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Old December 10th, 2009, 04:23 AM   #1
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Delaware Non-Development Discussion

I thought it was a good time to give a link to a website that I’ve had under my favorites for awhile. The site is called MyTopo and it gives historical topographic maps of the entire country, divided into a patchwork of quadrangles. The link is for most of New Castle County at the opening decade of the 20th century. Click the quadrant you would like to see (i.e. Northeast is the city and areas to the south & west) or a neighboring quadrangle (i.e. Southwest Chester covers part of Brandywine Hundred).

Wilmington, DE historic topographic maps: early 1900s
http://historical.mytopo.com/quad.cf...e=DE&series=15

These maps chart the old electric railroads that were all around Wilmington at the time. Just something to go along with recently posted ideas for the future.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #2
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A little treasure of a museum

I spent the day in Wilmington today.

Lunch at La Tolteca. For $7 had a delicious Mexican lunch (Chili Rolleno, Taco, Guacamole Salad).

The highlight of the day was visiting the beautiful and elegant ROCKWOOD MUSEUM in Rockwood Park. A 1850s stone Victorian Mansion with gorgeously decorated rooms in the high victorian style. I was given a tour. A fascinating glimpse into the lives of wealthy people of 150 years ago. Lovely Christmas decorations. The oldest original hot house plant conservatory in the US. Admission and tour: $5.

I recommend it.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOME in D-ware View Post
I thought it was a good time to give a link to a website that I’ve had under my favorites for awhile. The site is called MyTopo and it gives historical topographic maps of the entire country, divided into a patchwork of quadrangles. The link is for most of New Castle County at the opening decade of the 20th century. Click the quadrant you would like to see (i.e. Northeast is the city and areas to the south & west) or a neighboring quadrangle (i.e. Southwest Chester covers part of Brandywine Hundred).

Wilmington, DE historic topographic maps: early 1900s
http://historical.mytopo.com/quad.cf...e=DE&series=15

These maps chart the old electric railroads that were all around Wilmington at the time. Just something to go along with recently posted ideas for the future.
Nice find. It's interesting to look around in it and see where modern roads used to be. For instance, Granville Road in Pike Creek existed back then.

On that note, anyone familiar with ArcMap can add datamil.delaware.gov as an ArcIMS Server, and then get access to historical aerial images. One time at work, I got bored and started a project of tracing the old buildings to show wher their footprints are nowadays. Here are the 1992 and 2007 images.





Green is still in existence, orange is demolished/rubble, and red is gone.

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Its interesting that many cities.. Baltimore, Philly, etc grapple with "anti city" sentiment that exist in some suburbs.... Sentiments that stem from Taxes, schools, crime, race, etc. I guess if I lived in Elsmere or North Wilmington/Brandywine I have no incentive to want to go into the city...if the only benefit is Im taxed more. In some cities in the Carolinas that could force you into the city particuliarly if you are surrounded by it. Other cities can threaten to jack up your water/sewer bill to get you in.. since many utilities are controlled by the City and not the County.

How is the leadership in Wilmington? Corrupt? Competent? Visionary, or Inept?
Elsmere is already a municipality, so they pay extra taxes. In a case like that, I would think that the biggest reason for staying their own municipality is then town politicians keep their jobs, and citizens keep their sense of identity.

Wilmington politics strikes me as more "blah" than anything. You're always going to get the same type of mayor, the same people running the show, no new ideas, no incentive to change things around. Everything is "same-old, same-old" to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly Bud View Post
I spent the day in Wilmington today.

Lunch at La Tolteca. For $7 had a delicious Mexican lunch (Chili Rolleno, Taco, Guacamole Salad).

The highlight of the day was visiting the beautiful and elegant ROCKWOOD MUSEUM in Rockwood Park. A 1850s stone Victorian Mansion with gorgeously decorated rooms in the high victorian style. I was given a tour. A fascinating glimpse into the lives of wealthy people of 150 years ago. Lovely Christmas decorations. The oldest original hot house plant conservatory in the US. Admission and tour: $5.

