Bombay hook island

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USGS CLASSIC QUAD: Bombay Hook Island

MyTopo USGS Enhanced Quad Maps are enhanced reproductions of the original USGS 7.5' map series. The maps are standardized to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection in the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83) to ensure exact seaming between maps. Each map covers the full USGS quad sheet plus portions of the surrounding USGS quads. Printed on high-quality waterproof paper with UV fade-resistant inks.

USGS Quad ID:o39075c4
USGS Quad Name:Bombay Hook Island
USGS Publication Date:1993
Primary State:New Jersey
Size:24" x 36"
UTM:18 - 462309 - 4351561

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YellowMaps Bombay Hook Island DE topo map, 1:24000 Scale, 7.5 X 7.5 Minute, Historical, 1993, Updated 1993, 27 x 22 in

USGS topographic map of Bombay Hook Island, Delaware, dated 1993, updated 1993.

Includes geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), lines of elevation, bodies of water, roads, and more. This topo quad is suitable for recreational, outdoor uses, office applications, or wall map framing.

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Product Number: USGS-5389902
Map Size: 27 inches high x 22 inches wide
Map Scale: 1:24000
Map Type: POD USGS Topographic Map
Map Series: HTMC
Map Version: Historical
Cell ID: 72286
Scan ID: 255488
Imprint Year: 1993
Woodland Tint: Yes
Aerial Photo Year: 1990
Edit Year: 1993
Field Check Year: 1991
Datum: NAD83
Map Projection: Universal Transverse Mercator
Map published by United States Geological Survey
Map Language: English
Scanner Resolution: 600 dpi
Map Cell Name: Bombay Hook Island
Grid size: 7.5 X 7.5 Minute
Date on map: 1993
Geographical region: Delaware, United States
Northern map edge Latitude: 39.375°
Southern map edge Latitude: 39.25°
Western map edge Longitude: -75.5°
Eastern map edge Longitude: -75.375°

Surrounding map sheets (copy & paste the Product No. in the search bar):
North: USGS-5375640,USGS-5375636,USGS-5375642,USGS-5375634,USGS-5375638
East: USGS-5375430,USGS-5375432,USGS-5375428,USGS-5375426,USGS-5375436
South: USGS-5390086,USGS-5390294,USGS-5390092,USGS-5390094,USGS-5952915
West: USGS-5952931,USGS-5647713,USGS-5390210,USGS-5647711,USGS-5390204

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Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,978 acres (64.66 km2) National Wildlife Refuge located along the eastern coast of Kent County, Delaware, United States, on Delaware Bay. It was established on March 16, 1937, as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory and wintering waterfowl along the Atlantic Flyway. The Refuge was purchased from local land owners with federal duck stamp funds.[2]

Today, the refuge protects wildlife of all kinds, with emphasis on all migratory birds. The refuge also contains the Allee House, a pre-revolutionary war farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a stop on Delaware's Coastal Heritage Greenway.


Known to the Native American as Canaresse, meaning "at the thickets," and later referred to as Ruyge-Bosje, meaning "shaggy bushes" or thicket, Bombay Hook received its final name from the corruption of the Dutch "Boompjes" or "Boompjes Hoeck" meaning "little-tree point." In 1679 Mechacksett, chief of Kahansink sold Bombay Hook wetlands to Peter Bayard, an early Dutch settler. The price for the area was one gun, four handfuls of powder, three waistcoats, one anker of liquor,[Note 1] and one kettle.

In 1682, a canal was built from the town of Smyrna to the Delaware Bay; this waterway became the Smyrna River. The Bombay Hook Lighthouse (also called the Smyrna River Lighthouse) was built by the US Government in 1831. The lighthouse was later automated in 1912 and an unmanned light was installed. Arsonists burned the abandoned structure in the early 1970s.

The Allee House, still standing on the refuge, was built in 1753 by Abraham Allee, a Huguenotrefugee from Artois, France. It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. The house remains in nearly original condition.

In 1848, a hotel was built on Bombay Hook Island, making the island a popular resort area. By 1870, the steamerPilot Boy was making regular trips between Bombay Hook and Philadelphia.

In 1878, a severe storm referred to by local residents as the "great tidal-wave" destroyed summer resorts on Collins and Fraland Beach. The storm changed the biological make-up of Bombay Hook. Prior to 1878, the inner marshes were protected from storms and high tides by the dunes and banks fronting the bay. These dunes were breached by the storm and were never repaired, the effects of which are evident to this day.

In 1937, 12,000 acres (49 km2), mostly tidal salt marsh stretching eight miles (13 km) along Delaware Bay, were purchased to establish the Bombay Hook Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. The land was purchased with duck stamp funds.

