Memorial Day 2014

Eugene ReyboldMemorial Day is enjoyed by millions across the nation – BBQs, 3-Day weekends and generally enjoying ourselves. In the midst of the fun, it’s easy to forget what the day really honors – Our fallen soldiers. We’d like to take a trip back in history with the following photos and celebrate the freedom our brave soldiers earned for us. Happy Memorial Day 2014.

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Ft Dupont

Delaware City Historic District – A Short History

Due to the importance of this little town in the development of commerce in the country, much has been restored here iviting guests to come, learn and experience. The American Guide Series, published in 1938 described the town before the history became its saving factor. However, it does tell a lot of history…

“DELAWARE CITY, 9.7 m. (10 alt., 1,005 pop.), is a river town of broad, tree-shaded streets, old brick hotels that have been closed as such for decades, and one of the most charming waterfronts in Delaware. On lower Clinton St. the row of stores of varying heights, built in a solid line, has not changed appreciably in 40 years. A few small boats of shallow draft lie at the wharf on the former basin of what was once the main entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. The Steamboat Wharf no longer resounds with the thump of peach baskets or the laughter of rich farmers boarding the Major Reybold or the Thomas Clyde for Philadelphia. No more passenger trains come in on the branch rail line, and the trolley tracks have been torn up ; some of the residents commute to Wilmington by bus or automobile. Old shad and sturgeon skiffs blister in the sun on the old towpath, nets rot away in dark barn lofts. Soldiers from Fort Du Pont stroll with their town girls in grassy Battery Park where the whole community used to gather at evenings to see the Lord Baltimore or the William Penn enter the locks on the way from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Hip-booted fishermen, gunners, or trappers according to the season clump slowly about.

Delaware City superficially resembles other Delaware tidewater villages that flourished for 40 or 50 years on shipbuilding and the transportation of grain and forest products, and then were withered by the railroad. But these places sleep peacefully, undisturbed by ambition. Delaware City is different. There is always, going on in the vicinity, or planned for the future, some large undertaking that may restore prosperity.

For 25 years a river wharf here had been called Newbold’s Landing. But when the fine wide streets were laid out in 1826 at the junction of the Delaware River and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal then being dug across the Peninsula, Daniel and William Newbold, who drew the plans, gave the proposed town the grandiose name of Delaware City in expectation of future glory; the main street was named for Governor De Witt Clinton of New York, chief promoter of the Erie Canal, and a lot of less than an acre sold for $4,000.

Then this first boom subsided and the Newbolds sold out to Manuel Eyre, another promoter; on July 4, 1827 a great dinner was held in the street at a table a block long; companies of militia paraded and important men spoke. The next year a brick hotel and other buildings were erected on Clinton St., and an optimistic little town greeted in 1829 the opening of the canal. Lock tenders and toll-receivers were soon busy locking through the barges of lumber, coal, lime, and grain. Large stables arose on the canal bank for the mules that plodded along the towpath pulling boats. But the canal brought no great development because the railroads soon began to compete seriously.” – Delaware: A Guide to the First State

Delaware City began as Newbold’s Landing in 1801, with the intentions of becoming an important river port. Due to its location at the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, trade boomed. During the 1800s, Delaware City caused a peach boom, popularizing peaches nationwide. The canal was essential for the quick movement of these fragile produces.

Soldiers were still stationed at both Fort Delaware and Fort DuPont, providing needed visitors to the town. Fort Delaware closed in 1944, and Fort Dupont not long after.

Advances in shipping vessels caused the locks along this canal to become too small, too shallow, too inadequate. The railroad became an easier mode of transportation, and Delaware City went through yet another decline in it’s commerce.

After Fort Delaware closed, a local historical society began renovating the structure and it is now an impressive state park. The ferry to Pea Patch Island where the fort stands leaves from Delaware City’s Battery Park (and from Fort Mott on the Jersey side). Fort Delaware played an important role in the American Civil War.

