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Cheswold is a town in Kent County in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is part of the Dover, Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,380 at the 2010 census.
The town was incorporated in 1856 following the construction of the Delaware Railroad. When the town was founded, the population consisted of Lenni Lenape, blacks, and whites, who were mainly Dutch and referred to as Moors. The town was home to a railroad station called Leipsic Station, named for the nearby town of Leipsic. The community became a shipping point for grain and fruit that was grown in the area. By 1860, the town had 35 homes, three general stores, a wheelwright, a brickyard, and a grain warehouse.
Prior to 1888, Cheswold was called Moorton after landowner James S. Moore. The town was also known as Leipsic Station after the railroad station. In 1888, a contest was held to rename the town, and Cheswold was chosen. Cheswold is a combination of "chess", from a large group of chestnut trees, and "wold", which stands for forest of trees.
Cheswold is the birthplace J. Caleb Boggs, who served as Governor of Delaware, three terms as U.S. Representative, and two terms as U.S. Senator. The town was home to the Cheswold Tigers, a minor league baseball team that existed from 1950 to 1960 and was known for a winning record. In the 21st century, Cheswold faced a period of financial issues but has seen its economy improve.
Cheswold is located at 39°13′09″N 75°35′09″W (39.2192786, -75.5857596).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), all of it land.
The Old Town area of Cheswold is located at the intersection of Main Street (Delaware Route 42) and Commerce Street west of the Delmarva Central Railroad tracks and serves as the oldest settled part of the town. Cheswold is made up of several residential communities, including Parkers Run, Strimmels Mobile Home Park, Fox Pointe Mobile Home Park, Blanton Mobile Home Park, Stonington, and Nobles Pond.
Cheswold has a post office for P.O. boxes with a ZIP code of 19936. However, the delivery of mail in Cheswold is handled by the Dover post office with a ZIP code of 19904. The Cheswold name may be used for mail delivered to addresses in town with the 19904 ZIP code.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cheswold has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 313 people, 116 households, and 80 families residing in the town. The population density was 729.8 people per square mile (281.0/km²). There were 122 housing units at an average density of 284.5 per square mile (109.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.57% White, 12.14% African American, 5.11% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 6.39% from other races, and 4.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.86% of the population.
There were 116 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 108.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,750, and the median income for a family was $32,045. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $22,083 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,588. About 18.8% of families and 25.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.7% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over.
Cheswold has a council-manager system of government with a six-person Town Council, which consists of a Mayor and Vice Mayor among the council members. Elections for the council are held every year, with three council seats up for election for two-year terms. After elections, the Town Council selects a Mayor, who then selects a Vice Mayor and Secretary/Treasurer. The Town Council holds meetings once a month. As of 2017, the Mayor is Robert W. Sine, the Vice Mayor is Larence Kirby, and the Secretary/Treasurer is Theon (Sam) Callender, while the remaining members of Town Council are Judith Johnson, Matthew Asigner, and a vacant seat. The town government also consists of a Planning Commission, Town Administrator, Town Clerk, Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer, and Maintenance Technician.
Police services in Cheswold is provided by the Cheswold Police Department, which consists of a Chief and two full-time officers. The Cheswold Police Department does not operate 24 hours a day, with the Delaware State Police handling calls when the town's police officers are off-duty. Fire protection in Cheswold is provided by the Cheswold Volunteer Fire Company-Station 43.
U.S. Route 13 runs north-south through the eastern part of Cheswold, heading north to Smyrna and Wilmington and south to Dover. Delaware Route 42 serves as the main east-west road through Cheswold, heading west to Kenton and east to Leipsic. The Delaware Route 1 toll road passes east of Cheswold but the nearest interchange is in Dover. DART First State provides bus service to Cheswold along Route 120, which heads south to Dover to connect to local bus routes serving the Dover area and north to Smyrna. The Delmarva Central Railroad's Delmarva Subdivision line passes north-south through Cheswold. Delaware Airpark, a general aviation airport, is located outside of Cheswold.
Water and sewer service in Cheswold is provided by Middlesex Water Company. Electricity in Cheswold is provided by Delmarva Power, a subsidiary of Exelon. Natural gas service to Cheswold is provided by Chesapeake Utilities. Trash and recycling in the town is provided by Republic Services, Waste Industries, Waste Management, and Burns and McBride. Cable and internet in Cheswold is provided by DirecTV, Xfinity, Dish Network, and Verizon.
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