STORM AT BROADKILN BEACH
MOUNT PLEASANT & WATERLOO
This is an abstract of a newspaper article from the Wilmington Morning News of Monday, September 16, 1889, evidently the writing of a correspondent of the “Delaware Democrat” who was at Point Pleasant, Broadkiln Beach, Delaware. Upon my knowledge, Point Pleasant, probably is Mount Pleasant, also known as Waterloo, which in 1889 was a popular summer resort at the mouth of Broadkiln River, seven miles north of Lewes, also known as Veasey's
Inlet at one time. In April of 1889, a hotel at Mount Pleasant, of Waterloo, a three story wood structure and everything near it burned to ashes at midnight, a loss of $20,000 for the owner and proprietor, D. S. Roach. Waterloo was closer to Oyster Rock Landing, to the east and south of today's Broadkill Beach.
Sunday night , with the wind at northeast, we noticed the high tide was unusually high and the
force of breakers was such that there was formed a stream of bay water, ten or twelve feet wide, reaching from the bay to the river, between which Point Pleasant sits. Monday morning the wind still northeast and the breakers considerably increased, yet nothing alarmed us until Monday night when the wind blew more violently and the tide rushed in that as far as the eye can reach, there was one vast
sheet of rushing waters.
We hear screams above the sound of winds and waves, and several men with boats went to their assistance to remove them to a safe place and 'things' were secured as best as possible.
Noticed were two vessels making for the Broadkill River, one was the Emma Burton, with Captain Burrows in command, owner D. R. Burton. The other was the three masted schooner, C. C. Davidson. Captain Hunter the master, owned by Governor Ponder. Both anchored behind the bar but owing to the increase violence of the storm began dragging anchor which added to our anxiety. At 11 pm, very fatigued, we tried to retire trusting that daylight would bring releif but our hopes were blighted as the winds became more furious and at times it seemed our shelter would be torn to bits. Then came the driving rain and we waited for daylight which when it came the sight was appalling.
The cottages nearest the river shore seemed to be falling in and men were carrying the elder women and children to boats to find refuge. One the bay side, homes of the families of Dr. Hearn, Dr. Wolfe and C. H. Atkins remained. Captain Lank, on the tug Irean . offered to take any one to Milton but owing to the strong current we feared to do so. By this time Mr Whites cottage had divided and floated away. Mrd Shockley's house had fallen and crushed all beneath it. Wilson's place floated in circles then flipped, Mr Fearing's floated from its foundation and turned backwards in the river. Several cottages are flung together, holding each other up. Foxes cottage has stood well and many are in refuge there. Dr. Hearns place, being on the highest ground and remain secure.
Tuesday at noon the tide reached it's high, the Emma Burton was ashore where the Wilson cottage was. Charles Atkins house was shoulder deep in water, inside and out.
Before night the tide subsided sufficiently to allow us to reach Dr. Hearns, for security. The C. C. Davidson was ashore after parting her chains and the Captain said she took water over her twenty feet high.