Thursday, November 28, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Married on Thanksgiving Day 1908

Romance in This Marriage

Miss Edna Melson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. U. Grant Melson, of Delmar, and Roscoe T. Powers, stepson of U. G. Glick, of this city, were married at the home of the bride's parents, in Delmar, on Thanksgiving Day, by the Rev. Zach H. Webster. The marriage followed a courtship of less than a week. The groom is but 21 years or age, and it was just after he was discharged from the army a fortnight ago that he met Miss Melson, who was a guest of a friend in this city. Following the marriage Mr. and Mr. Powers came to this city on Friday. They returned to Delmar on Saturday, where they will spend their honeymoon.

Above from The Evening Journal Wilmington Delaware 30 November 1908

as the article says Edna M Melson (1888 - 1966) married Roscoe A. Powers ( 1887-1957) on Thanksgiving.  Her father was a house painter and yes he was named after Ulysses Grant.  Her mother was Eliza Hannah Carmean.  Roscoe was the son of Andrew Clifton Powers (1858-1934) and Monte Morelle Millard. Andrew and monte got a divorce and both remarried.  Roscoe and Edna would have a son in 1910 named Millard Powers.  They would end up in Rehoboth Beach Delaware where their son was in real estate.  They would stay married until their death.  

Thanksgiving at the Farm House Restaurant 1971

1971 ad  Farm House Restaurant - King Sterling, Raydie Sterling, Howard Vickers

today this is the La Tolteca Restaurant and the Nachos cost twice as much as the price of the 1971 Thanksgiving Buffet

Sauerkraut For Thanksgiving

Even in Delmar there are some transplants from Baltimore that insists on serving sauerkraut with the Thanksgiving meal.  Below is part of a November 27, 2013 article by Jonathan Pitts from the Baltimore Sun about this tradition.