I recommend it.
I think Rockwood is a mansion with DuPont family ties. The Rockwood Mansion is not one of the better houses to tour in this area, though. The Nemours Mansion (in the Fairfax area, off of Concord Pike) was built to look like a French palace, and it really looks like it belongs in Europe rather than North America. The Winterthur Mansion (Montchanin area, along Kennett Pike) is huge (5 or 6 stores high), and contains the largest collection of Americana furniture in the world. The gardens on the mansion are also regarded as one of the best in the world, so a visit in April is twice as good. Both are old DuPont mansions. There's a bunch of other DuPont mansions that are used for other things as well, and have just simply been forgotten by everyone.

This thread has been a little off-topic here and there in the last page or so, and sometimes I have some random question or comment about Delaware. So, what would everyone think about a Non-Development Discussion thread for Delaware?

Since we've been
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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For the Delaware people around here, or people interested in/pass through Delaware a lot, here's a place for off-topic stuff. I don't know about others (actually, I know about a couple), but sometimes I have general questions for locals. So, this is the place for them now.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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On the subject of DuPont homes, Hagley is definitely worth a visit, not only to see what was the first proper home of the DuPonts in Delaware, but to walk the extensive grounds of the black powder mills which were the basis of the DuPont fortune. The grounds - on the banks of the Brandywine - are especially beautiful in autumn.

Mount Cuba requires advance reservations and is focussed on the naturalistic gardens rather than the house (though the exterior is very nice) and is worth a visit at least in late spring, if not also in summer and autumn. The setting is wonderful.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #6
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I had never heard of the Mount Cuba home until a few weeks ago. I will have to stop by there some time.

It seems like the DuPonts had an endless amount of houses. I know of 15-20 in the area, some demolished (would've been really nice to have those still around), some just completely obscure. Mount Cuba is an obscure one. There are a couple near the DuPont Country Club that people don't realize were DuPont houses, as well. I bet there are some that I am not aware of yet.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #7
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Even though it is still a private home and not open to the public, I think Granogue is a wonderful house and setting. It is more completely visible in winter than at other times of year. It's near Thompson Bridge, but even though I travel the back roads of northern Delaware a lot, I tend to be oblivious to the names and numbers of the various branching roads around northern New Castle County; it's hard therefore for me to give exact directions, though I know that Matt is aware of this house. Like Granogue, Mount Cuba is on a hilltop setting, but Mount Cuba is more rugged and feels more isolated in its more wooded setting.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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I also love admiring the numerous estates of the Brandywine / Red Clay Valley and learning the history behind the beauty. Two mansions just a stones through apart are the above mentioned Rockwood Mansion and Bellevue Hall. Their locations within parks just north of the city in the densely populated Brandywine Hundred differs from other rural estates.

Rockwood may have DuPont Family ties, but more directly it was home to the Shipleys and then the Bringhursts. It was the site of the annual Ice Cream Festival and still is the stage for the Delaware Shakespeare Festival. Currently there is a Christmas light display throughout the park as there is every holiday season.

One historical home that I have not heard about is located off of Bellevue Avenue between Philadelphia Pike and Governor Printz Blvd. Anyone know more about this place?
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Old December 27th, 2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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On another note: Delaware New Years Eve celebrations

Quote:
Excellent Eve
Say adios to the aughties and ring in the ’10s at these mega-parties

By RYAN CORMIER, The News Journal

The cover of Time magazine earlier this month said it all.

A photograph of a crying baby wearing a New Year’s hat surrounded by confetti and balloons was below the frank headline: “The Decade From Hell.”

From 9/11 to the recession, the 2000s were book-ended by disaster and, thankfully, now is the time to throw away the bad news and put it to rest.

On New Year’s Eve, we’ll usher in a new decade and the hope for better times, all while clinking champagne glasses and leaving the ’00s with a bang.

Across Delaware, families will join together, count down from 10 and sway to “Auld Lang Syne” as images of New York’s Times Square flicker on the television set.

