Friday, January 31, 2020

The Sports Nut Bar

From Their Facebook Page "After 27 years, Mary and Jim will soon be leaving us at the Sports Nut and retiring!"

The Covered Wagon Gang

"Robert Harrington, of Salisbury, and Edward Tingle, of Delmar. were arrested by Chief of Police William R. Purnell after a seven-mile chase on the Snow Hlll-Salisbury Road exactly 25 minutes after they had broken into a store of Roy Morris of Whiton, In Wicomico county. Mrs. Morris heard the alleged burglars and called her husband. He Immediately got up and fired several shots toward them In the dark and scared them away. Chief of Police William R. Purnell, of Snow Hill, was called and apprehended them 25 minutes later.

It Is said that these men were members of the "Covered Wagon Gang" which Invaded Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland two years ago. Both of them have records and have served time In the New Castle work house. It was also stated."
Above from The Wilmington News Journal 27 March 1931

The Covered Wagon Gang was active in 1927.  They were called the covered Wagon Gang because in the initial robberies they drove a strange automobile truck covered with white canvas not unlike the covered wagons of frontier days.

The only people arrested for being in the gang were (Robert) Fulton Harrington 18 year old, son of a farmer in Salisbury Maryland, and Edward Tingle 17 year old, son of a mill owner in Salisbury Maryland.  There was suspicion of a third member who would case the business before it was held up but he was never captured.  The gang was blamed for about every unsolved  robbery that took place on Delmarva in 1927.  Numerous train station attempted safe break-ins were suspected.  Over 60 businesses that were robbed from Exmore Virginia to Wilmington Delaware and blamed on them.  They were suspected of killing James Owen Clare, a filling station attendant in Wilmington, who was robbed of eight dollars then shot.  Yet when they were caught and tried in Delaware there were only two charges of robbery bought against them. 

The two young white men were caught because criminals are stupid.  In their case while robbing the J R Walker Bros store in Bear Station (outside of Wilmington) Fulton Harrington dropped his driver’s license and registration which gave Delaware Detectives George D Sutton and William J Warren a name and a car description.  The two were found at a boarding house in Wilmington with stolen goods in one room and them in the other. 

The two were tried and given three years in the New Castle Workhouse.  They avoided receiving any lashes on the whipping post due to their young age.   As we can see from the newspaper article after they got out of the workhouse they returned to their evil ways. 

1991 The State Line Plaza Shopping Center opens

October 1991 The State Line Plaza Shopping Center opens

Army Deserters

Under the heading of random information for family tree search information, the Army maintains a web site for deserters on which there are 1050 names listed.  The time they have deserted range from one month to 68 years.  Arthur Scott Jr was listed as a deserter in 1951 so he has been wanted for 68 years.  If he was 20 when he enlisted he would be 88 today.  The web address is

Thursday, January 30, 2020

1991 Delmar Home Coming Queen Candidates

1991 Delmar Home Coming Queen Candidates
Amy Short, Melanie Veileux, Stephanie Porter, Jenny Kowalski and Nicki Adams

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Dora Williams 1900

Miss Dora Elizabeth Williams, who has been here In Cape Charles several weeks visiting her sister, Mrs. A. P. Trader, wife of Engineer Trader, will leave Monday for her home, In Delmar. The young lady Is quite popular here and her departure causes many regrets. She goes to her home to be united in matrimony with Mr. Maloye Pusey, of that place. The wedding will occur in the Delmar M. E. Church Wednesday, February 21, 1900.

Above from the Norfolk Virginia Virginian-Pilot 18 Feb 1900

Monday, January 27, 2020

S N Culver Clothing Store

Samuel N Culver Clothing Store, Delmar Delaware.  S. N.  Culver had started a clothing business in 1900.  The building to the left is First National Bank.  It opened in 1904 so this photo is maybe between 1910 to 1920.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Chantry House

1939 ad

The Chantry House in Salisbury.  Built by a Princess Anne Physican (Dr Edward Tull, who of note performed abortions) in 1927.  The business went through several ownership until it closed down in 1973.  The city bought it and tore it down and built the Salisbury Wicomico County government building on that block.

above 1925 ad 

In 1922 Dorothy (Dot) and Beulah White opened the Blue Bird Tea Room in Salisbury.  The name was picked because it stood for happiness.  Both girls were under 23 when they opened the tea room.  Dot had been working in Philadelphia and had taken a two month leave of absent to help her sister start the business.  It was so successful she had to leave her job in Philadelphia and move to Salisbury.   Their sister Elizabeth (Betty) also helped at the tea room.  They successfully built the business up and it moved a couple of times to expand.  In 1924 they had the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Cinno building near the post office. 

above Beulah, Dot and Betty

Dot, Beulah and the third sister, Betty, were the daughters of Capt Isaac "Ike" James White and Nettie Bounds White of Siloam. Beulah would marry Clarence Raymond Hare. Their father would build a 40 ft oyster boat that he named the "Dorothy L White."

