History of Smyrna

Smyrna got its start in the early 1700s as a small settlement was established on the southern bank of the Duck Creek.  By 1716, the village was named Salisbury, even though locally everyone referred to it as “Duck Creek.”  Given its prime location, Duck Creek became a thriving community of merchant vessels.  Shipping grain, lumber, peaches and fertilizer, along with shipbuilding, dominated the local economy.  Two main thoroughfares formed what was then called Duck Creek Crossroads, now referred to as Four Corners.

As it grew, Smyrna also played an important role in the early history of both Delaware and the United States.  From 1772 until the Federal Constitution was written, Belmont Hall in Smyrna saw many important Delawareans like Caesar Rodney, Allen McLane, John Dickinson and Thomas McKean.   In 1776, Belmont Hall became the first meeting place of the Delaware Assembly.

In 1806, the Delaware Assembly changed “Duck Creek” to “Smyrna. “  The town’s original boundaries were a quarter of a mile in each direction from Four Corners.  Almost 50 years later, the town limits extended another quarter of a mile in each direction, making the town approximately one square mile in size.

Today, Smyrna is more than three times its original size, and is one of Delaware’s fastest growing municipalities!  Home to a thriving downtown with a strong commitment to preservation, Smyrna is now home to more than 11,000 people.