Friday, July 31, 2020

Girl Scout Sunday - 1990

From the State Register March 23, 1990

Girl Scout Sunday was observed March 11 at St. Stephen's UMC with Girl Scout Troop 208 attending as a group. Leading in the impressive service were co-leaders Karen Gordy, Joanne Gum and Elaine Messick. Processionist was Kara Gordy, and greeters were Karen Hill and Kristy Short.

The following were ushers; Dawn Palmer - head, Alice Perchin, Shawn Scott, Jeanna Cooper and Michelle Messick. Acolyte was Brandy Smith with presentation by Rachel Gum, Erica Wagenhals, Emily Wilson and Michele Messick.

Drinking in Delmar - 1904

From the "Delmar News" May 20, 1904


One of the most disgraceful affairs that has taken place in Delmar for some time past occurred last Saturday night. The participants in this affair were several young men from Salisbury, ably assisted by some from Delmar. The Salisbury boys came up on train No. 80, arriving here at 10 p.m. with the intention of having a good time drinking brandy, purchased from a nearby distillery. They loaded up in a wagon and drove out into the country where it is said that all the brandy that was for sale was purchased. They returned to town and by the time they arrived here things were beginning to look double to them. From that time until the south bound passenger train at 2:50 a.m. they had a big time at least it seemed so to them. Several pistol shots were fired, and they had lots of amusement all to themselves, making things miserable for all who were unfortunate enough to be in the locality of the depot.

That young men will engage in anything so degrading is a disgrace to mankind, and there should be a law to prevent such affairs. It also appears to us that if we are to have no saloon we should also not tolerate such an affair as that of Saturday night. When the saloon was allowed to exist in Delmar we were not disgraced to any greater extent than this affair is a disgrace. If we are to have no saloon why should not the law affecting the sale of intoxicants be enforced to it's fullest extent?

Thursday, July 30, 2020

James A Tull - USS Indianapolis

On July 30th, 1945 Anthony Daniello, Harry Hickey, William Rue of Wilmington, and James Tull of Laurel, 4 Delaware sailors, died in the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in the Pacific in the last hours of the war.
Taken From This Day in Delaware History from our Delaware Public archives

1990 Visit of Dan Quayle

On Monday, November 5, 1990 Vice-President Dan Quayle and his wife Marilyn, plus secret service agents, were in Salisbury Maryland for 90 minutes as part of a last minute six-city campaign tour. He landed at the airport in a DC-9 jet with the United States of America seal on it. He went from the airport to the Acme Supermarket in the Twilley Shopping Center where he shook hands with shoppers. He then went to the Wicomico Middle School where 300 students cheered him. From there to a rally for Wayne Gilchrest at the Sheraton Salisbury Inn.

About 100 protesters lined the streets around the Sheraton with signs that read "Did Seniors Pay For This Trip", "Republicans Insensitive to Senior Citizens", and "Gilchrest Wants To Cut Medicare".

1990 New Mayor

From the Tuesday November 6, 1990 edition of The Daily Times


The shifting sands of town politics finally settled here Monday night when a new Mayor, two councilmen and an alderman took the oath of office.

Mayor John McDonnell and Councilmen Reginald Lizotte and Daniel Church, all newcomers to town politics, were sworn in and took seats behind the council table. McDonnell’s first act as mayor was giving an oath to former Councilman Don Godfrey, who resigned two weeks before his term would have expired to become the Delaware town’s alderman.

McDonnell, 39, defeated incumbent Mayor Samuel Bynum Sr, in an election last month. He slipped into Bynum chair and Bynum left immediately, carrying his pen, papers and nameplate.

“You may have the seat but not the name,” the ex-mayor said good naturedly after the two men shook hands.

McDonnell told the 45 residents present he would serve the town behind the council table and in his home. He gave out his phone number and said people should call him day or night with problems and questions.

“This is the first public office I’ve ever run for, and I wasn’t really sure I knew what I was getting into. After almost getting through this first council meeting, I’m still not sure what I’m getting into,” McDonald said.

