The odd and quirky side of Sussex County

August 12, 2022

Sussex County has a long list of oddities and things that make it unique.

House of the future

If you've ever driven down Eagle Crest Road off Route 1 north of Lewes, you've seen a strange-looking structure that resembles a flying saucer. Located just outside Hudson Fields, the Futuro House was supposed to be the home of the future, but only about 100 were sold worldwide during the late 1960s into the early 1970s.

The homes now have a cult following. Homes have been sold for tens of thousands of dollars or more, and there are websites devoted to the Futuro House, including The website includes a photo and history of as many houses as can be located, including one near Lewes and another in Harrington.

The late Joe Hudson became a five-state distributor in the early 1970s for the North American branch of the company headquartered in Finland.

The round, prefabricated house with 16 windows was composed of fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic measuring 13 feet high and 26 feet in diameter. The homes came self-contained with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room.

Once assembled, most homes were placed on a steel frame secured on four concrete piers. They retailed for $15,900.

Eventually, Hudson – a successful pilot, farmer and developer – had three models displayed in the area as he set up a company called New Dimensions to sell the Futuro. He had 17 orders, but was never able to fill all of them.

There are several theories circulating on websites and chat rooms about the demise of the company. Most blame the 1973 oil crisis that not only caused shortages and forced up the price of oil; it also tripled the cost to manufacture a Futuro House, which was made of oil-based components.


Is it Lower Slower Delaware (LSD) or Slower Lower Delaware (SLD), that is the question? SLD has been trademarked by Slower Lower Delaware Inc. According to the company's website, the first shirt with Slower Lower Delaware on it appeared at Suzie's Tavern in Millsboro in September 1991. Selling shirts, sweatshirts, hats, license plates soon followed.

The apparel is popular as people proclaim that life below the canal runs at a little slower pace.

Somewhere along the line, LSD surfaced and began appearing on car decals. It's hard not to run across one just about every time I'm on the road. They are even sold on Amazon.

Because of the obvious reference to lysergic acid diethyamide, I would hope most people prefer SLD. How SLD and LSD are connected, and even if they are, is a mystery.

Art along the trail

Eastern Sussex is fortunate to have many great trails, including Junction & Breakwater, Gordons Pond, trails in Cape Henlopen State Park and the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail.

Many residents who live adjacent to the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail, which is now more than half completed, have embraced the pathway, and not only provide access from their homes, but also decorate the trail's edge with trail art. In Lewes, several residents have extensive gardens planted along the trail.

Three residents, one near the Central Avenue intersection off Savannah Road, one near the Gills Neck Road intersection and another about midway in the section from Nassau Road to Minos Conaway Road, have gone way over the top with their whimsical displays.

As a trail user, I really appreciate their work.

What are hundreds?

Here is another quirky tidbit that has remained part of the county's history since the beginning.

Delaware is divided into 33 hundreds, with 12 hundreds in Sussex County. According to the Delaware Geological Survey, the use of hundreds in America dates back to colonial days. Hundreds were used as divisions in England and were introduced in some of the British colonies. For Delaware, the origin is cited in a letter written in 1682 by William Penn, the newly appointed Lord Proprietor of the province of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn directed that from this point onward, settlements be divided into sections of 100 families. Delaware is the only state that uses hundreds.

While most people aren't even aware of the hundreds, Sussex County still uses the term hundreds on deeds.

To be continued...


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