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Mill Creek and White Clay Creek Hundreds

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Mill power was long a key to the prosperity of hilly Mill Creek Hundred, its technologies having been transformed nationwide by the innovations of Oliver Evans of Newport, Delaware, author of Young Millwright and Miller's Guide (1795). Mill Creek Hundred is traversed by colonial Limestone Road (the Simon Hadley Barn of 1717 survives from this era) and the later Newport and Gap Turnpike toll road (1808), which formerly were arteries for grain transport. Farmers and their animals were refreshed at taverns, including Tweed's (1796), a two-story, V-notched log building that was moved and restored in 2005 (Limestone and Valley rds.). Agriculture sputtered by the 1950s, a decade during which the population of Mill Creek Hundred grew 205 percent, tract housing spilling over the hills. Serving a new suburban population, many churches and schools were built in a modernist idiom (to cite but two Newark-area examples, St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 701 S. College Avenue, and St. Philip Lutheran at 4501 Kirkwood Highway, both by T. Norman Mansell, 1957–1958). Delaware's Financial Center Development Act of 1981 made the state a tax haven for banks, and, subsequently, the Pike Creek and Hockessin areas of Mill Creek Hundred lost 10,600 acres of open space to the bulldozer in 1982–1987 alone. What historic architecture survives is often difficult to find in a massively altered landscape of rerouted roads and wall-to-wall development.

Most of White Clay Creek Hundred is treated in the Newark chapter, but its eastern portions are discussed here.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard

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