But if you’re looking to go out on New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of restaurants and bars hosting parties of their own – not to mention the alcohol-free First Night Wilmington party in Rodney Square (www.delawareonline.com/firstnight) that starts at 6 and ends with a 9:45 p.m. fireworks display.

We rounded up 10 of the biggest and best New Year’s bashes our little state has to offer, where corks will pop and hopes of a great 2010 will run wild.

The Rusty Rudder, 113 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach. You know you’re dedicated to Dewey Beach when you’re there in the dead of winter. Once again, Dewey tradition dictates weekend warriors return for one last party of the year as Burnt Sienna, Love Seed Mama Jump, Liquid A and DJ BIS join forces, rotating performances on two indoor stages. Tickets are $115 (227-3888) and include open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and noisemakers. A complimentary Dewey-style hangover is included. As an added bonus for those in Dewey, Mr. Greengenes will be in town the next night at 8, taking full advantage of the long holiday weekend. There’s a $10 cover for the New Year’s Day concert. www.deweybeachlife.com.

New Year’s on the Square, Trolley Square, Wilmington. Five of Trolley Square’s biggest bars – Kelly’s Logan House, Catherine Rooney’s, C.R. Hooligans, Del Rose Cafe and Kid Shelleen’s – come together for one big party. In what promises to be the first of a series of collaborations between Trolley hot spots, revelers can hop from bar to bar – each of which will have a DJ and $2 Bud and Bud Light specials. Also, you can bet on a champagne toast and a free buffet at midnight as everyone plays with noisemakers. www.loganhouse.com.

The Exchange, 902 N. Market St., Wilmington. It’ll cost you a Benjamin (that’s 100 smackaroos for those who prefer their slang old-school) to get into Sup Wilmington’s “NYE 2010” party at the Market Street bar. What will that get you? A top-shelf open bar, a separate shot bar, hors d’oeuvres, a DJ and a champagne toast. There’s a black and white theme, so dress appropriately. Don’t forget: The fireworks at the free First Night Wilmington celebration are at 9:45 p.m. if you want to run over and check them out. www.exchangeonmarket.net.

Arena’s Bar & Deli, 149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach. After a year that included a shout-out on ESPN thanks to sportscaster and customer Tony Kornheiser and a recent visit from a hungry Cal Ripken Jr., one of Rehoboth’s best bars is ready for 2010. And the new year will be celebrated with one of the town’s best bands, lower case blues. So choose a brew from their dizzying array of beers and sit back as guitar whiz Jake Banaszak makes you feel silly for bragging about your high scores on Guitar Hero. www.arenasdeliandbar.com.

Mojo 13, 1706 Philadelphia Pike, Holly Oak. Mojo 13 is more than local bands being as loud as possible. The spot is also home to some of the wildest performances in Delaware, including burlesque and suspensions shows. So when it comes to New Year’s Eve, you know it’s going to be a spectacle. And with musical guests like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston and Pink, Mojo has some big-time star wattage. Of course, the actual divas won’t be in Holly Oak, but female impersonators Laydee Lourds, Ritzey Monroe, Mahogany and Brie Daniels will host a gender-bending bash. There is a $20 cover, which includes two drink tickets, a champagne toast and free food – Mojo’s carnival fare of hot dogs, popcorn and other snacks. www.myspace.com/mojothirteen

The Rebel Restaurant, 201 N. Market St., Wilmington. DJ Gifted Hands will be spinnin’ at The Rebel, known for its Southern and Caribbean cuisine. There will be a free champagne toast at midnight along with a trio of $4 martini specials: apple martinis, Rebeltinis and holiday martinis. There’s a $10 cover before 9:30 p.m. As for a dress code, advertisements for the party are pretty clear: “Strict dress code: sexy for ladies and mature for fellas.” www.therebelrestaurant.com

