Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Delaware

In Delaware there is a Society known as "The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Delaware."  It is as the title speaks, with about 200 Delaware members who are descendants of people who were on the Mayflower.  I was not aware of this group until I encounter Elizabeth Ann Happoldt some years back.  Ann has since past on but I was impressed with the various project the society did.   It is mainly an up state organization but you may be interested in it.  The Web address is;

The Gathering of Water Lilies

A pastime that seems to have faded away was the gathering of water lilies. (photo from the Delaware Archives website)

Up until about the 1920s you would read of people going water lilies gathering, usually children and young woman would make the trip out in a boat and pull the lilies from the mud.  They would use them as decoration in the home or sell them to tourist on the trains.  They could also be used as a fish bait in fish traps.  Some people would pull them to sell in the mass flower markets in the large cities.  They would pull 2,000 to 3,000 lilies in morning then ship them by train to Philadelphia.
The lily however grows in the mud of the pond and when people would wade out they would sink into the mud such as Leonard Murphy a railroad telegraph operator at Laurel in 1915.  He would married in a few weeks so no doubt he was gathering lilies for his girlfriend.

each year a number of deaths would be reported of people drowning from gathering water lilies.

The idyllic pursue was a frequent subject of paintings and postcards. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Elwood (Henry Edward) Cannon and Martha Wilkinson Marry in 1907

above from the Phila Inquirer 28 July 1907

The newspaper got it wrong; the groom's name was Henry Edward "Eddie" Cannon (1889-1963).  He married Martha E. Wilkinson (1888-1967).  They were married 24 July 1907 at the Laurel Campgrounds.  He originally was from Salisbury; son of William Edward Cannon and Alberta Lankford Cannon.  He worked as a fireman on the railroad.  She was the daughter of John Wilkerson and Naomi Parker Wilkerson from over at Georgetown.  Henry and Martha had a daughter in 1908; Helen Alberta Cannon and by 1910 they had been transferred to Westover Maryland and again by 1917 they had been transferred to Camden New Jersey where they lived until they died.

So the newspaper had two wrong names and altho Mr Cannon may have worked out of Delmar at the time in 1907 he actually lived in Salisbury. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Thompson Grill Revisited

Linda Duyer who writes for the Salisbury Independent has an article about the Thompson Grill which started life in Delmar then moved to Salisbury and was sold to the English family to become the English Grill.  The web address for the article on page 18 is below

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

1897 Democratic Rally

1922 Railroad Strike and J F Thorington Jr

In 1922 the shopmen of the railroad went on strike.  The shopmen were the metal workers, machinist, boilermakers, electricians, carpenters, painters and laborers,  who maintained the locomotives, boxcars, passengers cars and equipment of the railroad.  It was perhaps the last great nationwide strike.  At it’s peak during the summer of 1922 it had over 400,000 workers on strike.  The railroad maintained shops to work on their equipment and they were usually in rural areas at halfway points on the line.  Perhaps the largest for the Pennsylvania railroad was Altoona in Pennsylvania but there was also a small one in Delmar.  The one in Delmar had about 39 workers and they all went on strike when the railroad decided to cut their wages by 12 percent.  They did not cut the wages of the firemen, enginemen, brakemen and conductors.   In Delmar the railroad fired the striking workers and replaced them with new hires or men who had not gone on strike and were transferred into Delmar.  Near riots occurred as the replacement workers were refused housing and restaurants refused to serve them, even the two banks in town refused to cash their railroad checks.  The Railroad sent in a large number of guards to keep non railroad people off their property.  The railroad also had the state and county officials on their side so state police and county constables were sent in.  The strikers and supporters of the strikers cut air hoses, dumped sand into the car journals and misapplied switches. 

It was a difficult time for the farmers in the area as their crops had been picked and they used the railroad to transport them to the cities.  They had to cross through the crowd of strikers.

Delmar was a town where almost 90 percent of population worked for the railroad or were supported by railroad workers.  Most of it’s elected officials were employees of the railroad.  On the night of the 24th of July a small mob of from 300 to 500 people had gathered downtown Delmar on the Delaware side of town.   The Maryland State police had heard that someone was being molested by the crowd on the Maryland side of town and three motorcycle state troopers, Led by H P Thompson, arrived in town. They went to the railroad depot on the Delaware side where they were surrounded by the strike sympathizers.  Mayor Thorington was called out.  He asked them if they had been deputized a process by which the railroad police could deputize anyone from in state or out of state to protect railroad property.  The state troopers said they had been deputized.  Mayor Thorington chaised them them for being meddling in the strike and told them to get out of Delaware or he would have the Delaware policemen, George E Hearn,  arrest them .  When the police mounted to motorcycles to leave the crowd pushed them a little. 

The Mayor, John Franklin Thorington, Jr ( 1884-1954), was born in Pocomoke City Maryland to J F Thorington Sr (1851-1926),  The Thorington family came from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The senior Thorington married Nancy Peyton Colona (1860-1927) from Stockton, Maryland .  The senior Thorington was a drover, Grocery store operator, barrel manufacturer, fur trader and constable/ Deputy Sheriff for Worcester County. 