“Whatever I do, I try to do the best I can whether it be washing my car, working at Western Publishing Co. in Cambridge, or being the mayor of this town.

Lizotte, 34, an electrician; Church, 35, a maintenance supervisor for a wood company; and McDonnell were all backed by a group called Concerned Citizens of Delmar. Both Lizotte and Church thanked members of the group saying they wouldn’t be on the town council without the help of the Concerned Citizens.

“I appreciate your nomination, everyone here who was involved,” Church said “I will do my absolute best to live up to the standards someone else has set for me.”

Long-time Town Manager Karen E. Horsman resigned after last month’s election to pursue other job opportunities. It will take several months to hire someone with expertise to handle the bi-state town’s affairs. McDonnell said. Meanwhile former Councilmen Carl Pollitt, who did not seek re-election in October, will serve as acting town manager.

“I only want to be here as long as I have to be. I’ll stay as long as I’m needed, but I don’t want this job. It’s just a little bit beyond me.” Pollitt said, “The laws are different and what is applicable in Maryland is not in Delaware and vice versa. It’s very, very complicated. I can assure you that I did not fully appreciate the job Karen did until she left.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

1913 Delmar Maryland Spending

Below is a list of disbursements for the year for the Town of Delmar Maryland as of May 1, 1913

Sussex Light and Power Co ------------------- $451.17
Note in the Bank of Delmar -------------------$200.00
Chester Smith - Surveying & Grading -----------$77.00
Hollis Lowe - Surveying & Grading ------------$18.82
NYR&N RR Co - Frt on Shells--------------------$45.00
Joseph Polyette - 2 cars of shells-------------$75.00
C. W. Mitchell - shells------------------------$ 2.76
E E Freeny - hauling dirt ------------------$ 9.30
T S Culver -Hauling Dirt --------------------$ 6.35
Delmar Lbr Mfg Co - Lumber ------------------$7.42
N B LeCates - damage assessed by opening 6th st- $50.00
A Brewington - Looking after fire engine repairs -$28.30
W L Sirman - Ground rent yrs 1911 & 1912 -----$33.55
L A Truitt & Co - coal------------------------$ 5.12
John W. Culver - cement crossing on 4th st alley-$18.88
T G Elliott - pipe, hdwe & Etc ---------------$44.25
L W Gunby - pipe ----------------------------$11.01
Delaware Buggy Hdwe Co ------------------------$10.50
Chas W. Hudson - work on street---------------$ 9.30
Geo T Jones - Printing notices receipts &Etc--$11.75
E W Hastings - dirt --------------------------$ 3.45
W B Stephens - office rent--------------------$ 6.00
Gordy & Holloway - Cement Crossing-------------$72.40
Earl B Elliott - Cement Crossing---------------$62.50
R H Lowe - ½ cement crossing at V H Gordy------$ 9.00
E W Palmer, D H Foskey, and T L Long – Service on 7th st-$ 9.50
Jos F Wells and W W Culver - moving trees------$ 4.00
M H German - assisting surveyor, comm. On licenses and property-$29.29
D H O’Neal - commission collecting St Taxes------$ 4.52
C P Sturgis, W J Calhoun – shells--------------$16.08
Minus LeCates------------------------------------$ 2.32
J W Freeny - assessing property & Grade stakes---$ 3.25
H L Elliott - hauling shells on 4th st-----------$ 2.60
W B Dunn - commission on collecting taxes--------$ 4.91
W S Marvel – Screen for ditch--------------------$ 1.00
Jas H Cordrey, Chas E Hearn – assisting surveyor--$16.13
S Truitt, Thos W Hitchens, Thos E Hearn – assisting Surveyor-$ 9.50
W B Elliott – commission collecting St taxes-----$32.40
W B Elliott – work on street---------------------$451.16
E E Gordy – commission Collecting Cor taxes------$101.53
E E Gordy – stationary and postage---------------$10.80

Total Disbursements-----------------------------$1,963.89

1939 The First Delmar Traffic Light

From the Bi-State weekly May 26, 1939


After one year's work the Delmar Lions Club was successful in having a blinker light placed at the intersection of US Route 13 and State Street in Delmar this week, when employes of the Eastern Shore Public Service Co. placed the pole and put up the light.

