History of Rehoboth: Visiting the Anna Hazzard Museum

Rehoboth is an interesting vacation destination for the entire family to enjoy. You’ll have plenty of fun in the sun on the beaches, and you can stop into any of the local restaurants for some incredible food. Nature lovers will enjoy strolling down the shores and watching the wildlife, while shoppers can pick out the perfect souvenir. History buffs do particularly well in Rehoboth, and the best place to learn about the area is at the Anna Hazzard Museum. This destination is just minutes away from our Rehoboth Beach vacation rentals and offers a unique look into this area.

Anna Hazzard Museum in Rehoboth, DE

Rehoboth History

The Anna Hazzard Museum is the perfect encapsulation of Delaware history.  Anna Hazzard, the namesake of the museum, was a woman’s pioneer. She was secretary of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the first woman to receive a real estate broker’s license in Delaware, and president of the Rehoboth Art League. She lived to be 90 years old and forever changed the history in Rehoboth.

While today’s Rehoboth is full of shopping and tall condos, the origins of the area date back to the late 1800s when you would find tent houses along the streets and lighthouses on the shores. In 1872, Reverend Robert W. Todd came to the Rehoboth area and created the Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association the following year, founding the town. 

Camp Meetings of the 1890s

Rehoboth was founded as a site for camp meetings. These religious gatherings, vital to the Second Great Awakening, were held by various sects of Christianity and brought together believers that typically lived too far from town to see a regular preacher. There were small wooden structures on the grounds known as tents placed along Rehoboth Avenue, running all the way from the railroad eastward toward Baltimore Avenue. The Anna Hazzard House was moved from where it originally sat and was placed at 17 Christian Street, where it sits today. It has since been renovated but is still an incredible demonstration of early American life.

Rehoboth Life in the Late 19th Century

The 19th century saw lots of growth in the Rehoboth area. Rehoboth Beach’s first boardwalk was constructed in 1873, and the Junction and Breakwater Railroad came to town in 1878. This railroad was instrumental in solidifying the city as a tourist destination, bringing brand new crowds to the shores. 

At the museum, you’ll find exhibits about early camp life and general history of the area, as well as photographs from the time period. The museum also hosts rotating exhibits and lectures throughout the year, so be sure to contact them and see what will be happening while you’re in town. 

The Anna Hazzard museum has been in operation for more than 35 years and is a small local business that draws visitors from far and wide. Visiting in the summer will grant you more time to stroll through the historical artifacts and take part in a tour. During the offseason, staffing is limited and hours are shorter, but it is still worth a trip nonetheless. 

After a long day exploring the area, come back to one of our Rehoboth Beach oceanfront rentals to wind down and enjoy some quality time with your family. Take in the view of the water with a glass of wine, or curl up with your loved ones for a movie night. Whatever the day brings, your rental will welcome you back each evening and will provide the perfect oasis for you and your family.