Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Great Cypress Swamp Islands

above Steve Island (off Timmonstown Road) in the marsh of the Pocomoke in 1943

We are all familiar with the small islands that are in the bays on Delmarva.  One type of island that we are less familiar with are the "islands"  in great cypress swamp along the southern edge of Sussex County and the northern part of Worcester County.  Today they are less noticeable due to the Civilian Conservation Corps creating mosquito ditches for drains and the cutting of the great ditch in 1949 which has lower the water level in the swamp so what were islands are now just higher places on the land.  Prior to the 1940s the island stood out as land that was surround by mud and marsh. Some high land places in the swamp extent out into the swamp and are given the title of neck

above showing Lewis Neck in Sussex County, which is east of Big Newfound Neck and Little Newfound Neck.

One Sussex County land deed of 1931 was between Landreth Lee Layton and Cypress Farms, Inc mentions a number of islands in the deed for land in the cypress swamp.  Most are close to a country road leading between Gumboro and Dagsboro or on the road between Newfound and Hickory Hill.  Some of them are; Wildcat Island (579 acres), Ten foot island (169 acres), and Lightwood island (399 acres).
The outline circles (islands) on this map indicates higher ground usually 40 ft above sea level so perhaps the ten foot ditch that cuts thru the outline of higher ground (39 ft above sea level)  about center of the above map is ten foot island mentioned in the deed.

So if you have a historical, geological or a genealogical reference to an island or a neck remember to look inland.


No comments:

Post a Comment