The club began its fight for a light last May after a series of accidents had happened at the intersection. Route 13 is a straight road for two miles on approaching the intersection and there it comes to a dead end. The club is still trying to contact the Maryland authorities in an effort to have a similar light placed at the Maryland intersection. The Delaware State Highway Department notified the club some months ago that a light had been purchased for the corner, but right-of-way have held up the project for four months. The intersection has been characterized by the Delaware State Police as one of the worst traffic hazards in the Delaware road system.

The light will show red on Route 13 and yellow for caution on State Street in Delmar. For many years officers, judges of the town, and town officials have disagreed as to whether or not Route 13 was a through street or State was the through street. With the placing of the red light on Route 13, this indicates that the state authorities feel that State Street is the main thoroughfare through the town.

The Ritz Theatre Opens 1940

In 1940 the Ritz Theatre opened in Salisbury, Md on Lake Street .  As the ad says "exclusively For Colored Folks"   The opening movie was "Maryland"
"A woman tormented by the hunting death of her husband forbids her son to have anything to do with horses. But when he falls for the daughter of his father's trainer, he defies his mother by entering the Maryland Hunt."

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday Dinner at Bus's Restaurant 1953

Bus's Restaurant was located just north of the Overhead Bridge on Rt13 in Salisbury Maryland.  It was only open a couple of years from 1953 to 1956.  It was run by David "Bus" Elisha Tingle (1924-1994).  Bus Tingle was the son of David Garland Tingle  and Janette "Nettie" Vaughn Driscoll.  Garland Tingle was from the Melson, Maryland area. 

As this photo from the Salisbury Times 1954 shows Bus and mentions how Bus got his nickname when his grandfather first saw him and said he was going to be as big as a Bus.

Bus enjoyed sports and in 1937 was batboy for the Salisbury Indian Wonder baseball team.  He fell to sleep in front of the dugout one day and the manager fired him.  He continued to play and enjoy various sports through out his life.

The restaurant was opposite the Sandman Motel (today I Think it is an Economy Inn) just as you exit off the overhead railroad crossing bridge.  The above photograph is part of the Walter Thurston collection from the Nabb Research Center Salisbury University. 

After serving in the Navy in WW2, in 1947 Bus married Emma Elizabeth Hitchens, daughter of James Edward and Anne Blanche Webster Hitchens. 

After the restaurant was sold Bus went to work for the White Coffee Pot Restaurants in the Baltimore Maryland area.  The chain of restaurants eventually exceed thirty and Bus became vice President of the chain. 

Emma and Bus adopted a girl, Terry Lee, who was blind.  Because of this they became active in various blind handicap related activities in the Baltimore area.  Terry would begin to professionally sing at the age of 12 and would move to Nashville to record country music.  She was the opening act for a number of well know country singers of the 1980s.  She would marry Thomas E Kowski. 

1954 ad from telephone directory

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Railroad Shops in 1960

A look at the train yard and shops (upper left corner)  from the 1960s photograph of Delmar from the Nabb research center Walter Thurston Collection  photo 10299.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Chief J. Roland LeCates 1940

J. Roland LeCates and his wife in 1948

1940 Chief of Police J. Roland Lecates of Delmar, Delaware served about seven months as Chief of police.  He was appointed chief in December 1939 to replace Clarence Wilson.  Both Clarence and Roland were railroad men who had been furloughed.  Clarence Wilson was called back to work for the railroad and Roland was hired.  Roland resigned after he was called back to work in 1940 and was replaced by long time cop George Hearn. Roland and Clarence Wilson continued as special officers.

Joseph Roland LeCates (1894-1973) would retire from the railroad after 49 years of service.  He had married in 1914 Carrie Elva Berton (1895-1979).  They lived on Grove street and had for children; Elizabeth “Betty”  Leigh (1919-1965), and Madeline Grace (1917-2004).

