New Castle’s Goodwill Connection to Boston More than 200 Years Old

The citizens of New Castle and Boston share a history of helping each other.

Organizers and contributors included (front,  from left) Brenda J. Gardner, Florence Davis and Jim  Travers (back row, from left) Tom Clayton and Donald Reese


Many good folks in Delaware and around the country sent money to aid the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. But one such group boasts a history of swapping good deeds with the city of Boston. That history goes back more than 200 years.

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Last May, a committee led by New Castle Mayor Donald Reese collected more than $5,000 from residents, including the local volunteer fire company and New Castle Presbyterian Church. The New Castle Goodwill to Boston Fund promptly sent a check to The One Fund Boston, a clearinghouse for donations for the Boston victims and their families.

Reese and many residents are well aware of the giving relationship between the two cities. During the British blockade of Boston in 1774, residents of New Castle took up a collection to help their counterparts endure the hardship.

“They couldn’t get any goods in, especially tea, except on the black market,” Reese says. “We sent up to Boston the sum of money that would help them go around the black market.”

In 1824 a fire destroyed half the homes along what is now known as The Strand, in New Castle. Residents of Boston sent money to help the folks displaced by the fire. Additional money went toward the purchase of a fire engine.

“They sent a good sum of money, more than we sent them,” Reese says. “We spent $3,400 on a fire engine that was named ‘Good Will’ for the relationship between Boston and New Castle.”

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The name of New Castle’s fire department? It’s Good Will Fire Company, of course.

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