Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Moon six-36 - 1918 ad

From a Nov 1918 edition of the Salisbury Advertiser

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scout Troop To Take Delmar Train Ride - 1951

Scout Troop To Take Delmar Train Ride

About 30 Cub Scouts of troop 185 will get a chance to see how Eastern Shore Casey Joneses operate.
Mayor Rollie W. Hastings, railroad passenger station agent here, arranged for the local troop to board an afternoon train today from Salisbury to Delmar.

At Delmar a tour of the railroad yards is planned.  After watching switching operations there, visiting the roundhouse and freight offices, and seeing an engine on display, the troop will return by bus to Salisbury.
The Scout Master Rev. Paul Fallers, is to be in charge of the troop.

From the April 11 1951 edition of the Salisbury Times, Salisbury, MD

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Girl Fight 1906

Nina Tuttle, ten years of age, was arrested last evening for cutting Bessie Truitt, who was only 12 years old.  The two girls were found in a field just north of Parsons Cemetery by a man from Delmar who separated the girls and brought them to Salisbury.  Dr. F. M. Slemons dressed the wounds of the Truitt girl and found six different cuts on various parts of the arms and body.  While none of the wounds are serious, there is one on her wrist that is ugly and quite painful.  The Tuttle girl was carried before Justice of the Peace William A. Trader, and after a hearing committed temporarily to jail.  Definite action will be taken later.

From July 7 1906 the Courier, Salisbury Maryland.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Concerning Charcoal, Hops and Muskrats

GEORGETOWN, Jan 2 – Collin’s coal pits near here have been in operation barely two months, but have fully demonstrated to their enterprising owner that fine timber pays much better converted into coal and sold at 20 cents a bushel than the wood at $2.25 per cord.  Townsend, the Angola charcoal burner has made a Sussex county fortune - $15,000 is the figure  - in a few years, although the incidental expenses are comparatively heavy.  Collins has from 15 to 20 pits burning, and cared for by attendants who live at the kiln.  Here the wood is charred from full cord length sticks, differing from the methods of the Carolines, where it is charred from small sawed billets.  The coal is brought to town in wagons, carrying a hundred bushels and shipped north by rail.  The average life of a “pit” or “mound” is three weeks, and the work, though exceedingly dirty is very healthy to any one troubled with weak lungs, dyspepsia and kindred affections.
Sussex is to make a new departure.  The question has been asked before this, “if hops will flourish in New York State, why not in Sussex, so much futher south?”  A northern man, a physician I believe, has purchased a tract of land on the McColley farm four miles out of town, for his son, who will engage in hop culture.  The gentleman says he can make more money in one year on one acre of the ground planted in hops, than three Sussex farmers with three times the amount of land planted in corn, can make in the same time.  This is a tall statement, very tall; but, nevertheless, some one may yet live to see as flourishing hop gardens in old Sussex  as were ever seen in the hop districts of England.
Very few of the city readers of the GAZETTE probably know anything of muskrat hunting on the Sussex marshes.  When the marsh is frozen over nicely the sport is very enticing and not without its spice of danger a broken leg or arm, or even a dislocated neck, provided the rat hole you slip into is large and deep enough.  The spear is the weapon used, and in expert hands never fails to bring the rodent impaled on the point from its hole.  Down in Cave Neck the marsh farmers, besides making a snug sum of money by the sale of muskrat hides, use the meat on their tables with great relish.  Out a brace of fricasseed rats before a Wilmington epicure and the odds are that be couldn’t tell ‘em from rabbit.

The first snow here of the season, of any depth, fell Saturday.  Not enough for sleighing, though.

From The Wilmington Gazette January 3, 1883

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dogs, Huckleberries, Snakes and Door Knobs

From The Los Angles Herald April 19 1908
From the Milford Chronicle June 30 1933

The Eighteenth Amendment Was Ratified Today

The National Prohibition Act (18th Amendment) was ratified on January 16th, 1919 with North Carolina, Utah, Nebraska, Missouri and Wyoming all approving the amendment on January 16, 1919 giving the required 36 states (Delaware was the 9th) to approve the amendment. This gave everyone one year to stock up on alcohol before the amendment went into effect. It is frequently thought that having possession of alcohol was against the law but the amendment merely deny manufacture, sale and transportation of liquors and on January 17, 1920 it went into effect.

The 18th
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old Local Newspaper On Line

There are a number of old Delmarva Newspapers on line. 