He was the son of Joseph Henry LeCates and Margaret “Maggie” Parsons Round Smith  He was born in Delmar

In his months as chief he was noted for arresting hobos and vagrants that would ride into town on boxcars.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Two Views of Delmar 1925 and 1960s

Delmar 1925 part of a larger photo at the Hagley by the Dallin Aerial Survey Company Hagley ID 1970200-00939

Delmar in the 1960s from the Nabb research center Walter Thurston Collection  photo 10299.    As you can see the Railroad station is gone and the old Hotel

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

1911 Bankers Convention in Delmar

1911 Bankers Convention in Delmar  (photo from Nabb Research Center Collection)

Near as I can tell this is taken in front of the Masonic Lodge on Pennsylvania Ave Delmar, Maryland.  This Masonic Lodge was built in 1901.  In 1930 the Masonic Lodge was moved to State Street and the above building was sold to the Moose and the employees of the railroad for a recreational hall. It was burnt in a controlled burning by the fire department in 1978.  Today the property is part of the Town hall parking lot.

Old Masonic Lodge

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Guinea Hen Pot Pie

Guinea Hen Pot Pie is an old Eastern Shore dish.  It may even be viewed as a Mid-Atlantic regional dish, as I have seen it advertised in Pennsylvania.  It heritage is in our British and African roots, although I am sure every country had a version of the dish. 

As can be seen from this 1949 English Grill ad Guinea hen pot pie was advertised above Filet Mignon.

Guineas are native to Africa and were carried to Europe in the 15th century.  Guineas are not chickens.  Certainly every farm on Delmarva had a flock of Guinea Hens for insect control.  The gray speckled bird roamed the farm in flocks and chest to chest they scour out beetles, locusts, potato beetles, spiders, ticks, ants, roaches, flies, grubs, snails, cutworms, snakes etc.  They are nature’s insect control. They usually free roam and nest in trees and bushes.  They talk and they talk a lot.  Also unlike chickens they can fly.  They are great watch dogs.

Growing up on Delmarva these birds are always called Guineas or Guinea hens.  I see on the Politically Correct internet they are now referred to a guinea fowl, apparently today even a Guinea hen is gender neutral. 

Now there should be a recipe here, but since I appear to be disorganized and can’t find my vintage Delmarva cookbooks you will have to go to the internet, actually any chicken pot pie recipe will do. 

1923 Chicago ad

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Gunter Chain

above a Gunter Chain

In researching older property deeds you will encounter strange measurement terms such as Chain, Perch, Rod, pole and furlong.  These are based on a Gunter Chain which is a surveyor’s tool named after Edmund Gunter who in 1620 described it.  It is an actual chain that is made up of 100 links and the total length is 66 feet.  The links are 7.92 inches long.  From this we have a quarter chain equals 1 rod (16.5 ft) also 1 pole and 1 perch, 10 chains (660 ft) equals a furlong, 80 chains equal one mile (5280 ft)  10 square chains equal one acre.  It is interesting that road right-of-ways and railroad right-a-ways are sometimes 66 feet or one chain in width. 

