Monday, February 27, 2006

Port Penn and Delaware Beach

Transplanted from Maryland and a Delawarean for nearly 30 years now, I still miss them rocky hills of home. Arriving here back when Jonestown held the nation's attention, I was a little concerned about living in such a flat place, fearful of mosquitoes and hurricanes and the population density here. It wasn't long before I was out trying to get lost in Delaware and experiencing the beauty of the State. I stumbled across Leipsic, Port Mahon, Woodland Beach and Port Penn, and was inspired by these wonderful old places. My family and I were amazed at the migratory birds at Bombay Hook and we came to love the salt marsh estuary. I also learned that you really can’t get lost in Delaware.

Now here is something new that I've just learned about Delaware. Steamship was a very important means of travel back in the 19th century and early 20th century. One place that I had heard nothing about until recently was the boat landing at a place called Delaware Beach. This was Port Penn or near Port Penn according to the Middletown Transcript at

Lloyd had a lot of old postcards from the Jenkins (or Reed) store, which now sits at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover, Delaware. The Jenkins' and their friends were prolific postcard senders, and one old card to Mrs. P.W. Jenkins in 1926 features a rare old scene of Delaware Beach. A lovely print of folks who have just disembarked and who are on their way home down the long, dirt, boat landing road. A representation of a simpler time, saved for us by Mrs. Jenkins and Lloyd.

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