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Bethany Beach Town

Bethany Beach Town Hall is located at 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach DE 19930; phone: 302-537-3771.

Beginnings [1]

The community of Bethany Beach was founded in 1901 through the joint efforts of the Christian Missionary Society of the Washington area and the Bethany Beach Improvement Company. The Missionary Society had founded the site in 1894 for the purpose of summer camp religious retreat meetings. The Improvement Company was disbanded in 1902 after the first town government, consisting of a mayor, a secretary, a treasurer and six commissioners, was formed. A second Improvement Company initiated substantial community development. New housing, a boardwalk and the Bethany Beach Loop Canal highlighted the new improvements. By 1909 the community was an incorporated municipality.

The development of Bethany Beach was typical of the trend followed by most coastal Delaware communities founded during the early 1900s. During the early years of development, special emphasis was placed on securing a comfortable existence and establishing humanistic values, resulting in a unique community character. Later years of development fostered a trend that emphasized additions to community facilities and improvements to quality of life.

  1. University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration, 2005 Update to the 1999 Town of Bethany Beach Comprehensive Plan,, accessed September, 2009
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