Further evidence of the early wealth and importance of Christiana, this brick Georgian dwelling stands on what the Lewden family called the “Fishing Place,” right on the Christina River. The construction date of 1770 is said to appear in a foundation stone. Lewden's firm was prominent in the West Indian grain trade and helped plantation owners flee to Wilmington after the slave revolt of 1802 on Santo Domingo. Lewden was first cousin to William Corbit of Odessa, and the house is similar in plan and finish to some buildings in that town. The fine Doric surround to the door, with shutters, is quite similar to one at Odessa's Wilson-Warner House (1769; LN7). Both Lewden and Corbit were tanners and the leading citizens of their respective shipping communities. The traditional attribution of the Lewden House is to one Robert May of Head of Elk, Maryland, who might have been the same Robert May whose carpenters carried out the Corbit-Sharp House (1772–1774; LN6) and perhaps the Wilson-Warner House. Alternatively, the Lewden House, like the Wilson-Warner, simply obeys an established Delaware type: brick, center-passage, singlepile. The house fell into disrepair under a succession of tenant occupants—chickens were cooped in the living room—but was restored in the mid-twentieth century.
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John Lewden House
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