Tuesday, July 31, 2018

E Guy Hastings

Left on State St., which becomes the Line Road, to the junction with an improved road, 0.8 m.; L. here to the Barn of E. Guy Hastings, 1 m., in the loft of which old-time square dances are often held on Friday nights during the fall and winter months. (Visitors welcome either as dancers or spectators; many offer contributions for music.) The place is in no sense a roadhouse, and nothing is sold. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings hold the dances as community affairs because of their interest in keeping up the old customs, and often call the figures themselves.

Above from the book The Ocean Highway : New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida  1938

Ernest Guy Hastings (1879-1958) and Sallie Amelia Ward Hastings  lived about 2 miles east of Delmar.  They had one daughter; Etta Ward Hastings (1905-1987).  The newspapers always mentioned their names in  association with meetings and get to gathers at their home. 


From the Bi State Weekly February 11, 1949



"Commander Ralph Good, of Glen Rayne Post No. 15, The American Legion, announces that plans have been completed for the reception of the Delaware car of the French Gratitude Train, which is to be in Delmar, Sunday February 13. The car which is being taken on a tour of Delaware cities and towns during the week of February 13, by the 40 and 8, the American Legion organization, will arrive in Delmar at approximately 4:45 p.m. and will be on display in front of the Avenue Theatre until 6:00 p.m.

All residents of Delmar and vicinity are urged to view this expression of the gratitude of the French people for the Friendship Train that was sent to France by the by the United States.

Welcoming ceremonies by the Mayor and Town officials of Delmar and Glen Rayne Post have been arranged by past commander, Francis E. Nunvar.

The hundreds of gifts which the car contains are to be distributed to the State of Delaware, the archives, commission of the state, schools, hospitals, orphanages, Veterans administration hospital, catholic Diocese of Delaware, Wilmington Lodge, BPOE, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and libraries. There will be no general display of gifts at one place, but each institution which receives a gift will be asked to display them. The gifts will be distributed during the tour.

The State Highway Department will provide the trailer-tractor to be used in transporting the Delaware car on its tour of the state."

As the article stated the French Gratitude railcar came to Delmar.   In November 1947, citizens of the United States embarked on a private relief effort to provide aid to war torn France and Italy. This aid was $40 million dollars in supplies filling 700 cars was sent to Europe and was called the "American Friendship Train". There was also a short film documentary called The Friendship Train.

The Freedom Train, painted red, white and blue in Salisbury Maryland in 1947.

A French rail worker and World War II veteran, Andre Picard was so touched by this gesture he suggested France reciprocate. A French veteran’s organization quickly embraced his idea and developed a committee to collect the gifts. A search was conducted to commandeer boxcars from rail yards and depots throughout France to restore them in preparation for their journey. The Railcars themselves were built between 1872 to 1885. Over 52,000 gifts totaling 250 tons were collected to fill 49 boxcars bound for all the states in the U.S. including one car to be shared by the District of Columbia and the territory of Hawaii. Because the French Railcars were too narrow of a gauge to fit our railroad tracks they were carried around to the States on flatbed trucks.

The care of the boxcar was later placed with an independent veteran’s organization, La Societe des Quarante Hommes at Huit Chevaux, referred to as, “The Forty and Eight” society, which was organized in the 1920s by World War I veterans that rode aboard the cars throughout Europe.

The "Forty and Eight" draws its origin from World War I, when the United States had Americans in France to fight "The War To End All Wars." The first thing they ran into was a Voiture boxcar. The narrow gauge railroads of France had box cars that carried little more than half the capacity of American boxcars and these were used to transport the soldiers to and from the fighting fronts. Each boxcar carried carried 40 men or 8 horses (40 hommes et 8 chevaux). The cars were stubby, only 20.5 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. The cars gave their name to a fraternity formed within the American Legion — La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux.

The Delaware Gratitude railcar resides in Seaford at the American Legion there. I measured the car and it is about 8 ft by 20 ft which would give a square footage of 160 ft. If they packed 40 soldiers, with rifles and field packs into each one that would give each person 4 sq ft, or a space 2 by 2 feet. I don’t see how you can even stand in that space.

The Coats of arms on the boxcar represents the provinces of France.

The State of Delaware has a historical sign by the car.