In 1763-67 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed and marked most of the boundaries between Maryland, Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Counties that became Delaware.  Mason had brought along state-of-the-art equipment for the survey. This included a “transit and equal altitude instrument,” a telescope with cross-hairs, mounted with precision adjustment screws, to sight exact horizontal points using a mounted spirit level, and also to determine true north by tracking stars to their maximum heights in the sky where they crossed the meridian.   Mason and Dixon also brought a Hadley quadrant, used to measure angular distances; high-quality survey telescopes; 66-foot long Gunter chains along with a precision brass measure to calibrate the chain lengths; and wood measuring rods or “levels” to measure level distances across sloping ground. A large wooden chest contained a collection of star almanacs, seven-figure logarithm tables, trigonometric tables and other reference materials; Mason was skilled at spherical trigonometry.  Mason had acquired a precision clock so that the local times of predicted astronomical events could be compared against published Greenwich times. Each one-minute local time difference implies a 15-second longitude difference.
They started out with a team of five people but by the time they got to the end of the survey they grown to 115 people.  A classic outcome of having a government contract.  Included in the team were axmen to clear a line of sight, pack mule drivers to get the trees out of the way as well as cows for milk, chain carriers, instrument bearers and tent bearers. It was like a small army moving through the woods.  They didn’t travel light.
Mason described their journey to Middle Point in their Journal: "1764 June 18 The waggons set out from Newcastle.
19 Joined the waggons and arrived at Dover at night.
20 At Esquire White's. 21 At Mr. Brown's.
22 At the River Nanticoke; pitched our Tents on its Banks.
23 Engaged axmen, etc. The whole company including Steward, Tent keepers, Cooks, Chain carriers, etc. amounting to 39. Two Waggons, Eight Horses, etc.
24 (Sunday) 25 Crossed the River Nanticoke in canoes and went to Middle Point, fixed up the Transit instrument and began to produce an arch of a Great Circle in the direction last run."
So in 1764 at the end of June Mason and Dixon were in the Delmar area.  They would return to the area in September to make adjustments to their line.

Measuring with the Gunter chain and levels they had a team of axmen clear a line of sight about nine yards wide the entire way.  The open view and clear skies were necessary for astronomical observations, a key component of the survey work.  The team would walk the boundaries and identify current property owners and significant landmarks—often trees or streams. With the chainmen, the surveyor would then identify the starting and ending points of a particular line. The two chain carriers would take hold of either end while the surveyor used a compass or theodolite to mark the distance along a particular line of latitude. As they moved along, the leader marked the ground with an “arrow,” or metal pin, and the follower walked in that direction. Upon reaching the leader, the follower picked up the “arrow” and replaced it with a wooden stave. Together, they would determine if their line was straight, and if not, with the help of the surveyor, they would adjust it before moving forward. When the leader was less than one chain’s length away from the final point, the chain carriers would stop and count the links between the last stave and the final station to determine the exact measurement.

The 1751 Transpeninsular line that runs from Fenwick Island to slightly west of Delmar required the same effort.  A farmer however that just want his land surveyed would have a
lot less workers but most of the same technique would be employed.

Sunday Dinner at the Bunny Lee Restaurant

The Bunny Lee Restaurant was a short lived restaurant at the corner of East Street and Bi-State Blvd in Delmar, Maryland.  It operated in 1940.  Unsure who was named Bunny Lee but the main person named in running the restaurant was Pauline Wilma Malcom Bartlett (1913-1957).  Pauline used a number of variations of her name through out her short life time so she may have been Bunny Lee.  Pauline was born in Kentucky to Edward Vernon Malcom and Ida Hill Malcom.   The family would move to the Eastern Shore and Pauline was raised here.  She would marry young to Joseph R Bartlett who was 36 years her senior and a railroad conductor.  She would divorce him and marry Warden O. Denson, she would divorce him and marry Lewis A. Waller (a railroad clerk).  She would attempt a number of restaurants/ sandwich shops.  When she died in 1957, at the age of 44, she had "Paula Sandwich Shop" in Laurel, Delaware.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Lunch From The Discount Deli

The Discount Deli was on Bi-State Blvd and it operated in the mid  1970s.  It was run by Stephen Wayne Pusey.  Always a good place to pickup a sub.  It may have held the record in Delmar for the most break-ins and larceny.

