It all began in the Spring of 1894, the Christian Missionary Society of Washington, D.C. began summer camp Meetings on our Eastern shore. It was the year 1900 before the site near Ocean View was selected for a permanent location in which to worship. Bethany Beach Improvement Company is formed and land is bought, street and lot lines are layed out and 150 lots are sold. Two years later, 6 Pittsburgh businessmen begin building cottages in the First Street area and our first Boardwalk is completed.
In 1907, a Life Saving Station is built and in 1909, the town is incorporated. The town population is 56 and remains the same for another 10 years.
Ocean Front Lots are going for $200. Per lot and inland lots selling for $75.
In the old days, the trip to Bethany Beach from Pittsburgh or Washington took 2- 3 days of patience and discomfort. Most of the journey was by rail, followed by waterway which ended up at Bethany Loop Canal at First Street.
But before the Canal, the journey was even more laborious, horse or mule drawn buggies were the mode of the day . Two miles of deep sand, sand flies and mosquitoes but the trip was worth it!
In 1924, the first lighting plant was built and for the first time, Town Hall and two street lamps shone brightly with electric power. Population 75.
Hurricane in August of 1933 wreaks havoc in our little seashore town but it can’t hold us down for long…the first dirt surfaced road opens in 1934 and connects Rehoboth Beach to south of Bethany Beach. Population is now up to 135.
The National Guard barracks are erected in 1940 and house prisoners of war. The Army blacks out street lights as a defense measure.
Water Service is extended to all Bethany Beach residents in 1946 and the population grows to 167.
Building permits are now required and Bethany has a Volunteer Fire Company which purchases it’s first engine in 1948 for $350. Also, in that same year, ice and high tides damage beach front and knock out Indian River Bridge.
It is now 1951 and the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge are opened for travel, bringing more people to our beautiful area. Population has risen to 190.
The story continues…for future updates on Real Estate listings and values, please call me *** 302-236-4505. My name is Jana Newton and I am happy to help you with your Real Estate needs.Looking forward to hearing from you and sending you a continuation of The Bethany Beach Story 1951 to 2009.
Jana Newton 302 236 4505