Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Death of Three Delmar Girls - 1935

April 20, 1935 The Salisbury Times

Three Delmar Girls and three Salisburians Are Victims Of Accident In Powellville At 12:15 A. M. This Morning


Bodies Were Crushed As Front Of Car Is Driven Back To Rear Seat. Girls Had Attended Rehearsal of Church Pageant

All six occupants of an automobile were killed early today when their machine crashed into the rear of a lumbertruck parked just off the road in Powellville.

The dead are;
Thaddeus Dykes, 25, Washington Street.
Norris Dykes, his brother, 22, Washington Street.
Wisehart Mumford, 19, East Locust Street.
Violet Templeton, 17, Maryland Ave., Delmar.
Evelyn Willey, 17, Chestnut Street, Delmar.
Agnes Taylor, 20, Maryland Ave., Delmar.

All died at the scene of the accident except the Taylor girl who died four hours after being brought to the hospital here. She did not regain consciousness and none of the six victims lived to tell their own story of the tragedy.

The bodies were brought to the undertaking establishment of Holloway and Company and later claimed by the relatives and were taken to the several homes.

State Attorney Rex A. Taylor said investigation showed the cause of the accident to be so apparent a coroner inquest would serve no purpose.

“It was one of the worst accidents I have ever seen since working on the State Police force,” said Corporal C. E. Minnick “ the occupants of the machine never knew what hit them, the crash was so terrific,” “the Car must have been traveling at least seventy miles an hour at the time the crash occurred,”

The incident occurred almost in the center of town at 12:15 A. M. The machine failed to negotiate a sweeping curve in the state highway and went across the road to hit the truck parked three feet off the left side of the concrete thoroughfare.

As the motor clashed into the rear of the lumber the top part of the radio, hood, and entire front of the machine was either sheared off or pressed backward against the rear seat. The impact crushed all occupants.

No actual eyewitnesses were found by Corporal Minnick, who continued an investigation until 8 A. M. He had Sheriff Charles H. Truitt notify the relatives of the victims.

Roger Jones and Henry Kelly were standing about 100 feet down the highway when their attention was attracted by the sound of the crash.

Jones said he first noticed steam rising from the wreckage and with Kelly went to the scene. They found all occupants inside the wrecked car. A superficial examination revealed that the three Salisbury men and one of the girls were dead. Life appeared to be lingering in two of the girls and they pulled the wreck apart to rescue them. One of the girls died as soon as she was extracted.

Jones put the Taylor girl in his car and rushed her to the hospital. The State police sub-station was notified and Corporal Minnick arrived with Dr. L. A. Radenmaker. The four bodies remained in the car.

Minnick said Thaddeus Dykes body was taken from the wrecked driver’s seat. Dykes was married and is survived by a widow and three children. The oldest is four and the youngest seven months old. He was employed as a cutter at a local shirt plant.

The three young women had attended the rehearsal of a pageant by the Methodist Protestant Church last night. Afterwards they joined the men and the six set off on a pleasure ride with no definite destination.

State attorney Taylor was informed they had been to a road house near Salisbury sometime during the evening. The machine was driving into Powellville from the direction of Snow Hill.

Charles Coulbourne, driver of the truck owned by Edwin Jones, Whiton, had parked the load of lumber along the roadside and went to his home in Powellville to obtain sleep, expecting to deliver it to Hebron today.

The lumber was scattered over the ground and the wrecked car. The trailer was also badly damaged.

Mumford is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Blanche Young , Mrs. Gladys Ennis, Mrs. Catherine Baker and a brother, William Mumford. Funeral Services will be conducted from St. Andrew’s Church at 3:30 Monday afternoon, Rev. R. P. Edwards officiating.

Violet was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Templeton; Evelyn; the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Willey; Agnes of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Taylor. The fathers of the three girls are all railroad trainmen.

April 26, 1935 The Milford Chronicle

Delmar News- Funeral Services for Miss Agnes Taylor and Miss Evelyn Willey, two of the three women who with their escorts, were crushed to death in an automobile accident near Salisbury Friday night, were held on Monday. The services for Miss Violet Templeton, the third victim, were held from her late home on Tuesday. Services for the other victims, Salisbury Men, were held on Monday.