"how did sauerkraut, with its heady international history, end up dolloped on the same plate as turkey, that richly bland mainstay of the traditional Thanksgiving meal in North America? And why in Baltimore?
The answer, historians tell us, lies in demographics.
Baltimore was a leading gateway for German immigration during the 1800s, so much so that by 1863, the year President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, one in four of the city's residents were transplanted Germans and spoke the tongue as their first language.
Most who ponder the subject say those immigrants were equally caught up in the traditions of their new country and interested in sprinkling them with the customs they brought with them.
One historian cites a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that derives from the Eastern European custom of stuffing goose with fermented cabbage. William Woys Weaver, author of "Sauerkraut Yankees," a book of Pennsylvania recipes and food lore, says traders from the York and Chambersburg areas brought it to Baltimore, a frequent stop.
"That tradition was written about as early as 1840," he says.
Local lore has a slightly different twist.
"My wife and I think the immigrants from Germany and Poland settled in Highlandtown and the area around Broadway generations ago, and they celebrated Thanksgiving the way we did, but they also wanted to add a touch of home to their meals," said Nickolas Antonas, who with his wife, Mary, owned and ran the Eastern House restaurant for 44 years.
The pair always served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but they didn't think to include sauerkraut when they first opened in 1966, said Nickolas, who is of Greek ancestry.
However, so many customers asked for the stuff during the holidays that the couple added it to the Thanksgiving menu and served it that day for more than 40 years — with bacon or sausage, with applesauce, with grated onion and carrots and even, at times, with ginger ale for "a kind of champagne taste."
Now retired, the Baltimore natives became converts long ago.
"You have the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, then you add the sauerkraut, which is a little tart. Then you add the turkey and country gravy, and it just becomes a nice combination," said Antonas, adding that he'll be whipping up a batch for the holiday meal at their Rosedale home.
Local residents of a certain age well remember versions of the lengthy pickling procedure. Marc Attman, who owns Attman's Delicatessen, said that when he was a boy, his father, Seymour, and uncles would pack hundreds of pounds of cabbage in wooden barrels and roll them up and down Lombard St. to agitate the contents.
Half a century or so ago, he said, the deli usually got sizable advance orders of the stuff as Thanksgiving loomed.
Today they're one of the few establishments in Baltimore that still cure their own sauerkraut. Most restaurants, like most consumers, rely on the packaged variety, which is more convenient but also offers much less flavor and texture, gourmands say.
Most of the deli's kraut, though, goes on sandwiches these days, making it a steadily popular condiment year-round. "For us it's like salt and pepper," Attman said.
Attman's does offer a day-after specialty, the Double T (Thanksgiving turkey) sandwich that features turkey, cranberry sauce and sauerkraut on pumpernickel.
Many locals tell stories of grandparents making batches of sauerkraut in the family basement in the weeks before Thanksgiving, creating an aroma that became associated in their minds with the holiday's comforting feel.
John Shields, a Baltimore native who grew up to become the proprietor and chef at Gertrude's restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art, speaks of his late grandmother Gertrude Cleary, who made a batch every year in the cellar of her rowhouse near St. Ann's Catholic Church on East 22nd Street.
The tradition meant so much to him, he told a Baltimore Sun reporter in 2007, that it sparked the idea of creating Kraut Fest, a celebration the restaurant will hold this January for the 10th straight year.
Restaurant staffers begin their work a few days before Thanksgiving, working in the basement to quarter, core and shred 300 pounds of white cabbage. They pack it into several sanitized, industrial-sized trash cans, add salt (three tablespoons for every five pounds of cabbage) to allow for extraction of water, and oversee a six- to eight-week fermenting process.
Doug Wetzel, the executive chef at Gertrude's, has become something of a keeper of the custom's flame.
He now oversees the restaurant's kraut-curing process and speaks lovingly of each step. They fill jars of water to weigh the kraut down inside the barrels. They lift the lids every two days to spoon bacteria-laden foam from the surface.
After several years at the helm, he has developed a routine: Wetzel, 30, transports the cans to the high-ceilinged basement of his early 20th-century single-family home in Brooklyn Park. There, he places the equipment near a vent (aromas start wafting from the containers within a couple of weeks) and lets it all sit in temperatures that are usually 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the outside.
The stuff is stewing there now, in fact — and even as it continues fermenting today, Wetzel and his wife will serve their Thanksgiving guests a separate batch of kraut.
"I love [sauerkraut] with turkey now. The flavor takes the edge off the [turkey] taste. It has to be there on the table or I get very upset," Wetzel said.
As early as 1907, an unnamed Baltimore Sun reporter waxed poetic about the kraut-and-turkey blend.
"Of all the multitude of duties that confront a public journal," he wrote, "none is more genuinely pleasant than that of noting, each autumn, the reappearance of sauerkraut upon the tables of the great plain people. … It is the first course in that gastronomic saturnalia which reaches a climax or culmination in roast turkey."
Seventy-seven years later, another reporter, Carleton Jones, complained that the tradition "shocked" him at first and that he'd never gotten over the feeling there was something distasteful about it.
"Turkey Joe" Trabert has no such concerns. He even adds his own Bawlmer touch every year, heaping gravy on the kraut. And he can't name one friend who doesn't serve the pickled stuff with his big bird.
"What the hell's unusual about something when everybody you know is doing it?" he said.
And on Turkey Day 2013, it isn't just old-timers carrying the banner.
Six months ago, when Meaghan and Shane Carpenter started their boutique foods company, Hex Ferments, they did so in the belief that fermented foods are as flavorful, healthy and relevant to the human diet today as they've been for centuries.
The married couple, 30-something transplants from the upper Midwest, cure their own sauerkraut in the old-fashioned way in a variety of flavors, including red beet and garlic. They create kimchi, Korea's breath-busting answer to sauerkraut, and kombucha, an effervescent fermented black tea drink.
They'll soon be selling their wares from a shop in Belvedere Square.
But they'd never heard of Baltimore's turkey-and-kraut habit — at least not until a friend filled them in a couple of weeks ago.
It was too late to work up a big new batch for today's holiday, but they're smelling opportunity.
"To find this as part of Baltimore culture is fascinating," said Meaghan, who expected to be cooking some kraut in vodka to go with a neighbor's turkey. "I wish we'd learned about it sooner. But next year, we'll have a lot made up. We'll be doing something special."
Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell contributed to this article. "

Monday, November 25, 2019

When better meals are served Roy will cook them

1950 the Esso Restaurant Delmar owned by Roy Cooper

The Esso restaurant was one of many restaurants Roy Thomas Cooper owned or managed.

above 1933 ad
Roy Cooper was the son of John William Freeney Cooper and Elizabeth Venables Cooper of Hebron.  Born in 1892 one of about eight brothers and sisters.  He spent most of his life as a cook.

above John and Elizabeth Cooper children.  Roy Cooper is at the far right. 

above 1942 ad and there is the phrase "When better meals are served Roy will cook them" 

1948 ad this is the one referred to as the Esso restaurant at the top.

After the Esso restaurant Roy would go to work for the English Company Restaurant as a chef.  He would spend 26 years with them before retiring.  He would die in 1976 at age 83.  He was well known in the local restaurant trade.

