Before envelopment by sprawl, this was northern New Castle County's least-changed settlement, partly as a result of its having been bypassed by the highway bridge of 1940. Some streets are still paved with their first concrete surface. A mill dam stood on a creek here in the early eighteenth century, and a village sprang up around it. When the creek was enlarged into the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, rapid growth followed. Twentieth-century widenings of the canal wiped out the lower part of the town, but the upper sections remain largely intact. A relic of the earliest period is the brick Robinson House (1750s) at 213 Main Street. The Sutton House (1792, date irons on rear wing), corner of Broad and Delaware streets, was enlarged c. 1820 and was embellished with Queen Anne motifs in the late nineteenth century; it remained in one family for generations. Several buildings on its block are on the National Register, including the mansarded brick International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Lodge (1875), reminder of a flourishing decade that saw the town's population reach 500. The frame Gam's Store (c. 1855) at Delaware and Main streets has long housed a business. On the north edge of town stands the Classical Revival Commodore Macdonough School (1923–1924, Guilbert and Betelle), praised by Leo Borah in National Geographic (1935) as “a fine example of the schools that resulted from Pierre du Pont's program.”
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