The Village of New Ark

Newark, Delaware Looking South Toward Main Street (1842-1844)

Completed between 1842-1844, this is an early depiction of Newark, Delaware that is looking south toward Main Street. The original watercolor was painted by Delaware College professor Seth C. Brace.

Image by the author with the permission of Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library.

In the first half of the eighteenth century, the village of New Ark, New Castle County—later Newark, Delaware—was little more than a resting point for travelers along the road between Maryland and the towns of New Castle and Wilmington in New Castle County, Province of Pennsylvania. Surrounding the village were the bustling communities of White Clay Creek Hundred to the north and Pencader Hundred to the south. On the earliest known map of New Ark, dated May 1736, three roads lead to a main street that is lined with four settlements: the dwellings of Edward Miles, William Armstrong, Hugh Glasford, and Ebenezer Howell. Miles, Armstrong, and Glasford each had business enterprises some distance outside of the village, but it was Howell who established the Three Hearts Tavern in his home off of the main road. By the time King George II granted New Ark a charter as a market-town on April 13, 1758, the village and main road had grown quite significantly. According to the map of New Ark, one that is believed to be the charter map submitted to King George II in 1758, twenty individuals owned property directly off the main road. Over the next one hundred and fifty years the village of New Ark continued to grow around the road now known as "Main Street." Such early institutions as the New Ark Academy (later Delaware College and subsequently the University of Delaware) aided in developing the village into a town that is now much more than a resting pointing for weary travelers.