A walk through time

One of the more familiar Bethany Beach landmarks through the years has been the Addy Sea (the name of the original Addy summer cottage).This stately home on the Northern edge of town was built in 1901 by Mr. John Matthew Addy, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania plumbing supplier and the patriarch of the Addy family. It was built as a family home and remained that way until 1935 when it became a boarding house. The house was a show place, not only for its location and stateliness, but for the modern conveniences it offered the early guests like bathrooms, indoor plumbing and carbide lamps which were all shipped by railroad from Pittsburgh to Rehoboth Beach and then barged to Bethany Beach via the inland canal system. Mr. Addy drilled through solid bed rock to provide the home and others in the area with fresh, pure well water. The Addy Sea was a great success as a boarding house and with the plethora of local fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, breakfast and dinner were events to be savored. Following the storm of 1927, the house was moved back from the sea and the old foundations were left on the beach. They became an ideal gathering place for beach parties where fires could be built and hot dogs and marshmallows toasted. Over time the sands covered the old foundations. Over the next 70 years, the Addy Sea, outbuildings and properties passed on to the children and grandchildren of John and Jennie Addy. It continued to be run as a boarding house by Edward and Martha Jean Addy until it was sold to Mr. Leroy Gravatte in 1974.

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Addy Sea 1942 photo donated by the Dale Harman family. Photo shows the Addy Sea with Harman’s great-grandmother (far right) and 2 friends.

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A postcard postmarked August 22, 1962. Addy Sea in the background. Donated by the Dale Harman Family.