“It’s so important to capture those memories:” Jason Beach newest historic site in Delaware
LAUREL, Del. – The grounds of Jason Beach will now be considered a landmark in the first state, as a Delaware Division of Public Archives historical marker now makes the area a new historic site.
“Throughout Delaware, you’re starting to see these significant locations being memorialized. Whether it be markers, waysides, or having conversations. It’s so important to capture those memories,” Coordinator of Delaware Historical Markers Program Taylor Reynolds said.
“It’s really important that we understand and celebrate the good and understand the bad so we can move forward together,” Delaware Governor John Carney said.
Monday’s marker dedication highlighted the recreational destination’s popularity dating back to the 1930’s and was named after William C. Jason. Jason was the second President of the State College for Colored Students, now known as Delaware State University.
“There was the Jason Beach side that was opened to folks of color and there was headquarters beach which is on the other side open for whites only. There wasn’t a sign posted or anything like that but it was an accepted practice,” Director of Delaware State Parks Ray Bivens said.
“It was kind of a congregation area for the local African Americans within the Laurel community. There were religious revivals, there was a jukebox. They would have parties and family reunions,” Reynolds said.
Attendees also got the chance to hear first hand accounts, including one from Kianna Kelly who’s a direct descendent of the areas namesake.
Kelly shared stories of many generations in her family including her uncle. “He called Jason Beach the spot, like THE hangout spot because people came from Norfolk Virginia or even Wilmington and would come here to hangout and fellowship together and congregate together,” Kelly said.
The beach has been known as Cypress Point since the 1960’s, but park personnel say this rededication and new marker brings history back to the forefront. “But why is it called Jason’s Beach? And that’s the inquisitive question that kicks us off and is going to be great for people to learn more about our history,” Bivens said.
Now the history of the area doesn’t stop there and to find out more click here