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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
September 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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September 26, 1997
 

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A. Felix duPont moved to Rehoboth and became Sussex's firsl When A. Felix duPont moved to Rehoboth Beach in the mid- 1930s, he became the first mem- ber of the chemical industry fami- ly to reside officially in Sussex County. Many members of the family had spent time in the emerging summer resort where their chil- dren, like those from throughout Delaware, enjoyed the carefree life of the beach community in the hot months. None however, until that time, had left the ancestral duPont terri- tory of New Castle County to take up residence south of the canal. The woman who Felix duPont moved to Sussex County for - Anne Marvil d'Armand - present- ed her husband with a home fronting on Lake Gerar, which be- came their Rehoboth residence. She had inherited the home from her father, Judge David Marvil, of the Georgetown area. After her husband died in 1948, Mrs. duPont moved to New York City. In 1952 she donated the Lake Gerar property and home to the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware and ensured that her husband's name would always be connected with Rehoboth Beach. In the do- nation process, she asked that the house be known as the A. Felix duPont Memorial House and it continues to be called that today. The Right Rev. Arthur Ray- mond McKinstry, Fifth Bishop of Delaware, worked with Mrs. duPont on the details of the gift. Betty Carmine, who served as di- rector of the house for 25 years prior to 1995, said that the gift in- eluded an endowment for perpetu- al upkeep and maintenance of the property. Today the rambling blue house nestled in oaks and dogwoods on Oak Avenue hosts dozens of church-related and nonchurch-re- lated conferences and retreats each year. Though it has been re- modeled and enlarged extensively over the years, the house retains the mark of the duPont years. The original kitchen includes a solid nickel sink. It shines brightly along its front edge where decades of cooks and helpers have leaned as they washed dishes and chatted about the goings on of the house- hold. In the living and dining rooms, floor-to-ceiling cypress resident duPont BAREF00TIN' Dennis Forney boards create the walls on which two Ethel P.B. Leach paintings hang: one of St. George's Episco- pal Chapel in the countryside out- side of Lewes and one of St. Pe- ter's Episcopal Church in Lewes. [Leach was a nationally promi- nent illustrator and artist who did much of her work in Rehoboth Beach and was active in the Re- hoboth Art League.] According to legend heard by Carmine, the many-holed "pecky" cypress owes its whitish color, ap- propriate for a beach home, to many layers of fresh milk painted over its surface. Present Memorial House Director Christina Brennan said some have disputed that sto- ry, but she wasn't sure how the boards were originally whitened. (The duPont Company perfect- ed the use of titanium dioxide as a pure white pigment to form the base of paints and as a whitener for paper and other products. Per- haps the cypress was whitened as an early experiment.) The duPont family was active in Sussex County and Rehoboth Beach during the 1920s and '30s beyond Felix's involvement. Ire- nee duPont purchased much of the woods around Lake Gerar and sold some lots to people who promised to preserve a wooded s&ting. And Coleman duPont was leading and financing efforts to build the state's first dual lane highway - the Coleman duPont Boulevard - connecting upstate and downstate with what is now called Route 113, or the duPont Highway. Evelyn Thoroughgood was a young girl growing up in Re- hoboth Beach when Felix duPont Continued on page 8 Oennls Fomey photo The A. Felix duPont Memorial House is nestled among oaks and dogwoods on Oak Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 19 - September 25, 1997 - 7 Are you thinking of selling? I will do it quietly or with a lot of fanfare. Your choice. LIST WITH DOUG All listing inquiries are kept strictly confidential! NEW LISTING OCEAN BLOCK EFFICIENCY OFF STREET PARKING Unit 101, Sea House Condominium at 12 Wilmington Avenue Convenient location for seasonal workers or a basic getaway spot. LOW PRICE $51,900 THE BEACH HOUSE Oeeanblock B&B ~ 15 Hickman St. In ground pool - 10 Guest Rooms 8 w/private baths - Large Innkeepers Quar- ters - Off-street parking - New Hot water heating system - New domestic hot water sys- tern - New TV in each room - A/C & Heat in each room - Freshly painted - Well run with repeat business ~ Showings arranged for pro- qualified purchasers. GREAT LOCATION OCEAN BLOCK TOWNHOUSE Dewey Beach 4 Ocean Sands - 4 bedroom - 2 bath Ocean view from front decks - Off street parking for two cars - Good seasonal rental income - Priced fin quick sale at $165,000. Make an offer. 127 Kings Creek Circle Three bedrooms, Two baths, 1900 sq. ft. plus screened porch & cedar deck, Two car garage, Solid hardwood flooring in LR, DR, Foyer, Kitchen & Den Berber Carpet in bedrooms and 12" tile in baths Pro-stained cedar siding, gas heat and central A/C. Very tasteful on a bright comer lot near pool & clubhouse. Cathedral ceiling in Great Room & Master Bedroom with Master Bath with Jacuzzi tub & shower. Includes full golf membership. October 15 completion. $295,000 BUSINESSES FOR SALE Pierre's Pantry Rehoboth $60,000 Firm Moviefime Video Milton $60,000 Happy Salmon Outlets $80,000 ........... 16 Hickman St. - 3W Top Floor 2BR Condo Heat & MC Ocean View Deck $119,500 57B Delaware - Rehob. Three bedroom condo Second floor Recently redecorated $127,000 Doug Davis Associate Broker RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth B'ach 226-DOUG (Direct) 1-888-226 DOUG (Toll Free) Fax 226-0970 - email dougd@dougdavis.com