You know I am a history junkie when I get charged up over the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Delaware, the September 3, 1777 Battle of Cooch's Bridge. Remarkably, the home (photo) that served as headqarters for Colonial General Wm. Maxwell, then British General Cornwallis was in the Cooch family for 9 generations. Legend says that Betsy Ross' flag first flew here at the Battle in Newark, Delaware (note: I said legend)
Today, I attended the George Washington Society of Delaware's annual toast to Washington and program honoring the Cooch Family, owners of the Circa 1760 house since it was built. Over a year ago, the property and 10 acres were donated to Delaware's Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs by the Cooch Family. Delaware being Delaware, I knew Ned Cooch, an attorney who died 10 years ago, and met his son, Judge Richard R. Cooch many years ago from his involvement in Old New Castle, where he lives. Judge Cooch said he felt the State was more capable of managing the property than a private family would be. (photo Kim Burdick, President of GW Society presents award to Judge Cooch.)
One of the speakers, archaeologist Wade Catts (photo), said he has been assisting with the piles of paper which have accumulated in the property since the 1770's. They seemed to have saved everything from grocery receipts from 1870 to pay records from the 1920's. Often called a "skirmish," Catts found contemporary history indicating more of a bloody history with many deaths on both sides, although the Brits claimed victory here.
During the luncheon today, we were serenaded by musician Evelyn Swensson (complete with colonial costume), who sang of the "Rules of Civility" from G.W.'s time and led us out with "Yankee Doodle". (The house is not yet open to the public)