Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
City
Rehoboth Avenue, looking toward the Atlantic Ocean
Rehoboth Avenue, looking toward the Atlantic Ocean
Official seal of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Seal
Nickname(s): The Nation's Summer Capital
Location in Sussex County and the state of Delaware.
Location in Sussex County and the state of Delaware.
Rehoboth Beach is located in Delaware
Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is located in the US
Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach
Location within the state of Delaware
Coordinates: 38°43′15″N 75°04′34″W / 38.72083°N 75.07611°W / 38.72083; -75.07611Coordinates: 38°43′15″N 75°04′34″W / 38.72083°N 75.07611°W / 38.72083; -75.07611
Country United States
State Delaware
County Sussex
Founded 1873
Incorporated 1891
Government
 • Mayor Samuel R. Cooper
Area
 • Total 1.6 sq mi (4 km2)
 • Land 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1 km2)
Elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,327
 • Estimate (2016)[1] 1,488
 • Density 830/sq mi (320/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19971
Area code(s) 302
GNIS feature ID 214535[2]
Website www.cityofrehoboth.com

Rehoboth Beach is a city on the Atlantic Ocean along the Delaware Beaches in eastern Sussex County, Delaware, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 1,327, reflecting a decline of 161 (11.2%) from the 1,488 counted in the 2000 Census.[3] Along with the neighboring coastal city of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach is one of the principal cities of Delaware's rapidly growing Cape Region. Rehoboth Beach lies within the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.

A popular regional vacation destination, Rehoboth Beach's seasonal population expands to over 25,000 within the city limits and thousands more in the surrounding area in the summer.[4]

In 2011, the NRDC awarded Rehoboth Beach with a 5-Star rating in water quality. This award was given only to 12 other locations, one being neighboring Dewey Beach.[5] Out of the 30 states with coastline, the Delaware Beaches ranked number one in water quality in 2011.[6]

History[edit]

Historical marker displaying brief history of Rehoboth Beach

Human beings probably inhabited the area of Rehoboth Beach as long ago as 10,000 BC; little is known about them because much of the evidence of their existence has been destroyed by development. At that time, sea levels were lower, and the Atlantic Coast lay about 30 miles (48 km) farther east than it does today. At the time, the area would have resembled inland portions of southern Delaware today. By the time the first Europeans arrived in the area in the 17th century, the coastline was at its present location and several Native American tribes lived in the area, including the Lenape (or Delaware), the Sikkonese, the Assateagues, and the Nanticoke. The site was the location of what may have been the most important Native American fishing village on the Middle-Atlantic coast (the evidence has been obliterated by development).[7] Pressure from English and Dutch settlers radiating outward from Delaware forced the Lenape to migrate to upper New York state, Canada, and Oklahoma, while the Sikkonese and Assateagues were extirpated; the Nanticoke, however, still exist in the general area today. The land later came under the control of the Duke of York, who granted it to various landholders in the 18th century. By the mid-19th century, the descendants of these landholders were farmers attempting to make a living off the relatively poor land.[8]

The city was founded in 1873 as the Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association by the Rev. Robert W. Todd, of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, as a site for Methodist camp meetings in the spirit of similar resorts on the New Jersey shore, such as Ocean Grove. The Camp Meeting Association disbanded in 1881, and in 1891, the location was incorporated by the Delaware General Assembly as "Henlopen City", shortly after which it was renamed to Rehoboth Beach.

Rehoboth (Hebrew: רְחוֹבוֹת‎) means "broad spaces." It appears three times in the Old Testament as a place name: a well dug by Isaac (at modern Wadi er-Ruheibeh) (Gen. 26:22), a city on the Euphrates River (Gen. 36:37; 1 Chr. 1:48), and one of the cities of Asshur (Gen. 10:11). Hence the name may have had a special appeal for the religious founders of the city, although the adjacent bay had already borne the name Rehoboth for at least a century before the town was founded.[9]

The Avery's Rest Site, Dodd Homestead, Peter Marsh House, Thompson's Loss and Gain Site, Thompsons Island Site, Warrington Site, and Woman's Christian Temperance Union Fountain are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10]

Modern resort town[edit]

Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, looking north

The town often bills itself as "The Nation's Summer Capital" due to the fact that it is a frequent summer vacation destination for Washington, D.C. residents as well as visitors from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Vacationers are drawn for many reasons, including the town's charm and tax free shopping. Outside of Rehoboth Beach along Delaware Route 1 are the Tanger Outlets, which operates three different locations along the highway.[11]

Still famous for its beaches, wooden boardwalk, eclectic shops, amusements, and sporting activities, today's Rehoboth Beach is also known as one of the mid-Atlantic coast's popular gay-friendly getaways because of the large number of gay-owned and operated businesses and because of the gay-frequented stretch of beach near Queen Street, known as Poodle Beach.[12][13][14]

Rehoboth Beach has a seasonal beach patrol who are in charge of lifeguarding the one and a half miles that make up the town's beach front. They operate from Memorial Day weekend into the following fall season.[15]

The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand is located on Rehoboth Avenue near the boardwalk and serves as a free open-air music and entertainment venue in the summer months, with performances from over 50 bands during the course of the season. Performances have been held at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand since 1963.[16]

Rehoboth Beach looking north

Rehoboth Beach serves as a relaxing alternative to nearby and much more developed Ocean City, Maryland. Reader's Digest named the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk as "Best of America". This celebration of the quirky, amazing and truly extraordinary was featured in the May 2006 issue. Additionally, AARP has named Rehoboth Beach as one of five dream towns as "Best Places to Retire".[17]

The town has several festivals including the Sea Witch Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival,[18] and the Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival[19] every year.

The Clear Space Theatre Company, a professional theater company, offers a year-round schedule of musical and dramatic productions in the Rehoboth Theatre of the Arts.

Dogfish Head Brewery's original brewpub is located on the town's main strip Rehoboth Avenue. The location has grown in years as a popular destination for American craft beer enthusiasts.[20] Grotto Pizza was founded in Rehoboth Beach in 1960 and has grown to 23 locations throughout the state of Delaware along with parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania.[21]

In 2011, the city passed a smoking ban covering parks and playgrounds, but sparing the beach and boardwalk.[22]

Geography[edit]

A view of the beach at Delaware Avenue.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), of which, 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (28.48%) is water. Rehoboth Beach is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the town of Henlopen Acres, and on the west and south by unincorporated portions of Sussex County. Cape Henlopen State Park lies just to the north of Rehoboth Beach, and Dewey Beach is just to its south.[23]

Climate[edit]

Situated on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Rehoboth Beach's weather is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and the Rehoboth Bay. Rehoboth Beach has a mild subtropical climate consisting of hot, humid summers and cool winters. The average daytime high in July is 87 °F (31 °C) and a low of 70 °F (21 °C); in January, the average high is 45 °F (7 °C) with an average low of 30 °F (−1 °C).[24] The month of highest average rainfall is July with 4.78 inches (121 mm) of rain, while February is historically the driest month, receiving an average of only 3.23 inches (82 mm) of rain.[24] Large amounts of snowfall are infrequent; recent significant snowstorms include 10 inches (25 cm) of snowfall on February 24, 1989[25] and 18 inches (46 cm) of snowfall on February 3, 1996.[26]

The highest official temperature ever recorded in Rehoboth Beach was 102 °F (39 °C) on June 21, 1997.[27] The lowest official temperature ever recorded in Rehoboth Beach was −11 °F (−24 °C) on January 17, 1982.[28]

Climate data for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78
(26)
86
(30)
89
(32)
92
(33)
97
(36)
102
(39)
101
(38)
101
(38)
98
(37)
92
(33)
88
(31)
77
(25)
102
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 45
(7)
48
(9)
55
(13)
65
(18)
74
(23)
83
(28)
87
(31)
85
(29)
79
(26)
69
(21)
59
(15)
49
(9)
66.5
(19.1)
Average low °F (°C) 30
(−1)
31
(−1)
37
(3)
46
(8)
55
(13)
65
(18)
70
(21)
69
(21)
63
(17)
52
(11)
43
(6)
34
(1)
49.6
(9.8)
Record low °F (°C) −11
(−24)
0
(−18)
9
(−13)
18
(−8)
32
(0)
40
(4)
47
(8)
47
(8)
37
(3)
26
(−3)
16
(−9)
0
(−18)
−11
(−24)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.62
(91.9)
3.23
(82)
4.40
(111.8)
3.59
(91.2)
3.72
(94.5)
3.39
(86.1)
4.78
(121.4)
4.73
(120.1)
4.04
(102.6)
3.94
(100.1)
3.66
(93)
3.85
(97.8)
46.95
(1,192.5)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.8
(7.1)
4.5
(11.4)
0.8
(2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
1.3
(3.3)
9.6
(24.3)
Source: The Weather Channel[29]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 198
1910 327 65.2%
1920 389 19.0%
1930 795 104.4%
1940 1,247 56.9%
1950 1,794 43.9%
1960 1,507 −16.0%
1970 1,495 −0.8%
1980 1,730 15.7%
1990 1,234 −28.7%
2000 1,495 21.2%
2010 1,327 −11.2%
Est. 2016 1,488 [1] 12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[30]

