Sunday, May 31, 2020

Bob Alexander can catch Fish 1964

Sunday Dinner at Shelton Drive-In

After a causal Sunday drive with the family maybe the place to go for a Sunday dinner was Shelton Drive-In.  At 35 cents for a burger and a root beer you weren't going to get much cheaper. 

In the fall of 1953 Christian Cleveland Shelton applied for a building permit to build a soda fountain and shop on North Salisbury Blvd in Salisbury Maryland at a cost of $2,500.   It was certainly in operation by 1954 and would operate until the mid 1960s.  As I recall the family, wife (Sarah)  and two boys (John and James), worked there.  Mr Shelton died in 1959 of a heart attack.    The boys would have gone off to college in the early 1960s leaving Mrs. Shelton to run the place.

Shelton Drive-In was located where Bob Lawrence car wash and Pep Boys are today.  Bob Lawrence opened his car wash operation in 1969 on the spot where Shelton's was. 

Like all the restaurants in the area they gave employment to a large number of people as the turnover rate is high in the restaurant business.

In the 1950s and 1960s you had a selection of Drive-Ins to go to, on the North end of Salisbury you had besides Shelton's, B&K, H&J (Zion Road) Acorn (Gordy rd) closer to the middle and south end of Salisbury you had Johnsons Dairy Queen, Carrols, and the always popular Oaks drive In.

Friday, May 29, 2020

1880 Census for the Village of Delmar Maryland

1880 Census Village of Delmar Wicomico Maryland Election Dist 9  - June 1 1880 by Saml E Foskey
Unless otherwise indicated the race of everyone is white

H1/1 Hodgson, Richard  Age:  49 Head of Household Hotel Keeper
 Hodgson, Elizabeth Age:  37 Relationship: wife
Hodgson,Thomas J Age:  17 Relationship: son
Hodgson,Florence Age:  12 Relationship: daughter
Wilson, Margaret BLACK Age:  25 Relationship: servant

H2/2 Ellis, Stephen E Age:  25 Head of Household Laborer
Ellis,Charles Age:  11 Relationship: son
Ellis,Caryrall Age:  9 Relationship: daughter
Mills, Mary A Age:  56 Relationship :mother in law

*H3/3 Venables, James B. Age:  29 Head of Household works for RR
Venables,Anna Age:  21 Relationship: wife
Venables,Elizabeth Age:  8/12 Relationship: daughter

H4/4 Elliott, William Age:   45 Head of Household laborer
Elliott,Amelia A.  Age:  42 Relationship: wife
Elliott,John B.  Age:  17 Relationship: son
Elliott,Leva F. Age:  14 Relationship: daughter
Elliott,Samuel W  Age:  11 Relationship: son
Elliott,Charles A. Age:  8 Relationship: son
Elliott,Jennie F Age:  3 Relationship: daughter

*H 5/5 Sirmon, Henry B. Age:  36 Head of Household RR Section Hand
Sirmon,Sally E. Age:  35 Relationship: wife
Sirmon,William T.  Age:  15 Relationship: son

*H 6/6 Williams, William A. C.   Age:  33 Head of Household Organ Salesman
Williams,Alfaretta M.  Age:  26 Relationship: wife
Williams,Linwood Age:  11/12 Relationship: son

H 7/7 Elliott, William B Age:  21 Head of Household Brick Molder
Elliott,Ellen Age:  19 Relationship: wife

*H 8/8 Slemon, Albert B. Age:  47 Head of Household Physician
Slemon,Elizabeth Age:  43 Relationship: wife
Slemon,Samuel K  Age:  20 Relationship: son teacher
Slemon,Albert A.  Age:  16 Relationship: son
Slemon,Marion H Age:   8 Relationship: daughter
Slemon,Mary L.  Age:  4 Relationship: daughter
Dashiell, Minerva BLACK f Age:   13 Servant

