Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1927 Broadkill River Improvements


Major R. P. Howell, in charge of the Wilmington district U. S. Engineers, has issued questionnaires, concerning improvements to Broadkill River from Milton to the Delaware Bay.

The Congressional River and Harbor Act of January 21, 1927, calls for examination of the
river and improvement if they are found advisable.

Major Howell made a trip, Wednesday , October 5th, accompanied by assistant engineers
R. G. Davis and M. G. Moore, aboard the government ship “Josephine”, on the river from Milton to Delaware Bay.

A Federal Law, authorizes the War Department, to provide a channel six feet deep, at mean low water, from the bay to Milton.

The questionnaires ask for the type of business, the type of goods received and shipped by it, the amount in tons and yearly value, by the river, then the extent of improvement desired.

The Broadkill River in Sussex county, rises and flows northeast 13 miles emptying into the
Delaware Bay, five miles above Cape Henlopen . At the mouth it is 300 feet wide at high water
and 90 feet in Milton. During low water it is 250 feet at the mouth and 80 at Milton. The channel
is obstructed by shoals and at the mouth is a shifting sand bar

According to a Government Report the Broadkill River does not meet the demands of commerce.

The proposed project, which will be followed out if the government can be shown improvements are necessary, is to establish a permanent entrance to the river by dredging a
channel across Lewes Cape, 150 feet wide and 6 feet deep at mean low water.

In 1926 the shipments of oysters and fruit, from Milton, had a value of $106, 000.

Source: Abstract by Harrison Howeth, 2017, Wilmington News Journal , Thursday, October 6, 1927.

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