William Mill Pond

Williams Mill Pond Road, off Stage Road, East of Delmar Maryland crosses its namesake Williams Mill Pond. Altho no longer there, at one time a saw mill and a grist mill operated on this pond. As you drive along Williams Mill Pond Road you can see where it crosses Jackson Branch there also are the characteristics of an unknown mill being there.

In the 1870's, John Williams had a saw and grist mill at a pond along Rum Ridge Branch, upstream of Leonard Mill. Today Rum Ridge Branch is called Andrews Branch. Andrew Branch and Williams Pond flow into the North Prong and Leonards Mill Pond.

In the 1880 census; L. Catherine Williams had a sawmill on Williams Pond with 1 employee, who also did the logging. A 4-foot fall on the pond drove a 5 hp turbine to cut 68,000 ft of lumber in 1880.

The Outflow into the North Prong.

The Day Chestertown Exploded

On a sweltering July in 1954 a devastating explosion rocked Chestertown’s tranquility. Abruptly at 10:30 a.m. chaos erupted in the Eastern Shore town of 3,200 people when a blast jolted the county seat. Stunned people, many thinking the Russians had bombed the defense plant or the gas plant blew up, reacted. As they worried about the safety of friends and family, the telephone switchboard buzzed to life, many of the tiny signal bulbs lighting up all at once. The fire siren joined in, wailing out a most urgent plea for aid. Terror stricken people called the operator to say a bomb had gone off or to inquire about the blast. In minutes, a second, larger detonation ripped through the humid morning air shattering windows downtown.

At Kent Manufacturing, a company that made detonators and military fireworks for the government, the accidental blast sent the roof of one building into the sky. Shrieking workers ran for their lives while fireworks shot aloft and burst in the air. In town, the Associated Press reported that hundreds, including mothers wheeling baby carriages, fled across the Chester River bridge to safety in Queen Anne’s County. Firefighters prepared to fight their way into the blazing ruins of the plant to rescue injured workers.

Read more of this interesting article on Reflections of Delmarva Past.

Draft Dodger Poem - 1943

Poem from the State Register - Oct 14, 1943 from "contributed".

We are writing a short letter
And every word is true
Don't look away "Draft Dodger",
For it is addressed to you.

You feel at ease and in no danger.
Back in your old home town
You cook up your pitiful story
So the draft board will turn you down.

You never think of the real men,
Who leave their homes day by day,
You just think of those girl friends
That you can get while they are away,

What do you think Draft Dodgers?
That this free nation would do
If all men were slackers
And scared to fight like you?

We guess that is all, Mr. Slacker,
Your face should be awful red,
America is no place for your kind,
And we mean every word we say --
Keep away from our girl friends,
For we are coming back some day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Lower DelMarVa Genealogical Society (LDGS) September meeting

Last night I attended the Lower DelMarVa Genealogical Society (LDGS) meeting. Aaron Horner, a research assistant from the Nabb Center in Salisbury, spoke on ways to determine the age of an ancestor if birth records are not available. The main time period he focused on was from 1580 to 1775. During that time period the main record of births were church records. Many of those records have been lost so other records must be examined to estimate the age of a person.

In Maryland there were tax lists. These tax list recorded all white males over 16, all slaves, and some widows who were Head of households. The age was not recorded on the tax list but it shows the person on the tax list was at least 16 years old and it is grouped by household. You can see when a new name appeared on the tax roll that they must have just arrived in the area or just turned 16. Likewise when they were dropped from the tax record they left the area, dropped dead, or moved out of a household to start their own household. From that you can go to other records.

Land Commission records - when there were disputes over land boundaries (as you know Delmarva has no stone so they used trees to mark land boundaries and the trees would died over time so the boundary would become disputed) dispositions would be taken by the different parties. In the disposition the person's age would be recorded.

Orphan records - When orphans would be assigned a guardian they would have their age recorded.

Court determination of age - when indentured whites, free blacks or slaves were assigned to a master in some cases they did not know their age so a court had to determine an age. This was for a number of purposes, one was so the master could be taxed if the person was over 16 years old. Another reason for age determination was so a set time period existed until that child would be set free from his indenture at age 21. A number of methods were used beside height and weight such as the condition of the teeth and outward signs of puberty.