In 1925 the two women found financial backing from Dr Tull and moved into the new Chantry House.  On December 31st 1926 the Blue Bird Tea Room in the Chantry House opened.  The evening had Chief William Clark and four of his best dancers from the Nanticoke Indian tribe and later in the evening a Negro quartet from the Princess Anne Academy.   

They had big dreams and in 1930 started the Chantry House Corporation (Incorporated in  Delaware) that was going to build a chain of hotel/tea rooms across Delmarva.  

When Dr Tull died in 1927 the White Sisters lost their financial backing and with the depression were forced to sell in 1932 to May Bailey. Dorothy Lena White declared Bankruptcy in 1932.   In 1958 May sold it to Richard and Catherine Hodgeson.  In 1967 Kenneth Parsons and James Crowley leased it.  In 1973 the block and the Chantry House was torn down.

1973 tear down

The first floor was the restaurant and tea room, with a total seating for 210.  The second floor was an open balcony (later added tables and increased the dining area) that looked out on the restaurant and the third floor was 16 bedrooms.  Many civic groups would meet at the Chantry House.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

1905 the wedding of Pearle Esther Lowe and Willard F Deputy

1905 the wedding of Pearle Esther Lowe and Willard F Deputy

Out on Ebay are several wedding invitations of Delmar people in the 1900 to 1908 time frame

1973 Larry Donovan

Detail of Ames Dept Store Ad Pocomoke City Md Dec 13 1973  Larry Donovan

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Delmar May 11th 1912

DELMAR, May 10. Clarence Lowden of Delmar, is playing shortstop on the Bethlehem Preparatory School baseball team, at Bethlehem, Pa. George Long, another Delmar boy, is playing on the Goldey College team at Wilmington, and William Baldwin is playing with the Princeton team. Delmar promises to have some good baseball players in the near future.

 An effort is being made to rejuvenate the board of trade. For several months the board has been Inactive. There is plenty of work for the board to do in Delmar at this time. Industries are ripe to locate here, they will do so if the board gets on the job and holds out proper inducements.

The prospect Is good for an enormous lima bean crop in Delmar. Thousands of poles raised in the air all over town indicate that there has been a large planting.

C. W. Baker, the canning man, has almost obtained the required acreage of tomatoes for his Delmar plant. He wanted four hundred tons at $9 per ton.

Arthur O. German, formerly of this town has been elected secretary and treasurer of the Hurlock, Md., Land and Development Company.

The Delmar Real Estate Company has made extensive improvements to their property on Jewel street this week. The thirty-five building lots have been cleaned up, the streets ploughed and dragged with a split-log drag, and trees set out on the property.

The F. G. Elliott Company to-day gave out a contract for the erection of an automobile garage 20 by 70 feet, single story, to be erected on a lot at the corner of Grove and First streets

Miss Flossie Lowe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. S. Lowe of Delmar, was married on, Wednesday evening to Norman Hastings of Laurel, by the Rev. George C. Williams, of Centenary M. E. church. Laurel. They will reside at Greensboro, Md., where the groom is employed by the P. R. R., as an operator.

Above from The Wilmington Morning News May 11th 1912 Saturday

Of Note: William Henry Baldin (1890-1958) mentioned above was the son of John Frank Baldwin  and Mary Ann Green Baldwin.  J Frank Baldwin was a long time railroad employee who worked up and down the Delaware Line.  In 1910 he was yard master in Delmar.  His wife and family had moved down from Wilmington after the death of their daughter Nellie.  His son William and other son John Frank were already in their 20s and attending college (in Williams case Princeton).  William played on the Delmar ball team.     

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1928 Harry Sigel Shoe Repair

1928 ad for Harry Sigel Shoe repair.  Mr Sigel was from Russia. With his wife, Fannie who was Poland, they lived on Jewell street.  He was only here a few years before moving back to Baltimore. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Bethel Church and the Maryland Delaware Railroad

 I went to Bethel Church today, it is north of Reliance and is the meeting place for the Davis Noble Kinder family reunion.  The reunion is held every five years and 2020 (Sept 5) is the year for it again.  This reunion hase been held since the 1880s.

It is unique because the church is in Delaware and the attached cemetery is in Maryland.

