Ocean View, Delaware
Ocean View, Delaware
—  Town  —
Location of Ocean View, Delaware
Coordinates: 38°32′27″N 75°5′49″W / 38.54083°N 75.09694°W / 38.54083; -75.09694Coordinates: 38°32′27″N 75°5′49″W / 38.54083°N 75.09694°W / 38.54083; -75.09694
Country United States
State Delaware
County Sussex
 – Total 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 – Land 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 13 ft (4 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 1,882
 – Density 941/sq mi (355.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19970
Area code(s) 302
FIPS code 10-53920
GNIS feature ID 0214403

Ocean View is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, in the United States. The population was 1,882 at the 2010 census, an increase of 87.1% over the previous decade.[1] It is part of the Seaford Micropolitan Statistical Area and lies in Baltimore Hundred.

Ocean View is fast becoming a bedroom community for the neighboring summer resort of Bethany Beach.



Ocean View is located at 38°32′27″N 75°5′49″W / 38.54083°N 75.09694°W / 38.54083; -75.09694 (38.540751, -75.096840)[2]. It lies 1 mile (2 km) west of the Atlantic Ocean and 1 mile (2 km) south of Indian River Bay. The Assawoman Canal borders Ocean View on the east and northeast, and Bethany Beach has a short contiguous border with it on the east. On the northwest and west, White's Creek borders the town, and Millville is contiguous with Ocean View on the west. On the south, Ocean View borders unincorporated portions of Sussex County.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2),[4] all of it land.

Ocean View contains three churches, a school, and a town park.[5]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1940 406
1950 450 10.8%
1960 422 −6.2%
1970 411 −2.6%
1980 495 20.4%
1990 606 22.4%
2000 1,006 66.0%
2010 1,882 87.1%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,006 people, 458 households, and 321 families residing in the town. The population density was 495.0 people per square mile (191.3/km²). There were 751 housing units at an average density of 369.6 per square mile (142.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.42% White, 1.09% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.50% Asian, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.

There were 458 households out of which 19.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.61.

In the town the population was spread out with 16.0% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 27.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $47,500, and the median income for a family was $52,125. Males had a median income of $37,614 versus $31,333 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,188. About 1.5% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.


Ocean View has a council-manager form of government. It is governed by mayor and a four-person town council. The town charter of April 1, 2003, lays out the structure of the town's government.

Elected officials

The mayor presides over town council meetings and represents the town during emergencies and at ceremonial events, but otherwise has no policymaking powers or administrative responsibilities. The mayor is considered equal in powers and duties to each of the council members. The mayor is elected by a plurality of all registered town voters to a three-year term of office and may serve an unlimited number of terms during his or her lifetime, but may serve no more than two consecutive terms as mayor. After leaving office, a former mayor must wait at least one year before being eligible to seek another term as mayor. However, an outgoing mayor may run for a town council seat immediately upon leaving office as mayor. Anyone 18 years of age or older who is registered to vote in Ocean View may run for mayor provided he or she has lived in Ocean View for at least two years prior to the date of the election.

The four town council members are each elected by a plurality of all registered town voters to three-year terms of office. The town is divided into four electoral districts, one for each council member's seat, which are redrawn every ten years based upon U.S. Census results as well as when town boundaries change. Although elected by a plurality of the entire town's voters, each council member must reside in the district he or she represents. The terms of the council members are staggered so that at least one council member's seat is up for election every year. Like the mayor, each council member may serve an unlimited number of terms on the council during his or her lifetime, but no more than two terms consecutively, and must wait at least one year after leaving office before being eligible to run for another term on the council. However, a council member may run for mayor immediately upon leaving office as a council member. Anyone 18 years of age or older who is registered to vote in Ocean View may run for the town council provided he or she has lived in Ocean View for at least one year prior to the date of the election.

Elections take place every year on the second Saturday in April. Elected candidates take office seven days after the election.

Gordon Wood is currently the town's mayor; he took over for former mayor Gary Meredith, who reached his term limit, in the June 2008 election. Other council members include Perry Mitchell, Dr. Richard Nippes, Robert Lawless, and Bill Wichmann.

Government operations

A town manager oversees day-to-day town operations. He or she is assisted by three department heads: the Administratuve Official/Director of Public Works, the Director of Finance, and the Chief of Police.

The Ocean View Police Department polices the town. Ocean View has no fire department of its own, instead relying on the services of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company in neighboring Millville.

The town manager is Dr. Conway Gregory and the police department is led by Chief Ken McLaughlin.


The origins of Ocean View date to 1688, when a 500-acre (200 ha) tract of land was given to Matthew Scarborough by Lord Baltimore.[7] The land became known as Middlesex Plantation. After Scarborough died, the land passed into the hands of the Hazzard family.[8]

The Hall family eventually came into possession of the land. W. S. Hall opened a general store on his farm there shortly after 1800. A village known as Hall's Store—the future Ocean View—soon sprang up around the store, and for this reason the Hall family are considered the founders of Ocean View. In 1822 a post office was established in Hall's Store.[7]

Legend has it that a young man climbed a tree in the area and saw the Atlantic Ocean, hence the name Ocean View. At any rate, after the American Civil War (1861–1865) people began to take an interest in visiting the Atlantic beaches to the east of Hall's Store and it was discovered that the Atlantic Ocean was visible from the second story of some buildings in the village; because of this, Hall's Store was renamed Ocean View.[9]

Ocean View was incorporated on April 13, 1889, and held its first town council meeting on April 20, 1889.[8]

In 1923, Ocean View became the birthplace of the commercial broiler industry when Mrs. Cecilie Long Steele raised the first commercial flock of broiler-fryer chickens there. Although Ocean View itself is no longer involved in the raising of chickens, the industry went on to become Delaware's most important agricultural activity.[9]


  1. ^ http://www.stateplanning.delaware.gov/census_data_center/
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ ADC Map Book Sussex County, Delaware, 1st Edition, pp. 34, 35, 46, and 47.
  4. ^ Meehan, p. 167, states that the town covers 4.5 square miles (12 km2)
  5. ^ Meehan, p. 167.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ a b Meehan, p. 137.
  8. ^ a b Ocean View, Delaware, official Website: Town History
  9. ^ a b Meehan, p. 137, and Ocean View, Delaware, official Website: Town History


  • Town of Ocean View, Delaware, official website
  • ADC Street Map Book Sussex County, Delaware, 1st Edition. Alexandria Drafting Company: Alexandria, Virginia, 2005.
  • Meehan, James D. Bethany Beach Memoirs...A Long Look Back. Harold E. Dukes, Jr.: Bethany Beach, Delawate, 1998. ISBN 98-71371.

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