Slaughter Beach, Delaware

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Slaughter Beach is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. The population was 198 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Seaford, Delaware Micropolitan Statistical Area. Slaughter Beach was founded in 1681 and incorporated in 1931. There are at least two stories of where the town's name came from: The first is that it was named after William Slaughter, a local postmaster in the mid-19th century. The second story claims “the name came from the horseshoe crabs that wash up on shore and die each year. They come near shore to shallow water to lay their eggs and the low tide strands them leaving them to die, thus the "slaughter."

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Mispillion Lighthouse

Slaughter Beach was home to the only wooden frame lighthouse still standing in Delaware, the Mispillion Lighthouse. The lighthouse, which overlooked the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek, was established in 1831 with a 65 foot tower. The lighthouse was on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2002 the lighthouse was partially destroyed when it was hit by lightning. The lighthouse was later purchased privately, transported down the bay via barge, and incorporated into a private residence in the town of Lewes.

Wildlife

Slaughter Beach is also home to the Milford Neck Wildlife Area. Tourists are attracted to this area for bird watching as many birds stop over to eat the eggs of horseshoe crabs as they lay their eggs on the beaches. Along with Broadkill and Pickering beaches, this area is officially designated as a horseshoe crab sanctuary. Because Slaughter Beach is such an important area for the continued survival of horseshoe crabs and the migrating birds that depend on their eggs, the town has adopted the horseshoe crab as its official town symbol.

Geography

Slaughter Beach is located at 38°55′3″N 75°18′29″W / 38.9175°N 75.30806°W / 38.9175; -75.30806 (38.917600, -75.308100)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.5 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 198 people, 108 households, and 64 families residing in the town. The population density was 147.9 people per square mile (57.1/km²). There were 253 housing units at an average density of 189.0/sq mi (72.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.49% White, and 0.51% from two or more races.

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