H 9/9 Dunn, Erasmus M. Age:   34 Head of Household Brakeman
Dunn,Pauline Age:  33 Relationship: wife
Dunn,Albert Age:  9 Relationship: son
Dunn,Carrie  Age:  6 Relationship: daughter
Dunn,Nellie Age:   4 Relationship: daughter
Dunn,Lizzie Age:  2 Relationship: daughter
Dunn,Alverta Age:  2/12 Relationship: daughter

H 10/10 Vincent, Peter W.  Age:   40 Head of Household
Vincent, Anna E age  32 Relationship: wife
Vincent, Elizabeth  Age:  64 Relationship: Mother
Unreadable Levin J.  Age:  40 Relationship: Boarder Bar tender

*H 11/11 German, Mitchell H  Age:   29 Head of Household Brick Manufacturer
German,Frances A. Age:  31 Relationship: wife
German,Leroy E  Age:  7 Relationship: son
German,Rosa B Age:  5 Relationship: daughter
German,Matilda E. Age:  3 Relationship: daughter
German,Sarah E.  Age:  1 Relationship: daughter
Boyce Martha Age:  20 Relationship: servant

H 12/12 Foskey, Sally W Age:   66 Head of Household
Foskey,Mary C.  Age:  27 Millener

H 13/13 Foskey, Daniel H. Age:   33 Head of Household Merchant
Foskey,Anna M. Age:   31 Relationship: wife
Foskey,Marion Age:  4 Relationship: son
Sedgwich, Lola Age:  8 Relationship: niece

H 14/14 Gillis, Joseph Age:   63 Head of Household Farmer
Gillis,Elizabeth  Age:  60 Relationship: Wife
Gillis,Napoleon Age:  24 son Works in Saw Mill
Gillis,William  Age:   19 Relationship: son
Gillis,Charles Age:   16 Relationship: son
Gillis,Laura  Age:  14 Relationship: daughter

H 15/15 Parker Benjamin W.  Age:  31 Head of Household works in saw mill
Parker Amanada  Age:  28 Relationship: wife
Parker Rosa B. Age:  7 Relationship: daughter
Parker Minnie S Age:   2/12 Relationship: daughter

H 16/16 Gillis, John  Age:   52 Head of Household switch tender
Gillis, Emily C Age:   42 Relationship: wife
Gillis, Sarah A., Age:  20, Relationship: daughter
Gillis, Mary C., Age:   18, Relationship: daughter
Gillis, James E , Age:  12, Relationship: son
Gillis, Lilly B, Age:  5, Relationship: daughter

H 17/17 Carmean, Joseph C.,  Age: 58,  Head of Household Paralysis
Carmean Rachel, Age:  61,  Relationship: wife
Carmean Eliz H ., Age:  13, Relationship: Grand daughter
Carmean Levin T,  Age:  10, Relationship: Grandson
Carmean James A. , Age:   8, Relationship: Grandson
Carmean Alice, Age:  3, Relationship: granddaughter

H 18/18 Llyod, Cyrus W., Age:   40, Head of Household Cabinet Maker
Llyod, Sarah E. , Age:  34, Relationship: wife
Llyod, Edith E., Age:   10, Relationship: daughter
Llyod, William S. ,Age:  8, Relationship: son
Llyod, Minetta W. , Age:   6, Relationship: daughter
Llyod, Harry S., Age:  2, Relationship: son

H 19/19 Fooks, Minos H, Age:  38 Head of Household works in lumber mill
Fooks, Myra, Age:   29, Relationship: wife
Fooks, Harry L,  Age:   8, Relationship: son
Fooks, Maggie M, Age:  3, Relationship: daughter
Fooks, Rupert, Age:   1, Relationship: son

H 20/20 Foskey, Samuel E., Age:   37 Head of Household surveyor and teacher
Foskey Amelia H, Age:   26, Relationship: wife
Foskey Franklin F, Age:  1, Relationship: son

H 21/21  Melson, Thomas A.,  Age:   49,  head of household RR Section Hand
Melson, Nancy E, Age:  47 Relationship: wife
Melson, Ulysses, Age:   16 Relationship: son  Laborer
Melson, Laird,  Age:  14 Relationship: Son

