Ocean View and the neighboring communities of Millville, Clarksville, Bayard, Muddy Neck, Cedar Neck, Bethany, S. Bethany, and Fenwick, all part of Baltimore Hundred, make up coastal Delaware between the Indian River Bay and the Assawoman Bay. These villages have grown from small hamlets of subsistence farmers and seafarers into vibrant coastal communities. This part of Delaware is not only a wonderful place to live but also has a rich and interesting history.
The Ocean View Historical Society is seeking to preserve and share the rich history of these coastal towns through planned workshops, speakers, fundraisers, tours, and exhibits. Many local artifacts, generously donated by local history buffs, are on display in the Tunnell West House, the 1889 Post Office, the replica of Cecile Steele’s chicken house, and the Coastal Towns Museum. A Visitor’s Center, appropriately called Hall’s Store (as Ocean View was first named), of rotating exhibits and meeting space has been constructed, and awaits funding for its interior’s completion.
During the first eight years, Ocean View Historical Society members envisioned and built an Historical Complex on the Tunnell-West property at 39 Central Avenue in Ocean View. The down stairs of the Historical House is now complete and furnished with period furniture and artifacts. There is an 1800’s outhouse which stands close to the Historical House. The exterior of the post office built in 1889 has been restored. An exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house has been built and includes many local poultry artifacts.
We acquired the Evans West House at 40 West Avenue, in 2017, thanks to the generosity of the grandchild and great grand-child of the Evans family, and have begun to create the Coastal Towns Museum – a venue to display artifacts and stories of the Coastal Towns of Ocean View, Millville, Bethany, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island.
In 2018, the exterior of Hall’s Store, our Visitor’s Center, with an old fashioned store in the front section, has been constructed. Currently, our exterior is complete, and we look forward to opening the building as funding progresses.
The Ocean View Historical Society is grateful for those who have supported and contributed to these projects.
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