Williams family

On Parson's cemetery facebook page is a writeup about the Williams family re-interment from a Delmar cemetery to Parsons  see below

The Eternal Suit
The Williams family farmed the land near Delmar Maryland for generations. As members passed, they were buried in their family plot. Eventually, the mighty forces of what some call progress overcame the ragged resistance of history and made that land more valuable than the memories it held. The family, not wanting to lose all touch with their heritage, chose to reinter their loved ones at Parsons Cemetery. This choice created a mystery not solved to this day. Most of the departed were not buried in the elaborate caskets and vaults of today's world. The wooden boxes in which they were placed had deteriorated, as had the remains of most leaving only a scattered collection of bones. Except for John. John’s skeleton was found intact and his best suit in which he was dressed, unscathed by the ravages of time. All the individual grave markers were moved to Parsons, but the family decided it was appropriate to lay John in a vault and surround him with the bones of his relatives to not be disturbed again.
Why did John’s suit not deteriorate as the others had? Did this indestructible covering also preserve his bones or did he know what the future would hold and know that to keep his family together he too would have to remain whole, in his eternal suit.
When you visit this area in the rear of the cemetery, look at the sizes of the markers and read the inscriptions. The small markers are those of children, but even the larger ones include people who died in their 20’s. This plot is a microcosm showing how advances in civilization have improved the quality of life and the very expectancy of how long we will live. A history that we should not overlook.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

1974 Delmar Elementary School Staff

1974 Delmar Elementary School Staff

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Miller Hastings Reunion Cancelled

another one cancelled due to the flu

Mr and Mrs Ira Burton 1966

Burton - Perdue Grower Ad May 24 1966 Daily Times

Monday, July 13, 2020

The State Line Airport

In June of 1962 the State Line Airport in Delmar, Delaware was dedicated.  The airport was started by several men who had an interest in flying or business.  Edward Wainwright, James H Orrell, Frank Bonsall and Ronald Hawkins were some of them.  Ed Wainwright had built the State Line complex of restaurant and motel on the Maryland side of State street.  The group leased land on the Delaware side of State street for the air strip.

As can be seen in the top photograph (from the Nabb Research Center - Walter Thurston photos) on the left are the planes and the windsock marks the runway.  To the right is what was built of the State Line complex at the time, the Delmarva Convention center had not been built. Across the highway in the crescent shape building was an air conditioning mechanical shop later it would become Deckers and after that Mikes Clearance center,  can't remember who had the gas station or the mobile home sales.  The "dual highway" was not opened until 1954 so there still was little build up of commercial property.

The airport was a success with weekend pilots and flying groups/clubs landing to have conventions or just lunch across the street at the State Line.  Ed Wainwright also had a rental car service so a person could fly in, rent a car and go to a business meeting where ever.   The Delmarva Flying Farmers Association (in 1967, 54 members) of which Ron Hawkins belonged to, flew in often.  The local radio control model plane group (MARKS) used the sir strip to operate their model planes.

In the 1970s gas rationing hit the United States and the number of weekends pilots dropped from 40 a weekend to 8.  In addition the owners of the property wanted to sell part of the land the airstrip was on.  The Town of Delmar made an attempt (1972) to buy the airport but the town taxpayers voted down the proposal.  In 1975 Sussex Trust built their Delmar Branch on the airstrip closest to State Street.  The airport continued to be used to a limit degree in to the 1980s.  In 1991 State Line Plaza opened and finished off the use of the land for an airstrip

There were various companies that tried to make a go of the airstrip such as the Delmarva Flying Service in 1964

another picture of a picture showing the airport the original is from the collection of Jerry Carr.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday Dinner At Mason's Restaurant

above 1942 ad

Mason's Restaurant was run by Beulah Mason.  It was in the vicinity of West Snake Road and the used furniture store.  It operated as Mason's Restaurant from the early 1940s to 1947.  As you can see from the above ad for "Girl" it used the old custom of small restaurants with an extra storage room to offer their help room and board to make up for the low wages and to ensure they were available for whatever hours of work was needed. 