H 22/22 Adkins, William S. Age:   34 Head of Household Laborer
Adkins Sarah E, Age:  39 Relationship: wife
Adkins William, Age:   8 Relationship: son
Adkins Merril, Age:   7 Relationship: son
Adkins George W., Age:   6 Relationship: son
Adkins Anna E , Age:   4 Relationship: daughter
Adkins Harry L , Age:   1 Relationship: Son

H 23/23 Culver, William S., Age:   40 Head of Household clerk in store
Culver, Ellen, Age:   30 Relationship: wife
Culver, William c.,  Age:   5 Relationship: son
Culver, Clara E, Age:  2 Relationship: daughter
Culver, Leslie D , Age:   1 Relationship: son
Culver, Laura E . born May Relationship: daughter

*H 24/24 Phillips, James D. , Age:   38 Head of Household RR conductor
Phillips, Theodosia , Age:   28 Relationship: wife
Phillips, Elizabeth, Age:  11 Relationship: daughter
Phillips, James H, Age:   6 Relationship: son
Phillips, Mary d, Age:   4 Relationship: daughter
Phillips, Kate C , Age:  2 Relationship: daughter
Phillips, Walter C , Age:  5/12 Relationship: son

H 25/25 Cordry, Hester, age 60 head of household

*H 26/26 Hearn, William H., age 37 head of household Carpenter
Hearn,Rachel A , Age:   22 Relationship: wife
Hearn,Richard E,  Age:  3 Relationship: son
Hearn,Jonathan ,  Age:   67 Relationship: father

H 27/27 LeCates, Nehemiah B. , Age:  37 head of household carpenter
LeCates Irene L , Age:  29, Relationship: wife
LeCates Sarah D,  Age:  12, Relationship: daughter
LeCates Kenneth F,  Age:  4, Relationship: son
LeCates Enola M. , Age:  2, Relationship: daughter
LeCates Oscar B, Age:   7/12, Relationship: son

H 28/28 Henry, Hosea C., Age:   39, head of household Carpenter
Henry Emily, Age:  38, Relationship: wife Milliner
Henry James A., Age:  13, Relationship: son
Henry Shebuel R, Age:  5 , Relationship: son

* marks people shown on the 1877 map 
For comparison below is the 1877 map of Delmar Maryland

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Aunt Hester


Mrs. Hester Cordrey, Of Delmar, Is 113 Years Old.


"Aunt Hester" Has Never Seen A Trolley Car Or Steamboat Aviation A Mystery To Her.

Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.

 Delmar, Md.,Feb. 12. One hundred and thirteen years old today, according to her statement, Mrs. Hester Cordrey, of Delmar, celebrated her birthday at her home, in which she lives alone.

Mrs. Cordrey, or "Aunt Hester" as she is more familiarly known in the neighborhood, Is remarkably well preserved. Her health is good and her eyesight not Impaired. Born February 12, 1797, nine miles east of her present home, "Aunt Hester" was one of 13 children, and is the mother of only one, but that child is the mother of 15 children.

In all her recollection the aged woman believes the most severe pain she  has endured was a toothache.

She was married twice. Her first husband, Levin Moore, died after three years. The second, Elisha Cordrey, father of her only child, died in 1864. She then built the home in which she resides and has made few trips away from Delmar.

"Work, and work hard," is her maxim, and with this ever in her mind she has overcome all affliction and trouble.

"When I was a little girl. I used to go out and work on the farm like a man," she relates. "Many days I have plowed In the field all day, and then done my chores and milked seven cows, and in those days girls did not think it a disgrace to work to save hiring extra labor.”

"If girls of these years would do more work and think less of their parlor they would live longer" is the opinion of "Aunt" Hester Cordrey. Mrs. Cordrey's memory is wonderful. Events long ago forgotten by many are as fresh to her as on the day they happened. 

The modern inventions are to her a source of amusement. Airships, aeroplanes and aviation in general do not seem possible.

"I am glad, though, they discovered the North Pole before I died," she said. "The pace at present is too fast for a long life. All the energy is expended wastefully in early life instead of keeping a reserve for the winter of existence."

