Trap Pond State Park’s Jason Beach Receives Historical Designation

Jason Beach has been dedicated as a historic site at Trap Pond State Park.
The area became a recreation destination for the Black community in the mid-1900s, and a beach was named after Dr. William Jason, the second and longest-serving president of Delaware State University. After the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Jason Beach was no longer an area for segregated recreation and entertainment and became known as Cypress Point.
Governor John Carney, Natural Resources Secretary Shawn Garvin, local elected officials and some area students gathered on the Juneteenth holiday for the unveiling of a Delaware Public Archives historical marker.
“We are here to recognize the community who has cherished this land for nearly a century, declare Jason Beach as a historic site and return it to its rightful name. We felt Juneteenth was a good time to honor Jason Beach, its history and its future,”, Carney said. “On Juneteenth, we recommit to having a better understanding of our history in our state and our nation. I encourage all Delawareans to explore more about Juneteenth in Delaware today.” 

Representative Tim Dukes, R-Laurel contributed $2,575 for the fabrication and installation of the Division of Public Archives Jason Beach Historical Marker. DNREC Park and Recreation completed $70,000 in renovations to Jason Beach facilities.

“The history of Jason Beach needs to be preserved and told, and that has been the aim of DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation team for quite some time,” Garvin said. “The ceremony to re-dedicate this area is the result of a large collaborative effort, including members of the community with personal connections to Jason Beach along with DNREC staff and volunteers who spent countless hours of research work to give the history of this special place the recognition it deserves.” 

Two Sussex Central High School 2022 graduates, Kianna Kelley and Jaden Burton, spoke about what the Jason Beach historic site means for their generation. They are MERIT students, under a program founded by John Hollis in 1974 with DuPont for students with high potential from groups such as minorities and women who tend to be underrepresented in the areas of science, mathematics and engineering.