Wills - are also a good source as frequently the age of the people listed in the will can be determined by the way they are mentioned in the will.

All of this is, of course, just an approximation of the birthyear of an individual.

It happens that on October 2nd at the Delaware Archives there is a similar talk called "Vital Records: Beyond Births, marriages, & Deaths.

The LDGS meetings are held at 7 PM the third Wednesday night each month at the LDGS library downtown Salisbury. Next meeting is on October 27th.

Cozy Cabin - 1943

Betty Lee Elliott, Otes Jester and his orchestra

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jacob Bros - 1943

A Black-out test in 1942

From the State Register March 5, 1942

The chimney fire in the Masonic Temple of Delmar lent a realistic atmosphere to the tests in the stateline town. Firemen worked in the darkness and air raid wardens were given their first bonafide job of dispersing some 200 spectators who had gathered to watch the fire.

Mayor LeRoy T. Lockerman of Delmar supervised 135 men in the defense of the town and ambulances service and first aid facilities were given a trial. Off to the south could be seen the dull glow of Salisbury, Md. but out of Sussex County all was darkness, said Mayor Lockerman.

The Women's Industrial Exchange

Last Wednesday I went to the Snow Hill Library to listen to a talk given by Eleanor Mulligan on the Women's Industrial Exchange. The Women's Industrial Exchange I knew nothing about but thought it might be interesting and it was. Eleanor Mulligan gave an excellent presentation of the subject. She amplified on the exchange movement talk by going into a number of time-related subjects.

As we know the United States has had constant economic up and down swings thru out it's history. In the 1830's there was also economic problems resulting in the male bread winner being bankrupted. The woman of the house hold had no way to earn money without the disgrace of working outside the home in a factory. As Eliza Doolittle said in "My Fair Lady" " I sold flowers; I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me, I'm not fit to sell anything else." So short of selling themselves the other skill they were trained in was fancy hand goods, fancy lamp shade, china painting, linen and other hand crafted popular in that period. In 1832 a depository for such items opened in Philadelphia so those items could be sold discretely. This movement spread across the states and territories and there were shops in a number of places to sell these items. The Woman's Industrial Exchange began shortly after the Civil War in the home of Mrs. G. Harmon Brown of Baltimore, where women brought their handwork to be sold to local citizens and visitors. Mrs. Harmon's endeavor was part of a nationwide Exchange Movement to help "gentlewomen of diminished means" to discreetly earn a living.

The Woman's Industrial Exchange of Baltimore City (333 N. Charles St) continues today as a non-profit organization that was founded in 1880, incorporated in 1882, and continues to serve the same mission of providing local people the opportunity to earn income by selling handmade items to the public. The Maryland State Legislature incorporated the organization "for the purpose of endeavoring by sympathy and practical aid to encourage and help needy women to help themselves by procuring for them and establishing a sales room for the sale of Women's Work."

Perhaps one of the memorable items about the Woman's Industrial Exchange of Baltimore City was the restaurant. It was a relic of that genteel age when a lady simply never appeared in public without gloves and a hat, the Exchange was a step back to a time of Chicken salad, tomato aspic and cucumber sandwiches (without the crust, and ice cream with a chocolate sauce. Also memorable was a group of waitresses who started there in the 1930's and continued working there until they were in their 80's and 90's. They always used that Baltimore tradition of referring to you as "Hon." When "Sleepless in Seattle" was being filmed in Baltimore, the producers of the film discovered the place and was fascinated by the waitresses - to the extent they were a bit of a pain. One waitress (in her 80's) told them not to worry about her as she was preserved in aspic. Marguerite Schertle (93), one of the waitresses, was even given a part in the movie. The restaurant however closed about 2005. I have heard of another restaurant going into the building (Dogwood's).

