MIDDLETOWN Beginning in the 1670s, settler Adam Peterson and his family acquired several tracts of land here. One tract, surveyed in 1733, was given the name “Middletown.” The origin of the name is believed to derive from the area’s location at the middle point of a road that led from the head of the Bohemia River to the banks of Appoquinimink Creek. Located at the intersection of this road with the busy Kings Highway, this was an important stop for travelers by the mid-18th century. A tavern was established here and a small village developed around it. The town grew rapidly after the railroad’s arrival in 1855. Located in the midst of some of the state’s most productive farmlands, this became an important shipping point for a variety of agricultural products. Of particular note is the prosperous peach industry, which flourished until a disease known as the “Peach Yellows” destroyed many of the orchards here and elsewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Middletown was incorporated by the Delaware General Assembly on February 12, 1861.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at katie.hall@state.de.us.

LOCATION: Middletown, Cochran Square.