Rehoboth Beach: The Evolution of a Coastal Community
In the 1920s, Rehoboth Beach was on the cusp of becoming a bustling coastal community along Delaware’s picturesque coast. Founded in 1873 as a religious camp on the farmlands owned by Lorenzo Dow Martin, Rehoboth Beach experienced its first major expansion with the development of Rehoboth Heights. Spanning 150 acres of adjacent farmland to the south, this new neighborhood brought forth a wave of growth and prosperity to the area.
Advertisements placed by the Rehoboth Heights Development Co. in the News Journal in 1925 and 1927 provide a glimpse into the ambitions and allure of this emerging community. These ads depicted Rehoboth Heights as a pine-wooded, fertile plateau offering stunning views of Silver Lake and the Atlantic Ocean. Emphasizing its elevated position, the ads noted that Rehoboth Heights stood 25 to 35 feet higher than the rest of the town.
By June 1925, more than 25 cottages had already been erected in Rehoboth Heights, a testament to the growing interest and popularity of the area. The ads proudly proclaimed that Rehoboth Heights was not just a possibility but a reality, with over 100 purchasers of land boasting about its beauty and advantages. It also highlighted Rehoboth’s favorable proximity to major metropolitan areas, appealing to those seeking a getaway from city life.
One of the tantalizing prospects teased in the advertisements was the opening of the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. In 1925, what is now known as Country Club Estates welcomed this prestigious establishment. It quickly became a hub for recreation, socializing, and leisure for the residents of Rehoboth Beach and beyond.
What is remarkable is the affordability of Rehoboth Heights in its early days. At the time, one could purchase a large lot in this budding neighborhood for as low as $400. This accessibility made Rehoboth Heights an attractive destination for those seeking an idyllic coastal retreat without breaking the bank.
The transformation and growth of Rehoboth Beach continued when the Delaware Legislature approved a new city charter in 1927, officially adding Rehoboth Heights to the city. This momentous decision solidified the community’s place as a significant and integral part of Rehoboth Beach.
Today, Rehoboth Beach stands as a vibrant and beloved coastal town, known for its beautiful beaches, thriving boardwalk, and vibrant arts scene. It has evolved from its humble beginnings as a religious camp on farmland to a cherished vacation destination and year-round home for many. The spirit of Rehoboth Heights, with its promises of natural beauty and a close-knit community, lives on in the fabric of this coastal gem.
As we revel in the charm and allure of present-day Rehoboth Beach, let us remember the foundations laid by Rehoboth Heights in the 1920s. This neighborhood’s vision and ambition helped shape the thriving community we know and love today.