Thursday, November 11, 2010

Airport Opens 1943

In October 1940, the Civil Aeronautics Administration decided an airport in the Salisbury area should be part of the national defense plan. On November 25, 1941 seven farms containing 695 acres were purchased (for $41,452) near Mt. Hermon Road.

Following a basic design of 3 5,000 feet concrete runways, round the clock construction begin. Due to the war time labor shortage of men really good wages were paid and lots of overtime was available.

A lot of people were required as seen in the above ad from B. Perini and Sons. As usual the construction contract did not go to a local company.

E. Clarke Gardner, director of Salisbury public works and Work Project Administration (WPA) labor cleared the land and paved the runways in 51 weeks, at a cost of $1,500,000.

On November 11th, Thursday, 1943, Armistice day at about 2:30 PM the dedication of the Salisbury-Wicomico county airport took place.

Salisbury stores closed for the occasion.

Before a crowd of 6,000 on a very cold, wind swept, snowy day at the airport the "Dawn of a new age" was announced by the politicians. Winters back in the 1940's were much like the winter we had last year. Cold weather started in September and snow was on the ground by November. A number of airports on the East Coast were closed due to the snow so many of planes scheduled to fly in for the opening ceremonies didn't make it. The politicians from the western shore that did make it were forced to spend the night in Salisbury due to the weather. The high winds and failure of the public address system prevented many from hearing the speeches. Today that may be considered a blessing but in the 1940s Politicians were still respected and feared. The Navy group of commanders came in a B-26 Martin Marauder and it was commented on that the B-26 used only a third of a mile of runway to land and take off. It was pointed that the Salisbury-Wicomico airport was one of 865 completed in 1943.

On May 15, 1944 the city and county signed a lease with the navy for one dollar for the airport to become the Salisbury Naval Auxiliary Air Station.

After the war, on November 15, 1945 the airport reverted back to civilian use.

In 1946 Chesapeake Airways (as shown in the above postcard) started operations at the Salisbury Airport. The officers and Directors were; Fred P. Adkins president, Charles D. Briddell and Enos Valliant vice presidents, Stanley Robins secretary, Ralph Grier treasurer, John Downing, Ralph Dulany, Avery Hall, Edgar Bennett and George Radcliffe, officers. It sounded like a who-who of the 1940s and 1950's in the Salisbury area. On April 4, 1946 the first Chesapeake planes arrived, with appropriate politicians giving speeches and taking credit. Mostly their planes were C-47’s and DC-3’s. They handled 25,000 passengers in the first 18 months. At $6.50 for passenger fare from Salisbury to Baltimore the airlines couldn't make it and stumbled on until 1949 and folded. Chesapeake Airways does still exist but as a part supplier. Followed by several other short lived local airlines it was not until Mr. Richard Henson moved his commuter service to Salisbury in 1968 as Henson Airlines that the airport found some stability.

In 1992 U.S. Airways purchased Henson Airlines and made it a part of its U.S. Airways Express system. The name was changed to Piedmont Airlines and the Salisbury operation grew to over 800 employees, as it became the maintenance center for U.S. Airways Express commuter aircraft.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Delmar Water Treatment Plant - 1997

Today in 1997 Delmar Broke ground on the "new" Water Treatment Plant on York Street.

George T. Jones and the Bi-State Weekly

The newspapers business in Delmar centered around George T. Jones and his wife, Mrs. Jones. Interesting altho the two ran the newspaper jointly I have found no reference to her first name. Prior to Mr. and Mrs. Jones entering the scene in Delmar there was the Delmar American newspaper run by William H. Hayman and the Delmar News, run by Frank A. Robertson. The papers were printed in Dover and sent to Delmar by rail each week. The Delmar American dropped out of existance around 1900. In 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Jones begin publishing The Herald. Shortly afterwards the two papers consolidated into the Delmar News-Herald. In 1913 Mr. and Mrs. Jones took control of the paper and renamed it the Peninsula News. In 1920 the publishing rights were sold to the Wicomico News of Salisbury, Maryland. After a short span Mr. and Mrs. Jones repurchased the paper and edited it again in Delmar, until 1927 when it was sold to Loren Quinn of Crisfield, Maryland. In 1932 Mr. and Mrs. Jones began publication of the Bi-State Weekly. The Bi-State Weekly would continue under various people until 1964. Altho later picked up as part of the State Register of Laurel it was never a Delmar paper after that. To this day Delmar does not have a paper it can call it's own.