Mrs. Cordrey has never seen a trolley car or a steamboat.

Above from The Baltimore Sun 13 Feb 1910


Mrs. Hester Cordrey of Delmar Had Reached Her 113th Year.

Special to "The Morning News."

DELMAR, Del., June 23. Mrs. Hester Cordrey, better known as "Aunt Hester," died at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Ulysses G. Melson yesterday afternoon after an illness of about four weeks.

Aunt Hester, who was 113 years of age, was the oldest woman on the peninsula and, no doubt, the oldest in the eastern part of this country. She was born February 12, 1797, on a farm about nine miles from this town, and was a daughter of the late Hamilton Neal, a wealthy farmer. She was of a family of 15 children and, losing her mother when only 14 years of age, had a great responsibility placed on her, as her sisters were all married and her two brothers were in the War of 1812 leaving her and her father to run the farm. There was no help available then, and she used to go into the fields and assist her father to gather crops and do other farm work in addition to her household duties.

Aunt Hester was twice married. Her first husband. Levin Moore, lived only three years. Later she married Elijah Cordrey, wno died in 1864. Her only child was born to Mr. Cordrey and married a Mr. Carmine. To them 15 children were born.

After the death of Mrs. Cordrey's last husband she purchased a lot in this town for $75 which is now valued at over $1,000, upon Which she built a home. In this house she lived alone for 44 years, and. although besought by her relatives to live with them, she persistently declined. She had a fine garden which she worked alone and also raised chickens.

A few weeks ago she was taken ill, although not seriously. She was willing to go to the home of her granddaughter and up until last week was slowly improving, when she was paralyzed which resulted in her death.

Mrs. Cordrey always attributed her long life to outdoor work and several times said if the young girls of these years would do more laborious work and think less of society they would live longer.

She is survived by four grandchildren Mrs. Ulysses G. Melson, of Delmar, Del.; Mrs. Alice Davis, wife of the Rev. F. G. Davis, of Emporia, Va.; Lavin Carmine, of Rehoboth, Del., and James Carmine, of Preston, Md. and ten great-grandchildren.

Above from the Wilmington Morning News 24 June 1910

These type of articles about people living over one hundred years of age have a certain amount of flights of imagination by the newspaper editors.  Hester Cordry (Cordy) is found in the 1880 census for Delmar Maryland but at that time she gave her age as 60 years old .  Her daughter, also named Hester or Kessiah some confusion, married Benjamin Ward Carmine (Carmine in record books is spelled everyway you can imagine it).  By 1880 Benjamin is listed as  a widow.  In the 1880 census Delmar Maryland a few houses away from Hester Cordry is the in-laws of her daughter; Joseph and Rachel Carmean included in the Carmen household are the grandchildren; Eliz, Levin, James and Alice.  The man Eliz Carmean would marry Ulysses G Melson is living with his parents also a few houses away. There is a marriage record of Elisha Cordray marrying on 7 Aug 1856 Hester Moore in New Castle Delaware, married by Rev J Hargis.  In 1900 she (cordrey) gave her age as 85 and she also gave as an occupation that of nurse. In the 1860 census she gives her age as 33.  there is also a daughter named kissiah a Moore born 1848,  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Railroad Station 1892 After The Fire

DELMAR - A large force of bricklayers began work on the foundations for the new railroad station Monday, and it will be pushed rapidly to completion. The building will be brick, two stories. 40 by 80 feet, and is to cost about 8,000. It will be handsomely finished on the inside and have the modern conveniences. A broad platform will extend entirely around the building, and protecting eaves will shelter passengers from the rain and stormy weather.

Above from the Baltimore Sun 22 Oct 1892

Another One Bites The Dust

This house use to sit on the corner of Jackson Road and st Georges Road.  I am not sure who originally built the house but it  belonged to the Elliott family until the property was sold to the Culver family.  The house I would guess at being built about 1900.

