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This small community on the Murderkill River, originally settled in colonial days, is dense with old houses crowded up against each other and pressing close to the streets. Its nineteenth-century shipbuilding industry and twentieth-century canneries are a distant memory. Hardly anything has been restored in this working-class community, and all seems threatened with gradual decay or piecemeal demolition. Glazed-header brick-work of the eighteenth century peeks through the stucco at 123 Front Street, a facade elongated over time, with tiny, irregular windows upstairs. Residents protested when the road was widened into its front yard. Union Hotel (eighteenth century, now Robbins Hardware Store), at the corner of Front and Market, is perhaps Delaware's only example of a type of brick bond familiar in colonial Maryland, all-header. Red-brick Trinity Methodist Church (1856; 4 Front St.) follows the temple-form of several Delaware churches of that decade. Its brick pilasters are scored down the middle with a channel. The exceedingly sharp-pointed spire supports a fine ball-and-arrow windvane. A corner of the church collapsed in a hurricane in 1954, but has been rebuilt. The Tudor Revival public school (1931–1932; 124 Front St.) is a rarity in Delaware; locals at the time called its style “Swedish.” The brick Town Hall and Firehouse (14 E. David St.) was erected as a WPA project, one of the most ambitious in the state (1935–1936). More than 100 properties in Frederica have been added to the National Register.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard

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