Community Profile - Town of Middletown, Delaware

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Community Profile

 

Located just 24 miles south of Wilmington, and 24 miles north of the state’s capital in Dover, Middletown is part of Delaware's fastest growing county, New Castle County. As the town’s population continues to grow, so do area job opportunities, resulting in a lower-than-average unemployment rate. 

Founded in 1861, the name Middletown comes from the fact that it was once the mid-point of a cart road on the shortest route between the Atlantic Ocean to the Chesapeake Bay, prior to the construction of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. 

Middletown is a Council-Manager government with a Mayor elected every two years on the odd years and six Town Council members (three elected on even years and three elected on odd years). The annual election is held the first Monday in March. The Mayor appoints each councilmember to head a Town department. The Town departments include Police, Municipal Services (streets and parks) Electric, Water, Sewer, Meters, Maintenance, Billing, Finance, IT, Administration and Permits and Inspections. 

The Town is managed on a day-to-day basis with a Town Manager and a Public Works Director, appointed by the Mayor and Council.

Middletown takes pride in its rich history, and previously organized Middletown Main Street, Inc.  This is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to the successful revitalization of downtown Middletown. Middletown Main Street offers many opportunities throughout the year to join in arts and cultural events in the downtown area to visit and enjoy our quaint, interesting shopping destinations. Look for the summertime “Music on Main” events featuring live music. At Halloween, there’s Trick-or-Treat on Main Street. During the holidays, Main Street sponsors a tree lighting, Christmas Parade and “Small Business Saturday.”

Middletown has grown from its original one-square mile area to approximately 13, with a population just over 21,000.  The area abounds with all types of housing – starter homes, larger homes and homes filled with history. Many homes feature beautiful architecture created when the older homes were built by the peach barons in the 1800s. Because of the rapid growth in the past decade, many affluent housing developments have surrounded the town's center attracting many new, diverse families to relocate to the area. 

Education in Middletown is provided by the Appoquinimink School District, Delaware's fastest growing and #1 ranked school system. This district serves Middletown, and the nearby communities of Odessa, Townsend and Bear. In Appoquinimink, students, parents, educators, and the community share a common vision about high achievement, a fact which has helped our students earn one of the best academic records in the state.

Middletown’s newest high school, Appoquinimink High School, opened in fall 2008, joining Middletown High School. Both area high schools have recently revitalized their athletic facilities. Other great high school opportunities are available in the area with the newest New Castle County Vo-Tech District school, St. Georges Technical High School. There is also M.O.T. Charter High School.

The school district is now planning to expand the district in the Odessa area, with a campus feel, comprised of four new schools ranging from an early childhood center to high school.

There are several private schools and charter schools within and nearby the town's limits, including the prestigious St. Andrew's School, a boarding school for grades nine through twelve, known locally as the pristine setting for the movie “Dead Poets Society.” We are also home to M.O.T. Charter School and St. Anne’s Episcopal School.

The organization that has become the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce derived from a group of Middletown businessmen during the 1950's and 60's. The Chamber of Commerce was officially chartered in 1970with many of the former local business people as members.

The Middletown-Odessa-Townsend (M.O.T.) Rotary Club sponsored the formation of the Chamber of Commerce.  By-laws were written and a formal organization was formed with the purpose of the conducting public relations for the area, hoping to create a better atmosphere for current businesses and new ones moving in. 

Now with its own Executive Director, the Chamber continues to grow along with the Town and the surrounding area, giving all businesses the opportunity to network and learn success from one another.

Middletown is home of the Olde-Tyme Peach Festival, an annual tradition that attracts thousands (estimated 30,000) of visitors each third Saturday in August.  There are activities for children, a parade, a local artist exhibit, walking tours, historical exhibits, a peach pie contest, crafts, music, food, games, and of course, peaches.

The Mummer's Parade takes place not too far away in Philadelphia, but Middletown has its own version, the Hummer's Parade, held on New Year’s Day.  While the Mummer's has gotten more popular and prestigious, we keep ours strictly silly, encouraging folks to dress up and spoof the national, state and local news events.

Middletown features several parks, especially the newest attraction, the Charles Price Memorial Park at Levels Road, with a dog park for dogs large and small, and a six-acre catch-and-release fishing pond. Levels Park also boasts new walking trails and playgrounds.