Back a few years ago it was torn down.  The house had about ten rooms and the two porches on the side.  It was a classic Eastern Shore tee shape farm house.  In the late 1930s my grandfather, Charles Smith Bayly, rented the house for a year or so before moving back to South of Delmar.  Among the stories told was my Uncle James Deshield came home one night with one of his drinking buddies and the buddy got up in the night to use the facilities and fell off the second story balcony.  Like all drunks he was not badly injured. 

and today it is just a foundation and shrub trees.

Monday, May 25, 2020

1939 Memorial Day



Delmar. Del., May 29. Permanent iron crosses with a heavy cement base will be placed on the grave of each war veteran in the Methodist Episcopal and the Methodist Protestant Cemetaries here on Memorial Day by the Glen Rayne Post, No. 15, American legion, it was announced by Marion Hastings, commander of the post. No other celebration is planned by the post.

Above from Salisbury Times 29 May 1939

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Dinner At Bay Country Meals

In March of 2006, as the English Restaurant chain closed, the owners, Hall Investmests/Englishs" opened a new restaurant in an old Pizza Hut building.  It was called Bay Country Meals.  Based on a Boston Market style restaurant it would serve a number of the English recipes from Chicken to Sweet potato biscuits. 

The food was okay.  The employees were perhaps less than enthusiastic, some what the same reason English's had gone downhill.  For your Sunday dinner you could eat in or takeout so it made for a causal dining experience. The meals were about $12 a person.

The Pizza Hut that was in the building prior to Bay Country suffered greatly when the RT50 bypass was completely opened.  Apparently Bay Country did not have the appeal to draw in business any better than Pizza Hut. 

By 2015 they gave up and in 2017 Monument Restaurants of Richmond, a franchisee of Krispy Creme, bough the building and opened a Krispy Kreme.  For the building maybe the third time is a charm.

Saturday, May 23, 2020



The Sorry Specimens of Humanity Who Inhabit the Eastern Shore.

Baltimore Cor. Chicago Tribune.

The eastern shore of Maryland has not only been brought into prominence by the wonderful oyster beds that line it, but also by some of the queer people who inhabit the almost uninhabitable portions of it.   A great swamp extends through Wicomico and Worcester counties. It produces fine cypress, and is the home of the most venomous snakes. It is also the home of the “swampers" and clay-eaters. These are not reptiles or animals, but people, human beings, most of whom have never seen a railroad, heard a locomotive-whistle, or voted any ticket.

It is hard to understand the appetite that craves clay as a diet Some people refuse to believe that the people can live and yet eat clay, but a reputable and truthful physician who recently contracted a severe case of the shaking-ague in making a tour of the eastern shore swamps declares that these peculiar specimens of the Maryland population do eat clay and have a passion or habit of chewing it like lovers of hasheesh. There is a kind of clay found in that section that is oily, like putty, and with very little sand or grit in it.

The physician referred to says the clay-eating swampers are miserable specimens of humanity, with legs that are mere sticks, narrow hips, depressed chests, pot bellies, and bluish-yellow complexion, they present about the lowest type of the white race found in the United States. The swampers who acquire the habit of eating clay are generally short-lived, but the other inhabitants of the eastern shore swamps are as hardy as others and as ignorant as Hottentots. Many of their houses are built on piles, and they reach them in boats through the lagoons. Though they shake with ague half the year, and have skins the color of saffron, they seem to be insured against any other disease, for it is rare to hear of any other kind of sickness in the swamps than ague.

It is astonishing what quantities of quinine and whisky are consumed by these people. The women who are not clay-eaters chew tobacco and drink corn juice the same as the men. In the summer the women and children gather blackberries, which are plentiful in this vicinity. The "men go off in the woods and make shingles, which they sell to the nearest country stores for cheap wearing apparel, corn-meal, bacon, quinine and whisky. These people are never reached by the tax collector, the preacher, the book agent, the politician, or the lightning rod agent, and when they are not shaking with chills they are happy and contented.

Above from the Honolulu Advertiser ( Hawaii) 06 Feb 1888

Thursday, May 21, 2020

1940 delmar poem


They wanted a place to live and sing

Where life would be happy, without a sting,

 Where gardens would grow and blossoms thrive

And the beauty of friendship keep alive.

