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]

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