The Peninsular Enterprises newspaper Accomack Virginia 1895 to 1908 are located here;

you can select a year (1895 - 1908) and than pick the issue,

Example select Jan 5 1895 and four images will pop up generally with the Peninsular Enterprise only page 3 (image3) has local news on it and may be what you are most interested in. Pick an image and play with it some.

There are a number of newspapers out there across the country in the Chronicling America program so if you do a search for a specific name it will search all the papers, but you can do an "advance search" and search just the Pen. Enterprise issues.

The Nabb Center is at

click on "search the historical eastern shore newspaper" block in Red,
at the next screen you can do a search of a particular name or click on browse - followed by click "Browse all digital archives" - followed by click "newspapers" - select a newspaper out of the 22 they have - select a year - select a month - click go
obviously you have to play with them some to make it work.

I use the snipping tool in window 7 to "cut out" an article and save it.

Note on Strickland Murder Klej Grange

The Courier Salisbury MD June 29 1907
Samuel K. Davis, Klej Grange, Alfred G. Strickland
From The Courier Salisbury MD Dec 29 1906
Alfred Strickland, Rev. W. G. Strickland, George W. porter, Samuel King Davis, Gorden Bowen, Susan Merrill, Anna Holland,

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Delmar Brick Kiln 1884

From The Salisbury Advertiser and Eastern Shoreman Sept 20 1884

Victorian Tea Party January 17 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Fur Trade

From The Courier Salisbury, MD Mar 10 1906

Friday, January 11, 2013

Elopement Stopped

A runaway couple from Kent Island arrived at the Hotel Avalon, Easton, Sunday night. They were Miss Bessie D. Baker, daughter of the Rev. D. Baker of the Methodist Church at Kent Island, and Mr. W. Blizzard of the same place.  The couple started for a drive on Sunday afternoon, and arrived in Easton about 11 P.m. expecting to be married at once.  On arriving at the hotel they were confronted by Sheriff Gannon who had been telephoned to by Mr. Baker to stop the wedding and take his daughter in custody until the arrival of the girl’s parents

The Courier Salisbury MD Feb 23 1907

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Delmar News Dec 30 1905

From The Courier December 30, 1905

James H. Truitt, Fannie O'Neal, E. S. Fooks

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Delmar News Dec 23 1905

From The Courier December 23 1905

George W. Gordy, W. A. Trader, Joseph Waller, James Leonard, Sallie Mary Serman, James Brown, Jane Elliott, E. Wesley Elliott,  Mabel Hayman, Larry Long, Ruth Williams

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Delmar News March 3 1906

From the Courier Salisbury MD March 3 1906

William Dunn, Thomas Hearn, J. A. Jones, James White, William C. Truitt, Clarence L. Byrd, Arthur Figgs, Edith Conant, Emma Butler, Grace Hearn, H. M Waller

Monday, January 7, 2013

Delmar News In 1905

From The Courier Salisbury MD Feb 11 1905
Edgar Phillips, Priscilla Elliott, J. M. Elliott, F. G. Elliott, W. J. Short, Matthew Goslee. Carl D. Disharoon

Friday, January 4, 2013

Denilesville, Delaware

Denilesville, Delaware

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." Quote from Mark Twain

But Denilesville is located between Delmar and Bacon. Denilesville has ceased to exist but back in the 1920's it was about eight houses and two general stores ( I have been told one of the stores was run by a relative of Riley W. Adkins, noted general store owner in Delmar). It was never very large, and I have never seen it appear on a map. To locate Denilesville head west on Old Crow Road and just as you pass over the Rail Road tracks you are there. Altho small and was not a railroad stop it did have a mail pickup arm that the train would drop off and pickup mail as it went by.
Denilesville today - May be the same house that was auctioned off in 1921

Auction ad in 1921 of house in Denilesville.

1921 Dance at Oakley Beach

1921 Dance at Oakley Beach

Oakley Beach was in Cambridge Maryland

George R. Hill Comes Home To Salisbury - 1921

George R. Hill Comes Home To Salisbury - 1921

Buttercup Dickerson

Buttercup Dickerson

Buttercup Dickerson, born Lewis Pessano Dickerson in Tyaskin, Maryland in 1858, was the first Italian American player in the major leagues. His first game was July 15, 1878 when he was the starting outfielder for Cincinnati. Batting left and throwing right, he played for seven years and finished his career playing for Buffalo. His lifetime batting average was 284. He died on July 23, 1920.

His father was William Porter Dickerson (1825 to 1905) and his mother was Mary Perscilla(1837-1924)

Lewis Pessano Dickerson (October 11, 1858 – July 23, 1920) was a 19th-century Major League Baseball outfielder. Born in Tyaskin, Maryland, he played a total of seven seasons in the majors, splitting time between eight teams in three different leagues. He is credited as becoming the first Italian-American to play in the majors.