Today, thanks to the historical restoration of this pivotal town, visitors can once again walk the battery park by the canal, visit the shops and restaurants and be a part of American History.

Ft DuPont

Delaware City new plans to redevelop Gov. Bacon Health Center, Fort DuPont State Park

State and Delaware City leaders are drawing up plans for a new authority to guide public and private redevelopment of the state-owned Gov. Bacon Health Center and Fort DuPont State Park, with key first steps taking place as early as this year.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control officials met with city leaders last week to review a draft bill that would create the authority and immediately annex the 325-acre park and health center into Delaware City for an ambitious mixed-use project.

The largely vacant government tract south of Delaware City occupies most of a triangle of land bordered by the Delaware River, Delaware City Branch Canal and Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. A wide-ranging but general blueprint developed by a nationally recognized planner and released a year ago calls for homes, offices, a new marina, a conference center and other community features stressing the site’s historic ties and natural amenities.

“We want this to be perceived as one town, not two separate areas,” said Richard Cathcart, Delaware City’s manager. Plans include construction of a wide new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the branch canal, connecting Second Street in the area of what is now Sussex Avenue and existing state boat ramps at Gov. Bacon. The new bridge design would allow its use for emergency vehicle crossings when needed.

“It’s important that we preserve and maintain as much of the historically significant features on that side of the canal as we can,” Cathcart said. “It ties in well with the city; when they laid out the city way back when, the grid [street] system extended across the canal.”

Gov. Jack Markell began exploring the concept while serving as state treasurer, citing potential economic development benefits. He continued to press the idea as governor. Lawmakers approved $250,000 for a study in 2011.

Matthew P. Chesser, an environmental program administrator with DNREC’s parks and recreation division, said that officials are studying efforts to redevelop other decommissioned military bases. The work included a visit to Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, where an authority was formed in 2010 to redevelop that 565-acre site after its transfer to the state.

“It was a good chance to look at how they’ve dealt with buildings that were of the same age or older,” Chesser said.

“The biggest difference here from say a redevelopment or pure economic development district is the focus on the historic fort and historic preservation,” Chesser said. “It’s not just an economy-driven model. It’s re-use of a historic property.”

What became Fort DuPont dates to the earliest years of the country, when it was the site of coastal defenses for upriver ports. In 1863, the federal government established the site as an auxiliary center for Fort Delaware on nearby Pea Patch Island. It was named for Rear Adm. Samuel F. DuPont in 1899 and housed German prisoners during World War II before being transferred to Delaware in 1945.

Delaware established the Gov. Bacon Health Center in 1948, using the fort’s military hospital. The Division of Parks and Recreation took over much of the property in 1992.

Cathcart said that the project will be helped by plans for an accelerated reconstruction of the current Del. 9/5th Street Bridge over the branch canal. That low bridge, near the north approach to the Reedy Point Bridge over the C&D canal, has been in poor repair for years, with a recent emergency closing to replace a collapsed joint that left an 18-inch gap between the edge of the bridge deck and roadway.

Current plans for the authority’s makeup call for seven members, with four appointed by the state and three by Delaware City.

Contact Jeff Montgomery at (302) 463-3344 or


Delaware City Upcoming Events

Delaware City Upcoming Events

Join us in Delaware City for these exciting upcoming events!


Speaker Series
“Brandywine to the Bay”
Community Center Library Thursday, March 20 @ 6:30 pm

3rd Annual Duathlon
Saturday, April 12
Battery Park 5k run/ 17k ride / 5k run

Historic Ghost Tour
Saturday, April 12
Battery Park @ 8 pm

Movie Night
Saturday, April 12
Battery Park @ 8 pm

Town Wide Yard Sale
April 27

Delaware City Neuter

Delaware City adopts ‘trap-neuter-return’ for feral cats

Delaware City NeuterDelaware City has become the latest Delaware municipality to adopt an ordinance promoting the “trap-neuter-return” approach to feral or “community” cats.

The community cat initiative won praise from Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest cat-advocacy organization, which said more than 350 local governments across the country – including Dewey Beach, Milford, Milton, Harrington and Rehoboth Beach in Delaware – have adopted trap-neuter-release or TNR ordinances.

