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RG# 7140


RG 9015-028-000: Second St, Lewes

Settled in 1631 by the Dutch, Lewes was the site of Delaware’s first European settlement. In 1681, the land that would become Delaware was part of a land grant by the King of England to the Penn Family. Upon William Penn’s arrival here, he would re-name the southernmost county of what would be called the “three lower counties on Delaware,” Sussex County, after his home county, and the town where he first landed, Lewes, after its county seat.  


1800 – 1849

Lewes was incorporated in 1818 as “The Trustees of the Town of Lewes” in an Act titled Act to Improve the Navigation of Lewes Creek, to Survey and Regulate the Streets of the Town of Lewes and for Other Purposes. While the general boundaries of the Town were outlined in the Act, five men were appointed to oversee hire a surveyor who would carry out a survey of the Town, creating a plot and marking its streets. Within a year, an election was to be held to elect new five Trustees, a Treasurer and an Assessor to serve one-year terms. The voters were to be free white males, age 21 or over, who were freeholders with a house on a 60’ by 200’ lot. The Trustees’ responsibilities included opening streets and abating any obstructions in the streets as well as acting as conservators of the peace. They also assumed the powers that had been granted in law to the Commissioners of the Lewes Bridge. The Assessor was to carry out an annual assessment and valuation of real estate. The Act stated that the maximum amount of tax to be levied on the Town’s citizens was not to exceed $200.1

The 1818 Incorporating Act would govern the Town for over fifty years but was amended three times. In 1831, the qualifications of eligible voters were revised to include all those who paid tax on any house or store and were qualified to vote for representatives to the State Legislature. In the same law, the Trustees were given authority to provide for a jail for the confinement of those accused of a breach of the peace.2 In 1843, a law provided for the Trustees to determine and address damages that related to opening streets in the Town.3 A law passed in 1849 expanded the authority of the Trustees as to their powers to keep the peace by authorizing them to act as police, suppressing disorderly or noisy assemblages at night and on the Sabbath. They were further authorized to appoint a Constable who would have the same powers as those appointed to that position by the State. The Trustees were also authorized to borrow and hold money, and to charge a toll on vessels using the Lewes Canal, as they had assumed the responsibilities of the Trustees of the Canal in 1847.4


1850 – 1899

In 1871, the Town was incorporated as “The Commissioners of Lewes.” The Act specified the boundaries of the Town. Elections were to be held to elect five Commissioners, a Treasurer and an Assessor to serve one-year terms. As allowed for in an earlier amendment, voters were free white male citizens of the Town with the right to vote for representatives to the State Legislature. The Commissioners were to choose one of their members to serve as President and Secretary. The President was to act as the Town’s Alderman, with all the powers of a Justice of the Peace. The Commissioners were given oversight over the Town’s streets, bridges, gutters, and ditches and could open new streets when petitioned by Town citizens. If new streets were opened, the Commissioners were to compensate freeholders who were impacted by this action. The Commissioners could also require freeholders to place sidewalks along the street adjoining their properties. They were also required to abate any obstructions or nuisances that might impact the streets or sidewalks. In addition, the Commissioners were to provide sanitary measures for the health of the citizens, to build and maintain a jail, to appoint a Bailiff who would have the same powers as a Constable, and to prevent bonfires and the firing of guns or setting off of fireworks. Unlike other Towns, all public and vacant land lying within the Town’s corporate limits was to be vested in the Town of Lewes with the Commissioners having jurisdiction over it including the ability to lease the land. They were also given authority and control over the Great and Beach Marshes and the Cape and Cape Marshes near Lewes and were able to sell the grass, hay, and timber and retain the proceeds for the improvement of the Town. However, citizens were allowed to graze cattle and fish in these areas without compensating the Town. The Assessor was to annually assess real estate, basing his assessment on its rental value, and was to make a separate assessment of those who owned their land versus those who leased public land. He was also to carry out an assessment of all male citizens residing in the Town who were over 21 and to make a record of all those who owned dogs in order to separately levy a tax on dog owners. The sum of money to be raised in taxation was not to exceed $500 unless a special election approved an increase in this amount.5

