Fenwick Island Real Estate Analysis

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In the 1700s, the Calverts of Maryland and the Penns of Pennsylvania disagreed over the boundary that separated the three lower counties of Pennsylvania (Delaware) from Maryland. The Calverts contended that the border should be near Lewes, while the Penns felt it should be near Fenwick Island. The matter was settled in 1751 when John Watson and William Parsons of Pennsylvania and John Emory and Thomas Jones of Maryland surveyed the dividing Transpeninsular Line and marked its eastern end on April 26 with a stone monument in Fenwick Island. The stone bears the coat of arms of the Penns on its north face and that of the Calverts on its south face. The border was accepted in 1760 and ratified by King George III in 1769. This monument remains standing today just a few feet south of another enduring white monument, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. The 1855 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board contained the following appeal for a lighthouse on Fenwick Island: A light-house in the vicinity of Fenwick’s island will serve to guide vessels from the southern ports, bound into the Delaware, and also the great coasting trade with the same or a more northern destination. Fenwick’s Island shoal is a very dangerous one for those, and also in some degree for the European trade of Philadelphia. It is very common for ships coming from the eastward to fall in with the coast considerably to the southward of Cape Henlopen, and in thick weather a light on Fenwick’s island would serve to ascertain their position when the Henlopen light was invisible.  As there was a sixty-mile gap between Cape Henlopen, the lighthouse at the southern entrance to Delaware Bay, and the next lighthouse to the south on Assateague Island, a beacon somewhere between the two was certainly justified. Congress appropriated $25,000 for Fenwick Island Lighthouse in 1856, and on January 11, 1858 a ten-acre tract for the station was obtained from Mary C. Hall for a mere $50. The tower, built of brick, stood seventy-five feet, six inches from its base to the gallery that encircled the watchroom. The inside diameter at the base of the double-walled tower was eight and a half feet, and a central cast-iron spiral stairway provided access to the lantern, where a third-order L. Sautter & Cie Fresnel lens was installed.  A two-story, frame keeper’s dwelling was built just east of the tower atop a brick cellar. Housed in the cellar was a 2,500-gallon cistern for storing rainwater captured from the dwelling’s roof. The buildings at the station were constructed under the direction of Captain William F. Raynolds of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a total cost of $23,749. According to Notice to Mariners, No. 284, dated December 29, 1858, work on the Fenwick Island Lighthouse was complete, but for some reason not given, the light would not be exhibited until August 1 of the following year. John Smith was the first keeper at the lighthouse.  Originally, the lighthouse was kept by just one keeper, but later an assistant keeper was assigned to the station, and in 1878 the Lighthouse Board began annual petitions for funds for a second dwelling. Bids for the dwelling were opened on June 8, 1881, and the winning contractor, Thomas W. Ferree & Brother, of Yorklyn, Delaware had the structure ready for its formal acceptance on November 12, 1881. Assistant Keeper William F. Pepper remained in the original dwelling with his family, while Keeper John D. Bennett took up residence in the new structure with his family. 

Fenwick Island Real Estate Listings

Active Listings in Fenwick Island

50 Oyster Drive Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 50 Oyster Drive, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 706223)
3 beds 3 baths 2,500 sqft $959,000
30 Oceanside Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 30 Oceanside, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 706141)
3 beds 3 baths 1 sqft $1,295,000
40127 FENWICK AVENUE , Unit 3 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 40127 FENWICK AVENUE , Unit 3, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 706129)
6 beds 5 baths 3,160 sqft $1,050,000
606 Coastal Highway , Unit 19 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 606 Coastal Highway , Unit 19, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 706067)
2 beds 2 baths 1,200 sqft $332,000
810 Schulz Road Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 810 Schulz Road, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 706036)
5 beds 4 baths 3,000 sqft $1,590,000
1311 Bunting Avenue Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 1311 Bunting Avenue, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 705812)
4 beds 3 baths 1,444 sqft $2,499,000
703 SCHULZ RD Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 703 SCHULZ RD, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 614122)
4 beds 4 baths 2,148 sqft $999,900
38846 Bunting Avenue Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 38846 Bunting Avenue, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 701735)
12 beds 8 baths 3,712 sqft $1,750,000
12 High Tide Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 12 High Tide, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 705517)
3 beds 1 bath 864 sqft $384,900
39866 E Sun Drive , Unit 316 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 39866 E Sun Drive , Unit 316, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 705417)
3 beds 2 baths 1,300 sqft $309,999
40054 Kings Grant , Unit 41 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 40054 Kings Grant , Unit 41, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 704810)
4 beds 4 baths 1,760 sqft $626,000
40202 MARYLAND AVE , Unit 1 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 40202 MARYLAND AVE , Unit 1, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 704863)
4 beds 5 baths 2,639 sqft $849,900
40141 DELAWARE AVENUE , Unit 1 Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 40141 DELAWARE AVENUE , Unit 1, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 704860)
4 beds 5 baths 2,639 sqft $849,900
1 Farmington Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 1 Farmington, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 704762)
2 beds 1 bath 1,200 sqft $499,999
36871 Bayside Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Photo of 36871 Bayside, Fenwick Island, DE 19944 (MLS # 704530)
4 beds 4 baths 2,800 sqft $769,000

Posted on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 am by Bill Cullin