National Register: Godwin School lands county council grant support

The Jacob Godwin School, a one-teacher schoolhouse near Millsboro, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

GEORGETOWN – Jacob Godwin School, a historic one-teacher schoolhouse near Millsboro, is now on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

At the request of the Millsboro Historical Society, Sussex County Council at its Aug. 14 meeting approved $5,000 in councilmatic funding for general maintenance and restoration of the schoolhouse.

Council members Rob Arlett and Samuel Wilson Jr. agreed to each ante up $2,500 from their respective councilmatic accounts to cover the historical society’s request.

The county’s grant covers 50 percent of the overall project funding.

Located on Godwin School Road at SR 20, the schoolhouse was built in the late 19th century. It was officially listed in the National Register on July 16, 2018.

The Millsboro Historical Society, which organized in 1985 preserving this historic building, worked under the direction of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office to prepare the National Register nomination.

The schoolhouse was built in 1897 on land owned by Jacob R. Godwin. It functioned as District #190 for several decades. However, as enrollment in rural one-teacher schools significantly dropped the Godwin School by the end of the 1935-36 school year was among the state’s 11 districts which closed and students previously attending the Godwin School were transferred to Millsboro School District #23.

An open house at the schoolhouse in 2017 attracted more than 200 visitors.

The school is open by appointment only. To make a reservation, call 934-6820.

Other council grants

At the Aug. 14 meeting, county council also approved the following grants:

  • Laurel American Legion Post 19’s request for $3,000 for the 6th Annual Veterans Day parade expenses; grant included $600 from each of the five council members;
  • Delaware State College Alumni Association’s request for $2,497 for the Delaware State University Marching Band’s performance in Rehoboth Beach; total from councilman George Cole’s account;
  • Just A Hand Up Community Navigation Association’s request for $554,45 for playground upgrade in Coverdale Crossroads Community; Mr. Wilson granted $500;
  • ITNSouthernDelawre Inc.’s request for 2,500 for transportation program expenses; total from Mr. Cole’s account.

“My understanding is they are going to start down on the coastal area with this kickoff of this program. I’d like to help,” said Mr. Cole, who welcomed support from council colleagues.

“As I understand this, it’s for advertising for this area,” said councilman Irwin “I.G.” Burton. “My assumption is we are going to soon see a grant (request) in my area.”

“I’m hoping this will be a successful program and if I can get the kickoff going pretty good we’ll do it,” said Mr. Cole.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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