In 1873, two years after the above incorporation law was passed, it was amended by a separate law, and at the same time, it was republished to include these amendments. The amendments called for the Town to be re-surveyed in order to plot the lines and limits of the streets, straightening or widening them as needed. It also stated that all public and vacant lands contiguous to the Town’s corporate limit and between it and the Delaware Bay were to be vested in the Town of Lewes and held under the same rights and powers as public land within the Town’s boundaries. A clarification was made to specify the type of materials that could be used to pave sidewalks. The allocation from Sussex County to be applied towards maintenance of the streets was increased to $300 in the amendment and again to $500 in the amended Incorporating Act.6

Between 1873 and the time of the next re-incorporation of the Town in 1901, a number of amendments were made to the 1873 Incorporating Act. The first amendment was in 1875 when the amount of money allocated from the Levy Court of Sussex County for streets was increased to $600.7 In 1877, the Town of Lewes was authorized to erect gates on all bridges between the Town and the Cape so that livestock could not enter the Town.8 In 1883, the number of Commissioners in Lewes was decreased from five to four; each was to serve a three-year term. In addition, Auditors were appointed to review the Town’s accounts yearly, and the amount of taxes to be levied on the Town’s citizens was decreased from $500 to $150.9 In 1885, a law clarified the manner in which those who were making use of or had leased public land could be taxed.10 The purpose of two laws passed in 1889 was to clarify earlier laws.11 In 1891, an amendment to the 1873 Incorporating Act provided for each of the four Commissioners to represent a different school district. It also called for a Mayor, who was to serve as an ex officio member of the Board of Commissioners and Chairman of the Board, to be elected to serve a one-year term. In addition, the Auditors which had previously been appointed were now to be elected officials. In addition, the Commissioners were to spend $400 laying shells on the principal streets of the Town.12 In 1895, the Town of Lewes was authorized to borrow $2,000 with which to procure buildings or machinery for fire protection, and a special tax was authorized to repay the bonds issued in this amount. In the same law, the decrease in the general taxation amount was revoked and it was re-instituted at $500.13 In 1897, the Town of Lewes borrowed $10,000 with which to establish an electric plant and erect a gas works; this action required referendum approval.14


1900 – 1949

Much of the 1897 law was repealed in 1901 when another law authorized the Town to borrow $50,000 to erect a waterworks, provide a sewer system, and establish an electric light plant. A special tax totaling at least $2,000 a year was to be levied on the Town in order to repay the debt with an additional tax of $1,000 a year authorized to be levied as a special tax to cover the operating expenses of the plants.15 In 1901, a Board of Public Works, set up as an independent body, was charged with controlling and regulating the electric light plant, and the waterworks and sewer system. The five Commissioners who made up the Board of Public Works were to be elected by the citizens of the Town. All freeholders were given one vote for each dollar or partial dollar they were assessed; males who were not freeholders were given one vote.16

Also in 1901, the Town of Lewes was re-incorporated. The description of the corporate boundary contained in the Incorporating Act is different from that in the 1873 Act, and there were some changes made to the structure of the government. While there remained four Commissioners residing in and representing four school districts, they now had only two-year terms, and the Mayor, who was elected at large for a one-year term, was now a voting member of the Board of Commissioners and its President. The Board of Commissioners was to meet at least six times a year, in alternate months. The Treasurer and the Assessor continued to be elected for one-year terms, but the Auditors were now appointed. The Mayor was now given the power and authority of a Justice of the Peace. In addition, the Board of Commissioners could appoint Constables or Bailiffs to assist in keeping the peace. As outlined in the 1873 Incorporating Act, the Commissioners continued to be invested in full and complete authority over all public land which they would then lease to Town citizens. They were also charged with the maintenance of streets for which they were to allocate $1,500 yearly, and for which the Levy Court of Sussex County was also to allocate $600 yearly. The powers of the Commissioners related to the oversight of streets was expanded to include providing for drainage and gutters as well as preventing encroachments into the streets. The other powers of the Commissioners as specified in the 1873 Incorporating Act were carried over. To these were added preventing the introduction of infectious diseases; protecting shade trees on the streets and in public squares, and arresting any person who is keeping a disorderly house or house of assignation.17

