Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Camp Meetings

Camp meetings have been a unique tradition on Delmarva for over two hundred years. It is still a tradition, but on a more limited scale today. At one time there was a Camp Meeting in every town on Delmarva. Rehoboth Beach, Delmar, Laurel, Seaford, Bridgeville all had Camp Meetings. People would come, set up tents, built a tabernacle of brush and branches and stay for a week or two. I have often thought it gave people an excuse to have a little pleasure under the umbrella of being religious. Most of the sites have disappeared and I have no idea where they were. 

Camp meetings time was more than a religious gathering it was a social event. The camps came at a time without automobiles, television or computers and people made their own amusements. The main reason for camp meeting time was of course religion but courting rituals went on, horses were raced, people talked politics, there was a whole lot of gossip, and occasionally out of sight they drank a little liquor.

above "tents' at  Carey's camp

This week Carey’s Camp opens for two weeks of camp meetings.  It is perhaps the best known camp meeting, simply because it is near and still active. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and its first camp meeting was in 1888. Since it is one of the few active camp meeting places left on Delmarva I am sure many of you have been to it.  The physical camp has 47 cabins that circle the tabernacle structure. It has its camp in the first part of August. This certainly is the hottest part of the summer on Delmarva. Maybe the ideal was to make you think you were close to hell and would convert more easily. With no air conditioning, certainly sweat figures heavily in the camp meeting. While one group may be in the tabernacle listening to the sermon or singing, another group, usually younger, is in constant motion walking around the camp circle kicking up dust to settle on your sweat covered sinner of a body.

People from Delmar would have gone to almost any of the camps within a fifty mile radius.  Certainly the Laurel-Bethel Camp would be popular as you could take the train to Laurel and catch a horse drawn cab out to the camp grounds.  If you were not staying in a “tent” you would pay a nickel to fifteen cents to spend the day. 

above laurel- Bethel camp
There was a Commercial aspect of camp meetings.  Camp meetings didn't just happen they were planned out and there was a commercial side to them. The church had to make money to pay visiting preachers etc and hopefully have some money left over for their projects. The camp itself had a number of tents the families sleep in, supplied by the families. They also had a concession stand for food and ice cream, a horse stable, a boarding tent for those individuals that didn't have a tent and a barber shop (for that daily shave). 

The village of Melson in August of 1900 put on a camp meeting. It went from August 3rd to August 13th and had more than 50 tents. Back in early July they granted the privileges for concessions at the camp. The confectionery privilege was sold to I. T. Morris for $46.00. The Horse Pound privilege was sold to Z. Evans for $47.00. G. W. White got the Boarding Tent Privilege for $28.00 and Ernest Brittingham paid $1.00 for the barber shop privilege. It was not unlike today in which booth fees are sold at fairs and festivals and I am sure there are still concession fees at camp meetings.

It was also mentioned in the same article that the Melson church had a picnic and over 250 Sunday School Scholars received treats, perhaps paid for by last year concession fees. The boys also played a match game of base ball with the West Corner Nine (Where was West Corner?). The score was 8 to 30 in favor of the Melson Nine.

Concession fees from some other camps in the area would be; James Camp, between Laurel and Georgetown, in 1905 the Boarding tent concession went to G. W. Bryau for $30, the confectionery tent went to T. C. and Robert James for $53.50 and the Horse pound went to John Spicer for $70.00.

At the Laurel-Bethel (Delmarva Camp) in 1905 the concessions went to Allan Gabel the confectionery tent at $55.50, the horse pound to John E. Allen for $90.00, and the Photography concession to A. H. Waller for $1.00. The Barber and Boarding tent was held back until later.

The concession fees was but one part the income at camp meetings. There was usually a gate fee or entrance fee for the people that just came for the day. It was usually a dime or fifteen cents. This was an additional amount of income money for the larger camp meetings such as the Laurel-Bethel (Delmarva Camp) which would have 5,000 visitors in a day.

