A History of Rehoboth Beach

So you have found the perfect piece of Rehoboth Beach Real Estate for your next home. Congratulations! You’ve started making your moving plans and begun your packing strategy. Before you get into all of the “heavy lifting” aspects of your move, wouldn’t it be nice (and a little fun) to learn something about the history of Rehoboth Beach, when it started and how it got where it is today?

So let’s start a long, long way time ago. According to Wikipedia, “Human beings probably inhabited the area of Rehoboth Beach as long ago as 10,000 BC; little is known about them because much of the evidence of their existence has been destroyed by development. At that time, sea levels were lower, and the Atlantic Coast lay about 30 miles (48 km) farther east than it does today. At the time, the area would have resembled inland portions of southern Delaware today.” Imagine what the property value would be today if you had invested in your new home back then!

Seriously though, along around the beginning of the 1600’s, the Europeans started arriving. At that time there were many different Native American tribes dwelling in the area. Some of these were the Nanticoke, Assateagues, Sikkonese, and the Lenape tribes. As happened so often at that time these indigenous peoples were driven out of the land by the English and Dutch settlers to other areas. The Nanticoke, however still live in the same general area today, although their numbers have diminished greatly over time.

During the 1700s this area of land was under the control of England’s Duke of York who, as was common at the time, made land grants of parcels to various settlers to the New World. By the mid 1800’s those settler’s descendants were farmers, living on, and trying to make a living from, the land itself.

In 1891 Rehoboth Beach became a municipality when the Delaware General Assembly issued a charter which stated: “The purpose of said incorporation is the providing and maintaining of a permanent seaside resort, and to furnish the necessary and proper conveniences and attractions required to the success of the same.”

The formal “founding” of the city was made in 1873 by Rev. Robert W. Todd, of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware. Rev. Todd, in addition to some thirty other incorporators, acquired a Charter from the state of Delaware to develop a “Christian sea-side resort.” They wanted to enable like-minded persons to take advantage of the beach atmosphere. Rev. Todd named the city the Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association, as it was intended to serve as a camp site for summer religious meetings for the Methodist denomination. The name “Rehoboth” itself, meaning “broad spaces” in Hebrew, was chosen for its biblical connotation. Later that same year the new Association built its encampment grounds, in addition to several small wooden buildings called “tents”. Shortly thereafter, the very first hotel was built, along with a Post Office, and the beginnings of the original Rehoboth Boardwalk.

Tomorrow, we will examine Rehoboth Beach’s history from the 1800's to the present day. Until then, please take advantage of the helpful resources at Mann & Sons, Inc. REALTORS® responsive design website which is easily viewed on just about any device.

#shareaholic# Posted by Bill Mann on


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