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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
August 20, 1993     Cape Gazette
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August 20, 1993

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Old Coast Guard Station headed for a change of guard? "Here, as at all Coast Guard stations, everything is shining, from the surfooat in the boatroom to the top of the kitchen stove; the first duty after breakfast is sweep- ing, dusting, scrubbing, polishing, or painting. There are regular drills with the boats, breeches- buoy, signal flags, and other equipment. Between duties the members of the crew sit around reading, talking, or playing 'high- low-jack-and-the-game' (pitch) with a worn deck of cards. On cold winter days there is always a big pot of coffee on the stove for men coming in after beach patrols. At any time, the order may come to rescue with boat or breeches-buoy the crew of a dis- masted lumber schooner or of a coal barge whose towline has parted in a gale. A surfman or a boatswain's mate may be drowned, but that is all in the day's work." Dennis Forney Federal writers used the words above to describe the century-old Indian River Coast Guard Station in the 1938 American Guide Series focusing on Delaware. Located about one mile north of Indian River Inlet, the wooden structure, surrounded now by tall wire fence, displays an architec- ture recalling a bygone era. Predecessor to the Coast Guard, the Lifesaving Station men were responsible for helping rescue crewmembers from vessels foundering along the coast. Dur- ing World War Two, their respon- sibilities broadened as they patrolled along the beach on horseback, accompanied by guard dogs. In those years their mission, in addition to rescue work, was to remain vigilant against landings by soldiers aboard German U- boats lurking beneath coastal waters. Today, ironically, the legendary maintenance provided by Coast Guardsmen is part of the reason why the condition of the old Indi- an River Coast Guard Station is a far cry from the description pub- lished in 1938. "We were in the habit of paint- ing the station every three to four years," John Hughes said this week. "But when the last estimate came in - it may have been as high as $100,000 - we had to hold off. Because of the lead-based paint. BARE000TIN' And you know how the Coast Guard is. They painted almost every other week. We put on a new cedar shingle roof a few years back but the place needs a lot of work." Hughes directs Delaware's Soil and Water Comervation Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The beach preservation and dredging operations of that division have rolled the old Coast Guard Station home for a number of years. In the next couple of years it's likely the building, listed on the National Registry of His- toric Buildings, and site will undergo another changing of the guard. Hughes said efforts are underway to secure a new head- quarters for the equipment and operations of the beach preserva- tion and dredgi operations. Charles Salidn, head of parks for Delaware, agrees that the old Coast Guard Station should be used for other titan its current use. "There have beea discussions over the past couple of years about the whole complex. The building needs work, sometime soon. It's not desperate I it also can't be ignored for mueh longer. And the preservation and dredging opera- tion could use a better location. It's not the greest operation to have in the middle of an otherwise pristine setting." Salkin said th has been some thought to moving the building across Rt. 1 to the Old Inlet area where the state recently acquired land. Salkin said the building, if taken over by the Parks Department, could be used as a museum and interpretive center. CAPE GAZETTE, Fi-iday, Aunt 20--/ug, u26,"ll)93.7 NEW LISTING 8 Burton (:c>urt Bay Harbor Custom, stick built, 2,500 square feet, Cape Cod. Four bedrooms, 3 full baths. Large master bedroom and bath on first floor. Brand new screened porch with wraparound deck. You must see this one from the inside. It is excellent with many custom features. $195,000. NEW LISTING Large Country Home Route 5, Harbeson Enjoy the value and charm of this reno- vated 4 Br, 2 BA home. Over 2,000 sq. ft. of living space. Low county taxes of only $191,74. Asking only $97,500. WATERFRONT 33 West Side Drive Yacht & Country Club Fabulous, all cedar, 4 BR, 2 1/2 BA contemporary home with a good deep water dock. Screened porch, deck, 2 FPs, 2+ car garage. This home is in very good condition. Almost feels like you're out- doors with all the comforts of home. Please call for appointment. S43900. ..,)::):.. .i)i ....... , i." .... % )::6J:)'Ji:-....:..::::!))i)i# i}N!iiiiiiiii!i I " ..i@:iiii .: !.' miii!NNiil IN THE PINES 70 Columbia Avenue North Rehoboth Grand & elegant home for year round living and enteffainment.. 4 BR, master suite w/FP & sundeck, 2 BA, LR w/FP, octt4n kitchen wlFP, side patio garden w/deck. 2 zone heating and A/C system. $359,000. Your Hostess: Wilrna Howett. ::,,: .................. :00iii:: i!002! The old Coast Guard Station near Indian River Inlet may be headed for a change of guard.