The Delmar Camp Meeting 1872

From the Wilmington Daily Commercial Aug 14, 1872



The Delmar Camp-Meeting begins on Friday and already the notes of preparation are visible on every hand in that locality. There will be about forty tents, many of them two stories high.

By way of ministerial aid, the prospect is encouraging. Revs Jacob T. Price, Enbury Price, and J. N. Dubbine of the New Jersey Conference and Rev. Joshua Hamphries of Wilmington will be present all the time; Revs C. Hill, G. D. Watson, Wm Urie, W. E. England and others after Sunday and Revs N. M. Broome, Jones, E. White and E. Stengle there most of the time.

The camp will be largely attended by Delawareans and Marylanders and much spiritual good is expected to be accomplished. Round trip tickets are now sold from Wilmington, Seaford, and Laurel.

Last year there was much annoyance from drunkenness, but better things are hoped for this season.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Horsey Twins 1938

Oris Wheatly Horsey and his twin, Iris Amy Horsey, Graduation Delmar Maryland High School 1938

Sunday, July 28, 2019

1960s Pepsi Ad

1969 VW Ad

1936 Bobby Lowe and Joe Dickerson

1936 Bobby Lowe and Joe Dickerson hanging out downtown Delmar

You will notice the horizontal lines across the photograph The photo was stored in a magnetic Photo album, those albums with thick paper and strips of glue across the page to hold the photos.  They tend to be death to photographs after 20 or so years.  If you have pictures in such an album I suggest you remove them (if possible) and put them in some other kind of storage unit.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tear It Down 2007

The house was across the street from library.  It left an empty lot that is too small to build on under current ordinances.  It is now town property. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Delmarva Poultry Queen 1965

Rose Marie Tull, Miss Delmar is the 6th from the left

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Francis Crosses The Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Back in the 1950s there was a series of movies that featured Francis the talking mule and Donald O Connor.  The movies were loosely based on David Stern's 1946 book "Francis".  

On July 30,  1952 The Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened to traffic.  Various "firsts" were recorded such as the first person over the bridge etc. well, included in the firsts was Francis the talking mule was the first mule to cross the Bay Bridge.  On July 30th Francis, a 16 year old Missouri mule, was driven  across the bridge in his one mule trailer.  He was on a 40 city tour to promote his movies.   His promoters had wanted to have a photo with Governor Theodore Mckeldin on opening day but it didn't happen.  Maybe because McKleldin was a Republican and didn't want a Democrat symbol being in the picture.  From Baltimore they traveled on to Trenton. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Watermelon Time on the Eastern Shore

An area  photo by Orlando Wootten in the 1960s.  The classic watermelon loading time.

A F Callive

"Arthur Callive, a fireman on the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad, was badly scalded on Saturday by the blowing out of a boiler check on engine 31 The cause of the accident will be investigated by the officials."

Above from the Morning News 14 Aug 1912 Delmar News

Arthur Franklin Callive (1879-1946) would live in Delmar and after a few years in Delmar would be transferred to Cape Charles.  Arthur and his siblings were strange in the fact they used the last name Callive instead of Callaway.  In Arthur’s case he used it throughout his life, in his siblings case they used the last name off and on.  They were the children of John Joseph Callaway (1854-1937) and Margaret “Maggie”  J. Holt (1860-1941). 

Arthur would marry, about 1905, Eva Lena LeCompe (1886-1953) from Secretary, Maryland.  Arthur and his wife would have for children; Ruth May Callive  (1906 - 1987) who would marry Whitely Travis, and Elfride Louise Callive (1919-1977)  who would marry Evert Burton.  Both daughters would eventually live and die in Florida.