J F Thorington jr started working for the railroad in his teenage years.  In 1909 he married Florence May West , daughter of James H West.  He moved to Delmar after marrying.  About 1920 he was elected Mayor of Delmar Delaware, he also worked as an engineer with the railroad and belonged to the local lodge #473 of the Brotherhood of Firemen and Enginemen.  He had two daughters; Margaret Elizabeth (1911-1928) and Louise West (1918-2005)

The strike eventually ended and the 39 men fired when they went on strike in the Delmar shop were never hired back.  Mayor Thorington by 1930 had left the railroad, was no longer Mayor, and was an insurance agent and real estate salesman. It is not known if his action in not supporting the railroad more lead to his new employment.  Thorington and his wife would go to live with his daughter in Pennsylvania where he would die in 1954. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

1929 Voter Registration For Delmar

1929 Voter Registration For Delmar

Friday, March 22, 2019

Know These people?

Hoping to find the family that are related to this couple. This old photo was among some boxes of stuff bought from an auction in Delmar. No writing or description of any kind on picture.

Angela Owens to GHOTES Genealogy and History of the Eastern Shore  FACEBOOK PAGE

if anyone knows the people write a comment to her on the GHOTES fb page

Harper C LeCates

"while cranking an automobile, Harper LeCates was struck in the arm, resulting in one of the bones being fractured"
from The News journal 30 Dec 1913

Harper Clayton LeCates (1896 - 1977) lived in Delmar at 711 E State street.  He had a number of jobs from working at DuPont during the war to State Game Warden to house painter but mostly he was a house painter.  He was on the Delmar town council.  He married Martha Pearl Nichols (1898-1993) daughter of Ernest Nichols and Annie Elizabeth Beachamp Nichols.  He was the son of John C Lecates and Annie B Dennis LeCates.   Harper and Pearl had a son Linwood (1919-2011)


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Box Shooks

Up until the 1950s the box that held any product from soap to fruit to seafood was wooden.  Almost half of the output of a lumber mill was for box shooks.  Shooks were the slats or boards that are required to staple or nail together to make  a box.

Some Fruit, vegetable, berries, nuts etc were packed into a basket, others however required a box.  Since baskets were cone shape they could be nested into one another and were compact for shipping by train or boat.  Boxes however were straight sided and could only be stacked on top of one another  Very few could be put into a box car and shipped at a reasonable freight cost.  The answer was to ship a knocked down box much like Ikea does today with furniture.  Just the boards were shopped and the box was assembled at the seafood plant, or orchard or packing shed. 

above box shooks being stacked in warehouse

wooden boxes had the advantage that they could be recycled into other uses from kindling to barn shed construction.   Much like returning pallets to the manufacturer today, the cost to return empty boxes was prohibitive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Johnny's Restaurant 1938

Just Another Good Place To Eat.  and 24 hour curb service in 1938. 

It is often forgotten what a hopping place Delmar was when RT13 ran through it and there was a number of 24 hour restaurants and gas stations on Bi-State Blvd plus down town 24 hour restaurants for the trains stopping in Delmar.

John R Wingate Jr died in 1974.  He was the son of John R Wingate Sr and Clara Wingate.  His wife was Dorothy Wingate and they had two children; Patricia and Suzanne.  He ran the Bon Ton restaurant in Laurel after Johhny's faded away.  He had worked for Thompson restaurant in Delmar.  His father was a railroad conductor.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Edward Wright 1892

above from the Evening Journal 27 Dec 1892

Edward B. Wright (1848-1892) lived in Wilmington but his job as a freight conductor took him to where the trains were.  In 1892 he was struck by an express train in Delmar and he died instantly.  He lived at 733 Pine Street in Wilmington.  He was married to Isabella McBride Wright.  He had a daughter, Maud Richwood Wright, and a son, Edwin C. "Eddie" Wright (1886-1927).

When Edward was buried he had a rosewood coffin and 200 members of the railroad and Knights of Pythia attending him.  He was dressed in the uniform of a Knight of Pythia.

Death letter for Edward Wright signed by Dr Ellegood, Delmar DE

Sunday, March 17, 2019

1983 Christmas Parade

1983 Delmar Christmas Parade when they still had baton twirlers

1976 American legion


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Harry Mariner

above 3 Oct 1941

Harry Lee Mariner (1885-1941) was another saw mill person from the Jenkins Bridge Virginia area.  As the article says he came to Delmar to work for Delmar Lumber and when that went bust he worked for J J Elliott mill until that closed about 1931 and he went to work for Marvil Package Company in Laurel.  While there he suffered an injury and was out of work for awhile but the company and him settled the claim in 1940 and he died in 1941.  He lived over on East street with his wife' Lillie Mary Trader and son Randolph Lee Mariner.  His wife worked at Banks Shirt Factory.

Peach baskets at the Marvil Packing company they would sit them in the yard to dry and then flip them over so they would dry on the outside. Interestingly that basket was called a Delaware or Jersey Basket as those were the states where it was most used.

The Marvil plant in Laurel