Wi-Hi Vs Delmar 1940

1940 Nov 19th

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday Dinner At The Flagship

above 1971 ad

In the 1970s Delmar people might have had Sunday dinner at the Flagship in Seaford Delaware.  The restaurant was originally the "McKeever Brothers." and was built in 1911 in Noank, Conn.  She was 130' long and 22' wide and had served as a menhaden fishing boat out of Lewes Delaware.  Originally owned by Steven W. McKeever and Edward J McKeever the ship was acquired by the Navy in WW1 and made into a mine sweeper.  After the war she went back to fishing.  About 1967 the Menhaden fishing fleet decided to get rid of the wooden fishing boats and offered to give them away.  Six businessmen in Seaford took the 'Mckeever Bros. and had it towed up the Nanticoke to the bridge across RT13. there they converted the ship to a restaurant. 

The restaurant opened to the public in 1969 and had a good business up until the late 1990s.  I am sure there were fans of the restaurant that truly loved it but for the most part it was a novelty restaurant - it fell into the same category of coffee shops shaped like Coffee pots in the 1930s.  You had to eat there at least once and take a friend later.

The ship arrives in Seaford

The restaurant had a number of nooks and crannies - the dinning rooms were called the "Engine Room", "Fish Hold", and the "Golden Anchor Room".  Up top in what was called the "Wheel House" was a small bar, everything in the Wheel house was on a slight slant so after a few drinks you didn't know if you were tilting from the drinks or the wheel house.  The eating area was cramped since the original ship was a little over 20 ft wide by the time you add in salad bar, lounge area, etc there wasn't much area left.  Plus for all the decorating you felt like you were eating in a ship's hull. 

They added a square shape building attached to the ship to try and overcome the disadvantage of the ship.  The addition was popular with social and professional groups having their monthly meetings.  I may have ate there more when attending meetings then as an individual customer.  When it opened the food was about $7 per dinner.   When it was auctioned off in 1981 it was advertised a having a seating capacity of 265

Gutted in a fire in 1977 it was rebuilt, sold at auction in 1981, and over the years it has had multiple owners.  I think the last owner was Miguel Quecada who acquired it in 2000 and named it the Nautico. Today it sit rotting by the highway.

1983 Maurice and Maria Adkins

January 1983 Maurice Adkins and Maria Adkins

Howard "Toby" Gravenor

Steve Merritt found photos of Howard "Toby" Gravenor (from Delmar, Died in 1992) and would like to send them to a family member.  Please send us an email if you are a relative and we will forward the email to him.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Franklin Truitt 1932

DELMAR, Del., Nov. 2. A youthful clerk, with rare presence of mind, prevented a Negro from getting the contents of a safe in the office of the Delmar Union Store Company early yesterday morning. The clerk, Franklin Truitt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Truitt of this town, was leaning against the door of the safe when the Negro entered, and demanded the money in the safe. The youth, who is 16, managed to turn the combination on the dial with his feet and informed the Negro that he had forgotten the combination and could not open the safe. The man was not armed, according to Truitt, warned the boy not to move from his position and escaped out the front door. The manager of the store, Levater Hearn who had been out to get something to eat. believed that the Negro had been watching  his movement for some time and had chosen the opportunity furnished by his absence to try and intimidate the boy. Truitt reported the attempted hold-up to local police.
Above from The Evening Journal (Wilmington Del) November 2nd 1932

Two Views of the Delmar Train Station

1905 Postcard with People

1907 Postcard without people

Thanksgiving 1940

1940 The Thompson Restaurant had been taken over by new people and called The Colonial Restaurant. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Thanksgiving Nite At The Cozy Cabin Delmar 1943

above 1943 November 24th  Joe Gollner Otis Jester

Joseph Henry Gollner was a golden boy, great at high school athletics, drummer in a band, went into the Navy, attended the Naval academy, Became a Navy flyer. married the daughter of Congressman John Wood, transferred to a carrier "The Essex", and died in a plane crash in January 1952.

When the movie "Men of the Fighting Lady" came out in 1954 it was advertised in Salisbury as the Joe Gollner Story.


When Harvey Sprague of Delmar retired from railroad service in 1958 he mentioned that when he first started with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1904 he was a callboy in the office.  In 1908 he became a fireman and in 1916 he became an engineer. 

The “callboy” or sometimes called the “Caller,” job was to round up the crew for the unscheduled train due to move out of the yard.  This was in the days before telephones were common.  They usually had two hours to do it.  Trainmen at that time were required to live within easy walking distance of the round house and the Callboy would walk, run or ride a bicycle around town and knock on Boarding houses, residential houses, restaurants, churches etc to find his man to let him know he was scheduled to work.  He would have to know every fireman, engineer brakeman and conductor in his roundhouse and where they hung out so he could find them.