Most of those 19th-century Woman’s Exchanges have closed now. The remaining ones open are;
Brooklyn Women’s Exchange in New York
Woman’s Industrial Exchange of Baltimore City in Maryland
Woman’s Exchange of St. Louis in Missouri
Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine
Woman’s Exchange of Memphis in Tennessee

The window of Woman's Industrial Exchange of Baltimore

Eleanor Mulligan pointed out that much of her presentation came from the book
"The Business of Charity: The Woman's Exchange Movement, 1832-1900" by Kathleen Sanders.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Culvers Men's Shop - 1943

Afternoon with Elsie - Snow Hill library

An Afternoon with Elsie: A ninety year old waitress?
Are you serious?
Eleanor Mulligan speaks about the Exchange Movement at the end of the 19th century which gave an enormous boost to women as well as the American economy.
From the century’s outrageous styles and social development, the country’s status grew from primitive conditions and the horror of the Civil War to the establishment of the Red Cross and women emerged as a gentle power the nation recognized.

Wednesday, September 15 at 2 pm Snow Hill Branch

MidAtlantic Small Craft Festival Oct 2nd

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is hosting one of
the nation’s largest gatherings of small boat enthusiasts
and unique watercraft at the 28th Mid-Atlantic Small CraftFestival from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, October 2. More than 100 kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, rowing shells, sailingskiffs, prams and one-of-a-kind boats will be on display and in the water throughout the family-oriented event. The event includes a boat competition, craft workshops, boat building demos, children’s activities and sailing, rowing and paddling races throughout the day.

Boat owners hailing from throughout the country will offer boat building demonstrations while also participating in the races during the event. Awards will be given for traditional and contemporary design and construction, restoration, and paddling craft, with special awards for peoples’ choice, experimental and 1st launching.

The Museum’s Boat Yard staff and instructors from the Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School will also be on hand to offer maritime demonstrations.
The Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival is free to Museum
members and children five and under – otherwise admission is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children ages 6 to 17. For more information, call CBMM at 410-745-2916, or visit www.cbmm.org/MASCF.html.

At The Crisfield Library

Root Doctors, Midwives, and Granny Doctors
Crisfield Library
Thursday, November 4 1pm

There was a time before hospitals, synthetic medicines
and technology when people lived closer to the
earth, when plants and herbs were more than ways to
color our gardens, decorate our homes, and brighten
our culinary efforts - they were the difference
between life and death. In the hands of skilled folk
doctors, these humble, amazing plants sustained life.
Discover what miracles thrive in our own backyards
and by roadsides as we learn about these medical

The Delaware Archives Genealogy series

October 2, 10:30 a.m. - Genealogy Series: Vital Records - Beyond Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Presenter: Nancy Lyons

Vital records of birth, marriage, and death allow us to document the dates and parent-child relationships of each generation in a family tree. As primary sources these records offer dates and places of the event, parent names, and places of origin. Information from these documents can help lead a researcher to other valuable records. This presentation will include visual examples and handouts concerning where to locate these genealogical gems, and how to utilize the information they contain. This is the third workshop in the series of genealogy workshops presented Nancy Lyons, a highly respected genealogist whose programs have been well received by beginners and advanced genealogists alike.

The LDGS Symposium

The Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society will hold a symposium on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Holiday Inn (formerly Ramada) On US Route 13 south, Salisbury, MD. from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The fee is $40, registration by September 30th, $50 late registration or walk ins, coffee and pastry included. No scrapple sandwiches. A buffet lunch will be available for attendees at the Holiday Inn restaurant for $12.

See the data sheets below, click to enlarge

O! Say can you see

The war of 1812 was well into its second year, and things did not look promising for the 16 United States of America. Despite the repeated violation of American ships that precipitated the war, it was not a popular conflict. Many Americans referred to it disdainfully as "Madison's War", Attorney Key among them. As it had dragged on the people of the United States tired of the conflict and opposition to the war had grown. Then, on August 25, 1814 it became personal. General Robert Ross and 4,000 combat veterans of the British Army had marched almost unopposed into the Nation's 14 year old capitol city of Washington, D.C. When they left the following day the city was ruined, every Federal building burning or in ashes, the President and his wife hiding in nearby Virginia after narrowly escaping capture.