As of the census[31] of 2000, there were 1,495 people, 847 households, and 343 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,266.5 people per square mile (489.2/km²). There were 3,167 housing units at an average density of 2,682.9 per square mile (1,036.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.13% White, 0.27% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.54% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.94% of the population.

There were 847 households out of which 6.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 3.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 59.4% were non-families. 47.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.71 and the average family size was 2.35.

In the city, the population was spread out with 7.0% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 18.5% from 25 to 44, 33.3% from 45 to 64, and 37.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 57 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,429, and the median income for a family was $66,844. Males had a median income of $56,250 versus $28,295 for females. The per capita income for the city was $67,715. About 3.1% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Rehoboth Beach is governed by a mayor and a city manager. As of 2017, the mayor is Sam Cooper and the city manager is Sharon Lynn.[32][33] There are several departments, city boards, commissions, and committees that oversee the daily functions of the city government. Some of these officials are elected while others are appointed.[34][35]

Police services in Rehoboth Beach is provided by the Rehoboth Beach Police Department, which consists of 17 full-time officers and 9 full-time dispatchers along with additional seasonal police officers in the peak summer months.[36] Fire protection to Rehoboth Beach and nearby areas is provided by the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, which maintains three stations.[37]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Silver Lake

In addition to beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, there are several parks located in Rehoboth Beach. Grove Park is home to a playground, pavilion, restrooms, and benches. Stockley Street Park is located along Silver Lake and has benches and a playground. Lake Gerar Park is located along Lake Gerar and has benches and a playground. There are tennis courts that are located at Deauville Beach.[38]

Transportation[edit]

Delaware Route 1 (Coastal Highway) does not enter Rehoboth Beach, instead skirting the town to the south and west. Delaware Route 1A crosses through Rehoboth Beach in an L shape, running east from DE 1 and heading across a drawbridge over the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal into the city, where it heads east along Rehoboth Avenue to 2nd Street, then south along 2nd Street, Bayard Avenue, and Silver Lake Drive to another junction with DE 1 in Dewey Beach. Delaware Route 1B provides another route into Rehoboth Beach via State Road, connecting to DE 1 south of a high-level crossing of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal.[23] On-street parking in the downtown area is regulated by parking meters from the Friday before Memorial Day to the second Sunday after Labor Day.[39] Between the Friday before Memorial Day and Labor Day, parking permits are required for all non-metered on-street parking spaces in Rehoboth Beach.[40] A parking lot is also available at Deauville Beach in the northern part of the city, with parking permits required between the Friday before Memorial Day and the second Sunday after Labor Day.[41]

DART First State Beach Bus in Rehoboth Beach

The Delaware Department of Transportation operates a Park and Ride just outside the city limits, located along Shuttle Road off of DE 1.[42] During the peak summer months, DART First State operates Beach Bus service that provides frequent service in and out of the city and to the rest of the Delaware Beaches area and to Ocean City, Maryland, where it connects to the Ocean City Beach Bus, from the Park and Ride lot. On summer weekends and holidays, DART First State operates the Route 305 "Beach Connection" service, which runs from Wilmington to the Park and Ride outside Rehoboth Beach, with intermediate stops at the Christiana Mall, Middletown, Dover, and the Lewes Transit Center.[43][44] DART First State also operates the year-round Route 206 service running between Rehoboth Beach and Georgetown via Lewes and the year-round Route 215 service which connects Rehoboth Beach with Millsboro.[45]