In 1903 there were technical corrections made to the 1901 Incorporating Act and the Board of Commissioners was authorized to borrow $10,000 with which to extend and support the waterworks, the electric light system and the sewer system of the Town. Upon referendum approval, they were to issue bonds in this amount with $600 to be set aside yearly to pay the interest on this debt and to put money into a sinking fund to re-pay it.18 An amendment to the Incorporating Act in 1905 clarified that all public land which was occupied, enclosed, or used was to be assessed.19

In 1907, the Town was re-incorporated. The way in which the 1907 Incorporating Act was organized was changed but the structure of the government was not. However, this Act did contain a much more specific list of the powers afforded to the Commissioners. In addition to all of those powers previously granted, this Incorporating Act included the power to grant building permits; to establish a building line on a lot; to compel the sweeping of chimneys and prohibit the deposit of ashes in unsafe places; to prohibit stables in certain locations and the use of candles in barns and stables; to prohibit manufactories which could be considered dangerous in causing or promoting fires; to regulate bathing in the Delaware Bay; to provide for granting franchises or rights to person or corporations who apply for the privileges of erecting wharves, or piers, or for right to construct and operate steam, motor, or electric railways. The Commissioners were also authorized to light the Town and install a sewer and drainage system. The maximum amount of taxes that could be levied on the Town’s citizens was set at $1,500.20

Throughout the early twentieth century, the 1907 Incorporating Act was amended numerous times and there were a number of laws which impacted the operation of the Lewes Board of Public Works. In 1909, a law clarified that the Board of Public Works had the exclusive right to sell water within the Town of Lewes.21 In 1915, a dispute was settled between the Town of Lewes and the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad Company. Lewes revised its corporate boundary so as to exclude lands which contained the railroad line and deeded two tracts of land which were claimed by both the Town and the railroad to the railroad.22 In 1921, the Town of Lewes was authorized to levy and collect a special tax of $5,000 to be used to pay the interest on the Town’s bonded indebtedness and also to deposit money into a sinking fund with which to repay the indebtedness. That same year, the Town of Lewes received authorization to borrow $20,000 with which to extend and repair the sewer system and water mains, repairing the streets impacted by these actions, and installing fire plugs. At least $1,000 was to be levied each year as a special tax to repay this debt. Also in 1921, the Commissioners were given the power to purchase or condemn land or buildings in order to establish public parks and ornamental spaces.23 Two years later, in 1923, the Town was authorized to purchase the Lewes Gas Works or to construct a new gas plant, along with the ability to operate the plant, lay pipes and operate gas lamps in the streets; this authorization to borrow $25,000 required referendum approval. The same year the Commissioners were also authorized to borrow $15,000 to improve Second Street with a permanent roadway. They were also given the authority to compel residents of Lewes to connect to the Town’s water and sewer systems.24 In 1925, the Incorporating Act was amended to allow females to vote, and also to increase the amount of money which could be levied in taxes for both general taxes and repayment of bonded indebtedness to $15,000. Another law that year returned to Lewes sixteen acres which the federal government had condemned for use as part of an inland waterway project that never moved forward.25 Revisions to the voting procedures of the Town were passed into law in 1927.26 Several laws were passed in 1929: the first increased the maximum amount of taxes which could be levied to $25,000; another made changes to the procedures for elections the Commissioners of the Board of Public Works, and a third authorized the Commissioners of Lewes to purchase pf condemn land in order to establish ornamental boulevards.27  In 1931, an amendment to the 1907 Incorporating Act made two changes; it eliminated the requirement that Commissioners reside in and represent school districts, and it changed the Treasurer from an elective to an appointed position.28 A further amendment in 1933 called for replacing the Assessor with a three-person Board of Assessment who would be elected to a three-year term. In addition, the Mayor’s term was increased to two years.29 In 1937, Lewes was authorized to purchase land to facilitate the construction of an inlet to connect the Delaware Bay with the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal. That same year, the Town was authorized to borrow $44,000 with which to redeem and reissue its outstanding bonds. The law required that between $2,000 and $3,000 be collected each year in taxes in order to repay the debt. Also in this year, the territory served by the electric light plant was authorized to include up to ½ mile past the corporate boundaries of the Town and also as far as the Cape Henlopen Coast Guard Station.30 In 1941, delinquency in paying water fees was determined to be allowable as a lien on property.31