After destroying the Capitol and heady with their easy victory, the British headed north into Maryland. With them they took an elderly and well respected American physician, Dr. William Beanes. Dr. Beanes was accused of spying, and was taken as a prisoner aboard the British Flag ship Tonnant anchored in Baltimore harbor. The remaining population of Washington, D.C. feared that the beloved doctor would be hanged and appealed to attorney Francis Scott Key to intervene. On August 27th President Madison slipped back into what remained of the Capitol and gave Mr. Key an official sanction. On September 3rd Key and Colonel Skinner, who was experienced in negotiating prisoner exchanges, sailed for Baltimore. They reached the Tonnant under a flag of truce on the morning of the 7th and had been held as prisoners themselves ever since. The release was secured on September 13th, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore.

On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem.

Colonel Armistead, commander of Fort McHernry, commissioned Mary Youngs Pickersgill, a local seamstress and flag maker to make two flags for Fort McHenry in 1813 - a large flag and a smaller one to fly in bad weather. She was paid $500 for both flags, the large one being 30 x 42 feet, so it could be seen from a great distance. She was asked to sew a flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes, the number of states then in the Union. Armistead anticipating an attack on Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812, asked that the flag be made extra large so that it would be plainly visible to the English Fleet. He had also hoped the large flag would lift the spirits of the Baltimoreans, allowing them to see this flag fly in defiance of the British.

United States Code, 36 U.S.C. § 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. The national anthem is also played on U.S. military installations at the beginning of the duty day (0600) and at the end of duty day (1700). Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. Recently enacted law in 2008 allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.

The song itself is difficult to sing. It has been totally messed up by amateurs and professionals, but mostly at ball games where celebrities try to turn it into a stage act.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Delmar Starts Plans For 100th Birthday in Fall of 1959

From the Bi-State Weekly August 8, 1958

Delmar Starts Plans For 100th Birthday in Fall of 1959

The Towns of Delmar are beginning to think about the celebration for their 100th anniversary to be held around October 16th 1959.

The President of the Maryland Town Commission M.B. Sherwood and Mayor A. E. Hantwerker are setting their heads together to study what sort of celebration will be possible and to stir interest in the movement.

According to records the last spike in the railroad from Wilmington to Delmar was driven on that date and it is generally accepted the town sprang up at the same time.

Sometime soon the town fathers will get together with the heads of organizations and go over the possibilities of such a celebration. Already facts and figures have been gathered from towns that have previously held anniversary programs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Delmar 1916 Graduation Announcement

This is Miss Helen Frances Chipman's graduation announcement. Her and the other four graduates were to graduate on May the 19th at 8 PM at the Elcora theater in Delmar. A good class motto of "To be actors, not spectators."

The other four students were;
Elsie Franklin Hearne
Arva Luce Marvel
George Merle Nelson
Samuel Hearn Culver

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Delmar News Item - 1943

This article is from the May 20th, 1943 "State Register." I am sure it was the cause of a lot of gossip at the time.


Two Salisburians, identified by Delaware state police as George Raymond Carey, 46 and Mrs. Irma Pearl Griffith, 36 were found suffocated by illuminating gas in a tourist cabin about three miles north of Delmar early Saturday morning.

A verdict of accidental death by asphyxiation was given by N. W. Conoway, Sussex County coroner, police said.

The bodies of Carey, whose address is Penn Street, Salisbury, and Mrs. Griffith, whose residence is on Pond Street, the same town, were found in the cabin by Mrs. Ernest Morando, wife of the operator of the Empire State Inn. Mrs. Morando told police she was making a routine check of cabins before retiring for the night when she discovered the bodies in the gas-filled cabin. she called her husband and police and a Delmar Physician.

Police learned the couple had come from Salisbury Friday afternoon in a taxicab and engaged the cabin.

The cabin in which the couple died was heated by gas heater and apparently the flame extinguished when the oxygen in the small room was used up, police said.

The Laurel ambulance was summoned and it arrived on the scene before the physician, but the driver, observing the two persons had evidently been dead for some time, did not move them, but awaited the arrival of a doctor, who appointed
them dead.

