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Ellendale is a town in Sussex County , Delaware , United States . The estimated population was 344 for the 2005 census. Ellendale is the "Gateway to Delaware's Resort Beaches" because it is the city located on U.S. Highway 113 , the resort area's western most border, and Delaware Route 16 , the resort area's northern most border with the eastern border being the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean and the southern border being the state line with Maryland. Founded in the early 1800s and incorporated in 1905, it was first settled near the Morris Tavern Crossroads, near the current U.S. 113 and DE 16 intersection, by a handful of families. The city is named after the daughter of Whig Republican Alfred Short, a state legislator. Ellendale's current site was established in 1866 when the families moved east to settle around the Junction and Breakwater Railroad Depot. The north-south rail line is still in operation today as a freight line, operated by Norfolk Southern and known as the Norfolk Southern Indian River Secondary , although passenger operations have ceased. This secondary is designated as the area running from Harrington, Delaware south to the NRG Energy power plant. The main freight hauled on the track is coal for the NRG power plant located near Millsboro, Delaware . Other freight includes a mix of fertilizer, grain, paper, food products, chemicals, and stone. The Delaware Coast Line Railroad also operates a rail line in Ellendale, the Milton Branch of the former Queen Anne's Railroad , which leaves the Norfolk Southern Indian River Secondary at Willow Street and heads east to Milton, Delaware . This line is 6.8 miles from interchange to endpoint, and is currently used to store covered hoppers for Perdue and for other railcar owners. Plans are currently underway for this line to reopen with more operations to a propane tank farm being constructed in Milton.
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