Monday, December 27, 2021

First Meeting for a Ogletown Historical Marker (minutes)

1982 imagery, with today's highways juxtaposed in red.
Dec 10, 2021, 11 a.m. | Location: Thomas Ogle Gravesite

Meeting called by: Taylor Reynolds (DE Dept of Public Archives, Markers Program Coordinator)

Type of meeting: Preliminary


Angela Connolly (Advocate), Rep Edward Osienski (RD24), Taylor Reynolds (DPA), Sen Jack Walsh (SD9), Francis Warnock (Advocate)

Marker Application & Approval

Similar marker in Cecil County MD, ~600 characters.

  • Good chance that the marker will be approved.
  • Likely time frame for decision is early 2021.
  • May take up to 1.5 years for completion and finished installation of marker.
  • Will send update emails through the process.


  • Funding for the marker (CTF).
  • Pathways in Green. View from Orbit HERE.
    Formal repave/rehab of SR4 pathway aka East Coast Greenway from OBC to Salem Church Rd.
  • Formal repave/rehab of Old Ogletown Rd-SR4 pathway.
  • Addition of a spur pathway to the gravesite & marker, w/bench and bike parking (inverted U).
  • DelDOT assessment of Ogletown Baptist Church/Old Red Mill Rd pathway spur for rehab/repave.
  • Work with OBC toward an easement that will permit Old Red Mill Rd pathway spur for public use.
  • Designate car parking for site visitation? (if feasible).


  • Region is disenfranchised for open space, pathways, historical recognition, and place-making.
  • East Coast Greenway is a national project deserving of community connectivity.
  • OBC/Red Mill pathway is a crucial connection between Prides Crossing and SR4/ECG.
  • Old Ogletown Rd pathway is a crucial connection from Chestnut Hill Estates to ECG and gravesite.
  • Will assist legislators if asked, and encourage citizen support as needed.
  • Upon approval of pathway and access improvements, will redirect advocacy toward DelDOT to ensure that pedestrian and bicyclist’s needs are correctly met. 

It was agreed upon that approval of the historical marker is first priority at this time, followed by the above mentioned infra improvements. It was not discussed if any formal announcement or press release should be issued as per the passing of Thomas Ogle on Dec 23, 1771 (250 years) -- or wait until official press release.

Meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Thomas Ogle 250 Year Commemoration and Tidy-up

Paying respects: Christopher T. George
On Dec 23, the date of Thomas Ogle's passing 250 years ago, we visited his gravesite to perform a minor tidy up. During foliage season, the tomb was in danger of disappearing from overgrowth. I was joined by Christopher Thompson George, who removed trash from the site as I pruned back tree branches. Christopher is a published British-born historian of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. Among his proudest achievements as an Advocate was helping save the Baltimore County War of 1812 North Point Battlefield of September 12, 1814 from the boot of developers.

As we completed our mission over an unopened bottle of Tott's champagne, I learned that Christopher is 3 years living in Ogletown, and very interested in the local history here after relocating from Maryland. We talked about his above land-use victory in Maryland, and the loss of the Orphanage Property in western Ogletown. It comes with great sadness that no amount of historical significance, environmental imperative or socio-economic needs can overcome Govt corruption in Delaware in matters of land-use.

Orphanage Property in Nov 2016
For the record
, saving the Orphanage Property (STOP) was a three year grassroots campaign (2015-2018) to save the last significant open space in Ogletown, Delaware, the Our Lady of Grace 180 acre Orphanage Property, for a regional park. Lost to a deluge of illegal high density development, this was the last chance for the community of Ogletown-S. Newark to fulfill and live the vision promised by Gov Ruth Ann Minner's "Livable Delaware" initiative, or Gov Markell's "Trails and Pathways" or "Walkable Bikeable Delaware" as espoused by Bike Delaware (fraud).

As we continue to mourn the horrific loss above, our effort to add a historical marker and new pathway infrastructure at Thomas Ogle's gravesite will hopefully gain momentum in 2022. This small piece of green space, flanked by highway on and off ramps, is DelDOT-owned and hopefully remains off-limits to developers. Unfortunately, not even the most critical habitat area is truly off-limits in Delaware, and one grave is easy enough to relocate. Even though it is far from ideal for parkland or placemaking given illegal vehicle noise alone, we should still watch and demand protection for this historic plot of land as as the future unfolds.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Ogletown on Wikipedia, updated

Thomas Ogle House (photo courtesy of Scott Clabaugh)
For local history enthusiasts, the Wikipedia page for Ogletown has been updated to include a more in-depth look at its history, and to reflect on current events. Formerly a stub, additional edits and additions are always encouraged. You may also include these in comments below.

Thomas Ogle (born 1666-1672, died 1734), son of John Ogle who arrived in Delaware in 1665 from England, was an early colonial landowner in what is today central New Castle County Delaware. Ogletown is named after his son Thomas Ogle II (born about 1705, died 1771), who settled in the area of present-day Delaware Route 273 and Delaware Route 4 in the 1730s.[2]The burial site of Thomas Ogle II is isolated within a highway cloverleaf, and is the focus of an effort currently underway to recognize his passing and to revitalize the area. The name is associated with the area from before 1774, and in the late 19th century it was a small village with a store, a post office, and about half a dozen houses.[3]Additional homes and businesses sprang up throughout the 20th century. Ogletown would eventually lose its village-like character to suburban sprawl, road re-alignments, the arrival of Maryland National Bank (MBNA), and the construction of arterial highways.

  • Ogletown prospered during the 17th century because of a location along one of the major transpeninsular roads laid out in Delaware, extending from the Head of Elk on the Chesapeake Bay to Christiana Bridge. The dogleg nature of the roads in the Ogletown area created an ideal situation for the creation of a hamlet-type community, including an inn and place of lodging.[4]
  • From 1994-1999, a road expansion project of Route 273 obliterated any remnants of the original hamlet. In the course of highway construction, the grave of Thomas Ogle II was uncovered, "badly disturbed by road construction and the construction of a gas station on the site." As part of the project, and with the generous financial support of the Ogle Family Association (O/OFA), DelDOT restored the rectangular brick base and capstone, leaving Thomas' remains untouched, in what is now green space inside the new cloverleaf intersection. Only a small plaque on the brick base commemorates the history of the town.[5][6]
  • In 2016, a group called Save the Orphanage Property (STOP) began a campaign to preserve Ogletown's last remaining open space suitable for a regional park, located in the town's western flank. The effort was defeated in 2018, with Advocates citing multiple examples of government corruption as the primary cause.
  • In 2021, Advocates submitted an application with Delaware Public Archives for a historical marker, to begin an effort to recognize Ogletown, given that the town's founder, Thomas Ogle, died in 1771, 250 years ago.

Today, residents and businesses in the area have Newark postal addresses, and the name Ogletown survives primarily in the names of Ogletown Road and Ogletown-Stanton Road[full page continues HERE]