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Delaware Headlines

Rehoboth Beach Museum embarks on new history project

Beach Scene
Delaware Public Archives
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Beach Scene, 1907, Delaware Public Archives, RG 1325-003-207 Post Card Collection.

The Rehoboth Beach Museum has embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the area’s history back to its founding in 1873.

The museum’s new project seeks to find and preserve information on the 120 individual lots that formed the original Rehoboth Camp Meeting Association lands, which later became the City of Rehoboth Beach.

“Next year’s going to be the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Rehoboth Camp Meeting Association," said museum staffer Michele Wilt, "So, we thought what a great opportunity for us to look at the lot - from the time it was first established until today - and what has changed with some of those key lots.” 

Wilt says the goal is to track the area’s evolution from a religious place through the ‘20’s and ‘30’s when dance halls popped up to the beach resort Rehoboth is today.

Wilt and museum volunteer Donna Vassalotti are working to determine who owned the lots on the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue and Surf Avenue - which today is the Boardwalk - and what businesses have been there over the years.

Vassalotti is a Rehoboth Beach native who’s lived in the city 73 years.

“I knew that what I knew about what was where could help Michele because she’s not from here,” she said.

Wilt expects the project to take a few months to complete and when finished an exhibit will be created for the museum to display next summer, including photographs, articles and videos.