Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Japanese Beetle Survey

The Japanese beetle was first found in New Jersey in 1916.  The bug had made its way to the United States when plants were imported from Japan.  The insect would eventually spread up and down the east coast.  Delaware being next to New Jersey constantly monitored the spread of the beetle by having people volunteer to put beetle traps in their yard.  The number of them trapped were reported to the state.

In the Journal of the State Senate 1929 they listed the people in Delmar who had trapped beetles and the count.

For some reason they selected volunteers who were west of the railroad tracks,

Sunday, April 28, 2019

WPA Cleans Delmar Ditches 1936

above from the Progress Magazine for Delaware 1936

Carhartt For The Union Man

Dr S. H. Lynch

above 1951 photo from the Salisbury Times

Doctor Samuel Howard Lynch (1884-1971) was a long time Delmar doctor.  He was born on Old Stage Road between Delmar and Laurel to Samuel Nutter Lynch and Susan Rebecca Townsend Lynch.  He would attend Laurel School and graduate in 1901.  Of the four men that graduated High School three would become doctors.  He attended the University of Maryland Medical College graduating in 1906.  He set up shop in Quantico for three years before moving to Delmar.  In 1918 he married Grace M. Trader, daughter of Charles L. Trader (1862-1894) and Lucie E. Culver (1873-1932).  He would retire first in 1951 and then again in the 1960s he just couldn't stay away from Medicine and Delmar.  The Lynch's lived in Florida for a while.  He was an avid sportsman, hunting fishing, baseball etc.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Historic Theaters of Delaware May 1

The Delmar library on May 1 at 6pm will have Michael Nazarewycz talk about his book  "Historic Theaters of Delaware "

Now Delmar has had two drive-ins and two sit-down movie theaters.
the second drive-in move was the well known one built in 1950 
The first drive-in movie Delmar had was in the 1940s

The first sit-down theater was in operation before Seth Ellis built the Elcora theater in 1915


and the sit down theater everyone remembers was the Seth Ellis theater

This is the facebook decription the Delmar Library is giving for their talk.
Remember the Delmar Drive-In?
Historic Theaters of Delaware author Michael Nazarewycz presents content from his book on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 pm. From the opera house and movie palace to the modern multiplex, and from Claymont to Delmar and everywhere in between, the big screen in Delaware is more than a century old. Hollywood legend Cary Grant visited the Playhouse Theater in 1955, fondly recalling his days on its stage as a child actor. Clint Eastwood came to Wilmington for a secret test screening of his film The Gauntlet at the Branmar Cinema. The groundbreaking history of Star Wars includes a Delaware theater that was one of only forty-five in the country to open the film. Author Michael J. Nazarewycz recounts the cinematic history of Delaware's movie theaters. Books will be available for purchase after the program.

Friday, April 26, 2019

April 1970

Biden Once Again Runs For President

Joseph Biden has once again declared he is running for President.  He tried before in 1988 and 2008 and gave up each time.  But I would like for people to recall in 1988 when we had from Delaware three people running for President; Joe Biden, Pete du Pont and Edward T o'Donnell.    Delaware had the most Presidential candidates per capita than any other state in 1988. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Track Crew

Georgetown De. track crew unknown date

young girl in center doing what today might be called photo bombing. Actually it looks like she was purposely included the way the center guy was seated to allow her to be shown

Tall Man Wanted

above 1966 ad

Yes back in the day when an employer could specify what type of employee they wanted.

Tall man at least 5'11"
High school grad
Ages 25 to 30
must have lived within 20 miles of Salisbury for at least one year.

The cloth spreader would roll out material that was about 60 inches wide and lay it flat on a table so the fabric cutter could come along and put his template on the cloth and cut out the patterns to be sewn into a piece of clothing.  He needed to be tall as he had to stretch across the table to smooth the material out.  There are also ads for tall girls only.

above 1942  Tall girls $16 a week

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Human Fly

Feb 18 1947 Salisbury Times

John  J. Woods was born in Atlanta Georgia about 1889.  He would start performing as a human fly when this kind of entertainment act became popular about 1906.  He would bring his wife, Evelyn Peschel, and later his daughter, Rose, at age 1 into the act. He would perform his human fly act across Canada and the United States well into his old age. The family called Centralia, PA home.   In 1969 he disappeared and no one ever found him.  His wife had him declared dead and remarried. 