So the railroad came, and a station set.

And the postman chosen to not forget that mall sent on to Delmar town

 Was for Delaware, Maryland, up or down!

All around the orchards grew,

And peaches flavored with sun and dew

Brought the buyers from everywhere

To Delmar Maryland-Delaware:

And the shops and mills and stores in time

Brought workers skilled and tried and strong

To build up here In a friendly clime

A Delmar smile and a Delmar song.

Friends and neighbors, church and school,

Brick yards, mills and the Golden Rule

Here they flourish In peace and love

With Maryland-Delaware skies above

Here life blends In a Christian way

With things men dream of when they pray

With joy and gladness and helpful strife

In toll for the building of better life
 B. B.  From The Baltimore Sun 16 Oct 1940

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

1910 First Maryland Commencement

Delmar, May 28. The first commencement exercises in the history of the Maryland Delmar High School were held in the Masonic Temple, Miss Loleta Dunn being the only graduate. The address was delivered by Hon. H. L. D. Stanford. Professor McBee presented the graduate with the first diploma and presented Miss Effie Wingate with a gold medal for highest average in mathematics.

The commencement exercises of the Delaware Delmar High School will be held Monday evening next. The five graduates are Miss Alice Cleary, Miss Amy Gertrude Ellis, W. Lary Hastings, Clarence W. Louden and Carl W. Hearn. The diplomas will be presented by Superintendent E. J. Hardesty. The baccalaureate sermon will be preached tomorrow morning in the Methodist Episcopal Church by Rev. S. N. Pilchard.

Above from The Baltimore Sun 29 May 1910

1887 Every Monday a Dentist

1887 ad Dr F E Brown

Dr Felix E. Brown was a Dentist whose practice was in Baltimore.  He was the son of Alfred J. and Catherine Brown.   His second wife whom he married in 1882 was Marian A Sullivan.  He had a daughter, Mary Brown,  by his first wife.  He would died in 1896 at the age of 52

Dr. Felix E. Brown.

Dr. Felix E. Brown died Thursday evening at his home, Preston street, near Aisquith, Baltimore city, from Bright’s disease, after a short illness.

He was born in Baltimore fifty-two years ago, and was a son of the late Dr. A. J. Brown, a dentist. The son graduated from the dental department of the University of Maryland and has since followed his father's profession.

During the civil war he served in the Union army. He was a member of Post 46, Grand Army of the Republic, and also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. A wife and four children survive him.

Dr. Brown’s first wife was a Miss Clara Milburn, of St. Inigo’s district. The first Mrs. Brown had many relatives in St Mary’s.

Above from Saint Mary’s Beacon 30 April 1896

1947 Purchase of The Water Plant

Delmar Water Sale For $55,000 Completed

Delmar April 30 Possession of the Delmar Water Co., a private corporation which has supplied both sides of Delmar with water since 1915 officially was gained by the two towns in Philadelphia yesterday for $55,000.

The purchase was consummated by Mayor M. L. Hastings and Councilman M. A. Jones of Delmar Del., and A. U. Davis president of the Delmar, Md., town commissioners. They were accompanied by Howard Bramhall, Georgetown attorney for the Delaware town, and Robert W. Dallas, Salisbury attorney for the Maryland municipality.

Both Delmars will operate the water system through a water commission, the charter members of which are: Dr. T. Barton Freeny, who sits on the Maryland town's board of town commissioners; and E. G. P. Jones and Matthew Aydelotte councilman in Delmar, Del.

Above from The Salisbury Times 30 Apr 1947

1988 A Walk Around The New Sewage Treatment Plant

 1988 the new Waste Water Treatment Plant came on-line and Town Manager Karen Horsman, Town Clerk Becky Joseph, Councilman Don Godfrey and Councilman Carl Pollitt took a walk around the facility

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Maryland Cafe

In 1940 people from Delmar may have wandered down to Salisbury on East Main street and ate at the Maryland cafe.
Located in the Majestic Hotel it was the latest of a series of restaurants Ralph White owned or managed.

