Rosedale Beach Hotel

Community Histories

Jason's Beach and Rosedale Beach Hotel & Resort

Call for Community Histories, Photographs and Artifacts

The Delaware State Parks Cultural Resources Unit needs your help to locate historic photos, illustrations, stories or artifacts related to two separate sites in Sussex County, Delaware. As part of our ongoing commitment to stewardship of the places, peoples and histories of the State of Delaware, we are working to create educational displays and web-based resources focusing on Jason’s Beach and Rosedale Beach Hotel & Resort, two sites of particular significance to Delaware’s communities of color and the history of our state.

Materials submitted to this project will be included in our web-based resource and may be featured on educational displays at the site locations. Below is our submission form for photos, scanned documents, video or audio recordings. Have something to share which you can’t upload, or would like to speak to a project specialist? Please contact Martina Adams - for more information.

Submit your Histories, Photographs and Artifacts

Jason’s Beach

Trap Pond State Park, Laurel, DE

Named for William C. Jason, the second President of State College for Colored Students (now Delaware State University), Jason’s Beach was a recreation destination for people of color from the 1930s through the early 1970s. When Delaware State Parks acquired the land as part of Trap Pond State Park in 1951 Jason’s Beach remained an important fixture in the Black community of Sussex County. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 spurred integration and equal access to spaces, eventually leading to diminished use of Jason’s Beach as a separate place for people of color. Today, Jason’s Beach is known as Cypress Point.

Rosedale Beach Hotel & Resort

Millsboro, DE

Once the premier travel and entertainment destination, the Rosedale Beach Hotel & Resort in Millsboro hosted jazz and blues legends such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Thomas “Fats” Waller. Boasting a hotel, resort, boardwalk, beach picnic area and campground, Rosedale operated from the early 1900s to the 1970s. In the pre-integration era, there were very few locations along the east coast where Black Americans, Indigenous Americans, Moors and other people of color could go for entertainment or hotel accommodations. Because of this, people would travel far and wide to Rosedale for the opportunity to rest, recreate and enjoy time and occupy space safely. Once Delaware integrated its beaches, hotels and other recreation spaces, visitation and use of the hotel began to decline until it’s sale to Gull Point, Inc. in 1983.