Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sunday Dinner At The RiverView Inn

Ad for the Riverview Inn estimated in the late 1950s or early 1960s as the ad refers to "old Rt13" and the Red Star Division Bus Line.

The Riverview Inn was one of several thousand restaurants that were given the name "Riverview Inn".

The Riverview Inn in Blades was built in 1931 on Warrington family land at the bridge to Seaford.  Prior to the restaurant being built in 1931, there was nothing but marsh and causeway leading from Blades to the bridge.  Today, of course, Blades is built up all the way to the bridge but in 1931 there was several blocks of empty land leading to the bridge.  The restaurant had a bus stop connected with it and at least one apartment over top of it.

above Blades in 1925

The restaurant was first managed by Cleveland Warrington (1884-1940) and his sister Alda "Addie" Caroline Warrington (1878-1936).  After about a year and a half they sold the restaurant to Harold Vernon Weedling and his wife Dolores M. Weedling.

Harold Weedling was an interesting person.  He was from Indiana (son of Elmer Weedling) and when he married his second wife Dolores he left Indiana and moved to Federalsburg, Maryland  about 1931 where he started a real estate company.  By 1932 he had purchased the Riverview Inn and by 1933 he was living in Blades Delaware running the Inn and running his real estate company.  His company was connected with Strout Realty.  Strout Realty eventually would become national.  It started in Maine in 1900 and it's marketing strategy was aimed at showcasing low cost farm and rural properties to urban people as retirement or vacation property.  They sent out a catalog of properties that was just as popular as the Sears Roebuck and Co catalog.

above two 1940 ads in Philadelphia Inquirer

He owned the Inn at the right time as the duPont Nylon plant opened in 1939 and he was able to expand the operation around the restaurant.  However he sold out before things really took off Seaford.   The below ad from 1941 does not mention the Riverview restaurant per se but it certainly sounds like the property.

above January 1941 ad, another year and war would be declared and property values in Seaford would go sky high.

In 1941 the couple got a divorce in Delaware.  He sold everything and moved back to Indiana. She remained in Delaware.

It is unclear if Arthur Paul Nestler (1900- 1961) and his wife Elsie May Gicker Moore Nestler (1897-1960   purchased the Riverview at this time or if it was later.  But the Nestlers owned the Riverview for ten years.  Arthur Nestler was born in Germany and in World War One he fought with the German Army.  He received five medals for his bravery in the war, one of which was presented by Field Marshall Von Hindenburg.  He came to the United States in 1924 living first in New York then moving to Wilmington where he was a waiter in a tap room, them moved up to food manager at the Hotel Olivere in Wilmington.  In 1955 he was running the Riverview and he was naturalized.

It is unclear how the Riverview Inn continued after the Nestlers left it, but it was one of many local restaurants someone from Delmar might take their family to for a Sunday Dinner and afternoon drive.

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