Reeds saving historic Cape Henlopen Lighthouse stones

Exterior walls, fire places of Sandy Brae homestead off Route 1 are constructed from fallen beacon
June 21, 2023

Story Location:
Sandy Brae homestead
18422 Coastal Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
United States

In advance of a new Starbucks and commercial building, Lewes-based Reed Ventures will demolish the Sandy Brae homestead off Route 1 outside Lewes.

However, the company will save stones from the exterior wall and two fireplaces that came from the old Cape Henlopen Lighthouse, which stood atop the Great Dune in what is now Cape Henlopen State Park until it collapsed in 1926.

The company purchased the property in January 2022. The house is estimated to have been built somewhere near the 1930s. It’s been home to a number of businesses over the years – Parsell Funeral Home, Cape Henlopen Wicker, and most recently, Willow Marie & Co. Prior to being used as space for commercial businesses, the property was a horse racing stable.

Deconstruction of the home started about two weeks ago. During a tour of what remains June 19, Brent Reed said they’ve hired Second Chance, a Baltimore-based company specializing in saving all usable pieces of old houses. They’ll take everything they think has value, except for the stones and masonry, he said.

Reed said the company didn’t know about the historical significance of the stones until after it purchased the property, but once it found out, the company thought it would be important to do its part to save the history.

Reed said a contractor is lined up that says it can remove the stones, but if it proves to be too difficult, there’s another company available to do it by hand.

Reed said a number of people have already contacted him about the stones because they have new construction projects and would like to incorporate the stones into the design. Otherwise, he said, they’re going to find someone or an organization that would like to have them donated.

“We’ll see if they follow through,” he said.

Reed didn’t have a specific timeframe for when the deconstruction of the house will be finished, but he said it could take a couple of months because of scheduling. There’s not a huge rush because the earliest the Starbucks will open is next summer, he said.


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