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Dewey Beach lighthouse will not be rebuilt

A Dewey Beach landmark destroyed a year ago is not coming back.


The Dewey Beach lighthouse was gutted by fire last April. 

Officials ruled arson the cause of the blaze that took down the structure that overlooked Rehoboth Bay for years.

But Dewey mayor Dale Cooke says the property owner, Harvey, Hanna & Associates, won’t rebuild it.


“Unfortunately it’s like anything else, private property belongs to a private corporation and since it was not part of our initial agreement when the hotel and condos were built, when they bought the property, that was not part of our initial agreement," said Cooke. "We cannot force them to do anything.”

Cooke says he prefers the lighthouse be rebuilt, but Harvey, Hanna decided it is not financially worthwhile.


He says it will be sorely missed.


“As people learn about this, I’m sure they’re going to be upset," said Cooke. "Everybody had the idea that it was part of the agreement to rebuild the Lighthouse Restaurant and that’s just not the case. It (the actual lighthouse) has been there as long as I can remember and I’ve been in Town 20 years. So it was well-known and well-liked.” 

The fire also burned the Lighthouse Restaurant and the adjacent boardwalk, causing $750,000 in damages. 

The boardwalk is already rebuilt and the restaurant expects it will be fixed up in time to reopen this summer.

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal John Galaska says the investigation into who started the fire remains active. 

And the Lighthouse Cove Development Company raised the reward it’s offering for information in the case to $30,000 in January.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.