Dickerson began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1878 at the age of 19, and played 29 games in the outfield, but did not find himself a regular starting position until the following year. In 1879, he took over the regular left field job replacing Charley Jones, who had departed for the Boston Red Caps. That season proved to be his best season in the majors; he batted .294, drove in 57 runs, and his 14 triples led the league

Dickerson departed the team the next season, moving on to the Troy Trojans, where he played mainly in center field. He then relocated to the Worcester Ruby Legs later that same season and split time in center with Harry Stovey. In 1881, he moved over to left field and had a very productive season, batting .316. He wouldn't play in the majors again until 1883, when he changed teams once again, playing 85 games with the Pittsburg Alleghenys. His production went down significantly, and he hit just .249.

The next two seasons, he spent travelling from team to team, four in total. Three of those team in the 1884 season alone. His best showing was with the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association when he hit .365 in 46 games. In 1885, he played in 5 games for the Buffalo Bisons before his career came to an end

Dickerson died at the age of 61 in Baltimore, Maryland, and was interred at Loudon Park Cemetery In 1979, he was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

The Eastern Shore Stage Coach Line - 1840

The Eastern Shore Stage Coach Line - 1840

Elijah Tunnell


Above is the gravestone of Elijah Tunnell. It is located in Key West, Florida. I obtained the photo from Find-A-Grave.
On May 11th 1898 the US Torpedo boat “Winslow” engaged the Spanish at Cardenas Harbor, East of Havana. The “Winslow” was badly damaged in the ensuing battle. It resulted in the death of 5 sailors and several wounded. One of the dead was Elijah J. Tunnell of Accomack County, Virginia. He was a colored cabin Cook on the "Winslow". He had just enlisted on March 21,1898. He had both legs blown off in a shell burst and later died from the wound.
From “History Of Negro Soldiers In The Spanish American War: by Edward A. Johnson.

Elijah B. Tunnell was employed as cabin cook on the Winslow. The boat, under a severe fire from masked batteries of the Spanish on shore, was disabled. The Wilmington came to her rescue, the enemy meanwhile still pouring on a heavy fire. It was difficult to get the "line" fastened so that the Winslow could be towed off out of range of the Spanish guns. Realizing the danger the boat and crew were in, and anxious to be of service, Tunnell left his regular work and went on deck to assist in "making fast" the two boats, and while thus engaged a shell came, which, bursting over the group of workers, killed him and three others. It has been stated in newspaper reports of this incident that it was an ill-aimed shell of one of the American boats that killed Tunnell and Bagley. Tunnell was taken on board the Wilmington with both legs blown off, and fearfully mutilated. Turning to those about him he asked, "Did we win in the fight boys?" The reply was, "Yes." He said, "Then I die happy."
In addition to Tunnell; John Varveres, John Denfec, Feorge Mock and Worth Bagley died on the “Winslow”.

Elijah Tunnell was the son of John A. and Sarah Tunnell of Wattsville, Virginia. John Tunnell in the 1880 Census at age 40 was a farmer and beside his wife, had four boys and three girls living at home in Wattsville, Virginia. John Tunnell had served in the Civil War, enlisting in Company D, 9th Reg color troops at Drummondtown, Va. on November 11, 1863 at the age of 22.

Some Delmar Newspaper Clippings 1912 - 1919

Some Delmar Newspaper Clippings 1912 - 1919

Above From 1912, Frank Lecates

Above from 1918, G. L. Hastings, G. L. Long

Above from 1912 - Frederick Parker, son of Nutter Parker

1916 Ad For Holly and Turkeys

Up until the 1950's the way families on Delmarva got cash money for the winter and Christmas was by making Holly wreaths. I think my grandmother told me they got between five cents to ten cents a wreath. One buyer of these greens and wreaths in 1916 was Elam K. Woodoth of Philadelphia who ran these ads in local papers.