Arthur would retire from the PRR about 1941. His 1942 draft registration card would mention scars on his hands and feet.   He would die of gangrene of the nose and face in 1946.  He is buried in Cape Charles cemetery.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Town Club

The Town Club was a private social club located on Delmar Road (N Salisbury Blvd today) by WBOC and the Casa-Del-Rey restaurant.  The club was organized in 1941 with 60 members and by way of a loan, they purchased the Thompson Restaurant. By 1947 they had paid off the loan and had 150 members.  Their charter limited membership to 250 people which at various times they had.

The club was organized in the days of gas rationing and members who lived in Salisbury would ride the city bus line to the city limits then walk another mile to the club.  The club was the setting for wedding receptions, bridge parties, dances, their annual income tax poverty parties, the annual New Year’s party, teas and buffet suppers.  Membership fees were $35 a person.  The membership by 1965 had decreased to a little over a hundred.   

In 1951 Holt Oil Company put in the Calvin Pusey Tydol Gas station along side the Town Club.  In the below picture you can see the Town Club off on the side.

In 1965 the club decided to sell the building and dissolve the corporation due to decreased membership and lack of interest.  It should also be pointed out that when the club was founded most members were in their 30s and 40s, 24 years later find them in their 60s and less interested in the club. 

The club was sold and Wallace Milton Scott ran it for a few years as Scotties Town Club
above 1967 ad when it was Scotties Town Club

By 1973 Pee Wee Hancock had put in a mobile home and used furniture and used car sales operation and Dan Zela Gardens (Fred and Ellen Dansberger) had an operation going there also.

All of this was demolished and today on the land is a Motel and car lot.

Delmar Medical Unit Chooses Personnel 1942

Delmar, July 11 - Delmar to further its preparedness program has Organized an emergency medical unit, under the direction of Dr. S. H. Lynch and Dr. H. E. Lecates, both local physicians.

The new organization has received permission from the Wicomico School Board to use The Delmar Maryland High School as headquarters. The function of the unit is to treat persons with minor injuries.

The staff has been appointed as follows: Mrs. W. W. Hastings and Mrs. Mable Venables, directors, Mrs.Elizabeth Conaway, nurse, registrar and informant, Mrs. Frances Hastings, and the Boy Scouts will serve as messenger boys.

 The first meeting of the new unit' will be held at the Delmar Fire House next Tuesday, at 3 p. m. Anyone interested and especially those who have taken the First Aid Course or the Home Nursing Course are requested to attend and help make surgical dressings to be used at the local casualty station.

 Old sheets, pillow cases and towels are among the articles needed to make dressings. Anyone who has a folding army cot they wish to lend for use in the casualty station should label it and leave it at the Fire House or call Everett Hutchinson, local coordinator.

above from the Salisbury Times 11 July 1942

Friday, July 19, 2019

Historical Photographs and Postcards

The Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University have placed on Flickr a couple thousand photographs and postcards.  Most are of Salisbury University but there there are enough non-SU to make looking through them interesting.  None of Delmar.

1967 Antiques Flea Market

Doda Hearn

Born Joseph Edward Hearn in 1886, by 1910 he was referred to as Doda (Dodie) Hearn.  He was the son of Thomas Edward Hearn and Josephine Hearn.  He would marry Iva Pearl West (1895- 1983) about 1915.  The couple would have for children; William Edward (1916-1982), Jean Elizabeth (1918-2007), Alma Lee (1920-2016) and  Dolly Anne (1929-1994).

Doda could have been a character out of a Sinclair Lewis novel; he was civic minded, a flag waver, business man and a booster of Delmar.  In some ways he could be the character;  Babbitt.

He ran a clothing store in the brick building on the corner of State and Pennsylvania Avenue.  His business was Hearn and Company.  With his partners; William S. Marvil Jr, and Daniel J. Parker,  they purchased the building in 1920 for $14,000.

By 1932 he had switched over to managing an Atlantic Filling Station at the corner of Bi-State and East Street.

