Thursday, October 31, 2019

1949 Delmar Halloween

2,000 in Delmar Join Halloween Fun

DELMAR, Del., Nov. 2 (Special). More than 2,000 people took part in Delmar's second Halloween celebration Monday night. There were many onlookers but most were in costume or accompanying little people in costume. The affair was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce which served refreshments to more than 1,000.

Harry Ward was master of ceremonies and Mrs. Kenneth Langraf, Marion B. Sherwood, and Ray Wilkinson, Sr., were parade judges. Prizes were awarded to Dickie and Tommie Jones for the most unique costumes; Mrs. Mildred Cordrey and Albert Phillips as best couple; to Carolyn Orelle as prettiest little girl; to Jimmy Smith as best dressed little boy; to Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Glunt as oldest couple in masquerade, and to Dickie Moore, Jr., the youngest; to Mrs. Fannie Allen as best dressed woman; to Virginia Cooper as best dressed girl; to Mrs. Madelyn Mears and H. S. Crowley as best comics, and to George Walker as best impersonator.

Long after the awards were made, the crowd remained for a street dance. Railroad Avenue was roped off from State Street to Grove Street.

Above from the Wilmington News Journal 02 Nov 1949

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

1979 Terry Trader and Lori Twilley

1979 Terry Trader Lori Twilley

1978 Sgt Earl Cecil and Dean Davis

Sgt Cecil would serve four and half years with the Delmar Police force then move over to the Ocean City Police Force

above 2016

1975 Russell Smart and George Vetra

1975 Russell Smart and George Vetra, Delmarva Aluminum Co

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

1962 Eugene B Ellis

above from The Bi-State Weekly February 2nd 1962

In 1962 Eugene "Gene" Bradley Ellis was promoted to Major in the Delaware State Police.  Five years and a few months later he would be a Colonel in the State Police and dead.

Colonel Ellis was born in Delmar, Delaware in 1926 and graduated Delmar High School.  He attended Salisbury State Teacher College.   He served in the US Navy during WW2.  In 1947 he joined the Delaware State Police.  In 1949 he would marry, in Snow Hill Maryland, Ida Mae Russell, daughter of  Edward Purnell Russell and Belle W Wilkins Russell.   Eugene Ellis was the son of Paul Kinzer Ellis and Ada Bradley Ellis.  Paul K. worked for the railroad and was a councilman for the town and on the Board of Education.   Ida and Gene Ellis lived in Georgetown, Delaware.

While sitting on a panel on law enforcement at a Kiwanis meeting at Alexander's Restaurant in Dover he had a heart attack.  A second one followed that night while he was in hospital and he died.  He was 41 years old.  He was within 15 days of retiring from the Delaware State police with 20 years in.

Ida Mae Ellis would live another 45 years working as a secretary for Justice John J. McNeely.  She supported Del Tech and the Delaware State police Museum.  She would die in 2012.  Her father had died of spanish influenza in 1918 when she was one year old.  Her mother, Belle, spent 58 years as a widow, in turn Ida, spent 45 years as a widow.

1962 Frank R Reynolds

January 5, 1962 The Bi-State Weekly

Monday, October 28, 2019

1969 Phillip W Mitchell

In the February 13th 1969 edition of The State Register and The B-State Weekly was this photograph of Staff Sergent Phillip Wayne Mitchell on board a C-141 Starlifter.  The C-141 was a cargo plane and Sergent Mitchell was a loadmaster, a very important position in the crew which would usually consist of two pilots, two flight engineers, one navigator and the loadmaster.  The loadmaster supervised the loading and did the calculations for the placement of equipment being transported in the plane.  An example of a C141 is at the Air Mobility Museum in Dover Delaware.