The Human Fly act was pioneered by Charles Gibson Polly who at age 12 a local haberdasher offered him a suit of clothes if he could climb his building.  After successfully doing that he found a career of it.  Usually more than just climbing the building the human fly would then perform some deed on the top of the building.  In Johnnie Woods case he would balance his wife on one shoulder and his daughter on the other shoulder and walk blindfolded around the ledge of the building. 

above the human fly in 1949

The Human Flies usually were hired by charities and fundraisers.  Doing WW2 hundreds of thousand of dollars in War Bonds were sold by them.  Usually they would do Veteran Organizations, Cancer research, March of dimes, heart etc.

above 1941 May 26th Salisbury Times

Monday, April 22, 2019

What The Ell?

An Ell is a unit of measure for cloth.  It originally came from a measurement based on the length of the arm from the shoulder to the wrist (about 45 inches).  The unit varies with the type of Ell that it is.  Cloth measurements of the time were; 4 nails equal nine inches or one quarter of a yard, four quarters were 36 inches or one yard, five quarters equaled 45 inches or one English ell, 3 quarters or 27 inches equaled one Flemish ell and 6 quarters equaled 54 inches or one French ell.

Loom Town in Dorchester County (Today named Woolford, over by Church Creek) was called loom town because there was a weaver’s loom in just about every household in the 1600s.  An act in 1682 authorized the county court commission to pay six pounds of tobacco for every yard of linen woven which was three quarter of a yard wide (a Flemish Ell). 

above an ell wand to check the width of cloth.  Could it be the name Ellwand came from an ell rod, stick or wand? Much like the tape measure, the ell wand was carried around by cloth manufacturers and tailors.

Since Delmar was not created until 1859 any use of the word Ellwands would have passed.  However a tailor in this area before 1800 would have made use of the ellwand to check the cloth he purchased.

above checking the width with an ellwand. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Broccoli Comes To Delaware

''I do not like broccoli, And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli!''  George H W Bush 1990

Eighty-Five years before President Bush made his statement against Broccoli Tommaso Candeloro di Tomaso arrived in New York from Italy.  On arrival his name was Anglicized to Thomas D Thomas (1882-1957). By 1906 he had married Santa Thomas (1886-1956).  By 1911 he had made his way down to Sussex county Delaware, buying a farm east of Delmar near Whitesville.  He lived in a section that had a number of Italian families in it.  The Calabrettis, Turos, Tamburinos, Tonys, and Coladantos were his neighbors.  

He was naturalized in 1916. By 1920 His family on the farm consisted of him, his wife, his father and mother(Fred and Domeca), his father in law and mother in law (Angelo and Carmina) and his children; Fred, Angelo, John, Carmina, James, Mary, and Albert.  Anna and Madeline would arrive after 1920.

He was a successful farmer and he sent a seed order to Italy in 1923 for broccoli or at that time it was referred to as Italian greens.  Planting the seeds in August and cutting the stalks in March made for a good spring crop before the strawberry season. By 1928 he was making exceptionally good profits from Broccoli and other farmers joined in planted the crop.  Before long Broccoli was being raised from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Delaware.  

