Hack’s Point: A Natural Spot for Summer Visitors

While Cecil County has always been an attractive spot for vacationers, the arrival of the automobile age after World War I accelerated that trend as new waterfront communities started popping up.  Desiring to escape, the oppressive heat and humidity of July and August, visitors from Philadelphia, Wilmington, Lancaster and other nearby urban areas motored here, seeking to spend long summer weekends in breezy cottages on the shores of the rivers.

As more and more visitors discovered the attractive beauty of the easy to reach county with five rivers, developers started buying up farmland and erecting cottages at desirable locations.  One of those communities was Hack’s Point with its excellent waterfront beaches on the Bohemia River.

In the middle of the roaring ’20s a Baltimore developer, Miller-Nelson, Inc., spotted the potential for the seasonal draw  and began putting in cottages.  In 1926, John Wallace Scott sold 50 acres of ground on his Hack’s Point Farm, adjoining Scotchman’s Creek, to the corporation for $20,000.  This place, with its broad waterways on several sides and the Creek was sure to catch refreshing  breezes and the attention of city dwellers seeking relief in those days before air conditioning.

The new owners had the property laid out in lots, a number of which had already been sold to people who were to erecting cottages, the Cecil County News reported.  On those sultry days of summer, lots of people were eager to get away, and Miller-Nelson had recognized the business opportunity.

This attractively situated point’s  history, however, goes back to the earliest days of the colony.  Stephen Hack was granted the first patent in 1658 and the name for the place has been carried down through the centuries.

A ferry operated from the point, helping ease the trip across the river, in the first half of the 19th century.   But In January 1853, the Legislature incorporated the Bohemia Bridge Company, authorizing the enterprise to build a bridge over the waterway at or near the ferry.  This would enhance the value of a considerable portion of the property of the county, as well as be a convenience a large number of citizens.

At that time the county was paying an annual sum of eighty dollars to keep up the ferry and if the commissioners desired they could contribute that amount annually to help cover the cost of operating the toll bridge.  It took a number of years before the span was built, but in July 1867 David Palmer was awarded a contract for $20,700.  The bridge opened in November 1867

Hacks Point was always a choice spot so as automobiles roared into the 1920s, increasing mobility, the alluring point, an ideal place for fishing, bathing, and boating, found many Delaware residents seeking summer cottages here.  In July 1940, the Wilmington Sunday Star observed that the “place was mostly populated by people who want quiet and colonial back home refinement.”

An advertisement in the Sunday Star in 1940 said that the fine shaded beach and boating facilities made an ideal place to build or buy a summer cottage.  And it was “easily accessible to Wilmington. “

The gossipy social columns in newspapers were soon filled with seasonal news about vacationing on the Bohemia.  A group from the Norwood Methodist Church enjoyed camping at Hack’s Point in August 1933.  The trip was made by motor and boat, the Chester Times reported.

More developments were platted after World War II   Hacks Point Manor was recorded in September 1946.  An advertisement in the Sunday start noted that Hacks’ Point was “Wilmington’s newest summer vacationland.”   It had exceptionally fine water front homes with every modern convenience for part-time or year round use.  A cottage on the water was available from J. Reese Short, Cecilton ,for $8,500 and one just off the water could be hand for $6,400 in 1950.

This clean, restricted, highly desirable community offered a wide choice of fine locations, an excellent community beach, fine bathing, boating and fishing facilities, the newspaper continued.  Other developers submitted plans for Hack’s Point in July 1951 and August 1963.

Today this tiny Cecil County resort continues to thrive.

For additional images click here.

hacks point 017a

At the confluence of the Bohemia River and Scotchman Creek in Hack’s Point.

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