The Funkey Monkey, 1206 N. Union St., Wilmington. The city’s newest club will ring in its first New Year’s Eve with a packed dance floor. A DJ battle between DJ Mindtrix and DJ Double E will serve as the entertainment for the night – a rare evening when the Monkey has no cover charge. From 8 to 11 p.m., Miller Lite bottles are $1 and mixed drinks and shots will cost $3. There will be a champagne toast at midnight, a free buffet and if you get to the club before 11 p.m., there will even be a free shuttle bus to drive you home after last call. www.the
funkeymonkeyclub.com

Bubba’s Rock Shack, 865 N. DuPont Highway, Dover. If half your group wants to dance to a DJ and the other wants to check out a live band, then Bubba’s is your place for New Year’s. The Newark-based band Element K will headline the night and a pair of DJs – DJ Manny Man and DJ Jammin Jeff – will also be on hand to usher in the ’10s. A “munchie bar,” party favors and a midnight champagne toast are included in the $15 cover. If you’re buying two tickets, go to the club’s Web site and it’ll only cost you $25 for the pair. www.bubbasrock
shack.com

Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St., Wilmington. The Inner Circle, a 23-year-old social organization based in Philadelphia, is taking over the Chase Center for its “17th Annual Home for the Holidays New Years Eve Party.” The night’s entertainment will be spread across seven rooms, including R&B band Coast to Coast, the Divine Jazz Experience, karaoke, a fashion show, along with comedians Jamal Doman, Charles Walden and Job Nixon. There will also be line dancing along with five DJs playing classic oldies, old school hip hop, Latin and reggae grooves. There’s a cash bar and a complimentary buffet and champagne toast. Tickets are $50 in advance by calling 743-3417. It’s a semi-formal event with formal attire suggested. www.theinnercircle-intl.com

Public House, 902 N. Market St., Wilmington. The former Delaware Trust bank will be hosting its first New Year’s Eve party as Public House – “The All Black Satin Party” – with DJ Collision providing the beats. The restaurant has all sorts of party packages available, including an $80 open bar that runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., which comes with hors d’oeuvres and access to a carving station. If you have a sit-down dinner in mind, you can come early (5 to 6:30) for $35 each or late (8:30 to 9:30) at $50 each for a four-course meal. (If you opt for the late meal, you get to keep your table throughout the night.) Reservations are a very good idea, and remember: Fireworks are a block away at Rodney Square at 9:45 p.m. www.public
housewilmington.com.

Copyright ©2009, The News Journal.
From sparkweekly.com
Dec. 27, 2009

For those Fab-Four fans, Beatlemania Again is the main event at the FREE First Night Wilmington (8 PM). www.beatlemaniaagain.com
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Old December 29th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #10
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So are they going to close the intersection in Trolley Square or something? Or is this collaboration nothing more than what is already done with the loops?

As far as the historic house on Bellevue Avenue, I have never driven on that road, and the road that I found (Bellevue Road) doesn't seem to have any historic houses, unless one near Brandywine Boulevard looks much more historic in person than on Google Street View.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
As far as the historic house on Bellevue Avenue, I have never driven on that road, and the road that I found (Bellevue Road) doesn't seem to have any historic houses, unless one near Brandywine Boulevard looks much more historic in person than on Google Street View.
I have never driven on that road myself, so I’m not positive of the name. Google maps label it Bellevue Ave but Bing maps show it as Cauffiel Pkwy. It’s the connector from Bellevue Pkwy to Governor Printz Blvd. The house sits away from the road to the south, so the 3D views on Bing give a better look. The place seems to be an old farm that is now used commercially. There is a lot of open land for that area. I recall seeing it as parkland on some printed maps.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #12
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I see it now. It looks like it was a farm, but that's a pretty nice brick farmhouse. It might be visible from 495 in the Winter, when the leaves are off of the trees right out front.