A good website on the cars is at
Merci train

The Delmar American Legion Building has in it this Napoleon bust

The Napoleon bust was donated from France and arrived on the Gratitude Train in 1949. This thank you to America was donated by Madam A. Goujean, 23 Rue Massena, Lyon, France.

so what happened to the other gifts?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Few Hotel Items

Delmar did not have top notch hotels.  It did have a couple hotels but they provide the basics and little else.  If someone, particularly a woman, in the 1880 to 1930 time frame were to check into a better class hotel some of the convenient items that might have been found in the room would be;  

The obvious Basin and Pitcher

an ash tray and spittoon

above a candle stand

above a comb and brush tray

above a soap dish

 a hat pin holder
the top of the hat pin holder

Powder box and a holder for the powder puff

The New War Map Virginia Maryland Pennsylvania

A Map from about 1864,  Not only is Delmar not shown but Delaware isn't even included in the title 

an enlarge view of the area we are interested in.  No Delmar but not surprising as Delmar would have been an open field in a Pine Forest with nothing beyond the rail track and a depot.  It would not be until the 1870s building finally started to pop up.

Notice below Easton on the map is the "Hole in the Wall"  Today just the ruins of the church is there, just off RT50

1955 Richard L Studley

1954 Bi State weekly

Harlan E. Tull 1955

above 1955 Bi State Weekly

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Norman Tilghman Police Chief

Mr. Norman Tilghman hired on to the Delmar, Delaware police force in 1953.  In 1954 the towns of Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland combined their police forces and had one police department that could operate in both states.  Norman Tilghman was selected to be Police Chief.  He had one patrolman under him and that was Franklin J. Richardson.  Each pulled a shift sharing a police car.

Chief Tilghman (1919-1989) was 35 years old at the time and lived in Delmar.  His wife in 1954 was Betty Mae Wilson Tilghman ( -2017).  She was originally from Delmar

Chief Tilghman was the son of Luther and Lillian Guthrie Tilghman.  He had served in the army in World War 2 and after he got out he worked for the Salisbury Police Department and then he was a taxi driver and then he sold cars.  He decided to join the Delmar Police.  He had married young to Elsie Gertrude and they had a son Luther Allen Tilghman.  The marriage didn’t work.  Betty Mae and Norman would have two daughters; Janie and Robin Ann.  Norman would go on to work for the Wicomico County Sheriff department.

The New Fire Engine Is Housed

above 1929 Delmar News Laurel State Register

Friday, July 27, 2018

1908 A Bible On Every Sussex County School Boy/Girl Desk

above 1908 Salisbury advertiser

Sgt Samuel Bynum

above from the Bi State weekly July 18, 1952

A New Pump For the Water System

above from the Bistate weekly November 16, 1951

Class of 1950

The Delmar 1983 Water Rust and Iron Problem

As the town entered 1981 there was an increase in the amount of rust in the water system. In 1981 the town entered into a 1.1 Million dollar water system improvement project. The money was obtained from the Farmers Home Administration, in the form of a $600,000 loan and a $500,000 grant. The project had three phases to it. First, new water lines would run to a new well on the south end of town. Some additional lines were installed in a section of town known as Delmar Manor as the system did not form a loop in that section of town and was but a dead end. Phase two was a new 300,000 gallon water tower. Phase three was a new well.

The new well was drilled by Delmarva Drilling Company of Bridgeville. The well was driven 205 feet into the Manokin aquifer. While the well was being it driven, in December of 1981, the well collapsed during installation. Delmarva Drilling said it would have to charge extra for the additional work involved in drilling again and repairing the well. The town engineers on the project Andrews, Miller associates said the drilling company used grouting not specified in the contract and they, Andrew Miller Associates (Although they were also the inspectors for the project) would have to charge the town addition money for additional engineer studies. The Town said, no, they were not paying any additional money to anyone. Thus started a year long finger pointing contest.

Of note the south well was originally drilled to 180 feet where clear usable water was found, however since Federal money was being used the Federal government required for the well to be deeper. At the 205 feet level the water tested okay but developed iron after pumping was started.  This same issue with the state requiring a deeper well and going beyond the good water to rust water would be repeated again in 2008 while drilling a backup well.  We just never learn. 

The 300,000 gallon water tower was built by Brown Steel Co. of Newman, Ga. And put on line in early 1982. The water tower is a classical five leg elevated water tower. One of the problems with this design is local daredevils like to break into the water plant compound, climb the tower and paint graffiti on it. The North Water Tower (single pedestal) that was installed in 2000 has so far prevented or discouraged that type of behavior.