A good writeup of the Holly Making Industry on the Delmarva is Megan Torrey's paper called "Run Forest Run". The Holly Wreath Industry part starts on page 8

Delmar Sept 1st 1906 In the "Courier," Salisbury MD

Delmar Sept 1st 1906 In the "Courier," Salisbury MD

Even In 1907 There Was Metal Theft


From The Courier Salisbury MD March 23 1907

Halley's Comet - 1910

the May 28 1910 edition of the Courier, Salisbury, MD


Aroused to a state of furor because of the belief that Halley's comet would destroy the world, the members of the Holiness sect, at Blades. near Seaford, Delaware, created such a tumult Tuesday night that the religious fanatics were chased out of town by the peaceful inhabitants. Clubs, bricks, good and bad eggs, decayed fruits and vegetables and many other articles too numerous to mention were used to rid the quiet village of the strenuous worshippers. The leaders of the sect have been conducting meetings nightly since the comet has been talked of so much. they implored the people to discontinue all worldly pursuits and make ready for the coming of the end of the world. The excitement reached it height Tuesday evening when it is alleged that one of the members, yelling, like one being murdered, grabbed a chair in the house of worship and crying. "the devil is coming in the door." rushed to the exit. This caused an uproar, which resulted in a crowd of people running them from town.

The Fights In 1931

Berlin – Ocean City News April 9th, 1931, Berlin Md.


Boxing Card For Friday night Is Announced by P. C. Lee Matchmaker

Benjamin H. Parsons, known as the Taylorville Tornado , of Berlin will swap punches with Daly Williams of Delmar, Del., at the Salisbury arena, tomorrow night, Friday.

The rest of the program announced yesterday by P. C. Lee, Matchmaker, follows;

8 Rounds – Leslie Powell, Portsmouth, Va., meets Benny Funderburg , Camp Holabird, Md., heavy weight bout.
6 Rounds – Kid Guthrie, Salisbury vs. Mutt Gordon, Portsmouth, Va.
4 Rounds – Otto Capel, Starr, Md. Vs. Jake Kirschoff, Portsmouth, Va.; K. O. Brown, Cashville, Va., meets Tommy Silver, Portsmouth, Va., and Ben Parson of Berlin battles Daly Williams of Delmar, Del.

The DElDot Archaeology blog

I had for some time wanted to mention the DElDot Archaeology blog but due to those senior moments of going from one web page to another I keep forgetting to do so. As you know most States require an archaeological review of the area where new roads are going in and to some degree this blog is an outcome of that. Deldot puts it out and mostly it is about Northern Delaware. Read it and see what great assumptions can be made by just looking a hole with charred wood and very old horse manuret.

Giddy-yup! Food consumption and horse riding were the themes this week at the Rumsey/Polk Tenant/ site, and we found food remains and “horsey” items galore. Several large trash pits dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were excavated this week. A few pits that would have been used to store food, ie. “subfloor cold storage pits” in particular contained lots of evidence of the types of animals raised, ridden, and eaten on the farm. Objects such as a stirrup and a horseshoe revealed the former residents rode horses, an expensive commodity at the time, and one that required riding skills and equipment, horse stalls, and paddock enclosures. Riding horses also needed to be continuously shoed by local blacksmiths, which created an added expense to horse ownership. These finds will be researched and may be dated to give us more clues about when horses were used at the site. Careful excavation by crew members also recovered tiny egg shell fragments–likely from chicken eggs– delicate fish bones, and teeth, leg, foot and shoulder bones from pigs and cows. The fish may have been caught in the nearby creek or were bought at the local market. Domesticated chickens, pigs, and cows were likely raised by the tenants on the farm. Extra meat produced during seasonal livestock slaughter was probably bartered for other goods with neighbors or local shop keepers, a common practice during the eighteenth and nineteenth century that strengthened social and economic ties between community members.

Owens and Beach New Store in Columbia Delaware

From the Wicomico News, Salisbury Md April 23rd, 1913

Noah W. Owens, contractor, is erecting a large store building at Columbia, for Owens and Beach, successors to G. W. Owens. The building is thirty by sixty with a shed fourteen feet wide. The building will be two stories, the lower floor will be used for a general store and the second floor as a lodge room for the American Mechanics.

Pine Bluff Sanatorium Expands - 1913

From the Feb 20, 1913 edition of The Wicomico News


The Pine Bluff Sanatorium Commission of which Senator Price has recently been named a member to take the place of Dr. Brice Goldsborough, resigned, has started work erecting some outside shacks at the Sanatorium for use of colored patients. This institution is doing a great work and is providing places for incurable tuberculosis patients. It is the only place in Maryland where the incurable can be sent and it is a great boom for suffering humanity. It is the intend of the commission to erect several of these shacks and providing for more patients

Thelma Hastings Delmar Town Clerk 1976

From The Salisbury Times, Sept 22, 1976


DELMAR - Thelma Hastings, a town clerk here for 15 years, was suspended from duty for six days following the disclosure that she accepted $10 from former Police Chief Charles Cullen as payment for his service revolver.

