HOF Acquires Additional 42 Acres
The Board of Directors have announced that the Historic Odessa Foundation just recently acquired the forty-two acre field in front of the Corbit-Sharp House adjacent to the Appoquinimink River. The land was originally acquired by H. Rodney Sharp during his restoration efforts in Historic Odessa in the first half of the 20th-century.
Mr. Sharp, possibly with the assistance of Landscape Architect Marian Cruger Coffin, was working on his vision of the current Colonial Revival townscape between 1938 and the early 1940’s. In fact, Sharp removed a small hill - actually creating a swale - that allowed the magnificent view of the Appoquinimink and its surrounding marsh to come to life. Prior to that time, during the town’s earliest history, the waterfront and surrounding property would have been populated with businesses, wharfs, warehouses, boathouses, and other industries that drove the economic engine of Cantwell’s Bridge.
In the 18th-century William Corbit established his tannery along the top edge of the field and that a cannery and a creamery were both active in the area from the 1890’s into the 20th-century.
The Sharp family sold this property to Mr. and Mrs. William Buckworth in 1983. The Buckworth’s have been excellent stewards and have always graciously allowed the community to share in their enjoyment of this beautiful land, it’s waterfront, and the abounding natural wildlife. In fact, the field is known locally to walkers and nature enthusiasts as “Buckworth’s Mile”. Indeed, the Historic Odessa Foundation owes Bucky and Jeanne a sincere debt of gratitude for their sensitive care.
Sharing Historic Odessa with the Community
It is the intention of the Foundation to continue the tradition of allowing the community access to the property. HOF staff has already begun to explore opportunities for expanded community programing and broader interpretation of Odessa’s history. Through archeological research conducted by HOF Volunteer Archeologist John Bansch, the Foundation has identified locations of some former buildings and businesses once located between the Corbit-Sharp House, Garden, and the Appoquinimink River.
The plan is to create a marked interpretative walking trail open to our visiting public.
Over the course of the last few years, HOF has been diligently cleaning up the woods behind the Wilson-Warner House with the goal of making this a section of the new trail system. In addition, wood duck nesting and bluebird boxes will be placed in appropriate areas to encourage wildlife, protect the box turtle habitat, and work to preserve and interpret the rich history of the watermen who depended on the river.
Delaware Archeology: Research in Odessa
On March 25th, the Coordinator of Archeology Projects at Historic Odessa will give a presentation open to the public. Over the past 4 years, John Bansch has conducted an archeological research project to find the location of the lost Corbit Tannery and to understand what we do know about the actual tannery. This lecture will outline the results of the project and what we have learned about Odessa.
History is everywhere we look… and HOF remains committed to telling the stories!