Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Stone House

It is hard to believe that this empty space which looks like a parking lot/drive way once held the The Stone House Hotel. 

In 1904 Theodore A. Veasey opened his hotel on the Delaware side of State Street.  The hotel sit on a 47 ft front on State street and and an 84 ft deep lot.  The property previous had the home of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Smith.   The bottom half of the hotel was constructed of molded concrete blocks, so living in a land without stone in which concrete is the closest thing to stone the locals called it the Stone House.  The molded block was a popular construction medium at that time.  For more discussions of it use in Delmar.
Theodore Veasey had previously managed a hotel on the corner of Railroad and State street on the Maryland side of town.  Wicomico county voted to become a dry county putting Mr. Veasey’s bar in the hotel out of business, so Mr. Veasey built his stone hotel on the Delaware side of town which was still “wet”.   The new hotel had a new bar, a new restaurant area and a ladies parlor on the first floor. The second and third floor had about 40 rooms to rent out.  The Veaseys lived in the hotel.
Theodore Veasey did not receive his liquor license right away. There were a number of people in town who did not want a bar in town.  Eventually in about 1906 he received his liquor license as the majority of people figured that liquor would be sold anyway so it might as well be in a legal licensed establishment.  In November of 1907 the residents of Sussex county Delaware voted to have Sussex county a “dry” county.  Mr. Veasey closed up his bar again but kept the hotel/rooming house going. 
Theodore A. Veasey (1857-1923) came from Milton Delaware.  His parents were William Wallace Veasey and Arcada C. Atkins Veasey.  Theodore would marry Mary Augusta Culver (1867-1926) in Wilmington on Sep 19, 1894.  Theodore A. Veasey was a wheeler dealer of his time in Delmar.  He was involved in a number of enterprises and held a number of different positions.  He was game warden.  He sold automobiles and real estate.  He ran unsuccessfully for Sussex county Sheriff.  He tried for the Post Master job in Delmar unsuccessfully.
Theodore A. Veasey was connected with the Delmar Lumber Manufacturing Company and in 1913 when it went bankrupt, the property of the other directors (F. G. Elliott) and the property of Theodore Veasey was sold to make good on the debts of the company.  The Stone House was put up for auction and Mrs. Veasey purchased the hotel for $6,500.
Since the bar was no longer being used as a bar in 1916, Mrs. Veasey leased that area out to the Delmar Post Office.  The Post Office would remain in this building until 1959 when a new building was built.   In 1918 improvements were made to the building and now all 40 rooms and the post office had hot and cold running water and steam heat.  Besides the post office on the first floor there also still existed the restaurant.

In 1923 Mr. Veasey at age 65 would pass away followed by his wife Augusta in 1926.  Mr. R. Ray German would buy the building at an estate sale.  He leased to Fannie German and Julia Bryan the restaurant operation and the rooming house operation.  They operated under the business name “German and Bryan”.   Fannie and Julia were sisters, they were daughters of Levin Lowe and Mary Ellen Waller Lowe.   Fannie German was Mrs. Mary Frances German (1865 -1941) and Julia Bryan ( -1937) was her sister and she was married to George Bryan. Referred to as Aunt Fannie, Fannie German was well known to the railroad people that rented her rooms and ate at her restaurant.   Fannie German had been married twice; once to William Thomas Gillis and second to Harvey German.
The restaurant was a 24 hour business and at 4:30AM on a Saturday in 1921 it was robbed when a masked man came in with a gun and told Mrs. Bryan to hand over the money.  She did but the robber got very little as Mrs. German had taken the deposit to the bank earlier.

 above 1931 sanborn fire insurance map of Delmar.

above the white building in back of the homecoming parade band is the stone house after it was converted to apartments.

The building continued in operation as a rooming house or apartments until February 2003 when a fire closed it down and the building was removed.

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