BROADKILL RIVER BENDS AND LANDINGS
The Broadkill takes many twist and turns on its way from the Delaware Bay to the mill pond dam in Milton. Times past, this river, aka creek, bustled with boat traffic, both pleasure and commerce. There were docks, wharves, landings and such along the banks, with names, usually from the family farms at their location, but others from someones imagination. Wooden boats shuttled between Milton and the rest of the world, using the Broadkill River as the best available entry and exit road.
The following data was gathered and put into archives by Charlie Fleetwood from data he received from Martha Donovan that had been authored by David Donovan, all of Milton.
EAST TO WEST
From the bay, on the left bank came the mouth of Old Mill Creek, supposed tributary of Coolspring Branch, aka Red Mill Pond Creek of past years.
Still on the left bank, next was Oyster Rock Landing which in colonial days was a somewhat major port. Up river, prior to the first so called 'bend', were what were called the Flat Lands to the right bank side. At the east side of a 'U' bend, next up the river, right bank, was Hazzards Landing. Northeast of Hazzards lay the marsh, and north of the landing were Island Farm and Wall Island, more than likely serviced by Hazzards Landing. Hazzard famlies owned much of this section of Broadkill Hundred in early days of settlement. At the top of this 'U' bend was Greys Ditch which runs into the Broadkill. After the river 'flattens out' , on the left bank there is a 'gut' by name of Long Reach. Above it, on the right bank were lands of the Norman Family which likely had a wharf, maybe two. Than we come to and pass Shorts Reach, Peterfield Ditch, to Wiltsbank Point that appears to have had at least three landings or docks. Wiltbanks lands were to the north and south of the river. A large tract of land and mash.
Blacks Landing is next, today we know it as Steamboat Camp Ground and I think called Steamboat Landing. Blacks Landing sits at the north edge of Whites Neck, a strip of land bordered south by a stream at one time known as Pine Ditch. It looks like Whites Neck was the homestead location of the white Holland family. Yes, there was a black family of prosperous Hollands that resided more to the south, near Oyster Rocks Road, closer to Overbrook Crossroads. Going on towards Milton, on another and much larger 'U' bend in the river were Linn's Reach, Russels Reach and Argo's Slip almost to the Drawbridge which carried the Lewes to Milford highway across Broadkill River. The drawbridge was described as a Bascule Bridge or “a structure, such as a drawbridge, of which one end is counteredbalanced by the other end, on the seesaw principle”. Now we are near the confluence of the Beavedam Branch, creek or whatever, with the Broadkill. Early on there was a village here, Drwabridge, with a post office and in colonial days a shipyard owned by one Batist Lay, said to have been the very first of the many Broadkill ship building sites. Beaverdam Creek flows to or from , whichever, Harbeson and beyond, which has several of its own mill ponds, such as hollands Mill Pond, Hunters Mill Pond, a bridge name of Round Pole Bridge, another village with a post office, name Whitesville. The river is now in the vicinity of, repete 'vicinity off' Cave Neck,which holds Holland Glade, on the rivers south bank, Jones Landing and on the rivers north bank, Cedar Landing, both of which appear to be deep in marsh lands. A south bank landing named Shorts Landing, then on toward town to Havalows Landing. Remembering history lessons, at Havelow landing there is a vaught for the burial of the Havelow family. Near here, to the north, is Reynolds road intersection with route 16 highway. Also, here the rived heads back south a bit, running by Conwell haul Landing, Old Orchard Landing, Vaughns Landing. Between Vaughns Landing and Black Horse Ditch flows Round Pole Branc or Creek, maybe once called Neibert Ditch. Next , closer to town is Brick Yard Landing, the Black Horse ditch, then past a spot where there was evidently a chemical works of somesort, and Sampson Landing on the north bank of the river just west of Rattle Snake Hill and Carey Landing Sand Haul Landing, Blacks Drain, Neals Drain. Then you are in down town Milton, Paynters Pond, aka Wagamons Mill Pond, Lavinia Street Pond, Ferby Mill Dam , Pemberton Branch to Redden Forest. Another story.