Fenwick Island, Delaware

Fenwick Island, DelawareThe beginnings of modern Fenwick Island may be traced as far back as to March 23, 1680, the day Lord Baltimore granted a tract of land called "Fishing Harbor" to Colonel Williams Stevens. Years later, in 1692, Fishing Harbor was then conveyed to Thomas Fenwick, a wealthy York planter who originally settled in Maryland, but never lived at the island named for him. Fenwick's rights to the land at Fenwick Island came through a grant from Lord Baltimore in 1682. Fenwick lived in Sussex County for many years and served as a Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, and Register of Wills before he died in Lewes in May 1708.

The Trans-Peninsular Line, surveyed in 1750-1751 to establish Delaware's southern border, begins in Fenwick. A line marker at the lighthouse displays the coat of arms of Lord Baltimore and the Calvert family of Maryland on the south side, and on the north side it shows the coat of arms of the Penn family and is the oldest standing man-made object on the coast between Indian River and Ocean City. Like the lighthouse, the stone marker has been well preserved on its elevated site.

Residents built the first bridge to the mainland in 1880, however it did not survive long amongst the strong currents. A new wooden pile drawbridge was built in 1892, a third in 1934, and the current bridge in 1958. By the 1930s, the early cottages that dotted the landscape were very simple with no heating or plumbing, and no electricity. Water came from the ground, ice for the icebox came from the mainland, and kerosene lights glowed at night. The inconvenience of primitive living was more than compensated for by the spacious beaches, leisurely pace and excellent fishing.

Fenwick Island, DelawareIt wasn't long until the state of Delaware noticed the significant amount homes on state land. In September of 1941, after months of meetings, the state notified the homeowners that it would sell them lots at a rate of $200 for beachfront and $100 for street lots. All homeowners were told they had to be on purchased property prior to January of 1942 or remove their house.

Fenwick continued to attract more and more people and by the early 1950s, concerns began to mount over the increasing development and creeping commercialism. Residents feared the town would become like Ocean City, something they did not find attractive, and sought protection through incorporation. The act to incorporate the town passed in July of 1953.

The residential area of the town doubled when Fenwick annexed the land on the west side of Coastal Highway. Modern upgrades such as a sewer system and city water have helped make Fenwick Island a year-round town. Today, the year-round population easily exceeds 300 residents, a number that continues to grow as the demand for homes along Delaware's southern coast continually rises.

Fenwick Island Map


Fenwick Island Weather

July 11 @ 9:21pm
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overcast clouds
Hi: 76° | Lo: 72°
Wind: SSW @ 10mph
July 11 @ 11:00pm
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moderate rain
Hi: 73° | Lo: 73°
Wind: SSW @ 9mph
July 12 @ 2:00am
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moderate rain
Hi: 71° | Lo: 70°
Wind: SSW @ 9mph
July 12 @ 5:00am
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light rain
Hi: 71° | Lo: 71°
Wind: S @ 8mph
July 12 @ 8:00am
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broken clouds
Hi: 73° | Lo: 73°
Wind: S @ 11mph
July 12 @ 11:00am
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light rain
Hi: 75° | Lo: 75°
Wind: S @ 15mph

Fenwick Island Events

No Upcoming Events

Fenwick Island Restaurants

Cactus CafeFenwick Island, DE302-436-4492
Capt'n Pete's Mediterranean CoveFenwick Island, DE302-537-5900
Catch 54Fenwick Island, DE
Dirty Harry'sFenwick Island, DE302-539-3020
Fenwick Crab HouseFenwick Island, DE302-539-2500
Harpoon Hanna'sFenwick Island, DE302-539-3095
Jimmy's KitchenFenwick Island, DE302-537-2423
Ken's Bayside Pizza and SubsFenwick Island, DE302-436-0213
Mancini's Brick Oven PizzeriaFenwick Island, DE302-537-4224
Matteo's Salsa LocoFenwick Island, DE302-541-4911
Nantucket'sFenwick Island, DE302-539-2607
Ocean Side Pizza & SubsFenwick Island, DE302-539-5388
Smitty McGee'sFenwick Island, DE302-436-4716
Surf's EdgeFenwick Island, DE302-537-5565
Warren's StationFenwick Island, De302-539-7156

Fenwick Island Shopping

Fenwick Float-OrsFenwick Island, DE302-436-5953
Fenwick Island Surf ShopFenwick Island, DE302-539-5800
Paco's Paradise, Inc.Fenwick Island, DE302-539-5065
Seaside Country StoreFenwick Island, DE302-539-6110
Southern ExposureFenwick Island, DE302-539-8606
Southern Exposure SeasideFenwick Island, DE302-537-1414

Fenwick Island Lodging

Atlantic Coast InnFenwick Island, DE302-539-7673
Fenwick Islander MotelFenwick Island, DE302-539-2333
Fenwick Towers CondominiumFenwick Island, DE302-539-6087
Ric-Mar ApartmentsFenwick Island, De302-539-9613
Sands MotelFenwick Island, DE302-539-7745
Seaside InnFenwick Island, DE302-251-5000

Fenwick Island Real Estate

No real estate listings available.

Additional Fenwick Island Resources

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