Trap-neuter-release involves having volunteers humanely trap cats, which are taken to veterinary clinics for spay/neuter surgery and rabies vaccination.

Delaware City 2014 Calendar of Events!

We’ve got a big year planned for 2014 here in beautiful, waterfront Delaware City. As always, we will have tons of fun with movie nights, concerts on the waterfront, ghost tours, cool cars, festivals and of course, Delaware City Day 2014!

See the full Delaware City 2014 Events Calendar here.

Make sure to mark your calendars, join us for some fun and check back here often for updates. Share this on facebook, and comment to let us know about your previous experiences, we’d love to hear your stories.


Community Park & Trail Master Plan Meeting

Community Park Master PlanA public meeting will be held on January 29th, 2014 at 6PM in the Delaware City Community Center (In the library) to discuss future plans for redevelopment of the community park. Please be sure to stop by and voice your ideas! There will be park planning consultants present to provide background on the project and summarize the master plan process. The discussion will help mold the priorities for future development, so please come share your thoughts and ideas!

Where: Community Center at 250 5th St, Delaware City, DE 19706.
When: January 29th 2014 @ 6PM

Mark your calendars and share this information with others to spread the word.
You may also send comments to:
Andy Mears 717-741-6269 or

Reedy Point Players: Upcoming Events

Reedy Point Players Upcoming Performances:

  • Best Christmas Pageant Ever – Dec 13, 14 & 15
  • One Act Festival – March 7, 8 & 9
  • The Outsiders – May 2, 3 & 4
  • The Ghosts at Fernwood Place – Oct 24, 25 & 26
  • Christmas play TBD – tentatively Dec 12, 13 &14

The Reedy Point Players, LTD. are a community theatre group located in Delaware City, DE. Founded in 2001, the Reedy Point Players started out on a makeshift stage in Delaware City’s (former) Port of History Center with the production of Spoon River Anthology. A few years later, they found their “home” at the Delaware City Community Center. By January 2007, the comapny was incorporated. They recently have been certified as a 501(c)(3) with the IRS. They have participated in Delaware Theatre Association Festival and the Eastern States Theatre Association Festival, which resulted in a few awards along the way. They continue to deliver captivating performances, performing original and published works!

For More Information, Visit The Reedy Point Players on Facebook

Happy Holidays From Delaware City

Happy Holidays to you and your family from Delaware City!

Be sure to join us this month for our annual winter festivites.
Our Christmas Parade will start at 6PM, December 14th 2013 on Main St. in downtown Delaware City. We will also be hosting a Historic Ghost Tour the same evening at 7PM, after the parade, at the Central Hotel.

If you wish to attend our silent auction, it will be held at Crabby Dicks following the parade.

Our Christmas Decorations Contest will be judged on Christmas Eve. Make sure to get in the spirit!

News and Holiday Safety Reminders from the Delaware City Fire Department

During the November 20, 2013 company meeting the Delaware City Fire Company honored two individuals. They were awarded plaques for civilian heroism. Dan NcNaulty and Mark Kelly, residents of Delaware City successfully assisted two adults, a baby and a dog from 300 Washington Delaware City on October 17, 201 before the fire company was able to arrive. These two individuals entered a burning structure without regard for their own safety to help others.  This is the mark of a true hero. The award was presented by Chief Jamie Rosseel, Assistant Chief Wally Poppe and President Ed Kalinowski. 

As we are going into the holiday season – we wanted to share a few Christmas tree safety tips:

1.     Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents).

2.     Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.

3.     Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

4.     Do not overload electrical circuits.

5.     Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.

6.     Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.

7.     Use only non-flammable decorations

8.     Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

9.     Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

(Christmas tree safety tips were provided courtesy of The McCarthy Tree Farm located at 1061 Dutch Neck Road, Middletown, DE  – Open Saturday and Sundays, from Thanksgiving to Christmas – 10AM – 4PM)