Ralph Kimmey White (1893-1943) had been in food sales or restaurant business since he was a teenager.  The son of Oliver and Bessie Fetcher White he had sold fish in Salisbury as a teenager, later he was active in the White House Restaurant on Dock street (Market St) in Salisbury.  From there he moved on to the Taylor Grill and Ralph's Restaurant.  In 1940 I believe he took over the restaurant run by Mildred Eller "Eller's Restaurant." and it was called the Maryland Cafe.  He advertised it as Ralph's Maryland Cafe - after all it was still a time when a man's business bore his name and he must have been well known in Salisbury for it to be part of the marketing strategy. 
 Ralph White would marry Mabel Bozman and they would have a daughter Betty Mae White and a son Ralph B White.  Ralph White would die in 1943 at the age of 50.

1961 Zeb Ellis

Seth "Zeb" Ellis watches a game of pitch in his cigar store in 1961.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

600 East Grove Street

one of the best examples of molded block construction in Delmar.  This property was originally owned by Roland Franklin Elliott (1873-1947).  He was a farmer, merchant, manager of a canning company and dabbled in Real Estate.  With his wife Annie Elizabeth Smith (1873-1944) they built the house about 1910/1911.  They had two daughters; Lelah Priscilla Elliott (1893-1950) - who would marry John William Sturgis - and Cora Dell Elliot (1894-1986).  Cora at the tender age of 16 would marry in 1910 Seth (Zeb) Joseph Ellis.  Cora and Seth are best known for building the movie theater in Delmar and running a soda fountain/shop on the ground floor.

After her parents died Cora acquired the property and her and Seth moved into it.  They raised their family there.

Prior to Cora's death in 1986  the property was sold in 1982 to Thomas Mark Danahy for $25,500.  In 1985 it was sold again to Dan Church and in 2002 it was sold to the present owners. So in it's 110 year history it has only been owned by five families.

For a prior writeup on molded block construction in Delmar see

Friday, May 15, 2020

1932 Railroad wage cut

The economic collapse of the 1930s was staggering in its dimensions.

Unemployment jumped from less than 3 million in 1929 to 4 million in 1930, 8 million in 1931, and 12 1/2 million in 1932. In that year, a quarter of the nation's families did not have a single employed wage earner.

Even those fortunate enough to have jobs suffered drastic pay cuts and reductions in hours. Only one company in ten failed to cut pay, and in 1932, three-quarters of all workers were on part-time schedules, averaging just 60 percent of the normal work week.

Late in 1931, the railroads opened negotiations on a nationwide basis with the labor organizations for a 15- percent reduction in basic rates of pay.15 The negotiations resulted in a 1-year agreement that reduced — earnings temporarily by 10 percent, effective February 1, 1932, 

The economic collapse was terrifying in its scope and impact. By 1933 average family income had tumbled 40 percent, from $2,300 in 1929 to just $1,500 four years later.

In the Pennsylvania coal fields, three or four families crowded together in one-room shacks and lived on wild weeds. In Arkansas, families were found inhabiting caves. In Oakland, California, whole families lived in sewer pipes.

Vagrancy shot up as many families were evicted from their homes for nonpayment of rent. The Southern Pacific Railroad boasted that it threw 683,000 vagrants off its trains in 1931. Free public flophouses and missions in Los Angeles provided beds for 200,000 of the uprooted.

To save money, families neglected medical and dental care. Many families sought to cope by planting gardens, canning food, buying used bread, and using cardboard and cotton for shoe soles. Despite a steep decline in food prices, many families did without milk or meat. In New York City, milk consumption declined a million gallons a day.

President Herbert Hoover declared, "Nobody is actually starving. The hoboes are better fed than they have ever been." But in New York City in 1931, there were 20 known cases of starvation; in 1934, there were 110 deaths caused by hunger. There were so many accounts of people starving in New York that the West African nation of Cameroon sent $3.77 in relief.