In 1941, the Town was once again re-incorporated as “The Commissioners of Lewes.” The corporate boundaries were stated in general terms and reference was made to the plot which had been recorded with Sussex County. Election procedures had been updated since the passage of the 1907 Incorporating Act and these were included. Other amendments to the 1907 Act had been approved were also included in the 1941 Act. The list of general powers included in the 1941 Incorporating Act was almost identical to that in the 1907 Act. Subsequent sections of the Act contain discussions of various additional powers including: power over public land (which remained the same and included all the land along the bay from point of Cape Henlopen on the south to Veasey’s Inlet on the north); power to condemn land; power over pavement and curbs; power to enforce order; power to levy and collect taxes; power to borrow money and issue bonds; and power over ditches. The maximum amount of taxes that could be levied on the Town was not to exceed $30,000 annually, and the maximum for which bonds could be issued without seeking legislative approval was capped at $20,000.32

It would be twenty-eight years until the Town of Lewes was next re-incorporated and during that time there were many amendments to the 1941 Act. In 1947, Lewes was authorized to issue bonds for $50,000 with the funds used to improve the water system and electric lighting system on north beach. A separate law authorized the Town to establish a pension program for their employees and for the employees of the Board of Public Works.33 Four laws were passed in 1949. The first one again revised the municipal election procedures; a second authorized Lewes to issue $100,000 in bonds to be used for additions, improvements, and repairs to the water system; a third law increased the amount which the Town could levy in taxes to $50,000; and a fourth law authorized Lewes to issue up to $50,000 in bonds with which to construct a municipal dock and improve roads and streets.34


1950 – 1999

A 1951 law authorized the City of Lewes to purchase the machinery and equipment necessary to repair and improve the municipal electric light and power plant with the $325,000 loan to be repaid from the revenue received from customers.35 The term “substantial freeholder” was defined as related to the Town and to the Board of Public Works in a law passed in 1949. In addition, the Town was required to pay the Board of Public Works $5,000 a year for electric light; and the limits of the Town were extended to include the lands of the Fish Product Company and the Highland Acres sub-division.36 In 1951, the Board of Public Works was authorized to purchase land, machinery, and equipment necessary to improve the municipal electric light and power plant and the municipal water pumping and distribution facility as well as professional services necessary for their operation. The $90,000 debt was to be repaid with the revenue received from customers.37 Six years later, representatives of Highland Acres petitioned for the sub-division to be removed from within the Town’s boundary to which it had been annexed in 1953. Two additional laws passed in 1957 were directed at the Board of Public Works. Voting procedures which called for weighted balloting when electing Commissioners had been in place since 1901; these were now revoked and anyone in Lewes who had paid their taxes was allowed one vote for any Board member. In another law, the Board of Public Works was re-authorized to operate a sewage disposal plant and the sanitary sewer and storm drainage system. Land could be condemned for the sewers in the same manner as that used when improving streets. The Board of Public Works was also given control over all existing storm or sanitary sewers and could institute regulations in the best interest of public health, and delinquency in paying sewer fees was cause for placing a lien on the property. The Town of Lewes was to sell bonds in the amount of $600,000 with which the finance the cost of enlarging or extending the sewer system as well as constructing or re-constructing drainage systems. Revenue from the use of the system was to be used to repay the bonds.38 In 1960, the 1941 Incorporating Act was amended so as to allow for an Alderman to be appointed, and in the same law, the Town Police were given the same powers and authority as a Constable of Sussex County.39 In 1961, the amount of money available to be borrowed under the law passed in 1951 for the electric light plant and water pumping and distribution facility was increased to $1 million.40 In 1962, Lewes was authorized to borrow money without referendum approval as long as the indebtedness did not exceed, in aggregate, 15% of the value of real property in the Town. A new category of indebtedness was also authorized which provided Lewes with the ability to borrow up to $30,000 on a short term basis in anticipation of revenue to be received. Another law required that any liens placed on a property when attached to the sewer system must be paid within thirty years.41 In 1963, the Board of Public Works was authorized to supply water and sewer service to properties located within one mile outside of the corporate boundary of Lewes.42 In 1965, legislation sought to align the qualifications of and voting procedures for the Commissioners of Lewes and the Commissioners of the Lewes Board of Public Works, and also authorized the Board of Public Works to establish a reserve fund not to exceed 10% of the total capital investment of the Board to be used for expenditures related to the various utilities over which they had oversight.43

