arrived in the area of Rehoboth Beach in the 17th century, the beach and its current location were already home to several Indian tribes living in and around the area, including the Lenapes, the Akwesas, the Sikksonese and the Assateagues. [Sources: 1, 3, 6]

The specific area defined in the charter included land along Delaware coast south of Penn Street, including Dewey Beach, which was incorporated as a separate city in 1981, and land along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, a small piece of which was annexed. In 1927, a commission created by the Delaware State General Assembly to investigate public lands in Delaware determined that certain land along the Atlantic Ocean in the northern end of the city fell into the public land category as depicted on the 1873 site of the Rehoboth's Camp Meeting Association of Methodist Episcopal Church. Further south along the coast were Silver Lake and Dewey Beach, where Robert West purchased land from the original Paul Marsh in 1855. [Sources: 0, 9]

If you are interested in buying a home in Rehoboth Beach or anywhere in Sussex County please consider using me as your buyer agent. I will do everything in my power to make sure that all of your questions and concerns are met.


Matt Wright

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