The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates a shuttle bus in the summer months that runs from Rehoboth Beach to the Lewes Transit Center, with connections to another shuttle to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which provides ferry service across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey.[46]

The Jolly Trolley is a private shuttle service that provides frequent transport in Rehoboth Beach and to neighboring Dewey Beach. The service operates daily through the summer tourist season between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day and on weekends in the shoulder season before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.[47][48]

BestBus offers intercity bus service to Rehoboth Beach from Union Station and Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. and Penn Station in New York City on weekends in the summer months.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Rehoboth Beach". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ "The Delaware Census State Data Center". Stateplanning.delaware.gov. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  4. ^ Rehoboth Beach.
  5. ^ "Testing The Waters: Ratings for a Selection of U. S. Popular Beaches". NRDC. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Testing The Waters, Prevent Beach Pollution - Delaware". NRDC. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  7. ^ Jordan, Francis, Jr. 1906. Aboriginal Fishing Stations on the Coast of the Middle Atlantic States. Lancaster, PA. Press of the New Era Printing Company, p. 25
  8. ^ Meehan, p. 19
  9. ^ Leiste, Christian (1778). Beschreibung des Brittischen Amerika zur Ersparung der englischen Karten, p. 312; retrieved through Google Books
  10. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  11. ^ "Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Directory & Map". Tanger Outlets. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ Fun Maps: Gay Rehoboth Beach
  13. ^ Rehoboth Beach: What to See and Do - Queer Lesbian Gay Travel - Gay.com
  14. ^ Katy Rice, 'Across the Pond', in Sussex Society, September 2011, p. 29
  15. ^ "Rehoboth Beach- Lifeguard Beach Patrol". Rehobothbeachpatrol.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  16. ^ "Bandstand". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  17. ^ Sarah Mahoney. Dream Towns. 8 August 2006. AARP.
  18. ^ Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival
  19. ^ Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival
  20. ^ "Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Beers". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  21. ^ "History". Grotto Pizza. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  22. ^ Molly Murray (16 April 2011). "Delaware cities: Smoking still legal on Rehoboth Beach". The News Journal. Gannett. DelawareOnline. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  23. ^ a b ADC Sussex County, Delaware Street Map Book, 1st Edition.
  24. ^ a b Average Weather for Rehoboth Beach, DE - Temperature and Precipitation
  25. ^ Fehr, Stephen C; Meyer, Eugene L. "Selective Storm Prefers to Winter at the Beach; Coastal Areas Buried in Snow, but D.C., Baltimore Are Spared Brunt of Blizzard". The Washington Post. February 25, 1989. p. B3.
  26. ^ McFadden, Robert D. "Winter of '96: The Overview: Winter Again Attacks Northeast With Less Snow but Worse Cold". The New York Times. February 4, 1996. p. 1.
  27. ^ "Rehoboth Beach Historic Weather Averages in Delaware (19971): June". Intellicast. The Weather Company, LLC. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "Rehoboth Beach Historic Weather Averages in Delaware (19971): January". Intellicast. The Weather Company, LLC. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "Climate Statistics for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  31. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  32. ^ "Office of the Mayor". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  33. ^ "City Manager's Office". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  34. ^ "City Boards / Commissions / Committees". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Departments". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Police". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Coverage Area". Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Parks and Recreation". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Parking Information". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Parking Permits". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Deauville Beach". City of Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Park & Ride / Park & Pool". DART First State. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  43. ^ "Beach Bus". DART First State. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  44. ^ "DART Beach Bus - DART To The Beach" (PDF). DART First State. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  45. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  46. ^ "Getting Here & Getting Around". Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Jolly Trolley of Rehoboth Beach - Rehoboth Beach's original Mass Transit System!". Jolly Trolley. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  48. ^ "Jolly Trolley Route Map and Schedule" (PDF). Jolly Trolley. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  49. ^ "Delaware Stop Locations". BestBus. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • ADC Sussex County, Delaware Street Map Book, 1st Edition. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Drafting Company, 2005.
  • Meehan, James D. From Saints to Sinners...Rehoboth Beach Memoirs. Bethany Beach, Delaware: Harold E. Dukes, Jr., 2000.m OCLC 44948093.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Henlopen Acres
Beaches of Delmarva Succeeded by
Dewey Beach