In 1969, Lewes was re-incorporated in the corporate name of “The City of Lewes,” and a Charter was established. This Charter lists a boundary which matches that in the 1941 Incorporating Act plus three additional parcels of adjoining land, one to the southeast, one to the west, and one to the north. The Charter also lays out the procedures to annex new territory located contiguous to the City, and renews the City’s authority to control public and vacant lands within its corporate limits and outside its limits between the corporate boundary and the Delaware Bay. The powers conferred by the Charter were vested in a Mayor and a City Council consisting of four members. The responsibilities of the Mayor differ from that of the 1941 Act in that, while the Mayor now serves as President of the Council, he/she can only vote to break a tie. The City Council was to choose two members to serve as Vice-President of the Council and Secretary and was to hold meetings monthly. City officials who were to be appointed by the Mayor or Council included an Assistant Secretary of the Council, Alderman and Assistant Alderman, City Manager, Treasurer, Assessor, City Solicitor, Board of Health, Police Chief, and Director of Public Safety.  The Charter specifically enumerates forty-two general powers which are vested in the City Council. In general, these powers reflected those which were contained in the 1941 Incorporating Act. There is, however, particular emphasis on the power over public land; the power to oversee streets, curbing and paving; the power over obstructions, nuisances and unsanitary conditions; and the power to enact municipal zoning. After referendum approval, the Charter provides for Lewes to be authorized to borrow money and issue bonds in order to provide funds for the erection, the extension, the enlargement, the purchase, or the repair of any plant, machinery or equipment, or the manufacture or distribution of electricity of gas for light, heat or power purposes; for the furnishing of water, for the construction and repair of sewers or sewage disposal equipment; or to defray or share the costs of any permanent municipal improvement as long as the bonded indebtedness does not exceed 25% of the value of real estate within the City. These utilities for which such bonded indebtedness was authorized are those for which the Lewes Board of Public Works had oversight, but there is no mention of this body, which is independently elected, in the City Charter. Assessments in Lewes are levied against real estate, whether owned in fee simple (a freehold) or leased and also as a per capita tax against every person over 21 years of age living in the City. In addition and under certain circumstances, a tax may be levied against telephone and telegraph poles, power poles, pipelines, and rail lines. The maximum amount of tax to be levied was indicated to be no more than $200,000 annually. Lewes was also authorized to borrow up to $50,000 in anticipation of revenue to be received. Repayment must be within ten years from the City’s general funds.44