On April 1, 1938, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) based at Leipsic, Delaware started work on the refuge. They cleared wooded swamps and built a dike to create Raymond and Shearness Pools and a causeway to separate Shearness and Finis Pools, creating three freshwater impoundments; they planted over fifty thousand trees; and they built a headquarters building, a boathouse and marine railway, an observation tower, and houses for the manager and a patrolman. They also ran ditches for mosquito control, and conducted various wildlife surveys. The camp ended March 18, 1942.

In 1939, the Bombay Hook Migratory Waterfowl Refuge was renamed the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

During World War II the refuge was used as a gunnery range and for research on aerial rockets. In 1961, the fourth freshwater impoundment, Bear Swamp Pool, was added, making a total of 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) of freshwater ponds that through techniques developed over the years are carefully managed to vary water levels for thousands of visiting waterfowl and shorebirds.

In 1980, an Atlantic Beaked Whale beached at Bombay Hook.

In 1986, Bombay Hook NWR represented the US in "World Safari" a satellite program by National Geographic, BBC, and Turner Broadcasting. Bombay Hook NWR was selected because of its high concentration of snow geese.

In 2015, the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was featured on the fourth 2015 release of the America the Beautiful Quarters series. It features a great blue heron, with a great egret behind it, in a salt marsh.

Small additions have been made to the refuge since 1937. The last occurred in 1993 when Bombay Hook NWR acquired Steamboat landing, bringing the total to 15,978 acres (64.66 km2). Management of the refuge, including development of fifteen moist soil areas, about one thousand acres (4.0 km2) of agricultural lands, warm season grass fields, and habitat diversity has significantly increased wildlife use of the refuge, particularly by bird populations.


Mudflats left behind by a receding tide at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Tidal salt marsh is some of the most valuable wildlife habitat in Delaware; thus large portions of the refuge have been maintained in a near pristine state. The marsh, with its intersecting tidal streams and rivers, provides excellent natural habitat for birds and mammals and serves as a nursery for marine organisms, and provides sporting or commercial value. The water levels in the refuge's impoundments are manipulated to produce desirable emergent and underwater plants for waterfowl. When the pools are drawn down, large populations of shore and wading birds feed on the mudflats.

Upland agricultural crops are grown on about 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) to provide additional food for waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Wildlife and protected species[edit]

Refuge management programs are primarily aimed at developing and protecting habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, including the threatened bald eagle. The refuge is a focal point for waterfowl migrating between their northern breeding grounds and southern wintering areas along the Atlantic Flyway. Large numbers of ducks and geese arrive each fall to spend the winter or to stopover as they head south. Delaware Bay is also the second largest staging area for spring migratory shorebirds in North America. The list of birds recorded at the refuge is very large, with nearly 350 species, including "accidental" migrants.[citation needed] As of 2009, eBird has recorded 302 species of birds in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.[3]

Red fox at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

The variety of habitats in the refuge provides food and cover for a number of other species. Thirty-five mammal species have been identified on the refuge; however, additional species native to the region probably are present but have not as yet been verified. Those most frequently seen, especially in the early morning and the late afternoon, are the cottontail rabbit, woodchuck, gray squirrel, red fox, and white-tailed deer.[4] Other animals found in the refuge include salamanders, toads, frogs, turtles, lizards, and snakes.[5] Other mammals that inhabit this refuge are beavers, muskrats, river otters, and opossums.

In 1990, federal, state, and private organizations joined to determine the status of horseshoe crabs. Volunteers surveyed Delaware Bay during peak spawning season in May and June. After 10 years of monitoring, restrictions on harvesting were implemented in 2000.


Visitor facilities include a visitor center, auto tour route, observation towers and nature trails. There are opportunities for hiking, photography, and wildlife observation. Bear Swamp Trail and the visitor center are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

A 12-mile (19 km) round-trip auto tour route and five nature trails ranging from 1⁄4 to 1 mile (6,400 to 1,600 m) in length, provide opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. Three of the trails have 30-foot (9.1 m) observation towers.

Public hunting, primarily for waterfowl and deer, is permitted under special regulations on portions of the refuge during the Delaware state season.

Old brick house with scaffolding in front
The Allee House under repair in 2016

Allee House[edit]

The Allee House stands as it did in the 18th century, and overlooks the fields and marshes of Kent County, Delaware. It is one of the best preserved examples of an early brick farmhouse in Delaware. The Allee House was built about 1753 by Abraham Allee, the son of John Allee.

Abraham Allee served as a member of the Assembly in 1726, was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1738, and was Chief Ranger for the county in 1749. The Allee House features fine brickwork laid in Flemish Bond with a few glazed header bricks. The interior of the house is distinguished by the handsome wood paneling of the parlor. The cornice in this room has a dentil course that is particularly well formed, and the splendid panels of the chimney breast are joined on either side by two striking recessed, arched china closets. These closets have paneled doors and graduated butterfly shelves against a barrel back with a fluted center post.