The action was taken in behalf of the joint Maryland and Delaware town council by Town Manager Robert Martin, who discovered a record of the payment entered in the town's financial records.

The council in effect, reimbursed the clerk for four of the six suspension days. the action will result in the docking of two days pay.

According to Mr. Martin, the matter of whether the outgoing police chief, who retired in March, could purchase his service revolver, a standard practice for state police, was discussed and vetoed by the council.

The transaction was then made, Mr Martin said, in April, following the council's adverse decision. He said the gun has been recovered and the money returned.

Mr. Cullen, explained he had made an informal request to purchase the gun, for a token amount, as a memento last December from the council. He said that apparently a motion was made sometime after that to reverse the decision, and he was not aware of it until just last month.

He sympathized with Mrs. Hastings, saying he thought she had done nothing wrong, and added, " I don't want the gun. I wouldn't want it if it was gold plated,"

Cilin - Unbaptised Infants Burial Grounds

Well with my trip to a couple of cemeteries yesterday and in another hour I will be out to the Freeney-Hearn cemetery working on cleaning it up I think I will write about a lesser known cemetery lore. I recently read an article that is reprinted below about cemeteries for unbaptised infants - Cilin. The word is supposed to be derived from the Latin "cella" and means Church or Graveyard.

A UNIQUE plaque has been installed by Cappamore Historical Society in remembrance of unbaptised infants in the parish.

It was blessed by Fr Liam Ryan following Mass last Sunday morning.
The initiative by Cappamore Historical Society has been planned for the last eight months.
Chairman of the historical society, Oliver Dillon, said the granite stone plaque was placed at the rear of the church where the original baptism font was located.
The wording reads: “In remembrance of unbaptised infants and others of the Cappamore area who are buried in cillineacha and elsewhere in unofficial ground.”
A cilin is unconsecrated ground where it was the practice to bury unbaptised babies in the past. The burials were secretive in nature and mostly undertaken in hours of darkness.
In some areas a spoon was buried with the infant and this appears to be a pre-Christian custom.
Mr Dillon says there are three cillineacha in the parish of Cappamore that they know of, but there is probably more as some don’t appear on maps. Cillineacha were often found beside graveyards.
The second part of the inscription on the plaque sums up the initiative by the Cappamore Historical Society, said Mr Dillon.
The quote from Ecclesiasticus 44.9 is: “Others there are who have left no memorial, who have disappeared as if they never existed and are now as though they never were”.
“It is a mark of respect and in remembrance for those that have gone before us,” said Mr Dillon. Fr Ryan said the blessing after Mass on Pentecost Sunday in front of members of the Cappamore Historical Society and their families.
He also thanked Fr Browne for his support.

These cemeteries were mainly for infants who died shortly after childbirth and possibly adult suicide cases. Since they had not been baptized or they had committed an act violating a rule of the church they could not be buried in church consecrated ground. I understand there was not a grave marker placed on the grave. This of course leads the scenario of a mother dieing in childbirth
and her child dies also and one is buried in a church graveyard and the other is buried outside in unconsecrated grounds. I tend to associate them with the Roman Catholic Church and the Irish but I am sure that is not the only groups who did this or still does this practice.

It is an old practice and such was the power of the Church that according to the Book of Oaths dated 1649, a midwife had to swear that ‘if any childe bee dead borne, you your selfe shall see it buried in such secret place as neither Hogg nor Dogg, nor any other Beast may come unto it, and in such sort done, as it may not be found or perceived, as much as you may; and that you shall not suffer any such childe to be cast into the Jaques (privy) or any other inconvenient place.’

I honestly do not know of any of these unbaptised burial grounds for infants in our area, but since they are unmarked the only way you would know is by word of mouth. . Obviously with the current burial practice of being buried in a commercial graveyard it makes no different if they are baptised or not. Perhaps a reader will know of one in the area and let us know.

Was Laurel Settled By Pirates?

For those that follow history in this area we are aware that Laurel was part of a tract of land called "Bachelor's Delight" patented for James Wyeth and Marmaduke Mister in 1684.