Since 1969, numerous amendments have been made to the Charter. The first of these was in 1971 when the yearly allocation to be given to the fire department was increased from 3% to 12% of the tax on the City’s real estate.45 The following year changes were made in the election procedures which included lowering the voting age to 18 and clarifying that the Mayor may run for successive terms but may not seek a Council seat immediately after running for Mayor. In addition, Council members were required to vacate their Council seat if running for Mayor.46 In 1973, a number of technical corrections were made to the Charter.47 In 1975, amendments were made to the 1901 Incorporating Act of the Board of Public Works so that the qualification to serve as a Commissioner and the voting procedures mirrored that of the Lewes City Charter. In another law passed that year, absentee balloting in the general election was approved.48 In 1977, Lewes was authorized to levy a tax on the transfer of real estate.49 In 1978, a procedure was instituted which allowed citizens to petition for reconsideration of any adopted City ordinance except those which dealt with money, taxes, emergencies, or zoning.50 In 1981, the maximum tax which could be levied was increased to $300,000.51 In 1982, the responsibility for appointing the Police Force was transferred from the City Council to the Director of Public Safety.52 Two years later, the Charter was amended related to increasing the number of contracts which required a competitive bid and requiring owners of rental units to pay for all electric current furnished to the until.53 In 1985, there was another increase is the amount of tax that could be levied annually to be no more than $750,000. In a separate law, the Board of Public Works was given authority to charge area connection charges for improved or unimproved lots to defray the cost of extending sewer, water, and electric lines to newly developed areas.54 The election procedures were again revised in 1987.55 In 1988, oversight of the City and Board of Public Works pension and health care plans was transferred to a licensed insurance company.56 In 1989, the Mayor was given the responsibility of appointing the City Manager and the Chief of Police and Police Force members. These appointments had previously been the responsibility of the City Council and the Director of Public Safety. In another law, further revisions were made to the election procedures.57 In 1990, the ability to tax the transfer of real estate was extended to those areas outside the City limits which were under their jurisdiction.58 A further increase in the maximum amount of tax that could be levied annually, to $1.5 million, was authorized by law in 1992. The same law amended the Charter to allow for supplemental assessments in order to add properties not previously assessed or where the value had changed and also repealed the allowed abatement for early payment of taxes.59 In 1993, the City’s Charter was amended to make it gender neutral. Additional revisions included in 1993 law were revising the City’s annexation process to add a streamlined procedure if 100% of the property owners in the area to be annexed were requesting annexation or if the property to be annexed was exempt from taxation; changing the position of Vice-President of the City Council to Vice Mayor of the City; eliminating weighted voting in cases of borrowing money and issuing bonds so that each voter was entitled to one vote; lowering the per capita tax age to 18; eliminating the restriction to providing utility services to only those within the City and within one mile of its boundaries; expanding the duties of the Director of Public Safety; and authorizing the City when borrowing in anticipation of revenue an amount which is not more than 10% of the assessed value of the City’s real estate.60 A law passed in 1994 impacted the regulations of the Board of Public Works to allow both for absentee balloting and for voting privileges for those residing on public land under the jurisdiction of the City of Lewes.61 Two years later, another law again revised the Incorporating Act of the Board of Public Works to make the qualifications to serve as one of their Commissioners parallel those of City Commissioners.62 Additional revisions related to this were made a year later.63 In 1999, a law was passed which amended the Charter of Lewes in numerous ways. One major change provided for the Mayor to now vote on all Council matters; the Mayor’s power to appoint and dismiss City officials were also expanded. The Treasurer, previously was not required to be a member of the City Council, was now to be appointed to be a member of the Council for a one-year term. The City Solicitor, whose term was not specified in the Charter, was also to be appointed only for a one-year term. The position of Director of Public Safety was eliminated and the Chief of Police and all other members of the Police Force were to be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of a majority of the Council, for an indefinite term. Finally, the Municipal Zoning Commission was eliminated.64


2000 – Current

A law passed in 2001 stated that the Lewes Board of Public Works is an independent body subject only to the jurisdiction of the 1901 Incorporating Act which established it.65 In 2003, the Lewes Charter was amended to indicate that the Mayor and City Council would be compensated in an amount determined by them.66 Technical corrections were made to Charter in 2004 in several areas.67 In 2005, the maximum tax to be levied in the City of Lewes was increased to $3 million.68 In 2006, the description of the duties and responsibilities of the City Manager were eliminated from the Charter. So too, were the description of the duties and responsibilities of the Police Chief and Police Force, who were placed under the direction of the City Manager.69 In 2007, the amount of interest charged on delinquent taxes was increased by 0.5%.70 In 2008, the section of the Charter which described the election procedure was revised to reference Delaware’s municipal election procedures and Lewes was brought into compliance with this. In addition, new general powers were conferred which allowed the City to receive property and other gifts and bequests and to dispose of them, and to impose impact fees on new development to recover costs of municipal improvements.71 Changes to the Charter in 2009 provided for the establishment of Tax Increment Financing and Special Development Districts and for certain allowances and changes in the bidding laws.72 Also in 2009, the Board of Public Works was re-incorporated, and the new Charter stated that the Mayor and Council of Lewes operates its public utilities through its Board of Public Works. This Board, subject to its Charter, establishes controls and regulates all of the City’s utility systems with the responsibility for directing the Board of Public Works vested in a five-member Board of Directors.73 A law in 2010 stated that referendum approval was required before ceasing operation of any utility in the City.74 In 2012, the Charter was amended to state that City contracts could be awarded to other than the low bidder if it could be shown that it was in the best interest of the City.75 In 2015, the terms of office of the Board of Public Work’s Directors, and of the City’s Mayor and Council were changed from two years to three years. In addition, the size of the City was increased by eleven parcels comprising over 450 acres, and the maximum tax to be levied on the City was increased to $3.5 million.76 In 2017, those who could vote in annexation elections was revised to include both property owners and leaseholders.77  