Beulah May Kellam (1900-1990) was born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Will and Ella Mason.  In 1918 she married William Thomas "Tom" Mason.  They had three children Emily, Margaret and Addie.  They were divorced in 1941.  She would later marry Harry M. Sylvester and continue to live in Delmar.  Harry was a dispatcher for Preston Trucking Company and a town councilman.

above 1947 ad

Friday, July 10, 2020

P J McBriety 1918

above from the Nabb  Research center

above from The evening Sun 26 April 1983

News Journal 1949

The Delmar Drive In

From the Nabb Research Center

Enlist For Farm Work 1917

 August 1917 from Afro American Baltimore MD

Thursday, July 9, 2020

100 S. Railroad Ave

Today 100 South Railroad Avenue is the home of the Mason Dixon Auction house.  In 1911 the corner lot only held a shack that sold oysters.

above Sanborn Fire Insurance map of 1911

In 1929 William Roy Wilson (1873-1947)  purchased the lot and by the first part of 1930 had built a garment factory on the lot.  Roy Wilson was from Hebron and he had garment factories in Hebron Vienna and Delmar.  He started a shirt factory about 1927 in Delmar and as stated above he consolidated his operation into one building on the corner of Railroad and State.  His factories usually employed from 50 to 70 people.  In 1932 he built a bungalow at the back of the factory for his plant manager.  In the late 1940s or early 1950s the home was torn down and a block addition was added to the factory.

above Roy Wilson in 1934

In the 1930s through 1980s Delmar, like most Eastern Shore towns had a number of garment factories.  In the 1930s "J Feldman and Sons" had a factory and "Banks" had a factory in Delmar.  Usually referred to as shirt factories the factories in Delmar seem to handle pants instead of shirts.   The factories gave employment to a number of women.  The factories paid on a piece pay scale and depending on how many pieces you did a day determined your pay.  The pay made in the 1930s was between 75 cents to a dollar a day.  Payday was every two weeks.  The pay was low but beat working on a farm and it helped the single women survive and helped the married women's when the railroad laid off their husbands. The impact of how many women worked in these factories is realized when you look at the female obituaries from 1980 on through 2010.  You see a recurring sentence of "worked at such and such shirt factory for 20 years", "was floor lady at such and such shirt factory" and for men it was "machine repairmen or warehouse foreman for 20 years at such and such shirt factory."  By the 1990s our elected politicians were sending all of these jobs overseas. After the jobs left you would see in the same obituary "worked as care worker at such and such nursing home."

above pants factory workers in 1950s/

The Wilson Pants factory continued on after his death in 1947 until the late 1970s.  In 1979 Interco Inc, an international corporation, by way of their Devon Apparel division took over the factory and called it Delmar Sportswear.
1980 ad

Delmar Sportswear closed down about 1989 and in 1990 Mike and Patty Conklin took it over and put Mason Dixon Auction in the building.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Whitney Bennett

An odd writeup on Whitney Bennett of Susan Beach Road, Delmar, who disappeared in 2010 is at this webaddress;

no opinion if it is correct or incorrect but you may find it interesting,

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Ralph Franklin Williams, Sr

Constable Ralph Franklin Williams (1890-1938) was a Delmar, Delaware policemen from 1930 to 1938.  He was also a Constable for Sussex County District Five which included Delmar.  He was the son of Robert Frank Williams and Ella Martha Christine Gillis Williams.  He was married about 1915 to Edith Lowe (1895-1992). They would have a son, Ralph Williams, Jr and adopt a daughter, Nettie Ellen Dutton Williams.

Mr Williams in 1923 had gotten into a little trouble due to kidnapping his Uncle, Elmer C Williams, in Salisbury due to an unsettled debt over the purchase of bricks.  He returned to Philadelphia where he worked as an automobile mechanic.  By 1928 he was back in Delmar running a store.  They lived on State street.    

Ralph Williams was a policeman and Police Chief at a time when little training was required and a great deal of nerve.  It was at a time when many hobos came through Delmar and the local drunks were very active.   He was known for running his own fingerprinting bureau.

In 1928 he had a furnace explosion which threw kerosene on his son Ralph resulting in burns.  In August of 1938 there was a gas explosion in the Williams home, when Constable Williams went down into the basement to see what was wrong he was overcome by the gas.

