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

Mapping Growth

Wilbur T. Wilson (1856-1942), son of a Newark shopkeeper, was a civil engineer and town surveyor who was said to have known more about Newark property and real estate than any other resident. An extensive collection of his drawings and maps is housed in Special Collections, many of which are on display in this exhibition. Wilson's maps document Newark's growth and development at the turn of the twentieth century, such as in these two plans for "suburban home sites" along the outlying, rural stretch of Depot Road (present day South College Avenue).

This undated bank map shows James S. Martin's Deer Park Farm (with orchards) along with new properties and lots for sale on Depot Road (South College Avenue) and the south side of what is now West Park Place.

Map of Newark Trust & Safe Deposit Company's Suburban Home Sites, Newark Del. / by C.R.E. Lewis, circa 1910.
Wilbur T. Wilson map collection.
Gift of the estate of Wilbur T. Wilson

In 1916, Everett C. Johnson built the Press of Kells at the corner of Depot Road, where he published the Newark Post, cited on the map described here. The map also shows the W.F. Wilson property at the corner of Orchard Road (named for Dr. Thomas Manns's orchards), and lots designated for Samuel J. Wright and his son J. Pilling Wright, two of Newark's wealthiest citizens. J. Pilling Wright founded the Continental Fibre Company in 1905 and built his home on Kent Way in 1922. The J.P. Wright home was actually built on the lot shown on this map with his father's name; it is now the home of the University's president. Another brother, Ernest Wright, built his home across the street; it is now the University's Blue and Gold Club on Kent Way.

Property subdivisions from H.N. Cummings plan renewed by Francis A Price. Survey by H.N. Cummings, April 1922. Scale 1 inch equals 200 feet.
Wilbur T. Wilson map collection.
Gift of the estate of Wilbur T. Wilson

Featuring details of Fairview, Oakland Farm (not the Wilson mansion named "Oaklands"), and Dameron Farm, this map notes the population of Newark in 1928: 4,500. Also identified on the map are the Board of Education Colored School on New London Road, the city water tanks west of town (on today's Dallam Road), the centrality of the University's land holdings, and industrial sites to the east and north of town (Continental Fibre Company, National Vulcanized Fibre Company, and the Curtis Paper Mill).

Street and Road Map of Newark, Del., and Vicinity, 1928. Scale: 1 inch equals 1,000 feet.
Wilbur T. Wilson map collection.
Gift of the estate of Wilbur T. Wilson

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