Over the past 40 years, the house's walls and support beams have become damaged and weakened by water.[6] Tours of the Allee House have been discontinued due to unsafe conditions related to sagging floors and chimney damage.[7]

Port Mahon Lighthouse[edit]

Port Mahon, located at the southern boundary of the Refuge, was named after the capital of the Spanish island of Menorca. Built about 1890, Port Mahon included a blacksmith shop and a general store and was once the center of port activity in the Little Creek area. The lighthouse was built in 1903 and the lighthouse keeper tended the kerosene lamps faithfully. General supplies were brought in yearly when carts were able to carry them over the marsh-lined dirt road from Little Creek. All of the light station, with the exception of the support pilings, was destroyed by fire in 1984.

Bombay Hook Lighthouse[edit]

The Bombay Hook Lighthouse was constructed by the U.S. Government in 1829. In 1830, former Governor of DelawareJacob Stout, laid out the road between Bombay Hook Lighthouse and Smyrna. In 1831, President Andrew Jackson and his Secretary of Treasury, Louis McLane appointed Duncan Stewart as the first keeper of Bombay Hook Lighthouse. In 1854, Duncan's daughter, Margaret Stewart, was appointed to her father's position as keeper upon his death that year at age 92. Four other keepers and their families lived and worked at this station, the last being Edward W. Long who was appointed April 11, 1912. In September 1912, the newly erected Smyrna River Range Lights came into service. These were a set of iron towers located in the mouth of the river displaying automated (unmanned) lights. Upon activation of the range lights, the Bombay Hook Lighthouse was considered obsolete and was "discontinued" at that time. The lighthouse sat abandoned and deteriorating for decades. In 1974, the Delaware State Division of Fish & Wildlife decided to demolish the lighthouse due to the hazard it evolved into over the years from vandalism and a series of fires.


  • Great Blue Heron landing the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

See also[edit]

Notes and citations[edit]


  1. ^An anker was a measure of volume representing the volume held in a small cask holding around 45 bottles (see Anker).


External links[edit]