Delmar Christmas Tour

I am very excited to say the Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) will have a candlelight house tour on Friday, December 10th from 6:30 to 8 PM. There will be several houses open and the tour will wrap up at the Masonic Lodge for punch and cookies. The price is $8 per person. This event was developed by Denise Cugler and Faith Krebs and I am very impressed by such an undertaking from the small group of people that the society has. So get ready to take a walk through Delmar this holiday season as Delmar people open their doors to visitors during the 1st annual DHAS candlelight tour. Whether you’re interested in getting a glimpse inside the candlelit windows, learning more about Delmar's history and architecture, or simply looking for an excuse to check out other people's homes, you’re invited to come celebrate the holidays on the Candlelight Tour.

Worker Housing in 1943

In 1943 there was a housing shortage so Phillip Canning Co in Laurel put up these pre-fab houses for their workers. Compared to the house I am putting up obviously there was less building code and zoning requirements. They would hold two Families and they look to be 12 X 12. So what happened to them? I would be interested in any story about living in them. So please comment. Click Photo to Enlarge

October Is Family History Month

October is designated in many U.S. States as "Family History Month," and genealogists everywhere have adopted the month as their own. Whether you're new to genealogy, or have devoted a lifetime to it, celebrate Family History Month with your family this October by trying one (or more) of these ten wonderful ways to craft and commemorate your past. (Taken from about.com modified by me)

1. Get Started Tracing Your Family Tree
If you have been curious about your family tree but just aren't sure where to start then you don't have any more excuses. As the baby boomers have gotten older they are spending more time researching their family tree, as such there are more resources and data out there, both on the Internet and in libraries and history societies. I will write more about them soon.

2. Create a Family Cookbook
For those families that keep in contact their gatherings or family reunions a perfect recipe for family history, a cookbook of collected heirloom recipes is a wonderful way to preserve memories of favorite meals shared with family. Contact your parents, grandparents, and other relatives and ask them to send you a few of their favorite family recipes. Have them include a story about each dish, where or who it was handed down from, why it is a family favorite, and when it was traditionally eaten (Christmas, family reunions, etc.). Whether you create a full-blown family cookbook, or just make copies for family and friends - this is a gift that will be cherished forever.

3. Record Family Stories
Every family has its own history - the events, personalities, and traditions that make the family unique - and collecting these singular stories and memories is one of the most meaningful ways you and your family can honor your older relatives and preserve family traditions. Recording family stories on audiotape, videotape, or in legacy journals, brings family members closer together, bridges generation gaps, and ensures that your family stories will be preserved for future generations.

4. Uncover Your Family Health History
Also known as medical genealogy, tracing your family health history is a fun, and potentially lifesaving, project. Experts state that about 3000 of the 10,000 known diseases have genetic links, and that many diseases "run in families," including colon cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, and high blood pressure. Creating a family health history can be a useful tool to aid you and your medical care provider in interpreting patterns of health, illness and genetic traits for you and your descendants. What you learn now could potentially save a family member's life tomorrow.

5. Take a Trip Back in Time
Grab a map, and hop in the car for a family adventure! A fun way to celebrate your family history is to visit sites of importance to your family - the old family homestead, the house where you were born, the country from which your ancestors migrated, the hillside where you played as a child, or the cemetery where great-grandpa is buried. If none of these locations is near to your home, then consider a trip to a historical museum, battlefield, or re-enactment event that relates to the history of your family.

6. Scrapbook Your Family Heritage
The perfect place to showcase and protect your precious family photos, heirlooms, and memories, a heritage scrapbook album is wonderful way to document your family's history and create a lasting gift for future generations. While it may seem a daunting task when faced with boxes of dusty old photos, scrapbooking is actually both fun and more easy than you might think!

7. Start a Family Web Site
If your extended family relies on email to stay in touch, then a family Web site may be for you. Serving as a digital scrapbook and meeting spot, a family Web site allows you and your kids to share family photos, favorite recipes, funny stories, and even your family tree research. If you or someone in your family is a Web designer, by all means go to town. If you're more of a beginner, however, don't worry - there are plenty of free online services that make creating a family Web site a snap!

8. Preserve Your Family Pictures
Make this the month that you finally get the family photos out of the shoeboxes or bags in the back of your closet; track down the photo you've never seen of your great-grandparents; or ask your Grandma to help you put names to the faces of all of those unmarked photos in your family album. Try your hand at scanning them into your computer, or hire someone to do it for you, and then store the originals in acid-free photo boxes or albums. Same thing goes for the family movies! Then share some of your photo finds with the family, by creating a family photo calendar or a family photo book!

