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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Little Known Histories of Newark, 1758-2008

Natural Setting

The natural setting of Newark is within the White Clay Watershed and in the foothills of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont, just above the lower Atlantic coastal plain. The Fall Line of the Christina River and White Clay Creek (earlier known as Christine and Whitely) turns sharply east at Newark, toward the Delaware River, with enough force to have powered early grist and saw mills.

View of Newark, Seth Brace, 1842-1844.
[Color reproduction, 1985.]
Seth C. Brace collection.

Chestnut Hill and Iron Hill are the two highest points near Newark, sources for the jasper and chert that drew the Lenni Lenape to quarry high-grade stone and fashion tools on site. Irish miners came to Iron Hill for its ore, around the same time that Delaware College math instructor Seth Brace painted his watercolor view looking toward those hills south of Newark. Among the other natural resources exported from the area was kaolin, the valued white clay used for manufacture of fine ceramics.

Water from the White Clay Creek powered the earliest industries in Newark, has long been a part of recreational life, and nourishes the lush native flora of the region.

Souvenir birch canoe, early 1950s.
Delaware realia collection.

Phase I & II archaeological investigations of the Route 896 corridor, Route 4-West Chestnut Hill road to Summit Bridge approach, New Castle County, Delaware / by Jonathan C. Lothrop, Jay F. Custer, and Colleen De Santis. [Dover, Del.] : Division of Highways, 1987.

White Clay Creek brochure and list of native plants, 2006.

Souvenir birch canoe from Newark, Del., early 1950s. Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, residents Pierce and Dorothy Schug saved this small treasure from a visit to their daughter Winifrid and her husband, Ira Holloway, who moved to Newark in 1952.
Delawareana collection.
Gift of Ann Holloway

On the White Clay Creek [postcard], circa 1907.
Delaware Postcard collection.

On the White Clay Creek [postcard]. Published by P.M. Sherwood General Store, Newark, after 1907.
Delaware Postcard collection.

View in Newark from the high ground on the North side [color reproduction of an original watercolor, distributed by the Newark Historical Society in 1985] / by Seth Brace, between 1842 and 1844.
Seth C. Brace collection.
Gift of Mariam Hill

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