Whitsundays: Hook Island

Early Settlement at Bombay Hook, Kent County, Delaware

Early Settlement at Bombay Hook, Kent County, Delaware By: Megan E. Springate, Richard Grubb & Associates. Presented at the 4th Annual Symposium on the Early Colonial Archaeology of the Delaware Valley, New Castle Courthouse Museum, New Castle, Delaware. Saturday May 14, 2011. Note: To protect areas with archaeological sensitivity, details regarding specific site locations are not included in this document. Introduction In 2010, Richard Grubb & Associates was contracted to assist the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare an Archaeological Overview and Assessment of the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas (Springate et al. 2011). The results would then be incorporated into a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) of the Refuge. The CCP is intended to assist in the long-term management, preservation, and interpretation of cultural resources at the Refuge. The USFWS is actively interested in the archaeological record at Bombay Hook, and welcomes public input into the CCP process; information is available through the Friends of Bombay Hook website ( The Refuge is located in Kent County, Delaware on the western shore of the upper Delaware Bay, straddling the dividing line between Duck Creek and Little Creek Hundreds. The City of Dover is located to the southwest. The Refuge was established in 1937 as one link in a chain of refuges extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico used as breeding grounds and feeding/resting grounds along major bird migration routes. Because the area has been part of the Refuge system, it has been protected from development and other activities that have provided information on early settlement elsewhere in Delaware. The Refuge currently consists of approximately 16,000 acres, most of which is saltwater marshland. The AOA addressed the 16,000 acres within the Refuge as well as an additional almost 5,000 surrounding acres. The study included palaeoenvironmental, pre-contact, contact period, and historic contexts for archaeological resources within the Refuge and site predictive models that determined the likelihood of areas to contain pre-contact and historic archaeological resources. Although the AOA includes information on settlement in the area through the late twentieth century, this presentation will focus on the earliest settlement in and around the Refuge in the context of various settlement models that have been proposed. Information on development in the refuge through the early nineteenth century will be presented to illustrate the changing settlement trends. Several early landscape features such as roads and marsh improvements remain visible on the landscape, which has undergone relatively little modern development and disturbance. One aspect of the landscape that has changed over time is the configuration and size of the marshlands. Changes in sea levels, water table levels, and rainfall are regularly addressed in studies of pre-contact settlement patterns in edge environments, and are increasingly being addressed in the historic period. The erosion of historic sites in edge environments is also a concern when considering historic resources – shoreline surveys in the Delmarva have identified seventeenth through twentieth century resources that are now underwater. These include artifact scatters, shell middens, well features, wooden pilings, and structural remains (Lowery 1995, 2001, 2008, 2010; Pohuski 1991). Changes in sea levels and erosion have implications beyond the environment and impacts to historic resources: the legal boundary of the Refuge in littoral and riparian zones is the mean low water line (United States Fish and Wildlife Service n.d.). A study of the area around Port Mahon at the southern end of the Refuge indicated that the shoreline at the Port Mahon lighthouse receded approximately 300 feet between 1900 and 1981, for an average of about 1 meter per year (Kardas and Larrabee 1981). Other researchers have documented an average loss of approximately 3 meters per year between 1845 through the late twentieth century (Kraft and John 1976). At the Bombay Hook Light Station north of the Refuge, approximately 740 feet of marsh and uplands have eroded into the Delaware Bay since 1831 and an additional 75-100 feet of upland has sunk into the marsh since 1899 (De Cunzo and Silber 1994: 10). The regional soil survey of the region shows areas of Sunken Mucky Silt Loam within the marshes (Natural Resources Conservation Service 2010). These consist of formerly upland soils that have been subsumed into the marsh either by sinking or by rising water levels. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern shore of Maryland, areas of Sunken Mucky Silt Loam were identified as having moderate sensitivity for historic sites through the eighteenth century (Millis et al. 2000: 221-226). At Bombay Hook, however, these soils appear to have been sunken later – perhaps as late as the mid-nineteenth century according to historic maps. Archaeological evidence of what are likely the earliest historic sites, built at the marsh edges of uplands and which are poorly represented on maps has not been recovered. Methodology Several documents, including maps and land surveys, were used to establish the historic development within the Refuge. Many of the earliest documents are land surveys – completed when land was being transferred by sale, gift, or inheritance. These land surveys often show only property boundaries and main house structures; the more useful ones for this purpose show additional information, including roadways, outbuildings, and information regarding neighboring properties. This inconsistency in what was depicted, and the lack of documentation of the entirety of the project area at a particular point in time means that early settlement data for the Refuge remains incomplete. This is true particularly of early roadways – while roads or track ways must have provided access to at least some of the earliest settlers along the necks if land extending in to the marshlands, these are often not shown (other early properties were more obviously accessed by water). Early settlement data for the project area were mapped on current USGSs for the period up to the mid-eighteenth century, the late eighteenth century, and the early nineteenth century. This settlement data included mapped roadways, bridges, dwellings, landings, and known archaeological sites. These date ranges were used instead of Delaware’s temporal historic contexts because no data was available for