For the fully amended text of the current Charter, see



View selected photographs of Lewes



CITATIONS in Del. Laws

1 5 Del. Laws, c. 425 (1818) [pp. 309-16]

2 8 Del. Laws, c. 90 (1831) [pp. 102-04]

3 9 Del. Laws, c. 452 (1843) [pp. 508-09]

4 10 Del. Laws, c. 371 (1849) [pp. 363-64]

5 14 Del. Laws, c. 114 (1871) [pp. 126-39]

6 14 Del. Laws, c. 535 and c. 536 (1873) [pp. 585-88 and pp. 588-602]

7 15 Del. Laws, c. 15 (1875) [p. 34]

8 15 Del. Laws, c. 462 (1877) [pp. 599-600]

9 17 Del. Laws, c. 184 (1883) [pp. 364-65]

10 17 Del. Laws, c. 563 (1885) [pp. 813-15]

11 18 Del. Laws, c. 647 and c. 648 (1889) [p. 839 and p. 840]

12 19 Del. Laws, c. 235 (1891) [pp. 469-70]

13 20 Del. Laws, c. 111 (1895) [pp. 172-76]

14 20 Del. Laws, c. 545 (1897) [pp. 656-58]

15 22 Del. Laws, c. 195, c. 197 and c. 198 (1901) [p. 437, pp. 443-46, and p. 447]

16 22 Del. Laws, c. 196 (1901) [pp. 438-43]

17 22 Del. Laws, c. 199 (1901) [pp. 448-70]

18 22 Del. Laws, c. 430 and c. 431 (1903) [pp. 900-01 and pp. 901-04]

19 23 Del. Laws, c. 192 (1905) [pp. 391-92]

20 24 Del. Laws, c. 220 (1907) [pp. 594-618]

21 25 Del. Laws, c. 205 (1909) [p. 449]

22 28 Del. Laws, c. 149 and c. 150 (1915) [pp. 451-52 and pp. 453-55]

23 32 Del. Laws, c. 141, c. 142, and c. 143 (1921) [p. 419, pp. 420-22, and pp. 423-25]

24 33 Del. Laws, c. 155, c. 156, and c. 157 (1923) [pp. 490-94, pp. 495-97, and p. 498]

25 34 Del. Laws, c. 144 and c. 145 (1925) [pp. 362-64 and pp. 365-66]

26 35 Del. Laws, c. 111 (1927) [pp. 338-39]

27 36 Del. Laws, c. 169, c. 170, and c. 171 (1929) [p. 522, p. 523, and pp. 524-26]

28 37 Del. Laws, c. 161 (1931) [pp. 558-62]

29 38 Del. Laws, c. 107 and c. 108 (1933) [pp. 443-44 and p. 445]

30 41 Del. Laws, c. 150, c. 151, and c. 152 (1937) [pp. 440-42, pp. 443-46, and p. 447]

31 43 Del. Laws, c. 169 (1941) [pp.721-22]

32 43 Del. Laws, c. 170 (1941) [pp. 723-51]

33 46 Del. Laws, c. 178 and c. 217 (1947) [pp. 477-78 and pp. 583-85]

34 47 Del. Laws, c. 85, c. 95, c. 99, and c. 250 (1949) [pp. 135-36, pp. 149-50, p. 154, and pp. 518-20]

35 48 Del. Laws, c. 13 (1951) [pp. 17-18]

36 49 Del. Laws, c. 261, c. 274, c. 285, c. 331, & c. 333 (1953) [p. 488, p. 503, p. 563, pp. 681-2, & p. 695]

37 50 Del. Laws, c. 74 and c. 458 (1955) [pp. 131-32 and pp. 1004-05]

38 51 Del. Laws. c. 56, c. 216, and c. 227 (1957) [p. 81, pp. 422-23, and pp. 432-38]

39 52 Del. Laws, c. 324, c. 325, c. 326, and c. 328 (1960) [p. 763-65, pp. 766-67, p. 768, and p. 770]