He was an organizer of the Delmar Fire Company and served as Chief for ten years.  He was a past president of the Wicomico County Volunteer Firemen’s Association.  He was a former President of the Mount Olive Church Men’s Bible School.  He was a member of the Delmar Lodge A. F. and A. M. 

He was active in Civil Defense at the beginning of World War Two.

In 1929 he was elected a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

In 1934 he was elected as a Wicomico County Commissioner.

In 1942 while watching a baseball game in Delmar he had a stroke and a few days later died.  He is buried in St Stephens cemetery and his tombstone says Doda Hearn. 

His wife, Pearl, was well known in her own right.  She worked as a salesclerk at R E Powell for a number of years and as a house mother at Salisbury University before retiring.  She was a member of St Stephens, Eastern Star and Ladies Auxiliary of the United Trainsmen Union.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

1979 Who Would Have Thought Gasoline Would Cost More Than 99.9 cents a gallon

Remember this; in 1979 gas pumps that were unable to compute gas at more than 99.9 cents a gallon?  An artificial  gas crisis created by greedy gas companies and state governments increasing the gas tax, jacked the price of gas up over a dollar and the mechanics of the pump would not compute correctly.

Sure 50-Cent Gas Is Back, But It Isn't Any Bargain


Fifty-cent gasoline is returning to Delaware But that's the price for just a half gallon

The lower numbers are occurring because the meters can't handle prices of more than 99.9 cents a gallon The price of unleaded at most northern Delaware stations is now above $1 per gallon, and $1 a gallon prices soon will be seen downstate.

While waiting for new pumps that can record the higher prices, many dealers are setting their old pumps at the half-price level for a gallon of gasoline. Once a customer's tank is filled, the attendant then doubles the total charge that appears on the pump to determine what the customer owes.

Thus, if a driver buys five gallons of gasoline at a station charging $1 04 per gallon, the price on the pump is likely to read 52 cents and the purchase will appear to total $2.60 But the actual bill will be $5 20.

Some station owners say despite the fact they have posted signs to explain this procedure, a few customers still think they are being Cheated.

"We have enough problems with them (customers) now, without them thinking we're ripping them off," said Daniel Nelson, operator of the Ogletown Mobil on Ogletown Road near Newark

State weights-and-measures regulations have prohibited selling gasoline this way But the problem has In-come so widespread that the state Department of Agriculture, which had been waiving the rules for individual stations as needed, has changed its regulations

This week Alden Hopkins Jr, the department secretary, announced that all stations will be able to use the half-gallon pricing system until Dec. 31. 1981 But. Hopkins has attached some requirements:

When the price of any grade of gasoline at a station exceeds the computing capabilities of the pumps, then all pumps dispensing that same grade of gasoline must use half pricing

Fuel must be priced in even tenths of a cent

Labels must be placed on the pump explaining the half-gallon pricing system.

Eugene Keeley, supervisor of the weights and measures section for the department, said the new regulation is based on recommendations of the National Bureau of Standards The 1981 target date for upgrading pump meters is based on assurances from manufacturers that a sufficient number of new pumps will be available by then.

Keeley said the only company that makes pump meters has been unable to immediately meet the sudden demand for $1-plus meters. None has been delivered to Delaware stations, according to Keeley.

Above from the Wilmington News Journal 31 August 1979

and in response to a possible decrease in tourist coming to Ocean City due to the gas shortage Mayor Kelly found gas on the black market and Ocean City purchased it to distribute to gas stations in Ocean City.  They called it Kelly's Gas

and finally just to add more crap to the consumer they started selling Gasohol - 90% gas 10% ethanol, that great destroyer of engines.

Culvers Men Shop


Turn On That Fan


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Two Delmar Men Wounded

Seven Eastern Shoremen have been wounded in the European theater, according to casualty reports which included one bright quip from a Crisfield soldier who said "You can't dodge the Jerries all the time."