Site of town was originally part of tract known as “Bachelor’s Delight.” From 1711 to 1768 it was included in Nanticoke Indian Reservation, comprising 3,000 acres, authorized by Act of Maryland Assembly. A village known as “Laurel” was in existence as early as 1799. Birthplace of Governor William H.H. Rose (elected 1850), and home to Governors Nathaniel Mitchell (elected 1804), William B. Cooper (elected 1840), Joshua H. Marvil (elected 1894), and Elbert N. Carvel (elected 1948 and 1960). The town’s central district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

I recently read an article by John Fitzhugh Millar

in which he writes about pirates having a ship called the "Bachelor's Delight" (a corvette of 14 main guns) The pirates went on their plundering spreed in the 1680's and after a while decided to stop being pirates and took their ship to Philadelphia where it was sold. The crewmen made their way down the Chesapeake dropping off three crewmen in Sussex County Delaware. The plantation those three created with their ill-gotten gains was called "Bachelor’s Delight", named after their ship and was located where the village of Laurel now stands.

Eventually the other crewmen of the "Bachelor's Delight" ended up having to forfeit part of their loot and that money went to create the College of William and Mary.


Certainly it would explain some of the thieving actions of certain people in Laurel - it's in their blood being descended from Pirates.

My Business Was To Fight The Devil

I recently read "My Business was to Fight The Devil - Recollections of Rev. Adam Wallace Peninsula Circuit Rider 1847-1865" edited with notes by Joseph F. DiPaolo. As the lengthy title says, the book is a series of recollections about the Eastern Shore and being a Circuit Rider Preacher in that time period. It has many interesting subjects as it was right before and during the civil war but one part I will print out is one of his visits to Delmar. At this time Delmar was just being created but it had outside of town an existing church called Union M. E. Church. Now Rev. Wallace was born in County Leitrim Ireland in 1825 and he came to America in 1843 and ended up being a traveling preacher. In Delmar in 1859 were gangs of track workers who were mostly Irish and they were known for getting drunk on Sunday and fighting. Rev. Wallace relates this incident at the Union Church on a Sunday he was preaching there.

"the Irish laborers were then engaged in digging and grading the new railroad; when Sunday came around and they could obtain whiskey, they became fond of attending our service. We preferred to keep them outside for fear of a tipperary fight, but one Sunday evening, with the alter crowded and the prayer meeting moving on in a lively way, a gang of these tipsy fellows burst in to 'clane out' as they threatened, the whole concern. I had the assurance to mount a bench and address them in a few words of the original Irish tongue, which I had picked up as a boy. It surprised them completely to find the 'journeyman soul-saver,' as they called the preacher, a fellow countryman. I blarneyed them out of the church, where sundry bottles were produced to 'treat' such a 'broth of a boy'. I afterwards visited them at their work along the line; and when our quiet people were terrorized by their turbulent behavior, I always had some influence as a peacemaker."

"Family" Visit

As I previously posted I had made a date to visit some distant relatives to add to the family tree. The documented family tree currently consist mostly of names, dates and relationships, which is the base for any family tree research however what it needs to come to life is family history and photographs of those individuals. The group of relatives that I spent about three hours with discussing family was one of the better groups, very likeable people. When we started showing photographs they had a large number of them. I finally got to see what the original person I was tracking looked like – he was a man so full of personality and good humor it just showed in every photograph you looked at. Some people are like that.

The photographs are what bring me to the topic I would like to comment on. All of the photos I looked at from the early 1900’s forward were good photographs and in good shape. Frankly the old black and white photographs prior to 1960 were printed on heavy paper and held up much better that the photos today. Some of their photographs were loose, some were in the old black paper scrap book photo albums, and then there were those of more recent original that happily were not those electrostatic photos album of the 1960’s and 1970’s with the thin glue strips.

Many of you may have a photo album from your parents or grandparents that was made of black paper and they wrote in white ink (I hope they wrote in it) the name of the person or event and maybe even if you are lucky the year. Sometimes the photo was glued directly to the paper and sometimes it was put in with those corner stickers. I think the worst is when they used scotch tape to put them in with as it yellows and falls off after a number of years and it leaves you wondering which photo matched up with the white ink label saying “Harold and Maude at beach 1921.” Unless the photo album is in bad shape I would leave it alone (if it is not broke don’t fix it) with the exception of scanning it for a digital backup. The three things I think that are important with these types of photo albums are to store them out of sunlight - don’t leave them out on the coffee table - store them in a closet or box. Second, maybe think about putting archive tissue paper between the pages so the face of the photographs do not touch when the album is closed – it will prevent scratching. Third, remove any staples, paper clips, rubber bands or string as those items can create creases and rust stains.

I always recommend scanning photographs to give you a digital backup. I would not try to remove the photographs to scan them. Scan the entire album page or as much as your scanner can cover. You can always copy that full page photo and crop it down to the single photo later, if you need it. When copying use the maximum DPI setting your scanner has so you capture as much of the image quality as possible. You may want to use a TIFF format instead of a JPEG type format. Remember to always clean your scanner screen every four or five scans as you will touch it with your finger tips placing and removing the photos and you will end up with finger prints on the glass screen.

