1882 - 1869 DELAWARE BREAKWATER
THE BACKGROUND OF HARBOR OF SHELTER
DELAWARE BREAKWATER 1822 - 1869
The Philadelphia Inquirer of Saturday, 8 October 1955 reports the Philadelphia district office of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supplied the background on the Delaware Breakwater which ended years of tragic shipwrecks in the Delaware Bay and Cape Henlopen area.
Congress appropriated $22,700 to survey Delaware Bay near Cape Henlopen to find a site for a harbor of shelter in 1822. Six years later in 1828 work began with the appropriation of $ 250,000 under plans of a board of commissioners appointed by Congress, just inside the bay off Cape Henlopen. Two massive walls of “ riprap” large heavy stone set loosely in the waters to form a foundation, the breakwater, which would afford a safe anchorage during gale winds from the north and east. The lesser pile of stone, called the ice breaker, to protect ships from northwest gales and ice flows in winter.
Completed in 1869 at $2,193,103.70, 892, 530 gross tons of stone was used, stones from ¼ ton to 7 tons, the smaller being the bulk of the mass, larger one on the outside. The breakwater is 2558 feet long, the icebreaker 1350 feet long. The width of the base 160 feet and top 26 feet, and are 14 feet above mean low sea water.
The 'gap' between the breakwater and ice breaker was closed in an 1882 project.
Abstract: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, 8 October 1955.