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The area that is now home to the communities of Showfield and Olde Town at Lewes, DE was originally a stunning farm known as Bay Manor Farm. The two neighborhoods, separated by the 16 acre pond were originally owned by Otis H. Smith and Hazell M. Smith. The neighborhood of Olde Town plans to keep the spirit of the farm alive by incorporating the class, elegance and architecture of the historical property into the community.
Mr. Smith was a prominent figure in the local community, serving as the mayor of Lewes for 18 years. His business, Fish Company Products of Delaware, was known nationally, and the operation was the largest of its kind in the world at that time. In the 1960’s, Time magazine did a feature on the enterprise and credited Smith with bringing the fishing industry to the forefront of Lewes. In his spare time, Mr. Smith bred Herefordshire horses for show.
Mrs. Smith was also actively involved in the community. In her later years, she came to be known by many as the local Lewes historian. Prior to that, Mrs. Smith was involved in harness racing for several decades.
The couple’s original homestead still stands today on Gills Neck Road and has long been a Lewes landmark.
Mr. Smith had two barns on the property. On one side of the farm, there was a barn to house his prize bulls. Then in 1952, on the opposite side of the property, another barn was built to house Mrs. Smith’s standardbred harness racing horses.
Annually, the couple would host a horse show to benefit St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, The Children’s Bureau, and The Lion’s Club. The farm field where the horse show was held is now part of the community of Showfield. The name “show field” was chosen in honor of the traditional show held on the farm. Street names within the Showfield neighborhood reflect the heritage of Bay Manor Farm, and our new community of Olde Town at Lewes, DE plans to follow suit.
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