Site Supervisor Named

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has appointed Kaitlyn Dykes as the first site supervisor for Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site.

Ms. Dykes, currently lead interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, will bring a wealth of experience and new ideas to the job.

She stood out from a strong pool of candidates as “the best choice to lead Cooch’s Bridge through the transition from private property to HCA’s sixth public historic site,” an HCA spokesperson said.

“It is truly a new era,” said Vince Watchorn, president of the Friends of Cooch’s Bridge.

Ms. Dykes will report to her new job next month.

Friends Adopts New Logo

The Friends of Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site has unveiled its new logo.  The image will be featured on letterhead, promotional materials, and more.

The logo features the Christina River flowing under Cooch’s Bridge and the organization’s name, displayed in the same font as the old Cooch rail station sign.  The river is represented in a stylized version comprising three stripes, standing for the past, present, and future of the historic site.

“The river connects all the people who have lived, worked, fought, and died here—and connects the property to the local community and the region,” said executive committee member Elizabeth Homsey.

Advisory panel member Dr. Melva Ware added, “The river in our logo shows a stream from the past that helps provide our understanding of today.”

The board of directors was intentional in choosing the river and bridge as its icons.

“The river is the most lasting feature of the land,” said president Vince Watchorn.  

“It is the connector across time and space.  When our board talked about visual icons, the river stood out as something that encompassed all elements of the site. It gave sustenance to the indigenous people who occupied the space thousands of years ago, provided power to drive the industry that made the Cooch family prosperous in the 18th and 19th centuries, was the geographical obstacle that forced a Revolutionary War battle to occur here, and was worked and diverted by African Americans, enslaved and free, whose contributions are still visible today.” 

The logo nods to the Revolutionary War Battle of Cooch’s Bridge with its shape, which mimics a military medal ribbon. 

The visual design is a modernized woodblock style, evoking vintage art deco travel posters, and its colors make it unmistakably Delawarean. 

The bridge icon shows the arc and architectural features of the actual 1924 Cooch’s Bridge, whose predecessor was the focal point of the famous Revolutionary War battle fought on the site. The bridge is also central to the important transportation history to be explored at the site.

Watchorn added, “The river is always flowing, always moving forward, just like our group plans to be.” 

Historian Depicts the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge

Historian Kim Burdick has published a new article in the Journal of the American Revolution, the nation’s leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution.

Burdick provides an hourly account of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, the dustup that proved Washington wouldn’t give up the new nation’s capital unchallenged.

Friends of Cooch’s Bridge to make a splash on Giving Tuesday

November 30 marks Giving Tuesday, since 2012 the nonprofit world’s biggest online fundraising day of the year, and Friends of Cooch’s Bridge, the new group dedicated to preserving state-owned Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site, plans to get in on the action.

“We hope to make this year’s Giving Tuesday one for the history books,” says Friends’ president Vince Watchorn.

“As our very first foray into active fundraising, we’re aiming to make a splash—and ask followers to be generous and help us preserve a remarkable Delaware treasure.”

The heritage-rich Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site, owned and operated by the state through the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, is home to the state’s only Revolutionary War battle and the Cooch family’s historic industrial milling complex. It has been peopled by diverse populations throughout history, including Paleo-Indian populations; the Delaware Lenape tribe; Colonial-era farmers and industrialists; and African-American laborers and tradespeople, both enslaved and free.

Friends of Cooch’s Bridge acts as the property’s advocacy group.

In addition to the Friends’ operating costs, funds to restore the site’s buildings are needed—at least $1.7 million—to ready the site for public visits. The Friends will use social media on Giving Tuesday to begin spreading the word.

“Watch your social stream for our memes on November 30,” Watchorn says. “Share them with your friends to help us go viral and, by all means, be sure to visit our website and donate whatever you can. Every gift counts.”

To jump-start the one-day fundraiser, the group will enlist over 100 current supporters, relying on them to post memes on their favorite social platforms throughout the day.

“Our pool of supporters is small, but growing every day,” Watchorn says. “We hope by midnight on Giving Tuesday that it’s grown into a roaring river.”

In 2020, nearly 35 million Americans gave online during Giving Tuesday. Nonprofits raised almost $2.5 billion in one day.

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