Almost as unique is I finally saw a train traveling on the Maryland Delaware railroad (MDDE) tracks from Hurlock to Seaford.

After my errand at the church I picked up the train on the waterfront in Seaford.

 Back in it's hayday under a different name, a number of people worked on the line as engineers, fireman and brakeman.

They have a nice website it is at

It was switching out some cars when I left it.

below the MDDE service map

Sunday, January 19, 2020

1906 Delmar

Delmar about 1906

Sunday Dinner At Ray's

1937 ad

In the 1930s thru 1940s a Sunday drive over to Selbyville and dinner at Ray's Restaurant might have been in order.  Ray's was one of those combination gas stations and restaurant seating 75.  It was run by Ray Jarvis. 

Rays in 1951 at time it was sold.  The building would be torn down in 1960.  Located at Church Street and US 113

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Remembering Farnhurst: Stories from the Delaware State Hospital 1894-1920

A Book Review

Remembering Farnhurst: Stories from the Delaware State Hospital 1894-1920

By Katherine Dettwyler

Published by Outskirt Press and Printed in the USA.  611 pages, it is a large paperback with a decent font that is readable by old people.

She gives a good history of mental illness in Delaware, followed by 186 case studies of patients who were admitted between 1894 and 1920 to the Delaware State Hospital at Farnhurst.  An excellent glossary is at the end. The book is broken down into type of mental illness with the case studies related to those illness in that section.  Delaware has three counties and since Farnhurst is located in New Castle County you would expect the most case studies to be from New Castle County and they are.  However about 20% of the case histories are from Kent and Sussex County.  Since Sussex County is the one I am interested in, there were about 25 cases out of the 186 cases given.  When you live in Sussex you get use to getting the short end of the stick when it comes to Delaware.  Some of the Sussex county surnames are; Melson, Williams, Hastings, Johnsons, Hitchens, Cooper, Pratt, Wells, Megee, Jones, Towers, Ross, Gebhard, Malloy, Posties and peiffer.      

The book came about when a maintenance worker found a couple old ledgers at Farnhurst recording the entry of patients, additional ledgers were found, in 2012 Katherine Dettwyler converted 3,000 records from the ledger to a searchable data base.  2460 of those records can be found at

I would recommend this book, not so much for the genealogy information since I am interested in Sussex County but the general history of mental illness in Delaware.  

The book will become a standard for your reference library between the descriptive information given on illness, medicine, institutions in the area, and outlooks in the 1800s and 1900s. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Joseph Henry Put off Train

Put Off Train, He Drowne.

Laurel, Del., June 4.—Joseph Henry and his brother could not find their tickets on a train between Seaford and Laurel, and the train was stopped and they were put off. In returning on foot Joseph stumbled from a bridge and was drowned in the Nanticoke river. He leaves a widow and three small children.

Above from the Daily Banner Cambridge Md June 3 1907

L&L Video Store

L&L Video Store operated downtown from about 1987 to 1990.  It was the first video store Delmar had.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Henry and Lulu Acker

At the Acker family plot in Melson are the graves of Henry Charles Acker and Lulu Elizabeth (Feemster) Acker.  The Ackers moved from Montana to be in Delmar about 1928.   The reason for the move is unsure but the depression hit Montana hard and there was still a strawberry boom going on the Eastern Shore so maybe that is the reason. 
Lulu Elizabeth Feemster was born in 1874 in Tennessee to Paul Silas Feemster and Isabella “Bella” Ranklin Wilson Feemster.  Lulu had two brothers; John and Hugh and one sister Alberta. Her father was a college professor and Congregationalist Minister and the family ended up in Missouri.  Lulu worked as a clerk in Kansas City while her sister Alberta Moffet  went to the College of Physicians to become a Doctor.
 About 1908 Dr Alberta Feemster moved from Kansas City to Judith Gap Montana.  She took with her, her sister Lulu and her widowed mother, Bella. 

above 1909 item from the Judith Gap newspaper
Judith Gap was a small town that was in the Judith Gap between the Big Snowy Mountain Range and the Little Belt Mountains.  A railroad; the Milwaukee, has a line that runs the valley with a station in each of the small towns that dot the area.  The area grew Winter Wheat and raised sheep at the time Lulu Feemster lived there. 

