The birth of Henlopen Acres in 1930

August 2, 2022

This photograph made around 1930 hangs inside Henlopen Acres Town Hall. It shows a group of people standing in front of the Peter Marsh Homestead, which is now home of Rehoboth Art League. The Marsh Homestead was built in 1743. Marsh was an ensign in the Sussex County Regiment during the French and Indian wars. The homestead remained in the Marsh family until 1871, when it was sold to the Dodd family. It’s worth noting Rehoboth Art League’s address is 12 Dodds Lane.

Col. Wilbur S. Corkran and his wife Louise acquired the 200-acre homestead around 1930. With a vision of creating a quiet community, Wilbur laid out what eventually became Henlopen Acres – it was incorporated as a municipality in 1970. The other photograph accompanying this post was made by Dallin Aerial Surveys in 1936. The Marsh Homestead is visible along with just a few other new homes.

An artist, Louise Corkran founded the Rehoboth Art League in 1938. Col. Corkran died Feb. 13, 1962, at 73 years old. Louise was his only survivor. According to his obituary in the The News Journal, he came to Rehoboth Beach in 1928 from Short Hills, N.J., where he was in the real estate business. He was a retired Army officer who served in both World War I and World War II. 

The Peter Marsh house along with two-plus acres was eventually donated to the art league, where it’s remained since. Rehoboth Art League will hold the 49th annual Outdoor Fine Art and Fine Craft Show Aug. 6-7 and Aug. 13-14. 

  • 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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