Fenwick Island is a town located in Sussex County, Delaware. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 342.
Fenwick Island, together with the towns of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, and South Bethany, comprises Delaware's beach resort area and is Sussex County's most densely-populated and fastest-growing area.
Fenwick Island and its neighbors to the north, Bethany Beach and South Bethany are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts". This is in contradistinction to the wild atmosphere of Dewey Beach and the cosmopolitan bustle of Rehoboth Beach. Fenwick Island, however, is somewhat less "quiet" than "the Bethanies" because it is immediately across the state line from Ocean City, Maryland, which has a well-deserved reputation as a wild place.
Named after Thomas Fenwick, a planter from England who settled in Maryland, Fenwick Island lay in the part of Delaware which was claimed by Lord Baltimore and his heirs during the Penn-Baltimore border dispute.
The town does not sit on an actual island, despite its name, but rather a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay.
Local legend has it that Cedar Island, in Little Assawoman Bay, was a spot for pirates to bury treasure. Regardless of the truth of the legend, the Delaware coastal area was well-known as a place for pirates to hide from the law.
The town was an unincorporated area between South Bethany and Ocean City, Maryland until July 1953, when the Delaware General Assembly passed an act to incorporate the town. Local sentiment demanded incorporation to prevent the relentless high-rise development of Ocean City from creeping north into Fenwick Island.
Web Sites and Links
At The Beach, Fenwick Island, DE GuideCommunity guide, featuring real estate, events, weather, lodging, dining, fishing, and amusements and entertainment.