Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The British Are Coming The British Are Coming

The British Are Coming The British Are Coming

November 30, 1782 - Volunteers from Onancock attacked British ships off Hog Island, Virginia in order to stop the plundering of American ships and the local fishing fleet

Sunday, November 27, 2011

V H Duke's Sinclair Station - Delmar 1937

V H Duke's Sinclair Station - Delmar 1937

Monday, November 21, 2011

Travels In Egypt and Nubia

Travels In Egypt and Nubia

Today November 21st in 1818 Giovanni Battista Belzoni visited Edfu and "took a minute survey of these truly magnificent ruins." This was his third journey in Egypt, one purpose of this journey was to remove the obelisk from the island of Philoe.

Giovanni Battista Belzoni (15 November 1778 – 3 December 1823), was a great Italian adventurer. An extremely tall and strong man for his time he had a varied career until 1815 when he arrived in Egypt. Over the next couple of years he made three journeys around Egypt exploring and excavating tombs and temples. Since it was a time when foreigners could remove antiquities he send many to the British museum where they are still on display. Today of course Dr Zahi Hawass would be right along with him doing television interviews, photo ops, and making sure nothing was removed from Egypt. He married Sarah Bane an Englishwoman whom accompanied him on many of his journeys. Strangely a city in Mississippi is named for him. The town was originally known as “Greasy Row” because of the row of saloons along the bank of the Yazoo River, so I guess it was a step up for a name change to Belzoni.

I have recently been reading Belzoni's book "Travels in Egypt and Nubia." At times it is boring but also at times very exciting. He gives many details of how he climbed into tombs and made trips down the Nile and across the desert, very Indiana Jones like, only without the Nazis. I was impressed by the size of the monuments, tombs etc as he gives many measurements which in other readings I either did not pay attention too or were not given. It does renew your interest Egyptian antiquities. I found a number of points in the book to be interesting from a sidenote. First even he could not figure out how many of the tombs were built (aliens?) and second in the book he explains to an Egyptian leader why Europe was buying so much grain from Egypt in 1816. Which was of course due to the eruption of the volcano Mount Tambora creating the global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as "volcanic winter": 1816 became known as the "Year Without a Summer" because of the effect on North American and European weather. Below is how he described entering a tomb;

I descended, examined the place, pointed out to them where they might dig, and in an hour there was room enough for me to enter through a passage that the earth had left under the ceiling of the first corridor, which is thirty-six feet two inches long and eight feet eight inches wide, and when cleared of the ruins, six feet nine inches high. I perceived immediately by the painting on the ceiling, and by the hieroglyphics in basso relievo, which were to be seen where the earth did not reach that this was the entrance into a large and magnificent tomb. At the end of this corridor I came to a staircase twenty-three feet long, and of the same breadth as the corridor. The door at the bottom is twelve feet high. From the foot of the staircase I entered anther corridor, thirty-seven feet three inches long, and of the same width and height as the other, each side sculptured with hieroglyphics in basso relievo and painted. The ceiling also is finely painted, and in pretty good preservation. The more I saw, the more I was eager to see, such being the nature of man, but I was checked in my anxiety at this time, for at the end of this passage I reached a large pit, which intercepted my progress. This pit is thirty feet deep, and fourteen feet by twelve feet three inches wide. The upper part of the pit is adorned with figures, from the wall of the passage up to the ceiling. The passages from the entrance all the way to this pit have an inclination downward of an angle of eighteen degrees....

Friday, November 18, 2011

DHAS Annual Meeting - 2011

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) held it's annual meeting last night at the Delmar library. An update of various society matters and a review of the successes we had in 2011 was presented to the membership and guests. An election of officers and for the board of directors was held by the members. Our guest speaker Mr. Jay Hill gave a talk about the history of Bacon Switch and it was well received.