Since we're talking about that area, there's a stone farmhouse hidden amongst the office buildings on Bellevue Parkway.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #13
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Sometimes little things really aggravate me, and I wanted to see if I was the only one that is annoyed by something around the state. I've noticed that the state has been putting up new street signs with bigger font all over main roads, to make them easier to read. Fine. I do not like the shortening of words for no other reason than to fit them onto a certain size. I think the entire name of the road should be on the sign. On top of that, historic names are being butchered because someone doesn't remember homonyms from English class ("capitol" is not the same as "capital", and yes both are real words). Here's some examples of roads and how they appear on signs now:

Upper Pike Creek Road = Upper Pike Crk Road
Polly Drummond Hill Road = Polly Drum Road, or Drummond Hill Road
McKennan's Church Road = McKennan's Ch Road
Capitol Trail = Capital Trail, most of the time
Old Wilmington Road = Old Wilm Road
Paper Mill Road = Papermill Road
Reeves Crossing Road (down near Felton) = Reeves Xing Road

I understand what the abbreviations (without proper punctuation, by the way) are, so misunderstanding a name is not really an issue I would think, but it's the fact that DelDOT is visibly cutting corners (literally, when they are trying to shorten signs) and being so tacky about it. Does anyone agree with me?
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #14
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You are not the only Delawarean annoyed by the seemingly increasing amount of carelessness and lack of respect for historical fact depicted by fellow residents. Here in Delaware, being correct about the names of places doesn’t matter, even though in the case of roads, names are more widely known over route numbers.

I notice this more in the western suburbs of Wilmington and the Newark area. In Wilmington, two incorrect spellings that come to mind are ‘Camby Park’ ~ Canby Park and ‘Broom Street’ ~ Broome Street. As mentioned above, mistakes seem terribly common to the north and east of Newark. I can not believe the variety of names, spellings, and fonts used along Paper Mill Road (Curtis Paper Mill Road). Within a few miles and alternating from one intersection to the next ‘CURTIS MILL RD … PAPERMILL ROAD … Paper Mill Road … PAPER MILL RD … Papermill Rd’. I know there isn’t a huge difference, but when not one sign looks the same as the last or the next, it creates an impression of tackiness.

Another example that still bothers me is the ‘Christina or Christiana’ thing. Research the Christina River and you will find there were some two dozen names and spellings used for the body of water. It seems like the current understanding is that the river and school district are Christina; the unincorporated village, mall, hospital, and high school are Christiana. Now this makes Christiana Hundred inconsistent, since the name is derived from the river, and no place of the same name is within the hundred. Also, there are residential complexes in Wilmington of both discrepancies: Christiana Apartments & Christina Landing.

I would love to know what someone from outside the state thinks of all this nonsense.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #15
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i was in wilmington briefly to buy a soda at a rite aid. seemed like a very nice town.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #16
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Interesting article from a few days ago. Pencader Hundred has some nice history; while a W.L. Gore super-complex will be nice for the state, I think preserving a good chunk of the battlefield would also be a good idea. I was under the impression that some of it is publicly-owned already, or at least not under the threat of development. The historical markers on Dayett Mill Road (near Route 72/Old Baltimore Pike intersection) are north of where Gore's complex will go.

Quote:
Study shows Cooch's Bridge fight was more than minor skirmish


Pop quiz: Where was the Battle of Cooch's Bridge? If you said "at Cooch's Bridge," you're partially right.

Delaware's lone Revolutionary War battle was more sprawling -- and worse -- than once thought, says Wade P. Catts, an archaeologist who has researched the conflict extensively.

People think the Sept. 3, 1777, battle was a minor fight at the bridge and a field by the Cooch house, but it was more serious and covered miles, he says.

"Recent scholarship regarding the battle suggests that it was more than a mere skirmish, that it was considered by participants to have been a sharp but hard-fought and bloody engagement, and that it was fought over a much larger geographic area, ranging from today's Glasgow to Iron Hill and the Cooch's Bridge area," he recently wrote to the Historic Review Board of New Castle County.

His comments followed a study the board recommended in 2008 of the possibility of battle artifacts remaining on three parcels off Del. 896 and Old Cooch's Bridge Road. W. L. Gore & Associates, which submitted a development plan for the site, agreed to a metal-detector study of the 148 acres.

Results "clearly indicate that physical evidence of the battle and associated encampments is present on all three parcels of the area proposed for development," Catts said. "The recovery of dropped and impacted (i.e., fired) lead balls -- including both musket and rifle balls -- is empirical evidence of an engagement that occurred over 225 years ago."

