New Castle County, Delaware has an area we call "below the canal." This is the area where part of the County became separated by a 14 mile long waterway connecting the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River. Plans first began in the 1820's for a canal utilizing locks between the river levels and mules and horses towing barges. This was problematic due to loss of water when locks opened and closed . By 1919, the U.S. government bought the canal and the Army Corps of Engineers dug the present canal with a deeper draft and no locks. (Photo of Port Penn Sears Roebuck house now under contract).
What this means today is that highway level bridges take cars over the canal to lower New Castle County where a bounty of historic homes still remain. More good news is that since Route 1 (a limited access toll road below the canal) gave express access after the William Roth bridge opened in 1995, access to the City of Wilmington from "downstate" became fast and easy (unless you are fighting weekend beach traffic to and from Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches in the summer). (Photo of fireplace in house on Cass St. in Middletown)
To find out what kind of 100 year old and older historic homes are for sale in the Port Penn, Odessa and Middletown areas, check this list of historic homes for sale. Questions? Contact Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource in Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.