Saturday, October 31, 2020

Royce and Irma Hancock

 Royce David Hancock (1893- 1957) was the son of Charles and Mary Jane Brittingham Hancock of Snow Hill Maryland.  He had eight brothers and sisters and was an intelligent hard working young man, who played coronet in Susie”s band and worked at Dr Jones Drug store.

In 1911 Royce Hancock left Snow Hill to take a job in Delmar with a drug store.


above April 1911 Snow Hill Democratic Messenger

His brother, John H. Hancock, also moved to Delmar.  John would work for the railroad for 32 years and his wife and family would live over on Pine street.

At this time a young school teacher named Irma deLearsey Boston worked at the Delmar Maryland school.  She was from Quantico, the youngest daughter of Ezra S. Boston and Eliza Emily Phillips Boston.  She had graduated Wicomico Salisbury High School in 1906 and then went to Baltimore to attend Maryland normal school to become a teacher.  In Irma’s high school yearbook her narrative says she is the biggest flirt in school and not only wins all hearts but keeps them too.

Naturally young people will meet and a 16 year on again off again courtship begin between Royce and Irma

From newspaper clippings of the time Irma rarely missed a dance in town.  She was delayed one year in opening her class because she had slipped off a Ferris wheel in Ocean City and hurt her foot. In another article she recalls when she went home to Quantico from Delmar for the weekend she would hire a buggy and horse at the Delmar livery stable drive home and then on Monday return to Delmar.

A month after his sister, Mary Lucile Hancock, had passed away in Baltimore, Royce Hancock was drafted in September of 1917 and sent to Camp Meade for training.  Other Delmar boys sent with him were; Michael R Elliott, Elmer J Davis, and Clarence M Guthrie.

After Camp Meade he went to the School of Military Aeronautics at Princeton University in New Jersey. 

After a couple more training schools he was assigned to the 644 Aero Squadron of the American Expeditionary Forces.

In March of 1918 Lieutenant Royce Hancock boarded the transport ship “Leviathan” to go to France.  The Leviathan was a German Ocean Liner seized by the US Government at the start of WW1.  The ship could carry 2,000 crew members and 9,000 troops.  Later in the war it had an infamous reputation as a plague ship when in September of 1919 with 11,000 men on board the Spanish influenza broke out. By the time she arrived in France there was 2,000 sick from influenza and 80 had died on the way over.  Eventually Lt Hancock made it to Field 8 at Saint Maixent France.  This is where American Chasse pilots received their combat instruction and the finishing touches for being sent to the front.

Insert photo of 644th

In February of 1919 the unit was sent back to the states on board the transport ship “Siboney.”  The “Siboney” had been built in Philadelphia in 1917 by Wm. Cramp and Son.  Lt Hancock caught the Spanish flu and spent several months in the hospital until being discharged in Sept 1919.

above from the Wilmington news Journal Sept 25, 1919

He only spent a brief time in Delmar as by 1920 he was working in Dallas, Texas as a druggist.  It was like the song said “how ya gonna to keep’ em down on the farm (after they have seen Paree)?   About this time Irma Boston left Delmar and started teaching in Atlantic City New Jersey.

In 1927 he was living in Michigan and after years of courting Miss Irma Boston he finally married her in Manhatten New York.  They returned to live in the Midwest until settling in Park Ridge, Illinois.

In 1930 he became a salesman for the fabric division of E I duPont in Illinois. He would stay in that position for 27 years before dying in 1957.  He was buried at Cape Charles. 

Irma would move to live with her niece, Mrs. Roy G Bishop, in Danville, Virginia in the summer and in the winter live in Florida. In 1959 she would return to Delmar to speak to the reunion of classes of 1914-1917.


She would die in 1961 and is buried in Cape Charles.  Cape Charles seems to have been picked because it was the home of her only surviving sister, Mrs. Walter Wise.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

The stock market crash of 1929

 "Once I built a tower up to the sun

Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime ?"

The stock market crash of 1929 – considered the worst economic event in world history – began on Thursday, October 24, 1929, with skittish investors trading a record 12.9 million shares. On October 28, dubbed “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 13 percent,

1919 Hoyt Lee Parsons


Delmar Railroad Yard Brakeman Found Beneath a Car

Special to The Morning News DELMAR, Del., Dec. 14 Hoyt L. Parsons, aged 29 years, a Delaware Railroad yard brakeman, was found dead early this morning beneath a car here, his head having been severed. There were no witnesses to his death, and it is not known how he came to be killed. He leaves a wife and a little daughter. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday morning in the M. E. Church.

Above from The Wilmington Morning News 15 Dec 1919


Hoyt Lee Parsons (1890-1919) is buried in St Stephen Cemetery.  He was the son of Washington Irving Parsons and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ellen Carey Parsons.  Washington Irving Parsons was a farmer in the Delmar area with a large family.  Hoyt had married Mattie Ruark about 1912.  They lived in Delmar Maryland on State Street and had one daughter, Frances J., who was born in 1913.  He worked as a fireman for the railroad.

After the death of her husband something happened to Mattie.  She either could not afford to care for her child or she died, but Frances passed to her Aunt Bessie Parsons Brittingham and Herman Eramrus Brittingham to be raised.  In the newspaper she is described as an adopted foster child of Herman Brittingham.  It is not known if she was legally adopted but she begin to use Brittingham as her last name.

Herman Brittingham ran a successful auto repair shop called Salisbury Auto Body Works.  Bessie was the sister of Hoyt Parsons.  Herman would die in 1939 leaving Bessie to run the business.   Frances would marry John C. Dukes about 1932, have a daughter Norma L Dukes in 1934, and in 1940 get a divorce.  In 1940 she married again this time to Ralph Andrew Chandlee (1905-1994) and they lived in Baltimore.  Both had been married before. In 1944 Frances Chandlee died. 