By the summer of 1981 the first complains, in large numbers, of discolored water and rust was heard from users of the water system. By the end of summer the town manager, Robert Martin, was announcing the town would be making more frequent flushing of the system and they would add Calgon (Calgon combines with iron and magnesium to form particles that will not precipitate) to the one working well on the north side of town. An independent lab had tested the well and found 1.1 parts iron per million parts of water. Robert Martin, the town manager, would soon be one of the first causalities of the rust problem. He left about 6 months later.

From April 1982 thru 1983 the town started on a town wide flushing program to clean out the water lines. Prior to this indiscriminate flushing had only stirred up the rust and iron. William C. Wolford of the Maryland State Health Department called for a “super Chlorinating” of the town water system to kill iron bacteria and a systematic method of flushing. He said this should relieve the town of it problems. It didn’t. Town residents were told to run water from their taps to clear them and flush their hot water tanks.

By January 1983 the new well was on line. It was using lime and chlorine for treatment. However the town decides to use aquadene (Aquadene is water treatment compound that supposedly will sequester iron and manganese, eliminate discolored water and remove existing scale and tuberculation) to hold the iron in solution, prohibiting precipitation. The iron content is periodically exceeding 2 parts per million. The new town manager, James Peck, predicates the town will be looking at another year before the rust is cleaned up. Since the town residents only wanted to hear the problem would be corrected over night this had the effect of him extending his arms and crossing his ankles over one another and asking for the nails to be driven in. In another 9 months he will resign and take a job elsewhere.

In May the North well (put on line in June of 1981) went down with a bad pump. This made the south well the only usable well. Since the well was on the south end of town and water had been pumped from the north well for 70 years the flow was reversed. In addition the water from the south well had a higher iron contain. The North well stayed down until November.

The original cast iron water mains installed in 1911 had tuberculated. This is hardened clumps of material in the pipes from corrosion and mineral deposits. The tuberculation will be smooth on the side of the flow of water and build up into a wedge with the high part of the wedge being on the side the water is not flowing against. When the direction of the flow of water was reversed it impacted against this wedge chipping it off sending rust and iron through the system.

In February of 1983, out of frustration due to the water problem, a citizen group formed. The Delmar Citizens Committee For Decent Water was made up of ex-mayor Frank Bonsall and a number of other Mayors and council people from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They were in part the cause of the problem as they had refused to make improvements to the water system while they were in office. They expected immediate results to correct the problem. Often heard was the phrase “It wasn’t like this when I was in office”. This group would eventually become strong enough to determine budgets for the town, direct town employees, and dictate town policy.

With the formation of the citizen’s group, the first of a number of major town council/citizen meetings begin to occur. Citizens with mayonnaise jars full of rust colored water cramped into town hall. Richard B. Howell III of the Office of Sanitary Engineering, Delaware Division of Public Health attends the meeting and said “the presence of iron and cooper sulfate is not a health-related standard. It is not physically harmful. Samples taken show that the iron level is running at or below one milligram per liter. This is not much different from 80 percent of all Sussex county water” Residents such as Jim Campbell are quoted as saying “The water is not fit to drink, make tea out of, coffee or anything else”. Town Manager James Peck says the town’s options are to treat the water with chemicals or install a $200,000 filtration system. He says the rust problem has gotten worst since using aquadene.

The meetings brought out the worst in people. There was much finger pointing.  Everyone expected the problem to be cleared up over night and any answer that differed from that was shouted down.

Invited to the Delmar Citizen Committee meetings were state officials. Again the Director of the Office of Sanitary Engineering, Delaware Division of Environmental Health Richard B. Howell III said to the group; the water meets all primary health standards. The presence of iron, which may cause coloration, staining or odor is an aesthetics, not a health related problem. Howe suggested two sources of the iron; natural content of the groundwater and the corrosion of pipe. He said “Any metallic pipe will be dissolved by water as corrosive as this”. Don Melson of the Delaware Division of Environmental Health said the least expensive possibility is a complete flushing of the system that would involve shutting off the Maryland well and using pressure supplied by the Delaware well to systematically flush every hydrant in town. The process would take about two months. Chemical treating with Chlorine and Aquadene would continue.