His body was found in the Williams bathtub in November 1938.  Dr Lynch declared it was a heart attack as he found no water in the dead man’s lungs.  After Ralph Williams death, Clarence E. Wilson became the police officer and also Chief of Police in Delmar, Delaware.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Mrs Donaway and her Millinery

1914 ad

In 1882 Sarah Elizabeth T. Baker married William Joseph Donaway, both were from Sussex County.  He was the son of Henry Donaway and Elizabeth Davis Donaway.  She was the daughter of Seth Wyatt Baker and Nancy Carey Baker.  Joseph was a brakeman at the time with the railroad.  They lived in Delmar on North Second street.

In 1914 Joseph would die from Bright's disease, at that time he was a freight conductor on the New York Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad.

Sarah had been running a millinery store with her niece; Elizabeth "Lizzie" W. Niblett (daughter of George and Mary Baker Niblett, she would marry Warren Evans and live in Salisbury)  and a friend, Alice Smither.  They all lived in the same house on North Second street and they continued the operation.

She would later marry George S Collison (another railroad man, he would die in 1931) and in 1942 she was in the State welfare home in Smyrna Delaware where she would die.   Her brothers were Archibald "Archie"  Samuel Baker, thomas Green Baker, Willie Baker, Paul Baker and Lee Baker .  Her sisters were Cora Baker Brasure and Lillie Baker Parson.

Sarah would die in 1942.

A Little About Bog Iron

Bog Iron was mentioned by Captain John Smith in 1608 and it was mined in the Laurel – Delmar - Mardela Springs area from the early 1700s through the 1870s.

Early settlers made use of the trees and oyster shells to process Bog Iron.  They created pig and wrought iron and it was fashioned into everything from cannon balls to pipes to kettles.  Items made from bog iron stand out because they do not rust instead they oxidizes to a dead black surface.

Bog iron is created when rainwater soaks throw fallen pine shats and leaches iron from our sandy soil.  The dissolved iron resurfaces in local streams to form a rust colored scum that will cement to river sands and gravel and create a sandstone like substance called bog iron.   

The deposits created were about six to seven feet thick composed of; one to two foot of “loam ore,” three feet of “seed ore” and the remained “hard ore.”  Once the “hard ore” was broken through the pit would fill with water as the hard ore held it back until it was broken. 

Unlike “regular” iron ore, Bog Iron is a renewable resource.  After an area has been mined it will renew itself after about thirty years. 

Since Delmar was not created until 1859 which was near the end of the mining of bog iron, I have found no references to bog iron mining in Delmar.  However given the nearness of both a bog iron furnace in Laurel and the mining of bog iron around Mardela Springs there is no reason not to think that people from the Delmar area did not work in the industry. 

There was Chipman’s iron furnace on Broad Creek between Laurel and Trap pond operating in the 1830s.  The furnace obtained the bog iron from Little Creek two miles south of Laurel.

   Barren Creek Springs was a well known place where bog iron was mined. A Joshua Bratten would mine it and ship it to the western shore in his schooner the “Chesapeake Trader”.  Later members of the Bratten family would mine the iron and ship it by rail to be sold at three dollars a ton.

Sunday Dinner at the Busy Bee

Another restaurant that ended after a couple of years.  This time due to a fire in 1927.  The restaurant was run by Ralph Raymond Gordy (1900-1972) who originally was from Snow Hill.  Located on what today is Market street as the ad says it was originally The White House restaurant.  The Busy Bee started in 1926.  After the restaurant went out of business, Mr Gordy moved on to running the Five Point Service Station and then later after his second marriage into insurance.  The building the Busy Bee was in later became Langrall's furniture store.  In the 1930s another restaurant on East Church Street would pick up the name Busy Bee but I don't think the two restaurants had a connection.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

1874 Independence Day

The M. E. Church at Delmar celebrates Independence day by holding a big Pic-nic.

from the Middletown Transcript  (Middletown Delaware) 04 Jul 1874

Happy 4th of July

How many stars are on that flag?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Mrs Kaiser 6th grade class Delmar Elementary School 1999-2000

Mrs Kaiser 6th grade class Delmar Elementary School 1999-2000