Thomas D Thomas would move by 1930 to the Seaford area where he would farm and act as a produce broker, but he would forever be known as the man who brought broccoli to Delaware. . 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Elijah Freeney

AUGUST 17, 1823 TO MAY 14, 1907
Elijah Freeney was one of Delmar’s great businessmen of the late 1800’s.  He was born in the Delmar Area, the son of John and Matilda Freeny, and he died in this area.  In the 1860 Wicomico County census he is 37 years old and has taken over his father’s farm which is valued at $10,000.  He is taking care of his father who is 84, and his older sister Sarah (Sally) who is considered insane and his younger sister, Mary, who has an affliction.  He still is not married.  At this point he has allowed the railroad a right of way through his property in Delaware and the town of Delmar was created.  With future governor of Maryland Elihu Jackson he has opened a store in Delmar which besides the railroad facilities is the only thing in Delmar.  He would marry Maria Ellen Fooks in 1861.  By the time of his death in 1907 he will continue to own much property in and around Delmar and his realty company, Edge View, will have a number of projects in motion one of which is the WoodLawn Development just to the East of Delmar town limits.  He belonged to a number of Organizations and was on the board of many businesses, including being a director for the Eastern Shore Railroad.  He was one of the founders of the Agriculture and Mechanical Association of Wicomico County.  He started sawmills, and brickyards.  He gave land to the Methodist Episcopal Church so it could be built and was a member. 



Was A Large Landowner In and Near Delmar – President of The Edge View Realty Company – Had Much To Do With The Development Of The Town Of Delmar – Was 84 Years Old

Mr. Elijah Freeny, one of the oldest and most prominent residents of Delmar District, died at his home, Edge View Farm, at 6:15 o’clock Tuesday Morning.  Mr. Freeny sustained injury by a fall several months ago, from which he never fully recovered, and his health had gradually failed since that time.

Mr. Freeny was born August 17, 1823, and was the son of John Freeny, who was born in 1775 and died in 1861.  Mr. Freeny was married in 1861 to Miss Maria Ellen Fooks, who died November 2, 1905.  Of this union there survives the following children: Miss Rosa L. Freeny, Miss Matilda M. Freeny, Mrs. Harry E. Hickey, Messrs.  J. Wm. Freeny, Henry B. Freeny, and Edwin E. Freeny.

Deceased had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than sixty years.  The funeral services will be held at his late home Thursday at noon, and will be conducted by the Rev. Z. H. Webster.

Mr. Freeny was a large land owner in and near Delmar and had much to do with the development of the Town of Delmar.  He was President of the Edge View Realty Company, which was organized and incorporated last January, with a capital stock of $30,000.  The organization of this company will obviate the necessity of an administration on the estate; as all his financial interests were transferred to the company.  The will which he had made was destroyed when this company was formed. 

From The Wicomico News Salisbury Maryland May 16, 1907

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Oliver and Lucy Derritt, Negro Educators

Oliver James Derritt (1858-1937) was born in 1858 Madison County Virginia.  He graduated Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1883 and became a public school teacher in Virginia where he taught for forty-seven years.  Thirty-six of those years were in the Staunton, Virginia school system.  He retired in 1920 as principal of the colored school in Staunton with over 400 pupils.  His wife, Lucy Emma Poindexter (1872-1932) was also a teacher.  They had married in 1892.  After his retirement Oliver and Lucy Derritt moved to the Salisbury area living in the Spring Hill area.  They continued to work in the colored schools in both Wicomico and Sussex county.  In the 1928-29 school year they both taught outside of Delmar at Delaware school 213-C, Owens Corner School (Mt Nebo, Del.)

The school was relatively new at this time having been built in 1922 for 80 students.  At the time the Derritts taught the school had 41 students.

above Owens Corner Colored school.

above Oliver J Derritt

above Lucy Poindexter Derritt

The Derritts had for children; Ernestine Winfred (1897-1974), Oliver James (1898- ), Wendell Hugo (1900-1975), Leslie Everett (1901-1930). John W. (1909- ), and Andrew Poindexter (1909-1978).

Ernestine Derritt married a medical Doctor Arthur Davis Brown (1887-1974).  Note: Brown was sometime spelled Browne.  The couple moved to Salisbury where he practiced.  It is assume Oliver and Lucy moved to Salisbury to be near their daughter.

Dr Brown was a very light colored Negro and when the lynching of Matthew Williams in 1931 occurred in Salisbury he was able to mingle with the crowd undetected as a Negro and watch the lynching.  He later testified to the Maryland grand jury on the lynching.