some of them. Further research, including archaeological excavations, may result in sufficient coverage for each of the state contexts in the future. Because the area in and around what is now the Refuge was largely agricultural throughout its historic development, soil fertility classifications as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture were also shown on the USGS maps. These soil classifications include: prime farmland (land that, with proper management and without excessive inputs of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, or labor can economically produce high crop yields); prime farmland if drained; farmland of statewide importance (land that nearly meets the requirements for prime farmland); and not prime farmland (land that does not meet the previous requirements) (Natural Resources Conservation Service 2010). Early Settlement Through the Mid-Eighteenth Century The landform known as Bombay Hook served as an important geographical reference for travelers along the Delaware River. The name “Bombay Hook” is a phonetic corruption of Boomtjes Hoeck, the Dutch name for the point of land extending into the Delaware. It translates as “tree point” (Carpenter 1886). Bombay Hook is generally considered the point at which Delaware Bay becomes the Delaware River. The point also served as an important regional boundary marker – in 1638, Bombay Hook served as the southern limit of land purchased by Peter Minuet from the Indians for his New Sweden colony (Johnson 1911: 184). Later, the Hook served as the southern boundary marker for lands transferred by the Dutch West India Company to the City of Amsterdam following the surrender of the Swedes to Peter Stuyvesant. This land transfer served to compensate the City of Amsterdam for the use of one of their warships (Gehring 2003: 18). After 1664, Bombay Hook served as a point on the dividing line between the jurisdictions of the colonial English New Castle and Whorekill Courts. Following the intensified period of European settlement central and lower Delaware during the 1670s, many of the region’s surviving Indian population left the area, traveling west and north. While many Indians chose or were forced to leave Delaware, others remained. Ned Heite and Cara Blume demonstrated that people with Indian ancestors occupied Pumpkin Neck, including the eighteenth-century Bloomsbury site, located just west of the Refuge’s northwestern boundary (Heite and Blume 2008). Peter Bayard appears to be the first colonial settler in the project area. He was a Huguenot who immigrated to New Amsterdam in 1647 with his widowed mother Anna, two brothers, and a sister. Journeying with them were Anna’s brother, Governor Peter Stuyvesant and his wife. Both families remained in New York following its transfer to English rule. Anna’s children grew up in New York and, surely with the support of their powerful uncle, became prominent and wealthy citizens. In 1674, Peter married Blandina Kierstede and moved into a house in New York City on the corner of what is now Broadway and Exchange Place (Wilson 1885:3). Peter was not content in the city, however, and in 1679 purchased Bombay Hook Island. In 1680, while still in New York City, Peter met with Jasper Danckaerts and Peter Sluyter, followers of Jean de Labadie who were traveling in North America looking for a site to establish a Labadist settlement. In Dankaerts’ diary, he notes that Peter Bayard “intended to abandon the city and commerce and go and live upon his farm” (Murphy 1867: 343-344). Bayard and another family member were listed in an early 1680 census on Bombay Hook Island (Jackson 1983:16-17). They did not stay long at the farm, and left not long after the census was taken to join Danckaert and Sluyter in founding the Labadist community at New Bohemia Manor on Maryland’s eastern shore (Bulloch 1919:4-5; Mallery 1888:48-49; Murphy 1867:39; Scharf 1888:1091). No roads connected Bombay Hook Island to the mainland at the time, and Bayard and his family would have relied on water routes for their transportation. The exact location of Bayard’s farm is unknown. Very little is known from maps or historical documents for the remainder of the seventeenth and very early eighteenth centuries. Settlement prior to the mid-eighteenth century took place on the various upland necks of land extending into the marshes. Early settlement pre-dating 1750 is not mapped along Dutch Neck; however, the presence of the Pasture Point Causeway leading to what was most certainly a landing at the edge of the marsh north of Dutch Neck suggests that early residences and outbuildings may have been present. This causeway may be the one referenced in the 1718 will of John Allee. Other early, undocumented settlement may be present on areas near the mouths of the rivers or closer to the Delaware. The upland areas of Bombay Hook Island in particular are sensitive for early activity in addition to Bayards farm. The remains of these earliest settlements may have been washed away or are underwater. Known pre-1750s dwelling locations in the Refuge area include: the mid-eighteenth century Poplar Grove, the seventeenth century Dona Landing Farmstead, the mid-eighteenth century settlement of John Mahan, and the mid-eighteenth century Betty’s Fortune. Access to the Delaware River from the southern settlements, especially Betty’s Fortune, was via Kelly’s Ditch which was built before 1748 and serves as a portion of the Refuge’s southern boundary. The Dona Landing Farmstead is located on the edge of what are now sunken soils, and associated archaeological deposits may be submerged. This location on the boundary between prime and not prime farmland is consistent with Gunn and Holland’s settlement model (1999: 75-76), which postulates that early homesteads were located on land unsuited to tobacco farming, but near fertile fields so that they did not occupy valuable agricultural land. Later, early- to mid-eighteenth century dwellings like those of John Mahan and Betty’s Fortune were located further inland, generally surrounded by prime farmland or farmland of statewide importance, supporting Lukezic’s (1990) hypothesis of centering farmsteads and plantations in the middle of, rather than on the edge of, fertile agricultural fields. This placement minimized the “friction of distance” from the homestead to the fields. This inland settlement suggests an increasing road network, while the continued presence of landings in the marshes emphasizes a continuing reliance on water transportation. Residents of the pre-1745 White Hall Farm 1, who likely relied on Whitehall Landing for much of their