Usually three to four Callboys were in Delmar to cover a 24-hour period, 7 days a week.  The day shift was the best and the night shift was perhaps the worst. At night, carrying a lantern to see by, they would knock on the side of house to awake the railroad men and a light would come on in the house so he knew they were up.  The wife packed a lunch for the railroad man while he dressed.
above from Baltimore Sun 21 Feb 1906

The callboys were young men between 13 to 18 years in age.  They were always white.  They were picked because they were sober, dependable and knew railroading, plus they could keep their mouth shut and not talk about where they found the railroad man in the event it was not with his wife. 

The Callboy had other jobs to do besides rounding up crews.  He worked mainly as a message boy and golfer and then filled in where needed, usually helping a fireman clean the engines.  He might be asked to run out to pick up a fifth of liquor for one of the foremen or do the unpleasant task of notifying a family of a railroad accident. 

A Callboy would work his way up to the next step by becoming a fireman then an engineer the same as Harvey Sprague did.  Some callboys worked their way to high positions;  Chief Justice Earl Warren, and William Martin Jeffers who became President of Union Pacific railroad are two examples.

About 1900 the callboy made fifty cents a day, by 1911 they were up to $59 a month.

As the telephone came into increased use the callboys were replaced by crew dispatchers or Callers who sit in an office in front of a switchboard and called trainmen. 

1951 ad 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

2010 DHS Football

nov 4 2010 from the Laurel Star
Nick Cooper, Mustafa Shauket, Kevin Veliz, Jared Campbell, Matt Waldman and Dakota Harmon

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Delmar Library Talk Nov 22

The Mason Dixon Line: The Story Behind the Boundary
Free History Program
Delmar Public Library
Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 @ 1 p.m.
A Delaware Humanities Program
by Mike Dixon

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cheryl Gordy 1969

Delmar 17 year old obtains her private pilot's license.  Cheryl is the daughter of William B. Gordy

Flo's Market and Sanwich Shop - 1970

Run by Florence Erma Hitchens

1816 Tax Collection

Mike Adkins, over in Ocean View, posted this page of Delinquency tax payers in 1816 from Indian River hundreds Sussex county tax records.  Most reasons for not paying is the taxpayer moved to a different hundreds but some simply had nothing and could not pay.  Mike's comments below.   

Old records have a bit of quirkiness embedded in them! How about being a “Good for nothing!”

Reading old tax lists for Sussex DE from 1802-18. About 898 pgs. This is how they were taxed back in a day. A person called a collector, from each hundred, who could read & write, set out to inventory & tax the inhabitants in their 'hundred'. They'd go to the county seat to see the property transfers since the prior tax year, then tax the new owner.

They were taxed several ways: a pole tax, a poor tax, road tax, publick tax & personal property tax. Many were delinquent...Tough time period. Right after the Revolution & during War 1812. If you are lucky, you can glean alot info from these lists. Their personal belongings, land holdings, even notating when they died many times.

Some of the entries will make you laugh!!...John Coffin was noted as, "Good for nothing!" highlighted in yellow & other remarks highlighted!..If you died, only having no estate, would escape you from paying...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Purina Mill 1952 Cane

This give-a-way cane was up for auction tonight at the Wants n Needs thrift store auction 
The canes were given away at the opening of the "new" Purina Mill in Delmar in 1952 

I think it sold for $36 plus the usual Maryland add ons for auctions.

The History of Forest Grove Church

1960 West Side Community Center Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner 1960 West Side Community Center

1944 Illinois Central System

Free Dinner if in the military 1944

Pin Money Pickles

In the late 1800s and through  the 1950s an item that appeared on menus and in stores was Pin Money Pickles. 

above part of the Hotel Antoinette Lunch Menu 1900
Pin Money Pickles was a commercial product made by Ellen G. Tompkins Kidd.  
Mrs. Kidd started making pickles at her Richmond, Virginia home in 1868 when she was sixteen.  She used her grandmother’s receipt (her grandfather was Lt. Harry Tompkins of Revolutionary war fame) and it was such a success that people begin to pay her for the pickles.  Giving her a little money they referred to as pin money.  The term pin money is not heard that often today but it refers to a small amount of money woman would be given by their husband or they earn by sewing or selling eggs. 