Phillip "Mitch"  Mitchell was born December 1, 1942 in Philadelphia to Pearline Marie "Poe" Giles and Raymond Kenney Mitchell.  He was raised by his father's sisters Inez Smiley and Rebecca  Mitchell who lived west of Delmar.  His father would also return to live in the Delmar area.  On his fathers side his grandparents were the Reverend Joshua J. Mitchell and Amelia Kenney Mitchell.  On his mothers side his grandparents were Standis Giles and Mattie Gaines Giles.

He would marry Judy Carol Hickman from Goldsboro North Carolina in 1962.   He would remain in the Air Force for twenty years and after retiring would become a correctional officer in New jersey.  he would remarry to Adeline Paulina Banks.  He would retire to Florida where in 2015 he would die. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Dinner in Secretary

In the 1950s thru the 1990s Sunday would call for a drive and lunch or dinner out.  For casual dining Secretary, Maryland was a good place.  From Delmar  you could take enough backroads that it would turn into a respectful drive and end up at two spots around Secretary, one was Uncle Joe's (today called Suicide Bridge) and the other was Mutt's Place.

Now Uncle Joe's was nothing like today's Suicide Bridge Restaurant, the place was by the bridge over Cabin creek but it started as just an enclosed porch for a dinning room connected onto someone's house about 1952 and expanded from there.  Pete and Dolly Moxey had the place in the 1960s and 1970s.  It was a place know for cold beer and crab balls and it was casual.  It was one of those places that had a uniqueness about it that people would drive for 50 or so miles to go to it.  In the late 1970s they booked a number of nationally know country music artist into the pavillion they had outside
In  1984 Joe Gorski bought the place and changed the name to Sucide Bridge.  Briefly in 1989 it was manged by Dave Harper and in 1990 Dave Nickerson of Kool ice seafood in Cambridge took over the ownership of the restaurant.
Sucide Bridge in 1989

After Mr Nickerson took over he added the paddleboat tours and tore down to the old Suicide Bridge restaurant and built the new version you see today.

The other place was Mutt's Place, again in Secretary, Maryland or East NewMarket.  It was a converted gas station.  Brothers; William "Mutt" and George "Pete" Era bought the station in 1956.  They converted the back into a kitchen and served Crab balls and the famous Mutt Burger until 1991.  I think the place might have been able to hold a hundred or maybe a hundred and fifty if they were friendly.  They had some entertainment and the drummer for the band would throw a sheet of plywood on the pool table so he would have a place to set up the drums.  The walls were covered in what looked like surplus bathroom tile, various shades of blue.   They did however serve good oyster stews, crab and oyster sandwiches, crabs, crab balls and their Mutt burger.  Their burger was cooked in a cast iron pan in water so it was steamed and it was covered in onions also steamed.

1969 Sam's Store

Delmar Wood Yard

See that empty brown paper? Did you know that it’s produced by Pixelle Specialty Solutions in Spring Grove, PA? The company has a wood yard here in Delmar, MD. That means every time you eat a @reeses cup you are helping #marylandforests stay sustainably managed

Saturday, October 26, 2019

"Go Tell The Bees That I Have Gone"

There was a time when almost every rural family who kept bees followed a tradition. Whenever there was a death in the family, someone would go out to the hives and break the news to the bees of the terrible loss that had befallen them. Failing to do so resulted in further losses such as the bees leaving the hive, or not producing enough honey and even dying.

Traditionally, the bees were always kept abreast of not only deaths but all important family matters including births and marriages. If there was a wedding in the family, the hives were decorated and pieces of wedding cake left outside the hive so that the bees too could also partake in the festivities. Newly-wed couples always introduced themselves to the bees of the house, otherwise their entire married life was bound to be miserable. Even long absence due to journeys or sickness were always explained. If the bees were not told what was going on, all sorts of calamities were thought to happen. This peculiar custom is known as “telling the bees”.

Beekeepers also needed to talk to the bees in calm voices and never, ever used harsh words for fear of upsetting them. Quarrelling in earshot was not something that ever happened either. Marriages, new births and deaths were always marked by decorating the hive and telling the bees what had happened. A death always required black ribbon to be wrapped around the hive, to comfort the bees. Bees were involved in everything that mattered. Every aspect.