transportation and shipment needs, were also connected by roadways north from the landing and along Whitehall Neck with other plantations to the west, including Whitehall Plantation (Amott et al. 2006: 7). Another landing is located on the Leipsic River to the south of Whitehall Landing. This was most likely accessed by a roadway running north-south just to the west of what is now the Refuge boundary. Although most settlers in Delaware had shifted from reliance on tobacco crops to wheat crops by the early eighteenth century (De Cunzo and Catts 1990: 50-51), this shift came more slowly to the lands in and around what is now the Refuge. In 1744, the main crop at Whitehall Plantation (portions of which are within the Refuge) was tobacco (Seitz and Reese forthcoming). The persistence of tobacco as a crop at Whitehall may have been possible because of the plantation’s large slave population. Other farmers in the area lacking the same labor force may have shifted their crops to wheat sooner or more completely. The most fertile soils for growing tobacco were well drained (but not excessively drained) soils with an optimum mix of fine particles (silts and clays) with coarse material like sand, and gentle slopes of up to six percent (Lukezic 1990; Smolek 1984:11-12). Smolek (1984) identifies soils in the Sassafras, Matapeake, Mattapex, and Woodstown series as being particularly suitable. Soils with characteristics suitable for tobacco farming (compiled using criteria presented in Lukezic 1990 and Smolek 1984 and soil data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service 2010). While suitable tobacco soils do not necessarily correspond with areas of prime farmland according to current USDA standards because of the differences between the requirements of tobacco versus more modern crops such as wheat (Lukezic 1990), all the soils suitable for tobacco crops within the project area are currently classified as prime farmland. Consistent with the settlement pattern models for this part of Delaware, the earliest of the pre-1750s settlers at the seventeenth century Dona Landing Farmstead site and Bayard’s settlement on Bombay Hook Island were located at the very edges of wetlands and relied on waterways for transportation (Amott et al. 2006: 7). Slightly later settlement during this period, however, including those of John Mahan and Betty’s Fortune, was located inland. Though maps do not show roadways or cartways connecting these sites to landings or inland transportation routes, their presence can be inferred. Roads extending across wetlands and into the marshes were likely of corduroy construction – a series of logs laid transverse to the direction of the roadway and occasionally covered with a layer of soil. Corduroy roads were used particularly in areas of poorly drained soils such as marshes and kept travelers from being stuck in the mud (Amott et al. 2006: 23). Evidence of early corduroy roads may survive in the Bombay Hook marshes. Late Eighteenth Century By the late eighteenth century, settlement and development within what is now the Refuge had expanded. In addition to several new structures and features, most of the pre-mid-eighteenth century sites persisted. Those that did not include: the settlement at Dona Landing Farmstead and the settlement of John Mahan, both in the southern part of the Refuge. While neither Whitehall Landing nor the landing across the river from it appear on late eighteenth century maps, water remained the dominant means of transportation for people and goods in this period (Amott et al. 2006: 8). It is likely, therefore, that the landings continued in operation. In general, late eighteenth century settlement in the area was inland, with dwellings located in the center of fertile agricultural soils. Several plantations or large farms were established in the area during the second half of the eighteenth century. Of particular note is the farm associated with the Allee House. This brick house was built as early as 1753, and the USFWS considers it their most significant historic architectural resource in the Northeast Region (Region 5). Surviving outbuildings include a brick smoke house, plank shed, frame barn, and the original brick-lined well. Across Dutch Neck Road and west of the Allee House was a small dwelling referred to on a 1775 survey as the “Old House.” It is unclear if the Old House was an early home built by the Allee family on their property, or was constructed as or used as a tenant house or slave quarter. No above- ground evidence of the Old House remains. Further west of the Allee House was the Nicholson Farm 2 house, built prior to 1792 and perhaps as early as 1753. Also settled along Dutch Neck in the late eighteenth century were the Pasture Point Plantation and the Jonathan Alle House, both on Pasture Point. A roadway (now known as Dutch Neck Road) was built along Dutch Neck connecting all of these properties to each other and to a developing north-south road network to the west. The eastern end of the road terminated at a landing. Late eighteenth century development along Whitehall Neck was minimal in comparison to that along Dutch Neck, and only one new farmstead, the A.G. Cummins farm, was established. The lack of new settlement during this period along Dutch neck speaks to the persistence of the Whitehall and Mothers Plantations. In addition to the settlement along Dutch Neck associated with the Allee family, inland farmsteads and plantations were established at Gloster (also spelled Gloucester) and by Samuell Axell the Younger in the northern portion of the Refuge. One exception to the practice of building inland in the center of fertile soils during this period is found at the Field 502 site. Initially identified archaeologically, the site is associated with the settlement of John Brinkloe, shown on a 1768 map of the area. It was located on the edge of prime farmland and extended into the marsh, suggesting that sunken soils may have been uplands through the late eighteenth century. Late eighteenth century maps are the first to show extensive marsh control activities in the area. These include a series of banks or dikes and ditches used to create transportation routes through the marsh or to allow for areas of land to be drained for use as salt meadow for haying and/or livestock. An area in the southern marshes of the Refuge was known historically as Hog Pen Island. Confining the hogs to reclaimed marshland seems a sensible response, given the increasingly prohibitive cost of building hog-proof fences from a decreasing supply of timber (Grettler 1999). The construction of late eighteenth