Tuesday, December 31, 2019

1941 Church Services


 In 1740, John Wesley started watch-night services for the coal miners of the Kingswood area, offering this nocturnal worship as a godly alternative to spending their evenings in ale-houses. The watch-night services consisted of singing, praying, exhorting, and preaching for a number of hours. Wesley meant to establish it as a monthly practice, always at full moon to keep the meeting well lit. In America, this service often supplanted times of traditional drunken revelry, like New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve.

1946 Pennsylvania Railroad Ad

1940 Delmar Maryland High School Faculty

left to right
Lester A Hall
Helen I Bankard
Virginia C Cullen
Marian D Parker
Sarah F Long
James D Mills

Monday, December 30, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday Dinner At Berman’s

Above ad from the 1937 Delmar, Maryland high school newsletter

In the 1930s and 1940s Berman’s Service Station and Restaurant was in operation.  Located at the intersection of Elizabeth street and Bi-State Blvd in Delmar, Maryland it was operated by two brothers; Theodore and Sidney Berman.   It was one of many gas station/diners that were on Bi-State Blvd in that time period.  They were the sons of Mr. and Mrs.  Morris Berman and had come from Russia in 1911.  Theodore would arrive in Delmar before 1930 and start the operation of the gas station and diner.  He was married to Clara Budefsky Berman and they had three children; Leon, Ronald, and Audrey.  The three children went to Delmar Maryland High School so no doubt that is the reason for the 1937 ad in the school newsletter “The Booster”.  Ronald being the last born (1940) went to Wi Hi in Salisbury.  

Sidney Berman was the younger brother and about 1935 he would marry Maggie May Mears from Crisfield. Maggie had an older sister, Mary Susan Mears, who worked in Delmar at a sewing factory.  She would marry William H Nock.   Both girls were the daughters of Gordon Henry Mears and Maria Sterling Mears.  Sidney and Maggie would have a son, Julius Leon, in 1936. 

Theodore would run the gas station and Sidney would run the diner.  Sidney would run the restaurant from 1938 to 1941 before moving to Middletown, Delaware to run another restaurant.  Theodore would move into the plumbing supply business in Salisbury owning Eastern Plumbing Supply Company.  He would remain living in Delmar.  Both brothers died young; Theodore died in 1947 at age 51 and Sidney died in 1949 at age 44.

Maggie would die in 1995 and is buried in Crisfield.  Clara would die in 1960 and is buried in Philadelphia.

Both Theodore and Sidney were Jewish.  They identified with the Jewish community in Philadelphia and Wilmington.  Both are buried in Jewish cemeteries in Wilmington (Sidney) or Philadelphia (Theodore).   In the November 1943 school newsletter it was mentioned that  “Audrey Berman spent the Jewish New Year in Philadelphia visiting her grandmother.”

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Booster

The Delmar Maryland High School had a newsletter called "The Booster."  It was put out four times a year as a fundraiser.  It was about 15 pages.  Once consolidation occurred the Booster went away. 

Here is the cover of the November 1937 edition

This was the year elementary students moved from the old wooden school building to the brick high school with the new addition on to it.

Here is the impression of the new school by 6th grader Jean Hastings

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society has about 6 editions from 1926 to 1942 donated by Tommy Young.

Bronze Baby Shoes

Bronze baby shoes

Bronze baby shoes seem to be making a comeback.  They were a popular item in the 1930s thru 1960s and then fell out of popularity.  Not only using the shoes for bookends and photo frames, people today are having the bronzing business drill a little hole in the back of the shoes to lace ribbon through and using them for Christmas ornaments for the Christmas tree. 

Bronzing has been around since the 6th century but the business of bronzing baby shoes seem to have started with Violet Shinbach of Cleveland Ohio in about 1934.  She found a way to bronze baby shoes and went door to door selling them. 

To bronze baby shoes, the shoes aren’t doused in bronze. Instead, they’re sealed in a liquid material and coated with a copper-infused liquid that makes the shoes conductive. The next step? Baby’s shoes are suspended into electroplating tanks with special chemicals that make copper cling. The end result are shoes that are completely encased in metal, forever.

