The road from Glasgow to Newark was a major transportation route in the 16 and 17th centuries as it is today. Oriented north and south, the road crossed the New Castle and Frenchtown Turnpike in Glasgow, now Route 40 (Pulaski Highway) and the Christiana to
Elkton Turnpike, also known as Old Post Road (now Old Baltimore Pike) at Cooch’s Bridge. In Newark it split off and led its travelers to New London, PA, Nottingham, MD, or Wilmington, DE. It was not until 1938 that the road was straightened to bypass Cooch’s Bridge. The old route that traveled through Cooch’s Bridge remains to this day and is called Old Cooch’s Bridge Road. With the building of I-95 in 1963 the section of road from Old Baltimore Pike to I-95was permanently closed. The closed section of road has been nearly untouched for the past sixty years and contains three historic bridges and the remains of long forgotten cable guardrails. It parallels the feeder for Dayett Mills, crosses the southern end of Purgatory Swamp and passes the area that once was the house of Governor Keith. At the North side of I-95 the road remains open and again enters at Welsh Tract Road.
During the Revolutionary War battle at Cooch’s Bridge, September 3, 1777, the road was used by both sides to go from Aiken’s Tavern (Glasgow) north to Newark, on their way to Brandywine. It was an ideal area for the Americans to harass the British as was outlined in a letter from George Washington to Brigadier General Rodney dated August 31, 1777.
Washington had no intention of engaging in a major battle with the British in Delaware, he only wanted to hinder their advance. His order, in part, read:
When assembled, they are to cooperate more immediately with the militia from the eastern shore of Maryland in watching the motions of the enemy and taking every opportunity of harassing them by alarming them frequently with light parties, beating up their pickets and intercepting as often as it can be done, whatever parties they may send out to procure supplies for forage, horses, cattle, provisions and necessaries of every kind; which will equally serve to distress them and shelter the inhabitants from their depredation, and ought, therefore, be an objects of your special care.