century marsh control features was done in areas associated with settlements, particularly around Dutch Neck. Several of the ditches excavated into the marsh in the late eighteenth century persist on the landscape through the present-day. These include the Pasture Point Ditch, Farson’s Ditch/Dutch Neck Canal, Mike’s Ditch, and Kelly’s Ditch. Early Nineteenth Century Before discussing the early nineteenth century in and around the Refuge, I wanted to mention the significance of the area for the Underground Railroad (UGRR). While many slaves escaped along more westerly routes including the western shores of the Chesapeake in Maryland, New Castle County in Delaware, and into Pennsylvania, others – especially those from the Delmarva – escaped by heading to the eastern Delaware communities of Dover and Smyrna. These individuals were then ferried across the Delaware River to Greenwich, New Jersey, just across the river from Bombay Hook Island, and the starting point of one of the main UGRR routes through the Garden State. The most direct and most discreet route was through the marshes that are now part of the Refuge (Rizzo 2008:82-85; Switala 2004:42; Trusty 1999:26). Several eighteenth century sites did not survive the turn of the nineteenth century. These include the house of Samuell Axell the Younger, the Old House on the Allee property, John Brinkloe’s house, and at Betty’s Fortune. The disappearance of these last two left the uplands in the south of what is now the Refuge without any domestic or agricultural settlement. Though apparently unsuited to farmsteads, the area along Simons Creek was determined suited for commercial development. A steamboat dock and a road leading to it were built in the marshes circa 1825. By 1846, the complex at Dona Landing included a hotel and storehouse. Historic maps suggest that this area remained marsh, and construction may have been on piers. Hotels did not appear on the American landscape until the very late eighteenth century (Sandoval-Strausz 2007), serving various clienteles ranging from business travelers to resort- goers. If archaeological resources survive at Dona Landing, they would present a unique opportunity to investigate early hotel development associated with trade and transportation networks, rather than the slightly later resort development seen on Bombay Hook Island. Along Dutch Neck, there were only small changes from the late eighteenth into the early nineteenth century. Of particular note is the new settlement by James Hoffecker prior to 1829 at the extreme eastern edge of Dutch Neck – a location that, while it may have been uplands at the time, is now inundated. The Old Causeway extending into the marsh from Dutch Neck may have led to a landing in this area, possibly Hoffeckers. Along White Hall Neck, there was extensive development in the first half of the nineteenth century. Lands formerly belonging to Mothers Plantation apparently were sold, and several new properties appear along a roadway extending northeast from the old White Hall Landing. Archaeological deposits associated with one of these, the Jones Farm, have been recovered. An extension of the old White Hall Neck Road connected these new properties to an expanding inland transportation network. Some reliance on water transport remained, and Wilkinson’s Landing may also have been used by these new settlers to transport their crops. Associated with this expanded settlement at the end of White Hall Neck is the development of marsh control features in the area. A significant change in the settlement of the area took place in the early nineteenth century with the construction of what is now known as Route 6 or Woodland Beach Road, a combination of causeway and bridge that provided roadway access to Bombay Hook Island. Residential and commercial development of the island occurred very quickly once a roadway connection was made with the interior. Development depicted on an early nineteenth century map of the island includes several dwellings with identified owners and a fish house. This fish house represents one of the few industrial/commercial sites in the Refuge area (the Dona Landing complex is another). Early nineteenth century settlement trends in the area include an increasing reliance on road connections with an inland transportation route while continuing to rely on water transportation; the development of Bombay Hook Island; the development of commercial establishments including the fish house and the Dona Landing complex; and the early beginnings of smaller farms on former plantation lands. Marsh control features continued to be developed adjacent to or associated with settlements on the uplands. Summary In general, early settlement at Bombay Hook follows the trends for the rest of Delaware. There was, however, some variation in the placement of early farmsteads and plantation houses, with some located on the edges of fertile land and some in the center of fertile land. Similar variations were seen at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties in Maryland, indicating perhaps that settlers had different ideas regarding the best organization of their properties (Walker and Springate 2011). There are similarities between the early settlement along the necks and marshes of what is now the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and within the eastern shore Chesapeake marshes encompassed by the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland (Millis et al. 2000). Similarities include: the presence of seventeenth century sites on well-drained soils along waterways (including those that are now sunken); the reliance on waterways as major transportation routes in the seventeenth century; continued use of waterways in the eighteenth century; and the extension of settlement to interior areas served by increased overland transportation routes in the nineteenth century. Some differences between the two regions also exist, and may be related to factors such as available resources (i.e., oysters). There is, however, some indication of settlement trends associated with tidal marshes. Finally, this research indicates that the sunken uplands found in marshes deserve closer consideration for their archaeological potential. Particularly important in this consideration are the limitations of government county-level soil distribution maps; these are prepared at such a scale that they become largely unreliable at the scale needed to pinpoint areas of archaeological sensitivity. Systematic geomorphological testing in marsh areas bounding uplands can provide detailed information regarding the distribution of sunken soils, and may be able to provide more detailed information regarding when particular soils became inundated. This information would permit a much more informed assessment of archaeological sensitivity in these areas that are likely to have been the sites of some of the earliest settlement in the area. Sources Amott, David, Eric Gollannek, and David Ames 2006 A History of Delaware Roads and A Guide to Researching Them. University of Delaware Center for Historic Architecture and Design, Newark. Bulloch, Joseph Gaston Ballie 1919 A History and Genealogy of the Families of Bayard, Houstoun of Georgia and the Descent of the Bolton Family from the Families of Assheton Byron and Hulton. James H. Dony, Washington, D.C. Carpenter, William H. 1886 Two Words of Dutch Origin. Modern Language Notes 1(6): 89. De Cunzo, Lu Ann and Barbara Hsiao Silber 1994 “Slovenliness Will Not Be Tolerated:” Government Regulation and the Bombay Hook Light Station, Duck Creek, Kent County, Delaware. Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Delaware 31:1-24. De Cunzo, Lu Ann and Wade P. Catts 1990 Management Plan for Delaware’s Historical Archaeological Resources. On file, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover. Gehring, Charles T. (ed.) 2003 Correspondence, 1654-1658. The Holland Society of New York, New York. Grettler, David J. 1999 Environmental Change and Conflict Over Hogs in Early Nineteenth-Century Delaware. Journal of the Early Republic 19(2): 197-220. Gunn, Joel and Jeffrey Holland 1999 Landform-Soils Modeling of Archaeological Settlement Patterns: Phase I Survey of Eight Areas Along the U.S. 301 Corridor in Prince George’s and Charles Counties, Maryland. Maryland Highway Administration Archaeological Report 167. On file, Maryland Historical Trust, Crownsville. Heite, Edward F. and Cara L. Blume 2008 Mitsawokett to Bloomsbury: Archaeology and History of a Native-American Descendant Community in Central Delaware. Delaware Department of Transportation Archaeological Series No. 154. On file, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover. Jackson, James B. 1983 The Early Settlement and Founding of Kent County, Delaware 1671-1683. Kent County Tercentenary Committee, Dover. Johnson, Amandus 1911 The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, Their History and Relation to the Indians, Dutch and English, 1638- 1664. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Kardas, S. and E. Larrabee 1981 Cultural Resource Reconnaissance of Port Mahon, Delaware for Department of the Army Philadelphia District Corps of Engineers. On file, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover. Kraft, John C. and C.J. John 1976 The Geologic Structure of the Shorelines of Delaware. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark. Lowery, Darrin 1995 Early 17th Century Sites in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Region: An Analysis of Five Archaeological Sites in Queen Anne’s County and Talbot County. Maryland Archaeology 31 (1-2): 59-68. 2001 Archaeological Survey Of The Chesapeake Bay Shorelines Associated With Accomack County And Northampton County, Virginia. Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Survey and Planning Report Series, No. 6, Portsmouth. 2008 Archaeological Survey of the Chesapeake Bay Shorelines Associated with Mathews County, Virginia: An Erosion Threat Study. Survey and Planning Report Series. Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond. 2010 Phase I Terrestrial Archaeological Survey Of The Bay Hundred District Within Western Talbot County Maryland, Summary Letter. On file, Maryland Historical Trust, Crownsville. Lukezic, Craig 1990 Soils and Settlement Location in 18th Century Colonial Tidewater Virginia. Historical Archaeology 24(1):1-17. Mallery, Charles Payson 1888 Ancient Families of Bohemia Manor; Their Homes and Their Graves. Papers of the Historical Society of Delaware, Historical Society of Delaware, Wilmington. Millis, H., J. Gunn, and G. Pasternack 2000 Archaeological and Geomorphological Reconnaissance at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Dorchester County, Maryland. On file, USFWS Region 5, Hadley, Massachusetts. Murphy, Henry C. 1867 Journal of a Voyage to New York and a Tour in Several of the American Colonies in 1679-80 by Jasper Dankaerts and Peter Sluyter of Wieward in Friesland. Long Island Historical Society, Brooklyn. Natural Resources Conservation Service 2010 National Cooperative Soil survey, Web Soil Survey 2.1 <> Rizzo, Dennis 2008 Parallel Communities: The Underground Railroad in South Jersey. The History Press, Charleston, South Carolina. Sandoval-Strausz, Andrew K. 2007 Hotel: An American History. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. Scharf, John Thomas 1888 History of Delaware, 1609-1882. L.J. Richards & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1888. Seitz, Phillip and John Reese forthcoming Violent Resistance on a Delaware Plantation, 1792-1800. Under review for publication, Delaware History. Smolek, Michael A. 1984 “Soyle Light, Well-Watered and On the River:” Settlement Patterning of Maryland’s Frontier Plantations. Paper presented at The Third Hall of Records Conference on Maryland History, St. Mary’s City, Maryland. Springate, Megan E., Jesse O. Walker, and Damon Tvaryanas 2011 Archaeological Overview and Assessment Study, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Duck Creek and Little Creek Hundreds, Kent County, Delaware. On file, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Region 5, Hadley, Massachusetts. Switala, William J. 2004 The Underground Railroad in Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Trusty, Emma Marie 1999 The Underground Railroad: Ties that Bound Unveiled. Amed Literary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) n.d. Acquisition Authorities of National Wildlife Refuges with Tidal Water Boundaries and State Law Pertaining to the Extent of Riparian and Littoral Ownership. On file, USFWS Region 5, Hadley, Massachusetts. Walker, Jesse O. and Megan E. Springate 2011 Archaeological Overview and Assessment, Patuxent Research Refuge, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties, Maryland. On file, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Region 5, Hadley, Massachusetts. Wilson, Jason Grant 1885 Colonel John Bayard (1738-1807) and the Bayard Family of America. Trows Printing and Bookbinding Co., New York. Author Contact: Megan E. Springate, [email protected]


Hook island bombay


A Drive Through Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge


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