Recovery of "other metal items likely associated with military activities from the three parcels supports the conclusion that these parcels are within the limits of the Cooch's Bridge battlefield," he wrote.

Catts, who praised Gore's earlier plan change to preserve a prehistoric American Indian site found on the land, urged more research and possible preservation. "We only get one shot at saving a site like this," he said.

Its potential history was considered, Department of Land Use spokesman Mark Veasey said, but County Council recently approved Gore's plan for Glasgow Commons, 1.6 million square feet of office, warehouse and manufacturing space.

Now any battle-related study or preservation is up to Gore.

"I don't know that we've thought that far ahead," said spokesman Michael Ratchford. "We don't have any immediate plans for development."

But he believes Gore "would be amenable" to the next step the study report suggests. "We'll really take a look at the existing artifacts and determine what significance they may have."

A monument placed in 1901 marks the area of the Battle of Cooch's Bridge, near the Cooch family home and the namesake bridge. New research shows the battle was more extensive than historians had thought.

http://www.delawareonline.com/articl...minor-skirmish
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:36 AM   #17
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Did you guys know that a DuPont gatehouse exists on Adams Dam Road for a family estate that was never built (allegedly)? It's a frame house built in 1930, and is across from Brandywine Creek State Park.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
A monument placed in 1901 marks the area of the Battle of Cooch's Bridge, near the Cooch family home and the namesake bridge. New research shows the battle was more extensive than historians had thought.
I had figured that to be true. Historical texts about the days prior to the Battle of the Brandywine tell of a 250+ ship armada, carrying General Howe’s forces of 13,000 – 17,000 British and Hessian troops, landing along the Elk River south of Head of Elk (Elkton). Washington’s 20,000 American forces were spread from the MD / DE line to Philadelphia. The Americans stood watch on Iron Hill as Howe’s army unloaded. It’s believed that General Washington joined his forces in Delaware. British forces moved onto the fields east of Iron and Chestnut Hills from the west (Elkton) and south (Glasgow). The opposing armies confronted each other before the Americans fell back to Stanton and Newport. The British continued north through Newark on their way to Kennett Square. Washington moved north to join the additional forces on guard in Chester County where they planned to stop Howe’s army from crossing the Brandywine River. The focal point was the location where the main road from Baltimore to Philadelphia forded the river, Chadds Ford.

Here is a map that reads in French of the British campaign to Philadelphia. I know the legend translates to Villages, Taverns, Battles & Skirmishes.

Seems to me that a sizable skirmish of at least a combined few thousand troops should have taken place around Cooch’s Bridge. Historians until recently only supported a tangle between a few hundred scouts and light infantry.


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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Did you guys know that a DuPont gatehouse exists on Adams Dam Road for a family estate that was never built (allegedly)? It's a frame house built in 1930, and is across from Brandywine Creek State Park.
Very interesting. Is it one of the houses at the road’s bend in the wooded area as you come up from Rockland? Maybe you’re referring to the house located just before the clearing and closer to the entrance of Brandywine Creek State Park.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #19
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Very interesting. Is it one of the houses at the road’s bend in the wooded area as you come up from Rockland? Maybe you’re referring to the house located just before the clearing and closer to the entrance of Brandywine Creek State Park.
I'm not sure, I got this from an assessment of the Brandywine Valley Scenic River and Highway study that I stumbled upon while doing some research. I have the tax parcel, so I'm going to look it up in the Delaware Datamil later on today if I have time.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #20
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Very interesting. Is it one of the houses at the road’s bend in the wooded area as you come up from Rockland? Maybe you’re referring to the house located just before the clearing and closer to the entrance of Brandywine Creek State Park.
I looked up the tax parcel last night. According to the tax parcel, it is THIS HOUSE, just south of (and across the street from) the entrance to the state park. The abandoned field to the north, that is directly across from the state park entrance, is all a part of the same tax parcel, so I wonder if that was going to be where this estate went.
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