By 1930 both Oliver and Lucy Derritt were living with the Browns.  In 1932 on a visit back to Staunton, Virginia she died.  In 1937 Oliver Derritt would died at his son-in-laws house in Salisbury.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Delmar Delaware Texaco

On May 18th 1928, George C. Bounds and Hilda Howard Bounds of Hebron, Maryland leased to the Texas Company a piece of land located in Delmar for a gas station. This gas station would become the Texaco Station building located on today’s Bi-State Blvd and what was then called 3rd street next to what is today the Lil Red Hen School.  The lease called for George Bounds to remove an older building from the property and construct a “modern” service station.  The service station would be built according to the Texas company plan #9304-A.  The property would also have built on it an ornamental lattice fence constructed to the  Texas company plan # 9297-A.   The lease was for ten years and the rent was $100 a month. 
At the time 3rd street in Delmar was RT13 and all the trucks and cars traveling RT13 came through Delmar.  This resulted in a series of gas stations with one to three pumps from north of town to Leonard Mill pond that would service the traveler.  This would continue until the new dual RT13 east of town was completed in 1954 and all the business went away as vehicles used the dual 13 and bypassed Delmar.
The Texas Company was originally the Texas Fuel Company and it originates in 1902.  It would evolve into today’s Texaco.  In 1911 the company introduced its first “filling Station” and by the 1920s had 229 wholesales terminal that Texaco Gas franchiser/distributors could draw from for their needs.

In 1923, The Texas Company developed the Denver-Type service station as its first national design in order to blend into residential neighborhoods.  It was a house with a canopy/bay style of gas station. 

The Denver-Type station became the first company design to incorporate bays for lubrication and repair. This was the style selected for the Delmar Texaco.  The style varied but Tile roofs, stucco walls, light posts, sign posts, windows pillar globes, brick accents, Texaco star in the roof peak were features of it.  It was a popular style for the 1930 period and could be seem across the United States.
above the Delmar Texaco roof peak with Texaco logo
above example of another Denver style Texaco.  The ornamental lattice fence called for at the Delmar Texaco  has long since rotted away but above you can see a lattice fence which may have been the style called for at the Delmar Texaco.

above 1947 ad

above 1956 ad

After the dual RT13 opened, business declined in Delmar and about 1980 the gas station ceased as a gas dispenser and became a tire repair and sales place. In 1981 Jack Dryden leased it. Sherwood Francis “Jack” Dryden (1940-2010) with his wife, Janet, ran a successful tire business for almost 20 years.  Today it used for a parking lot for Lil Red Hen. 

A Note about the Texaco Star logo;  A site called Luckymojo has this to say about the logo

A further note on the 5-pointed Texaco star logo: This is, of course, the so-called "Texas Star," which appears on the state's flag, and hence it was a logical logo design for a gasoline company based in Texas...but there is more to it than that.
The Republic of Texas was founded in the 1830s by a group of Freemasons (Austin, Houston, Travis, Bowie, Crockett et al). At that time the well-known Masonic symbol of a square and compasses surrounding the letter G had not yet replaced the older Masonic symbol of a square and compasses surrounding a 5-pointed star. This star, called by Masons the "Blazing Star," is said to represent the Great Architect of the Universe, namely, the creator-god. (This older symbol of a square and compasses with a Blazing Star is still a preferred Masonic emblem in Europe and in American Co-Masonry.) Due to the fraternal connections of the founders of the Republic of Texas, it is highly likely that the use of the Masonic star as the emblem of their new nation was intentional. When Texas became a state in the United States, it retained the same flag it had had as a republic. Thus, whether or not the owners of the Texaco company knew it, they were carrying a Masonic emblem for the Great Architect of the Universe across the nation with their gas stations.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