And it is not just baby shoes, it could be adults shoes, your grandfathers WW2 combat boots, baby pacifiers, baseball and soccer shoes, anything that will hold up in the bronzing process can be made into a reminiscences of someone forever.
The cost will be slightly under a hundred dollars when the shoes plus a base is ordered.  As you expand into on the display of the shoes (picture frames cigar tray etc) the cost will go up.  There are several companies that still do bronzing. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Railroad Spike Hammer

At the on-line auction of Wants and Needs lot 351 is what they describe as a railroad spike hammer.   Since Railroad collectors sometime follows this blog I am mentioning it.  The bidding is already up to $9.50 and will go on until Sunday night, so expect it to go high.  the web site address is


Thursday, December 26, 2019

1946 Field Handball Team Delmar Maryland High School


Recognizing Kwanzaa
Today marks the start of the weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa, which runs through New Year’s Day. Introduced in 1966 and taking its name from African tribes’ traditional crop harvest time, Kwanzaa was recognized in 1996 with a stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Each of the seven days of Kwaanza recognizes an important principle: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility and work, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Above from Delaware Snapshot – Compiled by robin brown

Photo by Christopher Myers US Government

Kwanzaa was invented by Ronald McKinley Everett, today known as Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga.  He was born in Parsonsburg, Maryland in 1941.  He was the son of Rev. Levi Everett who died in 1970.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

1941 Wallace J Colcord

1941 William J Colcord - The newspaper got it wrong his name was Wallace Jewell Colcord.  He was super smart.

1947 Merry Christmas Delmar 5c to $1.00 Store

1947 Merry Christmas Delmar 5c to $1.00 Store

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Railroad Photograph Car Photos

Sometimes when going through family photographs you may encounter one stamped "Railroad Photo Car."  From the Civil War to the early 1900s Photographers instead of staying in a fixed location would convert a Railroad car to a rolling photograph studio.  They would travel over a thousand mile route (mainly in the mid-west and west) stopping in small town taking photographs and then moving on to the next town.  Naturally they were not liked by the local town photographer, but they filled a need for towns too small to have a photograph studio. 

The rail car would usually have a studio, darkroom, and living quarters for the photographer and staff.

Other photographers would set up shop on ships or convert a horse drawn wagon to a studio.  After WW2 it was popular for a photographer to come into a neighborhood with a pony and take a photograph of your child on the pony.  

Today these traveling photographers are best known as being school pictures photographers and tour ship photographers.  

Sunday Dinner At Delenia's Restaurant

above 1934 ad

Another “Good Place To Eat”

Not much is known about Delenia’s Restaurant, it operated under that name from about 1932 to 1937.  It is believed it was run by Delenia Mae Hearn (1912-2000) and possibly her brother Louis (lewis). Delenia had worked at the Diamond State restaurant on Bi-State Blvd with Thelma Powell prior to opening her own restaurant. 

Delenia was the daughter of Richard Elwood Hearn and Lillian Purnell Hearn.  She was the second youngest of the family (born 1912) and the only other daughter.  Her siblings were; Herbert, James, Louis, Harold, Grace (Elizabeth),  and Harry.  The mother, Lillian would die in 1922.  The father, Elwood, worked on the railroad as a brakeman.
Delenia Hastings 1939

   In 1937 Delenia would marry Charles William Gordon Hastings (1905 -1998). He ran a filling station, worked for the railroad and was a painting contractor. They would have one daughter, Barbara Ann. Most of the Hearn/Hastings family is buried at St. Stephens Cemetery. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

1949 Delmar Christmas Lights

13 December 1949 Salisbury Times

1932 Peggy's Lunch Room - A Good Place To Eat

Mrs Emma Hawkins 1932

1892 Delmar Fire

1892 Delmar Fire

Delmar has been destroyed by two major fires. The first was in 1892 and the second was in 1901. The article below describes the 1892 fire. It is interesting most of the towns on the Eastern Shore had major fires in in the 1890s. When neighboring fire departments sent aid to those towns they would load their equipment up on the train and the train would take them to the town where they would unload and start to fight the fire. Obviously the response time left something to be desired. In the case of Delmar in 1892 it was pointed out that there was no source of water to put out the fire and water had to be taken from the tanks on the train engines sitting in the rail yard at the time. It would not be until 1911 before Delmar would have a water utility that would supply fire hydrants and sufficient water pressure to put out fires.

Salisbury Advertiser August 20, 1892


Eighty-Seven Houses burned including Every Business Place, the Hotel, Railroad Station and M. E. Church

Another Peninsula town has been reduced to ashes. Delmar was burned last Tuesday afternoon. Between noon and the hour of one, Fire was seen to burst from the roof of the building, corner Railroad avenue and Grove street, occupied by Mr. Tyre as post office. Being a frame structure, the flames fanned by a brisk wind from the north-west, soon enveloped the entire building, and before the thoroughly aroused populace could take action the fire was spreading from house to house and continued to spread until ten acres on which thickly stood eighty-seven buildings of various kinds, mostly wood, had been burned over.