above from the 19th Jan 1912 Judith Gap Journal Newspaper 
While Dr Feemster made herself busy being a doctor, Lulu filed for a homestead claim and took a job in town at McKenzie Trading Company store. She was in charge of the dry goods department.
In 1911 Henry Acker arrived in Judith Gap from Minnesota to work his 160 acre homestead (Section 34-Township11n-Range 15E).
above Henry Acker
Henry was born in 1860 in Grand Island Erie, New York.  Henry’s parents were Lambert and Amelia Wilke Acker.  His parents were from Germany.  The family traveled across the northern United States living in Michigan and Minnesota.  They were farmers. 
10 March 1911 Judith Gap Journal
Henry and Lulu meant over an ice cream freezer in Judith Gap and at the age of 52 and 37 they were married in 1912 in Judith Gap, the first wedding ceremony to occur in that town.
23 Feb 1912 Judith Gap journal 
By 1915 their son Donald Acker was born on the homestead.  The family attended the Community Congregation Church where Henry was a deacon.   Following World War 1, Montana slipped into a deep depression that ran through the 1920s into the Great Depression in 1929.  Drought compounded the economic failure and Montana was one of the few states to lose population after World War 1.  About 1929 Henry, Lulu and Donald moved to outside of Delmar, Maryland.  Lulu brother, John, would move to Iowa, her other brother Hugh would move to Baltimore, her mother had died in Montana and her sister Alberta lived in New York.  Of historical interest her brother Hugh William Feemster, who ran a grain elevator for the Western Maryland Railroad in Baltimore, sit on the 1932 grand jury in the Euel Lee case. Euel was a negro charged with killing Green Davis, his wife and two daughters over around Berlin.
In 1936 Henry Acker died and in 1962 Lulu Acker died.   

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

It's National Hat Day

On honor of National Hat Day here is a 1928 Schoble hat ad from the S N Culver men's store in Delmar.

Frank Schoble hat company was located in Philadelphia and did a very sucessful business worldwide.  He had over 700 employees.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Fish For Bacon Switch 1933

from the Wilmington Morning News 17 June 1933

Monday, January 13, 2020


Vane Brothers operate Tugs and barges out of Baltimore and today service the West coast as well as the East coast.  The people that started it were from the Eastern Shore, first the Vane Brothers from Dorchester than the Hughes family from Quantico and Tyaskins.  A large number of people in Delmar and the area are related to them.  

photo from Vane Bros facebook page

Vane Brothers ship chandlery Baltimore was founded in 1898  by Capt. William (Bert) Burke Vane (1867 -1949) and his brother Capt. Allen P. Vane (1863-1941) of Church Creek Dorchester County Md.  They supplied ships with food, drink, rope, block and tackle, mops and brooms - anything needed for a ship.  They developed a-one-stop-shop shipping supplies business for sailing ships.  When a ship comes into port they cannot spend a lot of time tied up at dock due to dock fees, and money lost while they are sitting around a dock trying to find supplies. The ship chandler dealt with the time-consuming task of the butcher, the baker, the fishmonger, the cooper, the iron monger, and even the post office. It was a marine supply general store, complete with a wood pot belly stove to sit around while the order was being filled.  The Vane brothers started their business in Fells Point, in 1904 moved to Pier 4, Pratt Street.  Capt. Claude Venables Hughes had wanted to marry a Wicomico County girl but his future wife said he was away too much on his schooner.  He looks for employment at Vane Brothers, distant cousins, and in 1920 he joined the firm.  In 1921 his brother Capt. Charles Fletcher Hughes fresh out of the Army Air Corp. joined the firm. By 1941 they had bought out the Vane Brothers. In 1958 they moved to 916 South Broadway.   Due to the nature of the business, opportunities would come up to buy a ship or buy shares in a ship and Vane Bros had many ships over the years.   The Vane Brothers and the Hughes brothers were known for down to the earth common sense business people who got where they were by hardwork.

In 1951 Charles F. Hughes Jr joined the firm and was made president in 1971.  He started moving the company interests from chandlers to cargo transfers, bunkering, launch service, marine transportation, coastal ships, tugs and barges.  Its fleet of tugs and barges move petroleum products from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1991his son, Duff Hughes, took control.

Vane Brothers use Chesapeake Shipbuilders in Salisbury for the manufacturing of some of their tugs and by 2018 Chesapeake had built 20 tugs for Vane Brothers. 
Today Vane Brothers have 50 tugs, 75 barges and 2 tug/barge combination units.  They have over 1,000 employees. In 2018 the business is made up of a number of companies but the primary address is at 2100 Frankfurst Ave, Baltimore.

The Hughes brothers were descendents of seafaring men who all bore the title of Captain in front of their name.  They were from the Whitehaven/Quantico area of Wicomico county.   Going back to Hezekiah Hughes (1733-1767) who married Mary E. North (1745-1767).  Their son was Jesse Hughes.
Jesse Hughes (1767-1838) who married Sarah McClester (1755-1800) and had a son named Caleb Hughes.
Caleb Hughes ( 1787-1869) who married Charlotte Venables (1793-1868) and who had a son Thomas B J Hughes.

