Saving a piece of the past

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Morning all,

It is hard to predict which story will generate a sizable number of page views during a busy weekend.

It was no surprise that the news of the owner of Newark’s Outlandish Food Truck opening a restaurant at the former David Finney Inn drew eyeballs. Dining stories are always popular.

The state ’s purchase of the Cooch home off Old Baltimore Pike was different.

It was a little surprising that the state’s purchase of the remarkable home (the money actually came from private sources) drew a strong response from our readers. (See story below).

The property was the scene of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge,  a holding action of sorts during the Revolutionary War that occurred when British troops landed near Elkton and marched toward Philadelphia.

General  Cornwallis reportedly occupied the Cooch house for a few days.  Years later, he surrendered after his troops were encircled by American forces  and the French fleet at Yorktown, VA.

It is remarkable that the Cooch home remained in the family before and after that brush with history. It has not been occupied since the 2010 death of prominent Delaware lawyer Ned Cooch. Cooch was a student of history and took pride in preserving the family legacy.

Over the decades a lot of development has taken place in the battlefield area that may have extended from  Old Baltimore Pike to Route 40.

A planned interchange a short distance away on Routes 896 and 40 could include archeological work that might find some evidence of the battle.

One enduring mystery is the final resting place for a few dozen  American and perhaps British and Hessian troops who are believed to have died in the battle. High and low-tech exploration at the Cooch property could provide some clues.

To the north,  the battle continues over Toll Brothers’ plans to build homes at an area believed to have been part of the Battle of the Brandywine in the Chadds Ford-Concordville area.  British forces marched north from Delaware,  defeated George Washington’s troops and went on to occupy Philadelphia.

Preservationists have won some battles in that area and key properties have been acquired on that sacred ground.

Delaware, meanwhile,  has now done its part in preserving a piece of its heritage that could have slipped away.

Enjoy your Monday and check out the story links below. Finally, if this newsletter was passed along and you like what you have read, sign up here  to get your own copy free of charge. If you have any comments or news tips, simply hit return on this newsletter and let me know.  – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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