The death of their beekeeper required the new beekeeper to introduce themselves formally as their new owner and ask for their acceptance as their new master/mistress. It was said that not doing this would also encourage the bees to desert the hive or the queen would simply stop laying and the bees would all die off, one by one.

1969 John G LeCates

The Penn Central Restaurant

1970 Ad Penn Central Restaurant

Friday, October 25, 2019

Delmar Auctions

One type of business Delmar has had for some time are auctions and the night for the auction has usually been on Friday night.  Way back in the 1950s and 1960s there was Bennie Wells Auction out on Old Stage Road.  I use to like to go to it as a teenager.

In the 1980s there was The Old Firehouse Auction run by Ronald Moore.

and for the last 25 years we have Mason Dixon Auction run by Mike Conklin.

their facebook address is

always interesting things at an auction, Mason Dixion Auction starts about 3 pm and goes until it is cleaned out.

Betty E. White

R. W. Tonning, Dr R H Noell, Betty White, Annie M Joyner, Dr Roy Morrow

The poor quality photograph you see above is of Miss Betty Eliza White receiving a watch at her retirement from the Atlantic Coast Line Hospital in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1953. 

Betty White (1880-1967) was born in Shelltown, Maryland to Ephriam C White and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Cluff White.   The family moved to Stockton Maryland where Ephriam farmed.  By 1900 their family consisted of Lola, Clarence, Minnie, Henry, George, Lillian, and Allen. Lola became a school teacher in Stockton.  Henry Pauling White and George Edward White went to work for the railroad and moved to Delmar.  Their sister, Betty, also moved to Delmar.  She lived in Delmar and attended school at the University of Maryland Nursing school and after graduating in 1915, took additional classes at John Hopkins. 
She took a job as a nurse at the James Walker Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina about 1919.  She spent three years there before accepting a job at the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Hospital in Rocky Mount in 1922.

In 1892 the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Railroad (previously the Wilmington and Weldon) established a complex of maintenance, repair, construction and refueling facilities for the railroad known as Emerson Shops in South Rocky Mount. Although the shops were located outside the city limits, the numerous workers directly impacted the growth of the town.

The first hospital in Rocky Mount was the 1898 Atlantic Coast Line Hospital which served only the employees of the railroad and their dependents.  The hospital was a 50 bed facility with a complete staff of Doctors, surgeons, dentist, and nurses. The first hospital burnt in 1921 and by 1922 a new Atlantic Coast Line Hospital was built.  This hospital operated until 1956 when the railroad sold the hospital to Charles Dunn who created the Guardian Corporation and converted the hospital to a 84 bed nursing home. 

After her retirement she moved to Accomac, Virginia to live with her sister Lillian (Mrs William Ross) who was also a nurse.  She spent her time in Virginia and Florida.  In 1967 she passed away.  She was the last of her family.    

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Delmar Feed Mills 1949

From the Bi-State weekly October 28 1949 Lester Dunn, Lee Littleton

David Hastings amateur photographer

above from the Salisbury Times; Lee littleton, Harry Gibson

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Brice Stump Talk

Brice Stump 3 pm Sunday Oct 27 at Asbury United Methodist Church Allen, MD

1967 George Beach, Donald Acker, Barn Burgess, Percy Ness

From the Daily Times May 1967 George Beach, Donald Acker, Barn Burgess, Percy Ness

1917 Peter Cruze

From the Wilmington Morning News Sept 7, 1917

Eight years old and working in the cannery

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sunday at the Delmarva Genealogy Conference

Sunday at the Delmarva Genealogy Conference our President Alan Whitley manned the booth for the Delmar Historical and Arts Society with Shirley Martin coming in in the afternoon.  Great time for networking and finding new ways for doing things.


