Rehoboth's lakes deserve historic marker
Throughout the history of Rehoboth Beach, resort residents have appreciated the beauty of the area’s lakes including, from north to south, Lake Gerar, Silver Lake and Lake Comegys. We have long known these bodies of fresh water so close to the salty Atlantic are also rare geographical features.
Concern for Silver Lake, threatened by silting at its western end, unfiltered stormwater runoff, erratic flushing and ownership confusion, sparked creation of the Save Our Lakes Alliance 3.
That organization decided to take an activist role on behalf of the health of the lakes.
Its efforts, to the lakes’ benefit, have brought a great deal of attention to the myriad challenges faced by these geological gems.
At the recent War of 1812 celebration, the role Silver Lake played in the bombardment of Lewes once more came to the fore. SOLA3 isn’t the first group that has fought for the lakes. Before Rehoboth Beach was any kind of settlement, Silver Lake was known as Newbold’s Pond.
By the time the war came, mariners from all over the world who sailed the coast of North America knew there was a source of fresh water just over the dunes, within easy reach of navigable waters.
When the citizens of Lewes denied British Commodore John Poo Beresford’s request for food and fresh water and repelled his efforts to bomb the town into submission, Beresford sent a landing party south to Newbold’s Pond.
Col. Samuel Davis, commanding defending forces at Lewes, received intelligence from observers along the coast about what was up and sent troops.
Once again the enemy was stymied, and the locals kept the fresh water supply to themselves.
It’s time the strategic importance of Silver Lake and its two cousins be recognized visibly and permanently. They deserve a state historical marker describing their geological significance and the 1813 skirmish that evidenced their value as a resource worth fighting for.