Doe Bridge – History Meets Destiny – Part 5 of 5

Everyone who has accompanied me to the area is immediately struck with the natural beauty and serenity of the Doe Bridge Nature Preserve and the Doe Bridge Mill historical area.

But what about the Millsboro East Bypass?

Won’t the Doe Bridge Nature Preserve and the Doe Bridge Mill areas be affected?

Can these environmentally-sensitive and historically significant areas coexist alongside a highway bypass?

proposed-bypass-near-doe-bridge

Proposed Bypass Route Near Doe Bridge

If the last plans regarding the Millsboro East Red-Blue Bypass remain valid, the Doe Bridge Nature Preserve and the Doe Bridge Mill areas will not be directly affected. While they may be adjacent to some future roadway, it seems as though they should remain out of harm’s way.

As stated in the beginning, “my personal desire is to learn as much about the history of the Doe Bridge area as possible before nature or man takes that opportunity from us.” And that will continue to be my personal goal as the Doe Bridge Association matures.

Doe Bridge – Archaeology 101

On February 8th, three members of the Archaeology Society of Delaware (ASD) accompanied me to Doe Bridge Mill and the site of the Old Indian River Presbyterian Church where they noted several things. At the mill, there were structural remains of the mill foundation in the embankment and several other interesting surface features.

asd-members-visit-doe-bridge-area

ASD Members Visit Doe Bridge Area

The cemetery near the site of the old church yielded its secrets to their trained eyes as well, revealing evidence of more graves in the form of obscured headstone foundations and other surface anomalies. Preliminary estimates, based on findings in similar cemeteries, suggest that as many as thirty sets of remains may actually lie buried within that parcel.

With approval from all involved parties, non-destructive efforts could begin as soon as late spring by simply raking and removing surface debris, and by using ground-penetrating radar. The use of this technology will confirm the presence of any objects below grade, their shape, size, and depth.

A plot of the areas would be created based on surveys and accurate positioning of structures or other surface features could then be determined from the results of the archeological efforts. It may be possible to trace survey information back to the original land patents, in which case these efforts can have even greater historical relevance.

Doe Bridge Association Meeting

The next meeting of the Doe Bridge Association will be held on Sunday, March 4th at 1:30 PM, in the banquet room of the Millsboro Fire Company. Please check back for more details closer to the date.

Establishing and maintaining an open dialogue with the state agencies involved is very important at this time, as the bypass project quietly gains momentum and the demands of many concerned parties must be considered.  In order to be made aware of future developments, I feel that our group should request recognition as a concerned party.  Being involved and informed is an important part of the process, and it may be time for our group to form an organization, as the first step in this process.