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Slaughter Beach

Slaughter Beach

There are at least three stories of where the town's name came from: The first is that it was named after William Slaughter, a local postmaster in the mid-19th century.  The second story claims “the name came from the horseshoe crabs that wash up on shore and die each year.  They come near shore to shallow water to lay their eggs and the low tide strands them leaving them to die, thus the "slaughter."  The third story, and the most contested, stems from a local legend which tells of a man named Brabant who, in the mid-1700s, "slaughtered" several indigenous inhabitants by cannon in order to prevent an impending massacre.

Slaughter Beach was home to the only wooden frame lighthouse still standing in Delaware, the Mispillion Lighthouse. The lighthouse, which overlooked the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek, was established in 1831 with a 65 foot tower. The lighthouse was on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2002 the lighthouse was partially destroyed when it was hit by lightning. The lighthouse was later purchased privately, transported down the bay via barge, and incorporated into a private residence in the town of Lewes.
 
Slaughter Beach offers to its visitors the Milford Neck Wildlife Area.  Tourists are attracted to this area for bird watching as many birds stop over to eat the eggs of horseshoe crabs as they lay their eggs on the beaches. Along with Broadkill and Pickering beaches, this area is officially designated as a horseshoe crab sanctuary. Because Slaughter Beach is such an important area for the continued survival of horseshoe crabs and the migrating birds that depend on their eggs, the town has adopted the horseshoe crab as its official town symbol.

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