Thomas Benjamin Franklin Hughes (1828-1864) who married Elizabeth Jane White (1840-1913).  Their son Charles Venable Hughes (1859-1930) married Mary Amelia Rider Fletcher (1861-1950). 

3Claude Venables Hughes (1887 -1982 ) son of Capt Charles Venable Hughes (1859-1930) and Mary Amelia Rider Fletcher (1861-1950).  Claude Hughes married in 1919 to Eva Virginia Taylor ( -1966) daughter of George Handy and Virginia Lynch Taylor.

Claude and Eva had a son, Bruce T. Hughes (1926-1995), who  married Joyce Marie Holman of Montana in 1956.  They had Kimberly Scott Hughes (1957- ) and Kathleen Laurie Hughes (1963- ).  Bruce was involved in banking.
Claude and Eva had a daughter, Mary Virginia Hughes (1920-2003).  She was unmarried and lived in California.  Claude was the classic sailor with tattoos of the American flag and the marine emblem on his arms.

   Charles Fletcher Hughes (1895-1982) son of Capt Charles Venable Hughes (1859-1930) and Mary Amelia Rider Fletcher (1861-1950). Charles married first in 1925 Aleda Pauline (Polly) Taylor ( -1974) daughter of O. W. Taylor of Quantico.  They had a son; Charles F. Hughes Jr ( -2016) who married Elizabeth (Betsy) Anne Smith in 1952. Charles Jr and Betsy had a daughter, Ann and a son, Charles Duff Hughes. Charles jr. took over Vane Brothers and moved it from being a chandler to being a tug boat and barge operation.

Bad Day At Table Rock In 1908

From Table Rock Nebraska Historical Society Page
Saw this on their historical society page and thought it would fit for Monday.

Nebraska Table Rock Argus Oct 8 1908.  Last Tuesday morning while at work around the engines in the round house, foreman J A Barnes met with quite an accident.  He had built a fire in no 119’s engine and had gone over to the next stall to do some work on the switch engine.  He had not worked very long when he noticed the other engine was in motion,  He tried to stop the runaway but before he could gain the cab entrance the monster had started through the back end of the round house.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Dinner At The Railroad Restaurant

about 1925

Another 24 hour operation in Delmar managed by Mrs M J Knotts.  Not much is know about the restaurant.

Martha Jewell Knotts (1853-1937) was the daughter of Thomas H Jewell and Sarah Jewell of Denton, Maryland.  She would marry latter in life (1902) Thomas "Tom" C Knotts.  He was a car inspector for the Railroad.  They lived on East Street.  She ran a boarding house and in 1915 her husband died and shortly afterwards she begin to manage restaurants and run her boarding house.

Based on the newspaper clipping of her death she was well known to railroad people.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saving In The CCC

On April 5 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps was created by executive order 6101. It allowed a number of people who were unemployed and probably would not be employed to hold a job. It allowed all unmarried, unemployed male citizens between the ages of 17 and 28 to be eligible to apply for work as junior enrollees, with the stipulation that a substantial portion ( $25) of each man's basic $30 monthly allowance would be sent home to his dependent family.  The idea was they would be trained to find a civilian job once they left the CCC.  A CCC Camp was established at Westover, Maryland to clear and create drainage ditches.  The camp had a monthly newsletter called “The Somerset Sun.”  A 1936 edition of it had a short column about saving money.  Now those young men were only receiving $5 a month so today it is hard to think about saving anything out of that amount. 

In the article it is suggested he saves one dollar a month, spends two dollars a month on a canteen book and budget the remaining two dollars out to fifty cents a week for his needs and enjoyment.  Wow, growing up in the 1950s we were always told to save 20% of our income which is what the CCC is suggesting.    

Friday, January 10, 2020

Some Railroad Accidents

The Nabb Center has released some of their Fred Grier photos (446 of them).  They are mostly the fire department in Salisbury but there are a scattering of other photos.  The address to select the Fred Grier album is

I picked out some of those with trains in them for those who follow this blog for the trains.  If no location is given it is assumed it is Salisbury.

1905 train accident 

 1905 train accident 
Fruitland Md 1909

Fruitland Md 1909

Fruitland MD 1909
The 1909 Accident is no doubt the one in which Edward T West was killed and three Railroad men were held accountable for the accident

 above Baltimore Sun May 26 1909
Train Crossing Ocean city Bridge 1915