Hotel at Rosedale Beach in the mid-1950s

July 6, 2018

From the 1900s to the 1970s, the pre-integration era of the United States, the hotel and resort facilities at Rosedale Beach on Indian River offered summertime entertainment for people of color. In addition to the Rosedale Beach Hotel pictured here, the resort included a boardwalk, dance hall, picnic and beach area, campground and amusement park. Great black musicians played at the dance hall including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson and Lionel Hampton.

The March storm of 1962 took away the Rosedale Beach boardwalk and it was never rebuilt. After integration, the resort went into decline; the hotel eventually was dismantled and the site became the new home for condominiums on Indian River. Rosedale Beach, it is said, was named for local residents Rose and Dale Harmon.

  • Delaware Cape Region History in Photographs, published every Tuesday in the Cape Gazette, features historical photos from Delaware's Cape Region - particularly - and from throughout Sussex County and Delaware generally.

    Readers are invited to submit photos of historic interest. They can be mailed to the Cape Gazette at PO Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958, or via email to

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