Saturday, August 1, 2020

Oct 15 1954 the Opening of the Dual Highway

At noon on October 15, 1954 officials from both Maryland and Delaware cut two sets of ribbons, in ceremonies held at the State line on the new US Route 13 (Ocean Highway) . The state of Maryland had paved 6 miles of dual road from Leonard Mill Pond to Delmar. The State of Delaware had paved a dual highway from Wilmington to Delmar, with the exception of a 10 mile stretch between Harrington and Greenwood. 

The opening of the dual highway caused traffic to divert from the old US13 on Bi-State Blvd and it started the closure of the businesses that were on old RT13.  As an example in 1942 the Bi-State Weekly reported "Delmar has been nicknamed the town of gas stations. There are ten stations on U. S. Route 13 within the city limits which is approximately a one and one-half mile stretch". 

So why are these speakers on ribbon cutting day in raincoats and holding on to their hats. In just a few hours Hurricane Hazel will hit Delmarva and the wind and rain shown here at the time of the ribbon cutting were just the opening blows at noon that day. It seems appropriate that a natural disaster would be on the same day that the opening of a State constructed highway would start the decline of Delmar.

In November 1954 the old Delmar Railroad Round-House, built about 1914, suffered extensive damage from the earlier Hurricane Hazel and it was decided to tear the building down.

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