Cape Henlopen Lighthouse replica historical marker unveiled

Rehoboth’s Village Improvement Association celebrates 110 years of community support
December 24, 2019

The Village Improvement Association in Rehoboth Beach, founded in 1909, celebrated its 110th year by unveiling a historical marker Dec. 11.

According to the president’s report, in 2018, the VIA donated $92,700 and members volunteered 53,864 hours to projects and local agencies.

Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, addressed the all-women's group during the anniversary luncheon after VIA President Carole Suchanek lead the group through “Happy Birthday.” Schwartzkopf said the VIA is one of the best-kept secrets in Rehoboth. The women in this organization aren’t volunteering to be recognized for their efforts, they’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do, he said.

“I’m beginning to believe if you put a bunch of women together, and let them figure it out, things will be OK,” Schwartzkopf said.

Immediately following the cutting of the birthday cake, a couple dozen women, Schwartzkopf, Rehoboth Beach Mayor Paul Kuhns and Rehoboth Beach Commissioners Richard Byrne and Steve Scheffer  unveiled a historical marker for the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse replica in the traffic circle at the entrance to Rehoboth Beach.

During the unveiling of the marker, Katie Hall, Delaware Public Archives Historical Marker Program coordinator, congratulated VIA members for their continued support of Rehoboth and desire to recognize the city’s past. This will be the last marker this year, said Hall.

The marker reads, “The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse stood on the Great Dune near Lewes from 1765 through 1926. The lighthouse was a widely-recognized landmark in the region and in 1924, a realtor built a replica of it as his Rehoboth Beach office. The Village Improvement Association (VIA) purchased the replica in 1926 and moved it from the first block of Rehoboth Avenue to the entrance of the city near Grove Street. The VIA maintained the lighthouse until 1971, when they transferred ownership to the City of Rehoboth Beach. In 2004, the replica was relocated to the center of the new traffic circle on Rehoboth Avenue as part of a streetscape enhancement project.”


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