Rehoboth Beach History
Did you know that in addition to being one of the top beach destinations in the country, Rehoboth Beach has a rich history?
8 Things to know about Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
- Native Americans were the first to inhabit Rehoboth Beach. They enjoyed traveling to the beach in the summer, where they enjoyed the delicious seafood and cool breezes—much like we do today.
- English and Dutch settlers arrived between 1650 and 1675. Some of them became members of William Penn’s earliest legislatures.
- In 1872, Reverend Robert W. Todd from St. Paul’s M.E. Church in Wilmington had the idea of founding a camp meeting area on the Delaware coast after visiting a similar site on the Jersey Shore. The following year, he purchased 414 acres from local farmers, establishing the Rehoboth Camp Meeting Association. The Association met for services until 1881.
- The original design—a fan shape with wide streets, parks and specific building lots—is still largely intact today.
- The original boardwalk was built in 1873, running the full length of the oceanfront. Storms have changed the boardwalk’s configuration over the years, and it is now a mile long.
- The railroad came to the area in 1878, running right down Rehoboth Avenue.
- In 1891, the General Assembly of Delaware established a municipality for the territory. It was originally named Henlopen City, but the name was changed to Rehoboth Beach later that year.
- Rehoboth Beach became a premier vacation area after 1925, when a paved highway was completed linking it to Georgetown. Soon, legislators, diplomats, government employees from Washington D.C. and their families started vacationing here, and Rehoboth Beach became known as “the nation’s summer capital.”
Come Visit & Uncover More
Discover the fascinating history of the Rehoboth Beach area this coming season when you stay at the Beach View Hotel. Book your room today!