Rehoboth's lakes deserve historic marker

April 19, 2013

Throughout the history of Rehoboth Beach, resort residents have appreci­ated the beauty of the area’s lakes including, from north to south, Lake Gerar, Silver Lake and Lake Comegys. We have long known these bodies of fresh water so close to the salty Atlantic are also rare geo­graphical features.

Concern for Silver Lake, threatened by silt­ing at its western end, unfiltered stormwater runoff, erratic flushing and ownership confu­sion, sparked creation of the Save Our Lakes Alliance 3.

That organization decided to take an activ­ist role on behalf of the health of the lakes.

Its efforts, to the lakes’ benefit, have brought a great deal of attention to the myriad chal­lenges faced by these geological gems.

At the recent War of 1812 celebration, the role Silver Lake played in the bombardment of Lewes once more came to the fore. SOLA3 isn’t the first group that has fought for the lakes. Before Rehoboth Beach was any kind of settlement, Silver Lake was known as New­bold’s Pond.

By the time the war came, mariners from all over the world who sailed the coast of North America knew there was a source of fresh water just over the dunes, within easy reach of navigable waters.

When the citizens of Lewes denied British Commodore John Poo Beresford’s request for food and fresh water and repelled his efforts to bomb the town into submission, Beresford sent a landing party south to Newbold’s Pond.

Col. Samuel Davis, commanding defending forces at Lewes, received intelligence from observers along the coast about what was up and sent troops.

Once again the enemy was stymied, and the locals kept the fresh water supply to them­selves.

It’s time the strategic importance of Silver Lake and its two cousins be recognized visibly and permanently. They deserve a state histori­cal marker describing their geological signifi­cance and the 1813 skirmish that evidenced their value as a resource worth fighting for.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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