The Story of Fenwick Island

We present to you … Fenwick


I certainly used to have a different perspective on Fenwick Island when I was younger. Of course, the younger version of myself also had a different perspective on jelly and cream cheese sandwiches, the merits of Lee Majors as a leading man in Hollywood and the staying power of my Pet Rock, Harvey.

Fenwick Island was easy-going from the beginning

1907 postcard provided by Beth Tollson.

Unlike many towns in the U.S., Fenwick Island didn’t grow out of necessity. Far from the whirl of cities, trade ports and railroads, Fenwick Island was a beach town that grew because people loved it.

For a long time, Fenwick strayed from the beaten path of development and led people to a quiet, peaceful respite, so secluded that even its namesake never saw it.

Fenwick Island makes its mark with lighthouse, famous survey

The Fenwick Island Lighthouse.

Just a few feet north of the Transpeninsular Line stands the more than 150-year-old Fenwick Island Lighthouse. Both landmarks mark the site of an early American land controversy between William Penn and Lord Baltimore that began in 1681 and would last generations, until finally being settled in 1768.

Fenwick thrives as a multi-generational respite and year-round home

This Fenwick Island sign welcomes visitors to the beach resort.

Present-day Fenwick Island in the summer boasts the hustle and bustle of a resort beach town, much like surrounding northern towns of Bethany Beach and South Bethany and Ocean City, Md., to the south.

Fenwick Islanders hope future will look like its past and present

THe Fenwick Island Community park

As with everything that’s yet to be, the future for the town of Fenwick Island is uncertain. No one can predict when the next storm might roll in or what ordinances future town councils might pass, but, for now, many Fenwick Islanders are hoping the town stays relatively unchanged.