RM1031 Rare, early 20th Century Rehoboth Beach Delaware Boardwalk Bulletin Board / Trade Sign from the Village Improvement Association (often referred to as VIA). The VIA was created in 1909 by a group of women who decided there were needs not being addressed in the town of Rehoboth. (The following is an excerpt from the History of the VIA website: “Imagine if you will 1909 – 1919. There were no sidewalks, curbs, sanitation system, running water, streetlights, traffic patterns, libraries, pediatric care, seating on the boardwalk. Imagine a woman walking into the Atlantic Ocean with a one-piece wool bathing suit that would soon weigh at least thirty pounds when wet and trying desperately to return back to land. The VIA devoted their time and raised funds to correct all that including installing a life lines marked “VIA” from floats to the shore to help women weighed down by their bathing suits escape the surf. One of the floats can still be seen today in the Rehoboth Museum....”)
The group is still in existence today. This is an amazing piece of early Delaware advertising history! The sign retains the original black paint with hand done lettering in original white paint on pine wood. The molding around this bulletin board is an impressive 2 3/4” deep – the tombstone-style arched top being created with meticulously spaced relief cuts along the length of the top molding on both front and back. Measurements: 28” tall x 17” wide x 2 3/4” deep.