Mr. Hill had a number of artifacts from the general stores that existed in Bacon Switch and from his Grandfather's surveying business. Bacon Switch at one time rivaled Delmar in size and importance.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DHAS Annual Meeting

The Delmar Historical and Art Society will have their annual meeting on Thursday at 7:00PM, November 17th, 2011 at the Delmar Library. Nominations for four board positions will be voted on at this meeting. A review of projects completed in 2011 and a discussion of future projects will be presented. The meeting’s entertainment will be Mr. Jay Hill, local historian and collector .The meeting is open to members and non-members alike. Light refreshments will be provided.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Lady Be Good

The Lady Be Good

Way back in an ancient time when I was in high school an interesting news story was reported that gripped the U.S. and the world in 1960. The story started back in World War II when an American B-24D Liberator, named The Lady Be Good went on it’s first, last and only combat flight. The bombing run was to Naples Italy on April 4th, 1943, out of the Benina air strip in the city of Soluch in Libya. On the return flight the plane disappeared. It was assumed down at sea and lost. Today, November 9th, 1958 it was discovered 440 miles inland in the Libyan Desert by a British oil exploration team flying over the North African Desert.

It would not be until May 1959 that a recovery team made the first trip to the wreckage site. They found the plane had broken into two pieces and the desert had preserved it remarkably well – but there were no crewmen. In 1960 recovery teams found the first five bodies of the crew members and the news hit the world. Eventually the remains of all but one crewmember would be found.

This story has been written about on numerous websites so I will not attempt to rewrite it again. A site I found interesting is located Here

Simply put it was a mystery story of the time that kept everyone’s attention.
The Life Magazine, March 7, 1960 edition
gave great photo journalism coverage to the incident.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Harold Cane - 1932

Harold Cane - 1932

From the Laurel State Register Oct 7, 1932


Delmar Man and Wife Are Overcome When Pipe Is Broken Off


A man and his wife were asphyxiated at Delmar Friday night by gas fumes after the husband, Harold Cane, is said to have broken a gas pipe while repairing a minor leak.

The bodies were found at about midnight under the Cane home by a group of neighbors who had started a searching party when one of them was attracted to the place by the crying of the Canes' child, Marie, aged 11.

Cane it is believed, had gone under the house to repair a minor leak, and while making the repairs had broken the pipe off a few inches above the ground causing an increased gas flow. His wife, in trying to rescue him is believed to have died shortly after going under the house as a result of the fumes.

The crying of the child, together with a strong odor of gas, had Glen Hastings, a neighbor, to investigate. Hastings, who had started to retire for the night, dressed and went to the Cane home. Making his way through the gas filled home he reached the child's bedroom and took her to the Hastings home. He was nearly overcome in rescuing the child.

In the meantime other neighbors had gathered and a search was made through the house for the child's parents. Several members of the rescue party were overcome during the search.

The Citizens Gas Company, Salisbury, was notified to shut off the flow of gas as no wrench could be found in the local office. After the flow had been stopped the search was resumed and the bodies were discovered under the house. Both were lying face down.

The child was said to have been sleeping at the time of the tragedy. She is believed to have been awakened by the strong odor of gas, and, being unable to find her parents, started to cry.

Cane operated a service station at the corner of Delaware Ave. and State Highway in Delmar.

The girl said it was shortly before midnight when the odor of escaping gas was noticed. Her father took an electric flashlight and climbed through a trap door to crawl to the leak four yards away.

When he failed to return, Mrs. Cane went through the door to investigate. She also failed to return.

Receiving no response to her calls, Marie summoned neighbors. At the same time, first aid crews from the Salisbury, Md. Fire Department were called and three physicians brought to the home.

William Culver, Jr. an employee of the gas company, was overcome when he turned off the gas to permit the rescue of the couple and was not resuscitated for more than an hour. L. D. Short, who with the others cut a hole in the floor to gain access to the bodies, also was temporarily overcome.

