Rehoboth Avenue bridge over the canal 60 years ago

December 27, 2022

The front page story of the Dec. 23 edition focused on the dissolution of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, which had formed about a decade earlier with a goal to improve the canal area behind the Rehoboth Beach Museum with a dock. That vision came to fruition in 2021, and a fund has been created to ensure maintenance continues into the future. The dock’s switchback ramp down the steep canal bank is located on the left side of this image from the late 1960s or early 1970s. This photograph was taken by J.T. O’Brien for the Historic American Engineering Record, documenting the 1920s architecture of Rehoboth’s Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge. The Historic American Engineering Record was established in 1969 by the National Park Service, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Library of Congress to document historic sites and structures related to engineering and industry. This photograph is one of more than two dozen images and blueprints available on the Library of Congress website. Seen peeking over the tree line is the smokestack for the Stokely-Van Camp cannery. That property was sold in 1964; the buildings fell into disrepair before they burned down Aug. 19, 1971, leaving just the smokestack standing. 

  • 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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