The burned district extends from Grove Street on the north, down Railroad avenue on the west three squares south to Elizabeth street, east from Railroad avenue two squares to Second street. In this territory stood every business house, the hotel, Methodist Episcopal Church and the railroad station, all of which were burned. The fire did no damage west of the railroad track. The origin of the conflagration is supposed to have been the igniting of a match by a mouse in an old sugar barrel which stood in the hall on the second floor of the post office building.

The Salisbury fire service responded promptly to an appeal for help, but owing to the fact Delmar is an inland town, with no artificial water supply, and having no natural streams nearer than two miles, our boys could do little toward keeping up a stream of water. What water they did get was drawn off the tanks of a number of engines.

The losers of the fire are; Levin Hastings store and goods partly insured; M. H. German private residence and several tenement houses, loss heavy, only partially covered by insurance; Joseph W. Hastings, residence valued at $1300, insured for $800; Dr. Ellegood, drug store and bedroom set $2000, insured $1200; W. S. Marvel, residence, barn, smith shop, $3500, total loss; J. M. Elliott, two dwellings and one more, partially insured; Elliott & Ellis, stock of goods, $5000, insured $4000; Cooper & Wilson store and stock of goods, $7000, insurance $4500; W. B. Elliott, post office building and butcher shop, $4000, partially insured; Mrs. Hayman, millinery store, total loss; Delmar Union store, store and stock lose $3500, insurance $1200; Perdue & Hastings millinery store , $1,000, no insurance; W. S. Hitchens, store $1500 total loss, E. J. Melson store $300, total loss; E. J. Freeny, several houses all partially insured; B. W. Freeny, green grocer, $1,000, no insurance; Jas. Mills, leather, $300, total lose; R. S. Stevens & Bro, jewelry valued $1000, no insurance ; W. I. Sirman, residence, partially insured, stock of goods$1000, no insurance; H. B. James, residence, light insurance; Methodist Episcopal church and parsonage, loss partly covered by insurance; Smiley Parker, residence, some insurance, Mrs. Sarah Williams, residence, no insurance ; James Williams, W. I. Sirman, H. B. Sirman, W. Elliott, James Venables, John Gillis, all residences, with more or less insurance; H. B. Kerr’s barber’s fixtures, no insurance; T. A. Vesseys hotel, loss, $5000, insurance $1600; L. B. Kerr’s livery stable, P. W. Vincent’s residence; W. S. Mason’s residence; B. B. Gordy; residence, Mrs. B. B. Gordy, dwelling; Mrs. Elizabeth H. Slemons, residence, office, stables, loss $1500, insurance $1000; M. M. Hill residence partly insured; John W. Melson, residence; Isaac Watson, residence and shop, partially insured, John Neugebaum, residence partly insured; Charles Hill, residence, partly insured; Mrs. Mills, residence, no insurance; Dr. Josephus A. Wright, residence, $1800, insured $800; Harry Renninger, residence, no insurance; Philip C. Hearn, residence, insured; John I. Clarke, residence, partly insured; Charles Elliott, residence, partly insured; B. W. Parker, residence, partly insured; W. C. Truitt, residence, partly insured; Roy German, residence insured; Jos. J. Restein, residence, insured; railroad station, freight house, etc $10000, partly insured; Algy Dennis, residence, partly insured; E. P. O’Neal, residence, partly insured; A. H. Morris, candy store, loss $300, no insurance; Total loss is conservatively estimated at $150,000 and the aggregated insurance is placed at $75,000. Mr. A. G. Toadvine of this city had nearly all the property destroyed on the Maryland side in his companies.

Delmar is situated six miles north of Salisbury on Mason Dixon Line, at the juncture of the P. W. & B. railroad and the N. Y. P. & N railroad, which two systems uniting at Delmar, traverse the seaboard states from New York to Norfolk. It is a new town, owing its thrift and prosperity to the railroads. Within the last decade it has grown from a hamlet of a few scattered houses to a town of 800 inhabitants.

The fire of last Tuesday was the first considerable blaze the little town ever suffered and during its progress many land marks were destroyed.

Among the first homes to burn was one as old as the town itself and in which two poor but enterprising boys- E. E. Jackson and W. L. Sirman – set out in business in 1859. The former has since amassed a large fortune and has honorably served his native state as its governor. The latter is at present speaker of the Delaware House of Representatives and has always been identified with the best interests of Delmar, where he has succeeded in acquiring a competence.