They are:

Pfc. Raymond Nichols Trader, of Delmar, was reported wounded in Germany by the War Department to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Trader. Trader, 18 years old, went into the service in August of last year, and received his training at Camp Blanding, Fla. He had a short Christmas furlough with his parents.

Capt. Willard Fisher, of Delmar, son of Mr. and Mrs, William Fisher, was wounded in Germany. He was among the first to enter the service after war was declared, and was in the employ of the American stores Co., Delmar, prior to entering the service.

Above from The Salisbury Times 13 March 1945

Mrs Raymond Wilkinson

above from the News Journal April 4 1940

Myrtle Beatrice Adams (1896-1965) married Raymond Birnie Wilkinson in 1918.  Both were from the Wilmington area, but he was with the railroad and they ended up in Delmar. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

1916 Watermelon Party


Delmar, Aug. 21. - A watermelon party was given on Friday evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Hayman. Those present were Misses Grace Penuel, Mildred West, Alice Killiam. Mabel Lear, Lydia Wilson, Florence Stevens, Hattie Elliott, Gertrude Gordy, Maude Shultz. and Margie Hearn, Mrs. Earl J. Chapman. Charles W. Renninger, George Ellegood, Corbitt Sturgis, Daniel Parker, John Cole, W. W. Hastings, Joseph J. Dean, Samuel Phillips. Ralph Long, Marion Hastings, Omar Hancock.

From the News Journal 21 Aug 1916

1966 Annexation

1966 Bi-State Weekly

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Delmar Midget Market

Today on the facebook page "Seaford Delaware a look back in time" was posted a photo of the "Midget Dairy Market" in Seaford.

Now Delmar had it's own Midget Market and it was on the corner of Delaware and Bi-State Blvd and it looked quite a bit like the Seaford one.  

Merrill Ernest Jones from Marydel started a chain of about five of these convenient stores across Sussex County.  Eventually he sold them.  The one in Delmar became a Wynn's Dairy Market.  It closed some time in the 1990s.  The building became and is today a loan office.  The convenient store, both as a Midget Market and a Wynn's Market, gave employment to a number of people young and old. 

above 1969

As you can see the building that housed the Midget Market looks similar to the Seaford Midget Market

Merrill Ernest Jones, 97, died Friday March 14, 2014 in Leesburg, GA. 
His remains have been cremated and there will a memorial service at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Camden, DE at a later date. 

A native of Henderson, MD, MrJones at an early age after the death of his father took on the responsibility of looking after the family and moved to Burns, OR to work on the construction on a dam. He moved to Delaware and started farming. After selling his farm in 1955, MrJones was the owner and operator of several Midget Markets from 1955 to 1986. Throughout the years he was involved in Co-op Program and Marketing Program with the University of Delaware and the Seaford High School DECA Club. 

He was a veteran of World War II serving in the U. S. Navy and was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion and the Elks Club. MrJones was an avid golfer, loved to dance, working in his garden and traveling. 

MrJones was preceded in death by his parents George Ernest and Grace Virginia Cox Jones, daughter Phyllis Flores, grandson, Eugene Crain, Jr., granddaughter, Karen King, sister, Dorothy Kates and a brother Willis Jones

Survivors include his children, Linda Stokes (Gilbert), Leesburg, Virginia Faulkner (George), Marydel, DE, Grace "Beth" Fuller, Seaford, DE, Ricky Taylor (Denise), Seaford, DE, Terri Evans(Sherman), Seaford, DE, son in law, Cipriano Flores, Tucson, AZ, 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 8 great great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and a special friend Maria Hammond, Winter Haven, FL.