40 53 Del. Laws, c. 96 (1961) [p. 284]

41 53 Del. Laws, c. 278 and c. 280 (1962) [pp. 723-24 and p. 754]

42 54 Del. Laws, c. 211 (1963) [p. 716-17]

43 55 Del. Laws, c. 281 (1965) [p. 809-15]

44 57 Del. Laws, c. 170 (1969) [pp. 497-564]

45 58 Del. Laws, c. 24 (1971) [p. 31]

46 58 Del. Laws, c. 590 (1972) [p. 2058-59]

47 59 Del. Laws, c. 15 (1973) [p. 29]

48 60 Del. Laws, c. 127 and c. 127 (1975) [pp. 484-87 and pp. 488-89]

49 61 Del. Laws, c. 51 (1977) [pp. 71-73]

50 61 Del. Laws, c. 363 (1978) [pp. 982-86]

51 63 Del. Laws, c.110 (1981) [p. 227]

52 63 Del. Laws, c. 224 and c. 375 (1982) [p. 484 and p. 779]

53 64 Del. Laws, c. 233 and c. 306 (1984) [p. 564 and p. 692]

54 65 Del. Laws, c. 22 and c. 86 (1985) [p. 19 and p. 66]

55 66 Del. Laws, c. 62 (1987) [p. 103]

56 66 Del. Laws, c. 288 (1988) [p. 529]

57 67 Del. Laws, c. 34 and c. 68 (1989) [p. 42 and p. 217]

58 67 Del. Laws, c. 286 and c. 421 (1990) [p. 674 and p. 901-02]

59 68 Del. Laws, c. 218 (1992) [pp. 784-85]

60 69 Del. Laws, c. 97 (1993) [pp. 191-201]

61 69 Del. Laws, c. 411 (1994) [p. 878]

62 70 Del. Laws, c. 440 (1996) [p. 1068]

63 71 Del. Laws, c. 197 (1997) [p. 565]

64 72 Del. Laws, c. 13 and c. 175 (1999) [pp. 24-25 and pp. 305-09]

65 73 Del. Laws, c. 27 (2001) [pp. 68-71]

66 74 Del. Laws, c. 2 (2003) [p. 1]

67 74 Del. Laws, c. 206, c. 207, and c. 208 (2004) [p. 513, pp. 513-14, and pp. 514-16]

68 75 Del. Laws, c. 3 (2005) [p. 3]

69 75 Del. Laws, c. 248 (2006) [pp. 337-38]

70 76 Del. Laws, c. 8 (2007) [vol. I, p. 16]

71 76 Del. Laws, c. 256 (2008) [vol. II, pp. 102-05]

72 77 Del. Laws, c. 9 (2009) [vol. I, p. 10]

73 77 Del. Laws, c. 10 (2009) [vol. I, pp. 10-17]

74 77 Del. Laws, c. 397 (2010) [vol. II, pp. 31-32]

75 78 Del. Laws, c. 344 (2012) []

76 80 Del. Laws, c. 102 and c. 142 (2015)



77 81 Del. Laws, c. 137 (2017) []

Delaware Laws from 1935 to present can be found online at


City of Lewes records at the Delaware Public Archives include:

  • Administrative Records (1807-1909): 7140-000-000
  • Minutes of the Commissioners/City Council (1818-1830, 1855-1985): 7140-000-002
  • Minutes of the Special Events Committee (1970-1972): 7140-000-010
  • Receipts for Permits for Building on Lewes Beach (1901-1913): 7140-000-011
  • Minutes of the Board of Public Works (1901-1986): 7140-001-001
  • Water, Sewer and Electric Maps and Plots (1978-1989): 7140-001-003
  • Assessment Books (1944-1951, 1978, 1983, 1986-2002): 7140-002-004
  • Tax Books (1931-1962): 7140-002-005
  • Budget Report Books (1999-2002): 7140-002-006
  • Journal and General Ledgers (1921-1948, 1999-2000): 7140-002-007
  • Audit Reports (1953-1991): 7140-002-008
  • Building Permit Files (1956-1989): 7140-002-009


jnl / September 20, 2018 | April 15, 2019

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