Mr. T. A. Vessey, proprietor of the hotel, was offered $4000 cash for his property on Monday by a Cincinnati gentlemen but refused it.

Dr. Josephus A. Wright had made all arrangements to move into his handsome new home on Wednesday.

Among the more prominent buildings not destroyed are the Missionary Baptist Church, O. S. Baptitist Church, and the Methodist Protestant Church. All the mills were saved.

Undauted by the diameter the people at once turned to work and began to erect temporary structures in which to do business until more substantial buildings can be put up. In twenty four hours after the fire Mr. B. W. Freeny had a house on the site of his burned butcher shop. The railroad company have a temporary station house completed and several other rough structures are up. The unfortunates whose homes were destroyed are residing for the time with those of their neighbors who were not burned out. Mrs. Slemons and her daughters are guests of Dr. F. M. Slemons of Salisbury.

Hogs and Chickens were burned as well as provisions and it is said that when night settled over the devastated town Tuesday there was not enough food in the place to give all the people a hearty meal. This alarming condition was soon relieved however by the quick and eager response of neighboring towns Salisbury, Cape Charles City, Wilmington, Laurel, Seaford and other places send food and money, Mayor Humphreys and messgrs Randolph, Humpreys, A. A. Gillis, Charles Birkhead, and R. T. Fowler, a committee to solicit aid. A purse of $445.35 was soon made up and presented to the provisional committee at Delmar.

A dispatch from Wilmington, Del. Wednesday night to Hon. W. L. Sirmen, said; “At a public meeting held in this city hall of Wilmington this morning to respond to the call for aid from Delmar $500 in cash was raised in twenty minutes and William L. Sirman of Delmar, speaker of the Delaware House of Representatives was directed by telegraph to draw on the treasurer of the meeting for that amount at once. A car load of provions, bedding, clothing and furniture will also be sent down”. The railroad are transporting provisions free.

After The Fire
From the Salisbury Advertiser Sept 3, 1892


New Houses and Business going up in Delmar and other Homes to follow

This fire swept town today presents a better appearance than it did a week ago. The braver victims of the fire who are able have cleared away the debris and begun work in earnest. T. A. Vessey has contracted with the Tolberts, of Laurel to erect on the old site a handsome three story Hotel at a cost of $6000. They begin work Wednesday. W. L. Sirman has an architect in Wilmington preparing him a plan for a new residence and no doubt his house will be the finest structure ever erected in Delmar. Wm. M. Mason has the foundation of a very pretty cottage building laid on his lot, the work being done by Mr. Lewis of Salisbury. The Delmar Union Store Co. has erected a temporary building and is already doing business and this is true of B. B. Freeny and W. B. Elliot. Levin Hastings is putting up the largest store in Delmar – 50 x 150 ft – this building includes store for him self, post-office, drug store and barber shop. The firm of Elliott and Ellis has by mutual consent dissolved partnership. F. G. Elliott continues the business and has erected a temporary building in which a stock of hardware was placed Wednesday. Cooper & Wilson also opened quarters in a building of M. H. German’s Wednesday. They will build a large brick building in the future. Those preparing to build are; Michael Elliott, W. B. Sirman, M. M. Hill, Harry Renninger, J. F. Clarke, Phillip Hearn, W. S. Marvil, B. B. Gordy, Jas. Venables and Smiley Parker.

The young man, Wm. Adkins, who was so badly crushed a week ago at the coal bin, is still lingering with little hope of recovery.

Mrs. Walter Stephens, who was so badly frightened by the fire, died on Saturday last. Her baby, which was only three weeks old, died Wednesday. The case is one which calls for the sympathy of all. It is really sad. Mrs. Stephens was sick in bed at the time the fire occurred and seeing that her house hold effects would be destroyed, she rose from bed and attempted to save them by removing them to a place of safety. Lifting an organ and the extreme fright were too great a strain and she died from the effects.