Help The Caboose

Should you be interested in donating, 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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Miss Elsie Cleary Marries 1917


Special Correspondence of Every Evening

Delmar, Sept. 13. - At noon yesterday Miss Elsie Redman Cleary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Cleary of Delmar, and Daniel Lockfaw of Wilmington, N. C, were united in marriage at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, at Salisbury. Md. The altar was beautifully decorated with plants, palms and lighted candles. A wedding march was played by Mrs. Norman Hastings of Wilmington. While the guests were assembling Norman Hastings played a violin solo, and "O Promise Me'' was sung by Miss Grace Elliott. The bride was attired in a smart travelling suit of blue broadcloth. She wore a bouquet of Bride roses and carried a white prayerbook. Miss Alice Cleary, the bride's sister, was maid of honor. She wore brown Georgette crepe, carrying a bouquet of pink Killarney roses. Norman Shepherd of Wilmington. N. C, was best man. The ushers were Milton Cleary of Delmar and Ord Rairigh of Ridgely, Md. The ceremony was performed by Rt. Rev. J. J. Monaghan. Bishop of Delaware, assisted by Rev. Walter Knight. Immediately following the ceremony the young couple boarded the New York express for a trip north. They will reside at Sunset Park, Wilmington. N. C where the groom holds a position with the Atlantic Coast Line railroad, and will be at home after October 1.

Above from the Wilmington News Journal 13 Sep 1917

Tuesday, July 9, 2019



Cosden, Gilbert C.
1st Lieutenants
Lee, Daniel P.
2nd Lieutenants
Coleman, Clarence N.
Jefferis, Charles R.
First Sergeant
Short, Herman R.
Coulbourn, Thomas J.
Hastings, Marshall H.
Killen, James M.
Layton, Vernon W.
Orvis, Isaac B.
Southerland, Percy D.
Bryan, James M.
Carpenter, Walter D.
Fitzgerald, William E.
Mahieu, Gerald L.
Moore, Reuben M. Jr.
Plummer, Joseph F.
Short, Norman L.
Smith, William A.
Thompson, Rexel M.
Private, 1st Class 
Blocker, Smith H.
Fitzgerald, James R.
Lundy, William F.
Marvel, William T.
Matthews, Harrison W.
Matthews, Horace C.
O'Neal, Larry W.
O'Neal, Thomas L.
Records, Charles V.
Suthard, William H.
West, Milan F.
Allen, Donald M.
Ammons, Frank B.
Cannon, William A.
Clifton, Charles M.
Conoway, Aloysius C.
Dickerson, Howard L.*
Dickerson, Martin H.
Emory, Joseph
Freeman, Alfred H.
Garey, Gerard S.
Haering, Howard R.
Hall, Richard E.
Harris, Leonard D. Jr.
Hastings, Odel M.*
Hayes, Lawrence F.
Hearn, William T.
Hitchens, Ray D.
Ingram, Raymond W.
Johnson, Ira W.
Johnson, Perry C.
Knowles, Horace J.
Knowles, William C.
LeCates, Granville
Lewis, William H.
Littleton, William J.
Mackey, Robert F.
McCabe, Herbert J.
McDonald, Ellice, Jr.
McSweeney, Joseph F.
Mioduszewski, Charles A.
Mincher, Benjamin E.
Murphy, William S.
Parsons, Luther A.
Revel, Raymond J.
Rickenback, Harry T. Jr.
Riddle, Robert B.
Taylor, William J.
Todd, Clifford W.
Vincent, Joseph W.
Wallace, Randolph L.
West, Asbury A.
West, George M.
Willin, Norm

1st Lieutenants
Lynch, John W.
McDaniel, Joseph S. Jr.
Staff Sergeant
Helm, Harry A.
Prettyman, John H.
Privates 1st Class
LeCates, Edward F.
Marvel, Victor F.
Moore, Phillip C.
Anstine, Daniel P.
Boswell, Wilson C.
Hitchens, James E.
McDaniel, Harry III
Scheider, Edward W. Jr.
Walls, Marion H.
Williams, Seth E.

The 261st Coast Artillery was of course stationed at Fort Miles and made up of a large number of Delaware residents because it was National Guard Unit before it was federalized..