1941 topographic map

James Ellegood Death 1925

The State Sentinel, Dover Delaware February 14, 1925
Delmar News
James Ellegood, a prominent lawyer of Salisbury, and a member of the law firm of Ellegood, Freeney & Wailes, was instantly killed when the Buick sedan which he was driving was struck by a northbound passenger train at the Chestnut street crossing in this town, about 3:15 Sunday afternoon.  His daughter, Mrs. Harry Freeney,a widow of only a few weeks was severely injured but will recover.  Mrs. Freeney’s 14-year-old son and a grandson of the unfortunate victim escaped by jumping from the car before the crash.  This is an unprotected crossing, and a dangerous one, as empty cars often hide approaching trains.  Dr. Robert Ellegood was severely injured at this same crossing a few years ago and his escape from death seemed almost a miracle.  Mr. Ellegood was 80 years of age and his death followed closely upon that of his son-in-law, Mr. Freeney, leaving Leonard Wailes, the only surviving member of the law firm of which the victim of this horrible accident was the senior member.  Several Delmarites attended the funeral of Hon. James F. Ellegood on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Big Storm 1927

William Henry Hastings (1873-1957) lived on the Milton Elliott Farm 4 miles east of Delmar on Line Road.  He was married to Clara E Sirman and they had as children Helen and Floyd. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

This Caboose Needs Help

Our 1929 caboose is deteriorating and need some help.  Please donate to our restoration fund.

Should you be interested in donating and please do not underestimate the effect of a five or ten dollar contribution, our address is;

Delmar Historical and Arts Society, PO Box 551, Delmar, DE 19940

and should you be interested in joining our society to help accomplish some projects like this, dues are only twelve dollars a year (Jan-Dec).  Again use the above address for membership also

Railroad Clean Up

Well after 30 years plus the railroad has decided to cleanup their yard.  

They have gone in and cleared the trees and picked up trash to put a Car Express office on the lot
above is what it looked like about 1970 when the engine shop was still there

Grover Lecates

Grover LeCates and one of his cats (from the Delmar library facebook page)

Mr Lecates died in 1995 leaving a large estate of $770,000 of which he left $583,000 to the Library.  As to be expected he is well loved by the library. 

He also left $50,000 to his cat Billy.  Billy was to be maintained by Dr Richard Long, a vet in Delmar, and the money was to support the cat.  Needless to say Mr Lecates relatives got involved but there was still enough money for the cat to live happily at Dr Longs' office.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The caboose

1943 or 1942 based on the calendar on the wall, Freight train operations on the Chicago and North Western Railroad between Chicago and Clinton Iowa SHORPY

Not Delmar - just a good photo of inside the caboose. Pinups and all

DHAS Meeting Tonight

For those who might be interested the Delmar historical and arts Society is having a meeting tonight at 7pm at the Delmar Police Department training room.  You don't have to a member to attend.

The Texaco Station

1946 ad

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Little About the Weaver and Culvers Flower Shop

1942 Ad

Paul Kohr Weaver and his wife Anita Weaver ran Weavers Flowers in Salisbury.  In  September of 1942 he hired in Horace Edward Culver (1911-1964) to manage the flower business for him.    Mr Culver was the son of Thomas Staten Culver (1863-1921) and Jennie Lee Windsor (1867-1944) of Delmar.   Prior to managing the flower shop Mr Culver managed a restaurant in Ocean City.

above 1941 ad

Horace Culver was a graduate of the Charles Baxter School of Floral Designing in Philadelphia. By 1943 he took over the Weavers Flowers Shop and changed the name to Culvers Flowers.  In 1944 he married Edna Rebecca Livinston (1904-1959) who was the daughter of Mr  Washington Robley Livingston and Anna Brown Livingston.  They would have twin daughters; Bonnie and Becky Culver.

The Culver Flower shop was in Salisbury but they did have a small shop briefly outside of Delmar.  The Flower shop in Salisbury changed location about every three years over the next 25 years.  In 1953 he put the business up for sale. At which time his employee Mrs Lucille Sturgis would leave Culver Flowers and open her own flower shop called Lucilles Flower shop.

The sale did not go through and Mr Culver continued operating the business

In 1959 Edna Culver would die of a heart attack.  In 1964 Horace Culver would also die of a heart attack.

The descendants of the Thomas S Culver family had a family reunion through the 1970s which was well attended.