The land upon which this house now stands was acquired in 1675 by Helmanus Wiltbank, a prominent early resident and property owner of Lewes. The oldest portion of the present structure is believed to have been constructed by Cornelius Wiltbank circa 1720. Ownership of the property was retained by the Wiltbank family until 1814, when the house and lot were conveyed to Thomas Rodney. In later years this became the residence of his grandson, Hiram Rodney Burton (1841-1927). An 1868 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, Doctor Burton served the medical needs of the residents of Lewes and surrounding area for over fifty years. Active in the civic affairs of his community and state, he served as Commissioner of Lewes and was appointed to the positions of Deputy Collector of Customs and Assistant Surgeon at the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station. An influential member of Delaware’s Republican Party for many years, he was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1905 until 1909. A major supporter of the development of our nation’s inland waterways, Doctor Burton was chiefly responsible for securing funding for the construction of the Lewes-Rehoboth and Assawoman Canals.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Hiram Rodney Burton House was purchased by the Lewes Historical Society in 1989.
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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 Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Lewes, 112 Shipcarpenter Street