By 1926 she had developed the business into one that was doing a half million dollars in sales, had a five story building in Richmond and employed over 60 workers.  She also married in 1872 John Boulware Kidd, a grocer, and had ten children by him.
She was one of the first women to obtain a contract from the Pullman Company and she insisted that her pickles be listed on the menu as “Pin Money Pickles.”  She sold to the large New York City market and her product was always sold by its trade name.
 1900 Southern Railway Lunch menu featuring pin money pickles
She incorporated her company and even though she died in 1932 the company lived on.  Stewart C Wilson became the owner and moved the company to Gloucester Virginia and by the mid 1950s the pickle plant closed down. 
1936 December 4th ad from Baltimore Sun
you can come across the Pin Money Pickle jars at flea markets and bottle shows

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Blue Moon and Smiling Dave

In 1950 an unknown beer joint was renamed The "Blue Moon".  It was one of many bars Delmar had over the years.  This one changed names every year.  In 1950 and 51 the Blue moon was run by Gladys "Jiggs" Lane Roberts.  She was married at that time to Langsdales Roberts.  She was originally from Crisfield.  In 1951 Malhon Taylor took over and called it the "Blue Moon Spaghetti House."  In 1952 Clifford and Louise Smith renamed it "Club 21", not to be confused with the one in ocean City by the same name.  From there the naming trail grow confused.

No ideal who Smiling Dave was.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Funeral Ship

above from the Salisbury Times 8 July 1948

Miss M. Jeannette Roswell 1941

above 7 Feb 1941 Salisbury Times
The Roswells lived out on Leonard Mill Road,  Marion Jeannette Roswell father and mother were Paul Raymond Backus Roswell and Marion Edna Robbins Roswell.  The family was originally from New York moving here about 1920.  They had about ten children.  

Jeannette would marry Clemence Paul Tokarz and live over on the Western Shore of Maryland.  Before marriage she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933, served as an Army nurse and was stationed at the Honolulu Hospital when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. 

She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 

The Search For Bridey Murphy

In 1956, Delmar, along with the rest of the United States, was talking about a book called “The Search For Bridey Murphy”.  

Sixty-nine years ago on November 29, 1952 Morey Bernstein placed Ruth Simmons (later identified as Virginia Tighe) into a deep hypnotic trance. Bernstein, a businessman and an amateur hypnotist, had mean Tighe at a party the previous month and convinced her to be the subject willing to try what believers in reincarnation call “past-life regression.” 
above Morey Bernstein
Through the power of hypnosis, he believed, he could lead Tighe back through time and into her previous life.  Tighe who was a 27 year old housewife was instructed by Berstein to fall into a deeper and deeper sleep he then regressed her to age 7 and after answering a couple of questions moved on to age 5 and age 3 and age 1.  He then asked her search her mind for something further back. 

It was at that point she developed an Irish brogue and begin telling about her life in vivid detail as Bridget “Bridey” Murphy from 1806 to 1864.  In several sessions with Tighe, Berstein accumulated a wealth of information on Bridey and life in Ireland in the 1800s.    In 1956 Doubleday the book publisher, published Morey Berstein’s "The Search for Bridey Murphy” It set the United States on fire talking about the possibly of genetic memory.  A rage of regression related hypnotist cocktail parties spread everywhere.  With the book release newspapers set investigators out to find out what was really going on.   Long story short, the investigators found Tighe had lived across the street from a house where Bridey Murphy Corkwell lived and she had merely absorbed the stories Bridey told about growing up in Ireland.  Tighe under hypnosis thought they were her own.  It gave a plausible answer to an event that had upset a great many.

A movie was released about the search for Bridey Murphy.  The internet is full of information about this event. 

Now that was 1956, today DNA is taken at hard scientific fact.  The average person can buy a DNA kit from and with no research on his part in a month’s time can show his family tree back to Eric the Red in Greenland and he believes it.  In truth DNA gives a lot of false or misleading information when doing family trees and there is a lot still not known about it.  If you believe your DNA is the reason why you have red hair and blue eyes and are a fisherman why would you not believe that in addition to those traits a part of the memories of your ancestors is not carried forward to you?  

People who have received an organ transplant will have their DNA altered (that seems to be accepted).  There has been a number of reports that after these transplants they begin to have memories of different people and events that they never had before the transplant.  It is called cellular memory theory.  Some believe others don't.   

In the case of Bridey Murphy it was blurred by the fact Bridey was not a direct ancestor but instead someone who was not related, a reincarnation of a person or a past life (PL).  Anyway it is something to rethink. 

Today the Bridey Murphy story was nothing but a distant memory for most Americans, a short-lived thrill that now resided alongside subsequent “paranormal” fads like UFOs, Big Foot, killer bees, and the Bermuda Triangle.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Domino Sugar

Ever wonder why it’s called Domino Sugar? In the early 1900s, The American Sugar Company  made sugar in tablets shaped like dominoes.

Today more than 40 ships a year deliver raw sugar to the Baltimore refinery. The larger ships take around 8-10 days to unload.