BELLTOWN – This small town, three miles west of Lewes was always an all-black town even into the 1950s. Belltown once had a school, church, stores, a beauty parlor and a population of 300 residents. Most of its inhabitants worked as fishermen in the town of Lewes or in nearby apple and peach orchards. It was named for Jake [Jigger] Bell, "a free Negro", who in 1840 donated land for a church and sold lots for the establishment of the town. Voodoo rites used to be performed here by Arnsy Moll.
DELMAR – Delmar is known as the little town too big for one state. The community has the distinction of being located partly in Delaware and partly in Maryland.
DOVER – Born here in Dover were astronomer Annie Jump Cannon in 1863, patriot Caesar Rodney in 1730, and actress Teri Polo in 1969.
Woodburn Mansion here is the home of Delaware governors, and is also reported to be haunted. In 1824, a guest of Dr. M. W. Bates and his wife, who lived here in the Woodburn Mansion, reported that as he was going down the stairs one morning, he passed a gentleman going up the stairs. He was dressed in the fashion of the preceding generation, complete with queued hair, knee breeches, ruffled blouse, etc." This apparition was solid, and the guest thought he was another guest. He later learned from Mrs Bates' that it was her long, departed father. Another ghost is thought to be that of a Southern slave trafficker. The Woodburn Mansion was part of the underground railroad, during the pre-Civil War time period and slaves would be hidden in the cellar here until they could escape in boats on the nearby river. Legend has it that Southern slave traffickers came to the mansion, looking for runaway slaves. When Daniel Cowgill, who owned the mansion at the time, drove the them off, one of them decided to hide in the huge Popular tree that is still in front of the mansion today. When he slipped, his head got caught between two branches and hung there until he died. On occasion, people have seen his body hanging in the tree and can hear his moans. The mansion is located at 151 King's Highway.
Lawyer/writer John Dickinson grew up here in Dover. Reportedly, his ghost haunts his former home where he can still be heard writing with his quill pen in the den. Also, in the afternoon, the sheets are sometimes found unmade in his old room where he would take afternoon naps. Dickinson is known for writing many essays supporting the American colonies.
FREDERICA – The Barratt's Chapel here in Frederica is where the Methodist Church of America was organized in 1784.
The old Mordington mansion here is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a slave girl known only as "Tom's Daughter". According to legend, she was locked away in the attic after refusing the advances of her owner. She leaped to her death from the window to escape. Her screams as she fell can still be heard in the house. The mansion is south of Frederica on Canterbury Rd.
NEW CASTLE – Born here in New Castle were U.S. Supreme Court Judge George Read in 1734, and playwright Robert Montgomery Bird in 1805.
George Washington was a guest at a wedding here in the Amstel House at 2 E. Fourth St. in 1784.
A 23-foot tall stainless steel statue of the Virgin Mary was unveiled at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church at 12 Windsor Road in New Castle in May, 2007.
NEWARK – Betsy Ross's flag was flown for the first time here at the Battle of Cooch's Bridge on route 4.
NEWPORT – Baseball player Dallas Green was born here in 1934.
Oliver Evans invented the automatic flour-milling machinery here in 1785.
OMAR – Shortly before the elections were held in November 1927, May Hitchens Carey of Omar decided to murder her brother, Robert Hitchens. Carey's motive was to collect on his sizable life insurance policy. She promised her two eldest sons a new car if they would help her. On November 5, when Robert did not show up at his work place, a neighbor broke open a window and found Hitchens on the living room rug. He had been beaten and shot. The presence of a whiskey bottle near Robert's body led police to the conclusion that he had been killed by a gang of bootleggers. The case was marked unsolved and forgotten until December 5, 1934, when May's youngest son, Lawrence, was arrested for robbing the Irving Powell home. Police questioned him about Robert Hitchen's murder and he told them about the conversations he had overhead between his mother and two older brothers. Mrs. Carey, Howard Carey, and James Carey were arrested, tried and convicted of murder. May and Howard were hanged in the Georgetown prison n 1935, and James was sentenced to life in prison. May was the first white woman to be hanged in Delaware. Lawrence received seven years for breaking and entering into the Powell residence. May and Howard are buried in the St. George Cemetery east of Frankfort.
SEIDEL – Author Henry S. Canby was born here in 1878.
WILMINGTON – Born in Wilmington were: founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Richard Allen in 1760, industrialist E. I. du Pont in 1771, artist/author Howard Pyle in 1853, baseball player John “Sadie” McMahon in 1867, songwriter Guy Bolton in 1885, baseball player Wilham “Judy” Johnson in 1899, actress Estelle Taylor in 1899, actress Herta Ware Geer in 1917, Dr. Henry Heimlich in 1920 (he developed the Heimlich Maneuver to save choking victims), actress Valerie Bertinelli in 1960, and actress Elisabeth Shue in 1963.
The Dupont nylon lab was founded nearby in 1902. An explosion in the powder plant in 1915 killed 30 people.
The first American log cabin was built here on June 10, 1639.
The Du Pont mansion nearby was built by Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont near the powder mill he founded on the 185-acre site. Five generations of du Ponts lived in the mansion.
The Du Pont family cemetery overlooks the Brandywine Creek and site of the old powder mills on Buck Road near the intersection of Routes 100 and 141. Buried here are:
– Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont, founder of Du Pont.
– Henry Algernon Du Pont, Civil War Union Colonel and former Senator.
– Henry Francis Du Pont, a former president of Du Pont.
– Pierre Samuel Du Pont, a former president of Du Pont.
– Thomas Coleman Du Pont, a former president of Du Pont.
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