From the earliest days of rail construction in this country, the advantages of linking the Delmarva Peninsula to the expanding urban markets of the nation were obvious. In 1836 the General Assembly chartered the Delaware Railroad for the purpose of building a line from a junction with the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad in the north to the southern border of the state. After a long delay due to poor economic conditions, construction commenced in 1854. On December 11, 1856, a large crowd gathered here for the formal opening of the line to the banks of the Nanticoke River. With connections via the river to the Chesapeake Bay, and links to trade with the South, the tiny village of Seaford experienced a period of unprecedented growth and expansion. Tracks were extended to the state line in 1859, and in 1884 the dream of uniting Delaware with the peninsular portions of Maryland and Virginia was realized when the rails finally reached the shores of Cape Charles, Virginia. For many years to come, the railroad would bring economic prosperity to Seaford and the surrounding region.