Odds are your photo album will last longer than the CD you are making your digital backup to. Paper Photographs will last about a hundred years or more, the negative is good for at least 130 years, Color Polaroid pictures are good for 50 years, black and white Polaroid maybe the same but with fading, the CD you are backing up to will last about 20 years if the technology doesn’t change so it is unreadable, video tapes and those 8”, 5” and 3” floppy disk will last about ten years and the magnetic media will start flaking off. So for your backup you will have to recopy with each new technology that comes along.

The one photo album I would recommend removing the photos from (if possible) are those electrostatic photos album of the 1960’s on up to today with the thin glue strips. They are death to photographs for long term storage. I will write about in a future post.


Cemeteries and Perpetual Care Funds

I have written previously that the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society received a gift of material pertaining to Marion Station, Maryland. A good part of it was related to the three cemeteries in that area. I was reading a letter in the box of material that concerned the St. Paul Perpetual Care Program. St Paul cemetery is like many small non-commercial cemeteries in the area. The maintenance of the cemetery came from three sources. The cemetery offered two plans for cleaning and maintaining the cemetery as a whole and the individual lots. One was an annual fee survivors/families of the deceased would pay for cleaning which usually ranged between $5 to $10 a plot. The other plan was the Perpetual Care Program where the buyer of the plot would have included in the plot a charge for cleaning the plot “forever.” The third was families took care of their own plots. Of course there was also those who didn’t pay anything due to all family members dying off or no longer lived in the area.

When this letter was written (in the 1960’s) the cemetery had invested their money and was receiving about 4% interest which was enough to pay the groundskeeper. So what is the effect today when the Federal Reserve’s December 17th 2008 decision to cut its interest rate to less than a quarter of a percent (meant to encourage investors back into the stock market) plus the effect of printing money with nothing to back it. I can not help but think for many cemeteries, the prospect of depressed interest rates will have dire consequences to endowed/perpetual care trusts that are subject to state laws which limit or restrict equity investments. With Bank interest rates between a quarter of a percent to one percent and the stock market only a couple of points higher and State laws historically have imposed conservative investment standards upon endowed care funds to ensure preservation of the trust corpus, bad times are ahead for many cemeteries.

In Delaware, businesses that sell burial lots with perpetual care for profit has to deposit a sum equal to at least one tenth of the gross sales price for the maintenance of burial lots sold with perpetual care into a trust fund. I knew someone once who owned a cemetery back in the 1980’s and he was telling me what a great deal it was as they had all this money in a trust fund that paid their expenses and any selling of plots was gravy money. But the question is does the interest rate produce enough money today to maintain the cemetery? Already several older non-profit cemeteries that did not have any form of fund set up for care have become overgrown and volunteers and municipalities have to clean up and maintain these cemeteries. If not they become hangouts for various people. How long will the other cemeteries be able to hold out before asking for aid? In effect the Federal Government by lowering the interest rate has once again put a “Tax” on everyone who is interested in keeping up standards for the community.

John W. Parker Death -1898

From the Salisbury Advertiser April 30, 1898

Fatal Accident At Delmar

John W. Parker, a brakeman the N.Y.P. & N. Railroad was fatally injured at Delmar last Tuesday night while coupling cars. A moving train ran over his body, cutting off an arm and a leg. He survived only a little while.

Mr. Parker was 28 years old and married. He was insured by the Heptasophs for $3,000. Mr. Parker was the son of Charles W. Parker of Pittsburg district.

Researching your Family tree versus Stalking – It’s A Fine Line

 Neww Year’s day I posted that I would be doing more on Genealogy and history on this blog due to commitments I had made, so again today I am posting a subject on Genealogy.

I would say that I have been researching family members that lived between Galestown and Woodland Ferry off and on since 1995. In 1995 there was not that much on the internet and it was mostly reading microfilm and tracking down printed books on family trees. Today however the internet has more information. Over the past few months this research has eventually led me to living relatives in the Wilmington area.

Part of this research commitment for this year included taking out a subscription to and as I have pulled up marriage licenses, death certificates, birth certificates, newspaper articles etc it made me realize the only difference between family tree research and stalking is the people you are stalking are dead, mostly.

If you give a general description of stalking as; a persistent pursuit of an individual by another that would cause a reasonable person to fear, and the vast majority of stalkers are obsessed with their victims and they initiate contact or communications through telephone calls, mail, email, computer history research and the use of digital and video cameras, you may well be describing a genealogist with the only difference being the victim or person being stalked is dead.