In the days of mechanical clocks and watches when your watch stopped because you had not wound it properly you could dial zero on your rotary telephone and ask the operator what time it was.  The switchboard the operator used had a clock on it and the clock was used to record the time a “long distance” phone call would start and end thusly billing you for so many minutes of long distance calling, but the call for the time was free.

By the 1980s the telephone company was reducing the number of switch board operators it had and going to automated dialing.  The company had a special number you could call to receive the time.   It is difficult to recall that particular number but 844-1212 sounds right.  A voice would tell you the correct time along the lines of “Good morning. At the tone, the time will be 8:55 and 50 seconds.” Then there was a curt beep, and the message would repeat with an updated time. You could keep listening as it counted up in increments of 10 seconds. Eventually, you got disconnected.

James Hearn 1913


James Hearn Falls Under Wheels of a Train at Delmar.

DELMAR, Del., March 2 James Hearn, twenty-one years old, was instantly killed early last evening while attempting to board a fast moving freight train on the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk railroad a few miles south of Delmar. He fell under the wheels. He was employed as a section hand by the railroad company.

From The Wilmington Morning News 3 Mar 1913

There are so many James Hearns it is difficult to tell which family this man would belong to.  The best guess is he was the son of Banner F. Hearn and Sophronia E. Kinnekin Hearn.  they lived in Delmar in this time frame.  James Hearn is buried at parsons cemetery in Salisbury

1982 Water Survival

1982 Water Survival Donna Keenan and Kitty Cade

1962 Fallout Shelter

Sunday, October 20, 2019

DHAS at the Delmarva Genealogy Conference

Great day at the Wicomico County Delmarva Genealogy Conference at the Civic Center yesterday.  A number of people stopped by our table and we passed out most of our Delmar Historical and Arts Society applications and the Walk Around Downtown Delmar Pamphlets.  Thanks to the Martin family for spending their Saturday manning the table.  Hoping for another good day today, the second day of the conference. Stephanie Mervine of the Wicomico County Tourism department  did a good job putting the conference together.

Friday, October 18, 2019

1979 Christmas Program

Debbie Hastings, Teresa Twilley, Joan Hastings, Ursula Hudson, Lori campbell, Kenneth Fletcher, Lisa Jackson, Herb Tatum

1979 Bobby Nichols

1991 Lisa Ruark

Manufacturing Helmets

Manufacturing helmets. Large power press for shaping helmets in the plant of Hale & Kilburn Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hale & Kilburn Company.  WW1

Did your relative go north during the war for big money in the war manufacturing plants?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Delmarva Genealogy and Heritage Conference This weekend

Coming this weekend.  The Delmar Historical and Arts Society will have a booth there.  Come see us.

Capt John Smith Shallop Replica in Vienna

The Capt John Smith shallop replica is in Vienna.  Drove over to see it today.

Compared to when it was touring the bay in 2007 it is rough shape. A lot of the caulking is missing from the hull.

above 2007 at Phillips Landing when it would float

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

1960 Delmar Drive In Want Ad

1960 Delmar Drive In Want Ad

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Delmar Mayors 2009

2009 Mayor John Outten and Mayor Doug Niblett The Delmar Sesquicentennial celebration

DuPont Nylon 1952


The Half Pint Man

The half pint man has nothing to do with the size of the man, the half pint man was a person each political party would have in a  town who when it came time to vote would slip the voter a half pint of liquor and tell him whom to vote for.   It is much less prevalent today as it was back in the 1950s and before.  Today you vote and get nothing for it but another slick politician elected to office.  Oral history as it was told to me said Harlan Tull was the half pint man for the Democratic party in Delmar.  

Looking for Photos

Anyone with an old Delmar  photo or story to share is welcome to contact us at

Monday, October 14, 2019

1955 Du Pont Cellophane Ad

Knowing that a number of babies die each year by suffocation does this ad not make you cringe?

1979 Shawn Jones

1979 Shawn Jones and Kenny Sudler from the December 12th State Register and Bi-State Weekly