One hundred years ago on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal

May 4, 2021

Bill Heronemus sent along this photo, looking toward the northwest, of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in downtown Lewes in 1921. Hazel Brittingham supplied it to Bill who works with old photographs to restore and enhance them.

This shows how rough and raw Lewes was a century ago. The Army Corps of Engineers excavated sections of marsh between Lewes Creek on the northwest end of the canal and Rehoboth Creek on the southeast end, and built formal inlets to connect Delaware Bay and Rehoboth Bay for commercial transportation primarily of farm crops.

The canal project started in 1913 and first opened to boating traffic in 1916.

  • 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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