Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A visit to Odessa, Delaware

Wow, what can I say except I’ve been a little on the busy side with the passing holiday, yes I do consider Halloween a holiday, plus we had a great visit with my parents. Now I’m looking ahead to the coming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I’m sure most of you are thinking about the great smell of pumpkin pies, turkey, stuffing and I must not forget the traditional green been casserole. But hold on I need to back up some, back up to the visit with my parents.

After they completed a surprise make over for my daughter’s bedroom, which I might add we LOVE. We were trying to figure out what to do the next day. We haven’t been here long enough to know the “neat” places to go, except the mall. After driving them around and showing them the schools, some shops downtown and yes I did point out a cemetery. Then a light bulb went off, I remembered a brief drive that my husband and I took to a really interesting town, Odessa. So I decided to head that way and experience some of the sites with my parents. I’m so glad that we went, there was so much to see, hear and learn, plus I must mention the food at the local tavern was wonderful.

Cantwell’s Tavern is located in the Historic Brick Hotel, on the end of Main Street just before you cross the Appoquinimink Creek. Such a wonderful piece of history this tavern holds for those in Odessa. Of course I had so many questions that had to be answered, just like a kid in a candy store. The staff is very well educated on the some of the history of the town and the tavern itself. It was built in 1822 by William Polk who knew the location of the hotel and tavern would welcome many visitors that traveled by water or land.  

After enjoying a perfectly timed lunch at the tavern we took a home tour with the Historic Odessa Society. They were in the process of setting up the displays and decorating the homes for the upcoming “Christmas in Odessa” that will be taking place on the 6th of December so we got a quick peek at some decorations.  We started out at The Bank of Odessa it was built as the First National Bank of Odessa in 1855 and now serves as the visitor’s center for the Historic Odessa Foundation.  

The first home we were shown was one with character, history and even some mystery. The Collins-Sharp House is one home that has traveled from one location to another. A log home that dates back to 1700’s and is one of Delaware’s oldest residences. After an informative tour it was time to step back out in to that chilly breeze and visit the Corbit-Sharp house. This home is located on Main Street across from the Cantwell’s Tavern. The home currently serves as a museum and is owned by the Historic Houses of Odessa. Built in 1774 by William Corbit, he was a very well-known and established citizen in the community. It was later taken over by the Sharp family in the late 1930’s.

Unfortunately our tour had to stop short of visiting the Wilson-Warner House, but no worries I plan on making another visit to the Odessa community and picking up where we left off. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of history that can be found when you venture out into some of these towns. I believe I have also found a new interest in my work of genealogy and research. The homes and business you enter have a unique kind of history themselves. If the walls could talk, the stories they could tell you about the family’s that lived there and all of their history.


I know the descriptions of these homes might seem brief and that’s for a good reason. I hope to share more information along with photographs, about these homes, the families who lived in the homes and hopefully some additional homes in the Odessa area.