First named in 1807, this town on the Broadkill River (pop. 1,657) grew quickly into a trading center with several shipyards and many grist and saw mills. The town prided itself on its Academy and on being the home of five governors (four of Delaware and one of Wyoming). Eighteen buildings in the business district burned in 1909, by which date the region around the community was largely deforested and growing vegetables for shipment to canneries. Many prominent nineteenth-century homes have disappeared from the compact and picturesque town, but some 200 buildings are on the National Register, including numerous small frame dwellings with scrollsawn porches. The Lydia B. Cannon Museum, Union Street, occupies a former Methodist church (c. 1855). The Governor Ponder House at 416 Federal Street (c. 1875) is Second Empire style. St. John the Baptist Episcopal (1875–1877, remodeled 1936) contains one of four English stained glass windows (1929) given to Delaware churches by bequest of Senator Willard Saulsbury, this one having been considered especially fine and replicated for Eton College museum, England.
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