9. Get the Next Generation Involved
Most children will learn to appreciate their family history if you turn it into a detective game. Start your children or grandchildren on a lifelong journey of discovery by introducing them to genealogy. Here are some wonderful projects to do with your children this month including games, family history and heritage projects and online lessons.

10. Craft a Heritage Gift
From picture frame Christmas ornaments to heritage quilts, your family history makes a great gift! Homemade gifts are often inexpensive but are favorites with the recipients. They don't have to be anything complicated either. Something as simple as a framed photo of a favorite ancestor can bring tears to someone's eyes. Best of all, making a family heritage gift is often more fun than giving one!
Family Tree Projects & Gift Ideas

Laurel Library Celebrates Oct Family History month

A number of interesting History events are occurring at the Laurel Library in October;

On Oct 1 between 1:00 and 3:00 PM is a workshop called "Using Your Library Card to Explore Census Records." Most of Sussex County libraries has agreed to recognise any Sussex County Library card as valid at their library (Your Library Card is now a SUPERCARD) so you can use your Delmar Library card at Laurel.

October 8th Friday between 10 AM to 3:00 PM is "Sussex County Cousins" always a good event for genealogy since most native born area people are cousins this gives you a chance to share your family tree information with more distant relatives. It is put on by the Sussex County Genealogical Society. Very Possibly I will attend it again.

October 20th Wednesday at 6:30 PM is a workshop called "Cracking the Code: Understanding Colonial Handwriting and Documents."

October 26th at 6:30 Tuesday is a program called: "across the Tracks: Uncovering the history and Persistence of the African-American community in West Laurel." Maybe they will talk about Bacontown

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival

Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival
The Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival proves that the resort towns no longer roll up their sidewalks after Labor Day. Held on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10am to 5pm, the festival features more than 100 artists displaying a wide variety of works – from paintings to pottery and baskets to baubles. All this within a few feet of the Atlantic Ocean – and the beach fries stands!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Delmar Heritage Day Festival - Sept 25th

The Delmar Heritage Day Festival is coming up. It should be a great Fall day with exciting events. Food and craft vendors can register for a spot by contacting William Hardin at 410-896-2777. Besides food and crafts there will fireworks and a car show.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Samuel Batson Hearn - the Delmar Confederate

Samuel Batson Hearn was the son of Kendal and Elizabeth Hearn. He was born in 1841 on the Hearn homestead which was located between what would become Delmar and the area that would become known as "Bacon Switch." Samuel grew up as every other boy did in southern Delaware - with strong feelings that individual states had their rights and the Federal Government should stay out of the issues of those rights. As things grew hotter between the states, Civil War broke out. On August 19th of 1862 he backed those convictions with action and left his family and Delaware to join the Confederate forces in Richmond. On August 30th 1862 he was with the First Battalion of Maryland Cavalry. From Richmond he went to a training camp in Charlottesville. After training camp he was with the Army of Northern Virginia and was stationed in the Shenandoah Valley near Winchester.

It is related that in Samuel's first engagement in battle he shot his first Union soldier. However, not wishing to see him die, he rushed to the now wounded man to give him assistance. In gratitude for this help, the soldier gave to Sam his pocket watch! He followed Captain Emack of the First Maryland Cavalry into battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania led by General Robert E. Lee. Surviving that he fought again at North Mountain, Brandy Station and Second Manassas.

It wasn't until February of 1864 that Samuel was allowed to go home for leave. He and Braxton Lyons returned to the Eastern Shore for ten days. His father was less than pleased about his joining the Confederate forces and his mother had to hide him in a blanket chest until she could convince him to see his son again.

As Braxton Lyons, John R. H. Embert, and Samuel Hearn were recrossing the Chesapeake Bay after their leave was up they were captured by Union forces at the mouth of Hollin's Straits and were tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged as spies.

It was by way of intervention by the Gittings family to President Lincoln that Lincoln granted a pardon to the three men on August 29, 1864.