Cane was 42 years old.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society Historical Essay Contest

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society Historical Essay Contest seeks to inspire Delmar Middle school and Delmar High School students attending school in Delmar to learn more about local history through original research and writing. The Essay contest will have a prize of $100 for the best article written by a Delmar Middle School Student and a Delmar High School Student on some aspect of the history of Delmar and the Delmar area.

Eligibility requires that the essay, ranging from 10 to 30 pages in length, be written by a student enrolled in a Delmar school.

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., March 15, 2012. The winner will be announced by April 15.

Style: The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003) is the style sheet. The manuscript and endnotes which should be double spaced must be submitted in the Microsoft Word or Word Perfect format, by email or in a typed quality that can be scanned into the computer.
Criteria for judging are the following: 1) readability and style of the presentation; 2) use of primary source research materials; 3) overall conception; and 4) contribution to the history of Delmar.

In Addition the contestants must sign the below;
I am submitting an original essay to the Delmar Historical and Arts Society’s Essay Contest. I certify that this essay is my own work and that I have abided by all guidelines and requirements of the Contest. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and will become the property of the Delmar Historical and arts Society to use at its discretion in activities related to publicizing the contest and the society. I further understand that the judges' decisions are final and that if I am selected as a winner of the contest, I will be available for a photo for a press release.

One winner will be selected from the Delmar Middle School and one from the Delmar High School.

Additional information may be supplied by addressing inquiries to

Topics for the essay is any topic that is historical and can be related to the Delmar area. Some examples are;

Airport, Stock car and other race tracks, Movie Theaters, Drive in’s, in-town, Fire Dept, Police department, Elected officials, Schools, One room school, School bus system, Bi-State school system, Ghost Towns in Delmar area, Local lore, Wars and effect on Delmar area, Mills - lumber, grist, grain, Sorghum, Churches, Town Parks, Surveys , Mason Dixon line, Transpeninsular Line, Fluctuation of Delaware Maryland state line, Accidents / fires/ disasters in and around Delmar, Infra structure of town - Water System, Business retail in and around Delmar, Farming, farmers, Indians, Early settlers, Land grants, Stage line, Trains, railroad, railroad structures in Delmar. Oral history from individuals about Delmar Area, Historical Homes, buildings, Transportation - trains, buses, trucking, cars, horse and buggy, Fraternal Orders, Clubs, Civic Groups. Court system, alderman, Unique laws and ordinances in Delmar over the years, Blue laws, Lumber industry and sawmills, Telephone service, Gas utilities, TV Cable utilities, Ice plants, Doctors, Banks, Roads, Road Building, neighborhoods and developments of Delmar and area

Chris Walter – President, Delmar Historical and Arts Society
Howard Dickerson - Vice President, Delmar Historical and Arts Society
Denise Cuglar - Treasurer, Delmar Historical and Arts Society

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maryland Slaves Are Freed - Nov 1, 1864

Maryland Slaves Are Freed - Nov 1, 1864

On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. By his “war power” as commander-in-chief, Lincoln declared that all the slaves in Confederate-held territory as of that date were “thenceforward, and forever free.” Excluded from the presidential order were the loyal Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri; the state of Tennessee (then under Union control); the counties of what would soon become the state of West Virginia, and certain counties in Virginia and Louisiana. The document affirmed that black men would be used in the Union military.

Maryland's Constitution of 1851 had forbidden passage of "any law abolishing the relation of master or slave, as it now exists in this State" (Art. 3, sec. 43). To end slavery, Maryland had to write a new constitution.

Governor Augustus W. Bradford, in his annual message of 1864 to the General Assembly, sought passage of a constitutional convention bill. The predominently Unionist legislature promptly complied, and the electorate approved the call for a convention (Acts of 1864, ch. 5).

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1864 were elected by the voters on April 6, 1864. The convention convened in Annapolis on April 27, 1864, and adjourned on September 6, 1864. The third state constitution, which abolished slavery in Maryland, received approval of the voters on September 18, 1864, and took effect November 1, 1864.