During the past year there has been more than one occasion where I have read articles and have seen renderings of what the former NVF plant in Yorklyn will become. I think it is great what the State of Delaware can do with an old polluted site. Even the highly polluted Wilmington Waterfront was cleaned up and developed. In the articles about Yorklyn, we read how there will be public access the Red Clay Creek, the creation of walking and bike trails, storm water mitigation to go along with the history about the area and site. The connection to the Marshall Estate will also be a plus. We also read about the millions of dollars that will have to be pumped into this site to make this all happen.
Here at the lower end of The Red Clay Valley there is a very similar situation. What we have here is ~32 acres, in the flood plain, that runs ~ 1 mile along the Red Clay Creek. The stream runs through the property. About half of the site is forested. It also sits in the middle of one of the most highly congested areas in New Castle County. The site I am speaking of is the former Ametek site in Marshallton, DE. This was the site of c1765 Hersey Mill. It has been sitting vacant since flooding closed it in 2003. All but two of the most historic buildings have been razed. Now they sit waiting for decay and the wrecking ball. To me this a lot like the NVF site. Except it doesn’t have the connection to estates. What this site could do is help link three county parks that are along a three mile corridor stretching from Stanton / Kiamensi to Brandywine Springs, not to mention a connection to The Wilmington & Western Railroad and Greenbank Mill. Stanton also has a stretch of the W3R….. The Revolutionary War Route to Yorktown, VA., now a National Parks Service National Historical Trail. W&WR is in the process of erecting a new building that will house museum / meeting center / offices at its Marshallton facility. Walk ability studies are also being performed in the area. A new bridge with with added sidewalks is being constucted over the B&O rail line on Newport Road. Sidewalks and pedestrian lighting are being constucted on Duncan Road. These are on going projects in the area of the old Ametek site.
As not to confuse or run on my sentences I will bullet why I think the old Ametek site and it’s ~32 acres should be aquired:
- 30 acres of open space in a highly congested New Castle County area
- Much, much cheaper, through correspondence with Ametek, than the NVF site in Yorklyn.
- Would help provide flood mitigation for the Marshallton area and down stream through Stanton
- Approximately 1.0 miles of Red Clay Creek frontage
- Extends under Kirkwood Highway creating a walk from Stanton to Brandywine Springs without crossing any major highways.
- Historic site. Solomon Hersey Mill c1765
- Two historic buildings and bridges remain
- Original Mill Race remains
- General George Washington’s ~12,000 Troops encamped on the surrounding high ground on the east side of the Red Clay Creek in September 1777
- Its proximity to the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (the W3R)
- The French encamped along the W3R in Stanton on the return march from Yorktown in 1782
- Wilmington and Western Railroad runs along its eastern property line
- Site has property on both sides of the stream.
- Would help connect the three parks, not including The Wilmington & Western Railroad and Greenbank Mill, already along the three miles stream between rt4 (The W3R), to Brandywine Springs Park creating a corridor that holds many remnants of Delaware’s historical past
- Provide walking trails and parkland in an area that lacks good walkability
- It would help protect wildlife and preserve open space.