In July Matthew Aydelotte of the Delmar Citizens Committee for Decent Water and the Delmar Fire Department begin a systematic flushing of the town’s water system. The town was divided into five water districts. Each being supplied by a 6 or 8 inch main connected to the new 10 inch trunk line. The trunk line runs down Pennsylvania Avenue and connects the 1911 standpipe at the north end with the new elevated storage tank at the south end. Each water district was isolated by the valves and the water mains were back flushed a great many times. The system designed by Matthew Aydelotte tried to duplicate the flow of water before the new well was drilled and put on line. Fire hydrants when opened will create a higher velocity of flow which will pick up rust and flush it out. In the past the mains were flushed without isolating them and this just created a problem of sending rust into the other mains in town.

Matthew Aydelotte is quoted as saying “With the full cooperation of the citizens and the Public Works Department, we can turn our million dollar lemon into a drinkable lemonade”. At that time the water looked more like tea with lemon in it than lemonade.

During this period about 1/3 of the water pumped into the system was dumped on the street in hydrant flushing (So much water was flushed from the system that you could tell where fire hydrants were from the red rust coloring of the paved streets) or poured down the sewer line when homeowners tried to clear their tap water up from rust by running it an excessive amount of time. This also increased the volume of water going to an aged and overworked sewage treatment plant. There was much damage to ice makers, hot water heaters, clothing in washing machines, and water coolers. The faith the people in town had with their government’s ability to run a water system suffered the most.

Hindsight is always a great way to voice your opinion and it is my opinion that the big rust and iron situation of 1983 was caused by five problems. First, in spite of test wells drilled, the south well had a high level of iron in it. The iron was pumped into the system from the well, where it went to every user on the system. Second, part of the rust problem was caused by the vibration to old cast iron pipe installed in 1911 from the construction and installation of the new water mains. This vibration broke loose rust in the mains. Third, when the south well came on line it changed a 70 year direction of the flow of water in the water mains. This broke off tuberculation and iron particles that went everywhere in the system. Fourth, the town employees in attempting to flush the system did not isolate the areas they were trying to flush causing the increase water flow from flushing to break off more rust particles and send them into the sections of water mains already flushed, in addition somewhere in attempting to isolate areas the isolation valves were left in the wrong positions creating water flow against the direction of the previous 70 years. This reversed direction of course also broke off rust particles. Finally the fifth item was paperwork. An important part of flushing is to have detail drawings of the water main layout. Paperwork and maps, in Delmar, are one of the items that have always  been missing or so out of date they were useless.

At the end of 1984 the iron problem was reduced but still continued at a lesser level. The town continues its policy of refunding the money spent by residents in buying laundry Rust and Iron removal products for the outbreak of iron even today. Today all the suggestions made in 1983 to correct the iron problem such as, a new water treatment plant and replacing and pigging mains, were made in the year 2000.

Part-Time Police

At one time Delmar employed Part-Time Police.  They had little to zero police training unlike the full time policemen.  They were used for traffic control and other type work not requiring a great deal of legal training.  Delmar did away with them in the early 1990s due to the possible legal liability they might incurred in their work.  It was a good economic alternative to hiring trained police for the less skill work required. Today you have to have a college degree to direct traffic in Delmar. 

1000 phones for Delmar

above from the Wilmington Morning News 16 April 1951

1940s Pullman Car Ad

First National Bank

Thursday, July 26, 2018

1933 The Death of John Emory Chipman

Above from the Wilmington News Journal 27 February 1932

John Emory Chipman (1875-1932) was a 1901 graduate of Delaware College (now called the Univ of Delaware).  He was the son of John Henry Chipman and Mary Jane Gordy Chipman.
He married in 1898 to Princess Rosetta James (1876-1927).  They had for children; Helen F. Chipman (1900-1998) and Everett Manning Chipman (1901-1975).  He was buried Laurel Hill Cemetery. 
In 1944 Helen would marry John McCready Beach.  Manning would marry Ellen  and second he would marry  DeLane.  He worked at DuPonts in Seaford. In 1926 Manning had found Barton Freeny Lying on the floor of his home unconscious from gas inhalation. 

Emory Chipman's nephew, George Chipman, committed suicide in 1933 by shotgun. His brother James Thomas Chipman drown himself in a pond at Chipman Mill.