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Middletown Life

Odessa’s magical place of history, matrimony and happiness

Apr 21, 2022 03:32PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Moonloop Photography
Text by Richard L. Gaw

Can we count the times when our footsteps have traced the same paths of our history, in such a way that has not only transported us back to another time but heightened the moments we have walked through it?

There is such a place of emotions and delights -- where imagination meets nature and our nation’s past collides with new beginnings – and it invites you to take your own steps through it.


Thanks to the dedication and vision of individuals and organizations, generations of Middletown, Odessa and Townsend families have strolled the 72-acre grounds of the Historic Odessa Foundation that include the Colonial Revival Secret Garden adjacent to the Corbit-Sharp House, where they are swept up in the beauty of the heirloom plants and the soft breezes that come from the Appoquinimink River.

They have delighted in celebrating the holidays there, when the Foundation opens its historic houses and transforms them into scenes from classic books and fairy tales. They have delighted in the spectacular visuals of the Storybook Trees exhibit, spent countless hours in conversation with local artists who have celebrated their work at shows at the Bank, walked side-by-side with historic reenactors and sipped artisan brews, malts and mead at the annual Historic Odessa Brewfest.


It is also a magical place where dreams begin.

Set in the storybook of American history, the grounds of the Historic Odessa Foundation provide a landscaped backdrop for weddings. For the past several years, brides and grooms have shared their promises beside restored 18th and 19th-century homes and gardens, tilted champagne flutes on the patio of the Corbit-Sharp House, and posed for moonlight photographs against the rustic Fieldstone Stable.

In many ways, the mission of the Historic Odessa Foundation is more than just preserving our past, but also celebrating it, and for those on the receiving side of their efforts, we get to walk through history, and celebrate those heightened moments, together.

Historic Odessa is now open for Spring tours. For a complete list of all events and activities, visit the Historic Odessa Foundation’s website at

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