The Adjutant General, E. D. Townsend, on August 31, issued this order:

"The sentence to be hanged by a military commission, promulgated in General Order N. O. 61 Headquarters Middle Department 8th Army Corps, Baltimore, Md. August 8, 1864, in the case of Samuel P. (B.) Hearn, Braxton Lyon, and John R. H. Embert, citizens-- is commuted by the President of the United States to confinement at hard labor in the Penitentiary during the war. The Penitentiary at Albany, N.Y. is designated as the place of confinement to which the prisoners will be sent under suitable guard by order from this department commander and delivered to the warden for execution of their sentence."

For some unexplained reason, there was no promulgation of President Lincoln's commutation of Embert's, Lyon's, and Hearn's sentence before the men were marched to the gallows at the hour designated for their execution. Then they were show the boxes prepared for their burial, and the reprieve was for the first time read to them.

The three prisoners were transferred to the Albany Penitentiary was notified by the commissioner general of prisoners to send them to Fort Monroe for exchange. Their parole followed, and on July 12, Adjutant General Townsend announced in General Orders the remission of their sentence and immediate discharge upon taking of the oath of allegiance.

The prisoners were exchanged for Union prisoners and Samuel tried to join up with General Lee again only to find Lee had surrendered. Hearn was discharge in Richmond.

Samuel Hearn stayed in Virginia after the "War." He married Miss Mary Virginia Gibbs, daughter of Charles E. and Elizabeth Gibbs, on December 21st, 1869 at Port Royal Virginia. When his father died the inheritance allowed him to buy a farm that was located between Port Royal and Bowling Green, Virginia.

His name was added to the Delaware Confederate Monument in Georgetown Delaware on May 12, 2007.

The Faithful Steward

The Faithful Steward, bound from Londonderry, Ireland to Philadelphia with 249 passengers, ran aground near Indian River Inlet, Delaware on the night of September 1, 1785. When a sounding was taken, it was found the ship was only in 4 fathoms of water, though there was not the slightest appearance of land. Every exertion was used to run the vessel off shore but all failed.

On the morning of September 2, the ship was near Indian River, about four leagues to the southward of Cape Henlopen. Every effort was made to save the unhappy sufferers, who had remained on the deck during the night. The ship was only 100 yards from the shore. On the evening of Sept. 2, the ship broke to pieces. The long boats that had been put into the water drifted ashore before they could be manned. All relief was cut off. The only chance of survival for the remainder of the passengers was by swimming ashore, or using pieces of the wreck as life rafts. By dawn's light only 68 of the 249 passengers had survived. The inhabitants from Lewistown (present day Lewes, DE) came to the beach to plunder the bodies of their goods. Of the 100 women and children aboard, only 7 were saved. Among the cargo aboard the ship were 400 barrels of half pennies and gold rose guineas.

The State of Delaware had posted a historical marker in the general area where the Faithful Steward went down (SC-73), but I understand it has since been removed. It was located at Delaware Seashore State Park. On Haven road, first road on right, north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

For 135 years, English half-pennies, struck with a bust of King George III, have been washing up on the beach about one-fourth mile north of Indian River Inlet. Most of the coins were stored in barrels, purportedly 400 of them, below deck. Those that didn’t break open eventually rotted and cast millions of coins across the sandy bottom. The wreck is close enough to shore--just beyond the surf line--that coins are still swept in by heavy seas and riptides. Storms, such as Hurricane Earl, are signals to grab your metal detector and head for Coin Beach. Fittingly named years ago, the area is even designated Coin Beach on some souvenir maps. They say you don’t even need a metal detector, but I have never found anything there. Matter of fact due to the lack of markers on the beach front indicating where the parking lot is on one occasion I have walked past the parking lot entrance and had an extra hour wandering the beach wondering where the parking lot was.

There is an interesting genealogical story about the Faithful Steward located here and here. The stories remind us that the "Faithful Steward" is not just a Delaware tourist item but was a real life wreck in which some people died and some survived and those that survived have descendants that are in the USA today.

And as it happens speaking of shipwrecks, today in 1985 The wreckage of the British luxury liner 'Titanic' was located 73 years after it sank.