Acres should consider changing name of town’s cemetery

As more development comes, local governments need to protect old cemeteries
April 5, 2024

I’ve been covering Henlopen Acres for a few years now. One of things that I’ve always wondered about is the community’s Indian & Pioneer Cemetery on Dodds Lane.

Looking to get some information on the cemetery, I attended a committee meeting back in February. There’s a lot abutting the cemetery that’s under development. I was hoping the discussion would include some history of the small parcel. It didn’t, so I asked Mayor Joni Reich if she knew anything about the cemetery. She didn’t offhand, but looked into the documents at town hall and got back to me. 

“The file of records on the cemetery is fairly thin,” said Reich, but she did provide what information is available:

  • There’s correspondence from 1945, between Louise Corkran, wife of town founder Col. Wilbur S. Corkran, and their attorney about whether the cemetery should be included in a lot they were selling. This would have been when the colonel was away in active military service and Louise was running the affairs on his behalf, said Reich. They acknowledged that they would need to disclose to the buyer if a cemetery is part of the parcel because state laws govern activities on it, she said
  • There’s a Wilmington Journal article from 1961 that talks about Indian activity in the Acres and the existence of the small cemetery that Col. Corkran refused to investigate
  • A 1993 letter from Col. Jack Lingo states that he believes a young child is buried there
  • A 2005 letter from the State of Delaware’s Historical & Cultural Affairs states it has no knowledge of the cemetery.

“The town owns the cemetery land, and our intention is to keep it undisturbed,” said Reich.

As part of the development of the abutting lot, almost all the trees around the cemetery were removed because they fell within the footprint of the new home. Henlopen Acres also recently started the process of updating its state-mandated comprehensive development plan. In the town’s current plan, the cemetery is identified as existing, but again, there’s not much information provided. I’m not sure where the name Indian & Pioneer Cemetery came from, but it doesn’t appear to have a member of either group buried in it. It’s possible now is the time for town officials to consider a new name.

Joke of the Week:

There’s a solar eclipse taking place Monday, April 8, so here’s a joke about it. As always, send jokes to

Q: What kind of underwear should you wear during an eclipse?

A: Fruit of the Moon.


  • Chris Flood has lived in or visited family in Delaware his whole life. He grew up in Maine, but a block of scrapple was always in the freezer of his parents’ house during his childhood. Contact him at

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