Future Coastal Towns Museum to be featured on house tour

Date Published: 
Sept. 1, 2017

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Evans West house, built around 1901, is the future home of the Coastal Towns Museum in Ocean View and will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Evans West house, built around 1901, is the future home of the Coastal Towns Museum in Ocean View and will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.As the century turned toward 1900, Ocean View newlywed Mary West Evans was given a piece of land on the corner of West and Oakwood Avenues by her father, Captain George H. West, who lived across the field (now a town park) in the Tunnell-West House, which was built circa 1850.

Mary West Evans and her husband, James Evans, a surfman at the Fenwick Island Lifesaving Station, built the stately gothic house, featuring pointed windows, angular roofline and corbels on the porch. It will be among the historic homes in the area featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The State of Delaware’s historic preservationists have dubbed the home “The Downton Abbey of Ocean View” because of its classic Victorian style, masterful woodworking, etched glass window on the original front door and other marvelously preserved features.

In addition to the two-story house, tourgoers will be able to peer through one of the oldest barns in Sussex County and the original woodhouse. An outhouse, a chicken house, water pump and fenced area for the family horse and cow, no longer present, were standard features of early Ocean View homesteads.

Captain West’s wedding gift of land to his daughter Mary was one he also made to his other seven children, which is why today there are a plethora of old Ocean View homes on land that was once the West family farm.

Limited tickets for the Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are on sale at the Ellen Rice Gallery on Route 26 in Ocean View, at Made By Hand on Route 1 in South Bethany and online at www.ovhistoricalsociety.org. Tickets cost $20 for OVHS members or $30 for non-members. Proceeds will benefit the evolving Coastal Towns Museum and Hall’s Store Visitor & Education Center.