Bethany Beach is on the ancestral land of the Nanticoke people. It is located along the Atlantic coast of Delaware between Indian River Bay and Miller Creek in Sussex County. Bethany Beach was established as a church campsite for the white European members of the Disciples of Christ, located in the Washington, DC area and in Pennsylvania. The first building was a tabernacle on the land of the Christian Missionary Society, dedicated in July 1901.
We have yet to learn about the Black experience at this beach. Nonetheless, Black people may have visited due to it being featured in Grayson’s Guide: The Go Guide to Pleasant Motoring in 1952, 1957-58, and 1959.
- Native-Land.ca, accessed July 15, 2021.
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “The Go Guide to Pleasant Motoring” New York Public Library Digital Collections.
- “The Ancient Ones,” Nanticoke and Lenape Confederation: Learning Center and Museum, accessed August 12, 2021.
- “Town History,” Town of Bethany Beach, accessed August 18, 2021.