Like most Genealogist I have done what nearly every beginning family historian has done and tried to trace my family as far back as possible. Twenty-five years later I have a bland collection of names and dates with a number of blank spots in them and very little on actual family history. Now my focus is on discovering, unfolding, and telling the stories of the lives of the individuals. It’s a much more tedious task than solely collecting names, places, and dates, but it can contain the elements of adventure, excitement, and intrigue. It can seem like a scavenger hunt at times. One clue and the right questions can possibly lead to an answer with another clue with more questions that need answers. Eventually however you get to that spot where you have to talk to living people. As I have progressed in this research of that particular Galestown/Woodland Ferry branch of the family that moved to the Wilmington area, I recently came across an obituary that gave the names of living people. I contacted one of them and that person did not call the police on me so I hope to meet that person and other relatives in March.

Avenge Ellwood!

In looking at what other Historical Societies celebrate, I came across the notice that the Goleta Valley Historical Society is having a special exhibit of “‘Avenge Ellwood!’: The Japanese Attack on California,” a special exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Ellwood Shelling in Goleta. On Feb. 23, 1942, a large Japanese submarine identified as the I-17 surfaced at sundown off of Ellwood Mesa and fired its deck cannon at the tidelands oil-production facilities clustered along the shore.

Back in 2009 I did a post on this attack
on California

The "Avenge Ellwood" logo was created in early 1943 for a war bond drive led by the 4th Santa Barbara War Savings Committee and the American Women's Voluntary Services. The image was used in newspapers, posters, and by local businesses who had donated to the cause. The money raised went directly to the purchase of a bomber plane and fighter plane that would boast the names"Flying Santa Barbaran" and "Ellwood Avenger." Like many WWII propaganda posters, the artist is unknown and the image was not copyrighted.

A Couple of Mysteries

At the last Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) meeting we had two mysteries we are looking at.

First is a spoon that feature the original 1897 bank building for the Bank of Delmar on it. It has thrown everyone off by the spoon saying Bank Of Delmar Del. At first we thought it was the First National Bank (now the Barber shop) on the Delaware side of town but it doesn't look like that building so we have no idea why Del is included. So does anyone know anything about it?

Second was a wooden mantel taken from a house being remodeled over on E. East street. I didn't get a picture - one of those rare times I was without a camera. It is a simple wooden mantel with some decoration from the 1920's. It was manufactured in South Boston VA in 1923 and shipped to Delmar BR Delmar. At this time we have no idea what Delmar BR was. Active in the 1920's was a development around East street and State Street called "Brooklyn" and I thought it may have something to do with that, but I really have no idea.

Catesby Fleet Rust (1819-1894)

I was reading some of Eliza Frances Andrews' "The war-time journal of a Georgia girl, 1864-1865" a free on line book and came across this diary entry.

Feb. 21, Tuesday

A letter from Mecca Joyner, saying she is coming to make me a visit, and I must meet her in Albany on Wednesday. Just as I had finished reading it a buggy drove up with Flora Maxwell and Capt. Rust, from Gopher Hill. Flora has a great reputation for beauty, but I think her even more fascinating and elegant than beautiful. Capt. Rust is an exile from Delaware, and a very nice old gentleman, whom the Maxwells think a great deal of. He was banished for helping Southern prisoners to escape across the lines. He tells me that he sometimes had as many as fourteen rebels concealed in his house at one time.

Albert Bacon called after tea and told us all about the Hobbs poetry, and teased me a good deal at first by pretending that Capt. Hobbs was very angry. He says everybody is talking about it and asking for copies. I had no idea of making such a stir by my little joke. Metta and I were invited to spend this week at Stokes Walton's, but company at home prevented. We are going to have a picnic at the Henry Bacons' lake on Thursday, and the week after we expect to begin our journey home in good earnest. Sister is going to visit Brother Troup in Macon at the same time, and a large party from Albany will go that far with us. I have so much company and so much running about to do that I can't find time for anything else. I have scribbled this off while waiting for breakfast.

The Captain Rust mentioned I think would be Catesby Fleet Rust (1819-1894) before and after the war a farmer of Seaford, Delaware. Since the diary entry says he was an older gentlemen, Catesby Rust would fit the description better than Charles Palmer Rust who also left Delaware to join the Confederate forces.

Catesby Fleet Rust was the son of John Rust and Priscilla Laws Rust. Catesby was married to Anne Eliz Palmer in 1840. Their son was Charles Palmer Rust.