Mr. Jones was born near Whitesville, Delaware in 1879. Mrs Jones was born in 1885 near Ward. Mr. Jones had a photography business in Ocean City until he was married in 1903. In 1903 they opened a photograph and print studio on the corner of East and South First street where they mainly printed circulars. After beginning the paper they continued to be the print shop for the town. Later the paper was moved to a shop behind their home on Delaware Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Jones had one daughter Mrs. Myra Parks.

In 1948 Mr. and Mrs. Jones sold the Bi-State Weekly to two World War II veterans; William C. Calloway and Vernon L. Livingston. They continued to publish the paper until 1962 when it was sold to James K. Hazel, Jr. The paper struggled on, but by 1964 was done for.

DHAS Meeting

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) will hold it's monthly meeting November 11th at the District office at the High School at 7 PM. The public is welcome to attend.

Double Mills meeting

The next Double Mills meeting will be Tues. Nov. 23, 7 pm, at the Lodge Hall on Brattan St. in Mardela. Anyone interested in restoring the Double Mills grist mill is invited and encouraged to attend

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Baptist Church - 1963

From July 12, 1963 Bi-State Weekly

Groundbreaking services for a new church plant of the First Baptist Church of Delmar will be held Sunday, July 14, at 3:30 p.m. on the four-acre site on Route as-A just south of Delmar.

Plans for the new church building include an auditorium that will seat approximately 300 with an educational building caring for about 400 for Sunday School and various other church organizations.

George D. Savage, of Narberth Pa., is the architect. Plans had previously been approved by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention at Nashville, Tenn. Savage will continue to supervise the work until the building has been completed.

Sealed bids were received on July 2 and the low bidder was John L. Briggs and Company of Georgetown, Del., with a low bid of $76,235 for the general construction. The architect fee, sewerage and water will bring the total cost to an estimated $82,707 for the project.

The building will include 7,354 square feet of floor space and is designed as the first unit in a long-range building program. The structure will be of contemporary design of brick with a blend of pink and rose shale colonial brick. the interior will have an all-tile floor, hot air forced heat and the educational department will include a kitchen, with a kitchenette for the nursery.

Taking part in the groundbreaking ceremonies will be the following: Dr. Roy Gresham, executive secretary, Baptist Convention of Maryland; Elmer F. Ruark, president State Mission Board, Baptist Convention of Maryland; the Rev. L. P. Bernette, associational missionary, Eastern Baptist association; the Rev. Archie Prevatte, moderator, Eastern Baptist association; the Rev. Joseph E. Edmonds, president, Ministers Conference Eastern association; Building and Groundbreaking Committee C. Edward Culver, chairman, Marion Calloway, J. B. Moore, Earl Brannock, Mrs. Luther Mitchell; church department leaders; C. Edward Culver, chairman of deacons; Levin Lowe, chairman of trustees; Eugene Ross and Larry Hearn, senior church members.

Carlton Hastings, superintendent of Sunday school; Paul Mitchell, Training Union director; Mrs Mabel Elliott, president, W. M. U.; Ira Burton, president, Brotherhood; the Rev. Frank B. Robinson, pastor; and any other members of the congregation who wish to participate.

A cordial invitation is extended to all churches of the Eastern Baptist Conference and the town of Delmar to take part in the ceremonies. The public is invited and all former pastors of the church.