Papering the walls and ceiling has much improved the interior of the Missionary Baptist church here. Last Sunday morning Rev. Mr. Howe, the pastor, preached a deeply interesting sermon, taking for his text, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that loves God,” In the course of his sermon the reverend gentleman made a local application of the text to the recent destruction of Delmar, and its present condition. His words had an electrical effect upon many who had lost their all in the recent fire and gave them renewed hope. Rev. Mr. Corkran of the M. E. church preached in the evening…

Friday, December 20, 2019

A 1928 Photo of Salisbury

over on Facebook, the Edward h Nabb research center has posted an aerial photo of Salisbury in 1928.  The photo is posted on Fickr at this address https://www.flickr.com/photos/nabbresearchcenter/49242782383?fbclid=IwAR0UWfBEQowirAujzEV08k7Ux7yy-25GmKy_C9PwLgOXFfWzVDdmwH5M2Us

Frankly I don't recognize much in the photo because when the "bypass" (Salisbury Blvd) was built in the 1930s (after the photo) businesses moved to it and changed the whole layout of Salisbury, but of general interest to me is the railroad track and railroad activity shown in the photo.  If you zoom in on it there is a large white circle area that is a baseball field to the left of it is the old ice plant (sign saying cold storage) where EVO beer is now.  Following the tracks down (south) you will see the large Jackson shirt factory (the cause of the 'S" curve on Rt13) and a number of tracks leading into the loading area.    Following the track up (north) you can see the train station and watch tower and ES Adkins.  To the right of the station  you can see two raillines (one at the station and one north of the station)  coming together into one track and heading east to Ocean city.

By the way you can't zoom in on the photo I posted you have to go to Flickr to zoom in .

1944 Louis Hastings Home on Leave

1944 Dec 22 Salisbury Times Louis M. Hastings, Howard Hastings

Thursday, December 19, 2019

1955 Christmas mail

In December 1955, Ties Magazine published a drawing by Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist Jim Berryman of a busy railway station—titled “Santa’s Holiday Headquarters.” Between December 1 and Christmas Day, the United States Post Office estimated that at least 4.5 billion letters cards, and packages would move by rail.

1969 Patti Jones -Homemaker of Tomorrow

1969 Patti Jones, Hugh Kelly, William B Jones.

1950 Delmar Christmas Decorations

12 Dec 1950 Salisbury Times

1950 The English Bake Shop

1950 For many families a visit to the English Bake Shop was a Christmas  event.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

1977 Delmar High school Varsity Cheerleaders

Maria Hull, Amy Sargent, Vanessa Cuffee, Zeborah Tatem, Sharon Trader, Ilals Abbott, Lou Anne Rickard and Mavis Jones  1977 Varsity Cheerleaders

Delmar Lions Club 1938

16 Dec 1938 Salisbury Times
Russell Truitt, Harold C. Whiteside, Lester A. Hall. Norris Tingle

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

1962 English Grills Chicken

1962 English Grills Chicken

The Duz Dishes

Back in the 1950s and 1960s as the Christmas holidays approached the Duz Detergent Dishes Golden Wheat pattern were cleaned up and prepared for use.  In an area where poverty was a way of life the Duz dishes were probably the only set of China a family had that matched. 

1960 ad from the Salisbury Times 

The Golden wheat dishes were premiums inserted in boxes of Duz detergent in the 1950s.  Each month a different packaged dish was put in the box of detergent.  It would take years to acquire what would be a complete set of China.  Duz began this promotion to gain sales over Tide detergent.
above 1962 ad A & P 
The range of pieces included platters, luncheon plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, soup bowls, berry bowls, vegetable bowls, cups and saucers, sugars and creamers, salt and pepper shakers, gravy boats, cake stands and more.

They were manufactured before dish washers became common and they should be handwashed.  Also the 22 K gold rim plays havoc if food is placed on them and then the dish is placed in the microwave to heat up the food.

Many people collect Golden Wheat dishes as a matter of nostalgia, having grown up with their parents or grandparents acquiring and using this dinnerware.  Because so many were manufactured and so many were kept forever by the housewife who spent months and years collecting a set that when found at a flea market, estate sale or yard sale they are cheap, bringing from $5 to $40 for a 20 plus set of china.  So buy a set as a tribute to your Grandparents and have a vintage Christmas dinner with them this year. They can remind you to be thankful for all the material comforts you have that your parents or grandparents didn't have. 

1953 ad for Barri-Jay Shop

1953 ad for Barri-Jay Shop

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Display at School 1941

1941 Dec 15 Salisbury Times article

Sunday, December 15, 2019

1927 ad Blue Hen State Bus Line

1927 ad Blue Hen State Bus Line

Sunday Dinner At Nichols and Truitt's Restaurant 1926

1926 ad

In 1923 Frank Truitt and Howard B. Nichols bought Moraine’s Restaurant in Delmar.   The restaurant, close to the train station, was a 24 hour operation since the trains rolled through town 24 hours a day. Howard Nichols would later buy Frank Truitt out and it would become just Nichols restaurant.  An earlier post detail other facts about the restaurant, see the below web address.