The Depression had a powerful impact on family life. It forced couples to delay marriage and drove the birthrate below the replacement level for the first time in American history. The divorce rate fell, for the simple reason that many couples could not afford to maintain separate households or pay legal fees. But rates of desertion soared. By 1940, 1.5 million married women were living apart from their husbands. More than 200,000 vagrant children wandered the country as a result of the breakup of their families.

Dry Spell 1929

There is precious little cheer to be found in a protracted dry spell that shrivels the lima beans, makes the sugar corn hard and dry, cuts down the supply of red, ripe, juicy "tomats" and stunts the cantaloupes and egg plants and watermelons. One is almost justified in looking upon the cause of so many calamities as an evil visitation.  

And yet even a soul that sneers at the Pollyanna philosophy must admit, in the light of a current news item, that nothing Is so bad It couldn't be worse. The clouds have a silver lining if it is permissible to speak of clouds when the chief complaint, is the scarcity of them.
But never mind that. From Delmar, Delaware, comes this :

 . . . All of the peach trees in the many orchards about Delmar are loaded with fruit and the flavor this season Is unusually good became of the dry weather.

Of anything that can make the flavor of peaches "unusually good" much is forgiven. From now on when harsh things are being said about dry spells we shall consider it our duty to rise in the name of simple Justice and point out one redeeming circumstance bigger and better peaches.

Above from The Evening Sun Balto 13 Aug 1929

1918 wind vane

A wind vane was important to the soldier in the trench in WW1 as it gave the direction the wind was blowing in the event of a gas attack.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

Captain Al

Albert Allen Waller (1872-1942) known as “Captain Al” worked for the railroad all of his adult life.  If he had lived another year he could have retired from the railroad with 53 years of service. He was the son of Joseph Waller and Amanda Kenney Waller and he was born north of Delmar.  Both of his brothers Harry and William also worked for the railroad.

He started with the railroad on January 20, 1890 as a brakeman for the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad.  In 1893 he was promoted to flagman.  In 1902 he was made a freight conductor. 

In 1902 a group of ten Negros tried to take over the train he was conductor of and in trying to remove them he was shot twice by them, once through the chest and lung and once through the collar bone.  The train was rushed from Delmar to Salisbury where he was operated on at the hospital.  While he was being operated on a posse was formed and an attempt was made at finding the Negros.  One posse armed with revolvers and Winchesters was headed by Albert’s father Joseph K Waller.

above Joseph K Waller

Joseph Waller found some of the Negros near Chapman Mills north east of Delmar.  In the shootout that followed one was shot in the leg by Waller.   Others were arrested south of Delmar and it was never clear which ones did the shooting. 

In 1907 he was made a passenger conductor.

In 1909 the train he was conductor of smashed head on into another train in Fruitland.  Several were killed on the other train but his passengers cars were saved from harm by being behind several non-passenger cars in the line of cars.

above the 1909 Fruitland smashup

In 1911 he was transferred from Delmar to Cape Charles where he was yard master for five years.  In 1916 the position of yardmaster was abolished and he was transferred back to Delmar as a conductor and he purchased a home on Pine Street from George l Long, no doubt one of the American four square style home Mr. Long was known for building. He remained a conductor until he died in 1942. 

Along the way he married in 1897 Annie Elizabeth Adkins (1876-1967) daughter of Sampson and Sallie Venables Adkins.  They had two children Helen (1898-1988) and Lewis Allen Waller (1902-1977).  Lewis would work for the railroad. Helen would marry Ray Corbitt Sturgis who also worked for the railroad.

Conductors tend to be political people not necessarily as in running for elected office but just social joiners.  Captain Al was one of the organizers of Delmar Lodge. No. 123, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and of Delmar Lodge, No. 445, Order of Rail road Conductors. Charter Lodge Member Mr. Waller also was a charter member of Delmar Lodge. No. 201, A. F. and A. M., and of the Delmar Loyal Order of Moose. He was active In civic and church activities here, serving as a trustee of the Delmar First Methodist Church for 22 years. He made an unsuccessful attempt for Mayor in 1939.