In 1950, Bessie Brittingham would marry George Hart.






Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Cutting Corn From The Cob


The above photo  (A. Aubrey Bodine) came from a Baltimore facebook group.  It shows women cutting corn off the cob probably for a canning company.  It looks to be maybe in the 1930s or 1940s.

What is interesting the women seem to be wearing a breastplate with a spike thru it, on which the corn cob is stuck and then she uses a knife to remove the kernels.  Looks like after a full shift of that the woman would be black and blue.  Well no one said life was easy and she no doubt is just happy to earn the small amount of money she would receive.   

Cleve and Blon West

 Carl “Cleve” Cleveland West (1884-1957) was a railroad engineman in Delmar.  He retired in 1952 with fifty years of service.  Cleve West was the son of Matthew Thomas West (1857-1899) and Mary Virginia Ellis West.  Originally Cleve’s father was from the Whitesville area but his family had moved to New Church, Virginia where he ran a hotel.  New Church was a popular stop for businessmen buying produce and selling farm goods.


above 1894 ad

 The couple had four daughters and six sons.  In 1899 Matthew died of complications of diseases, leaving his wife and children to run the hotel.  Matthew is buried in Pocomoke.  Mary West ran the hotel and the sons acted a drivers for hacks and carriages they rented out to take visiting businessmen around the area. Cleve’s brothers in 1899 were Charles West, George West, Arthur West, and John Phillip West.  His sisters were Lillie West, Martha West, and Ada West.  In addition Blanche West and Bryan West did not live pass 1899.


By 1902 Cleve left New Church and went to Delmar where he tried to obtain work with the railroad.  At that time the railroad would let you work for them for free until you acquired the experience to be hired on.  By the end of 1902 he was employed by the railroad.  In 1906 he married Sallie Blon Sirman of Laurel (1884-1956) . 


Sallie was the daughter of Theodore P. Sirman and Sarah Anne Callaway.  Theodore Sirman was a railroad man.  He died at age 38, December 20th of complications of a cut he had received to his head while working on the railroad two weeks previous.  His widow would later marry Curtis Cannon, a man twenty years her senior.  In the 1910 census both her mother and stepfather are living with Cleve and Sallie in Delmar.  Her stepfather would die in 1913 and is buried in Bridgeville, her mother would die in 1917 and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Cleve’s mother, Mary, would die in 1925 and is buried in Pocomoke with her husband and two of her children.


The Wests did not have children so it allowed them to pursue any interest they had.  They were well traveled; by 1938 they had visited all 48 states.  By the time of their death they had included Mexico and Alaska in their travels.  They were active in Saint Episcopal Church in Delmar.  They enjoyed square dancing and were in regional square dancing groups.  Sallie led the local Home Demonstration Club and was on the President of the Delaware State Home Demonstration Club Advisory board.  Sallie was a Democratic Committeewoman and in 1936 attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 


By 1955 they both had suffered strokes and were in the Spring Hill Private sanatorium in Salisbury.  Sallie would die in January 1956 at age 71 and Cleve would die in 1957 at age 72. 



Saturday, October 24, 2020

1991 The Dutch Kitchen


In 1991 the Dutch Kitchen opened in the State Line Plaza in Delmar Delaware.  A buffet style restaurant it was not open on Wednesday or Sunday because  a number of their employees were Mennonities.  Daniel Kropf and Sam Petersheim were the main owners with Sam Petersheim managing the Dutch Country Market in Laurel and Daniel Kropf managing the Dutch Kitchen.  Joe Mast was another partner. 

The restaurant did great until 1994 when it was purchased by the Wink family (Robert and Nancy Wink and their sons; Terry and Jerry)  and made into a Bonanza Restaurant. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

1924 Bacon Switch Accident


Bacon Switch crossing looking south as it is today

On a Saturday night in 1924 a Ford car with three people in it cross the railroad tracks at Bacon Switch and was hit by an express train traveling at about 50 miles an hour.  All three people were killed.  A newspaper articles follows describing the accident but first a little about the people involved.

Mrs. Phillips was Elsie May Davis Phillips (1898-1924).  She was the daughter of George W. Davis (1863-1942) and his first wife Louisa W. Hearn Davis (1867-1904).  She had married George Phillips in 1920 and in August of 1921 she had a son, George Goldie Phillips, Jr.  The Phillips lived between what is today Bi-State Blvd and the railroad tracks on Bacon Road.  Her father lived on the other side of the tracks on Bacon Road. 

The son was George Goldie Phillips, Jr, not quite three years old,  and he is buried with his mother in St Stephens cemetery in Delmar with his mother in the Davis cemetery plot.  

William "Willie" Frazier Dickerson (1893-1924) was the third son and perhaps favorite son of Frazier A. Dickerson and Opecheo Ellis Dickerson.  Willie's father had died eight years before Willie's death. At the sale of his father's estate Willie had purchased a 90 acres farm from the estate.  Willie had married in 1913 Lelah Edna Phillips.  They had several children but only Edna Ellen Dickerson, born 1917,  survived beyond one year of age.  After Willie's death his widow would marry in 1928 Carlton Elwood Hastings.

George Goldie Phillips (1895-1958) was the son of Columbus Washington Phillips and Priscilla Cooper Phillips.  They lived around Portsville.  George had married Elsie Davis in 1920.  The newspaper article said he worked as a fireman with the Railroad.  George left the railroad after the accident.   For the rest of his life George would have many jobs.  Perhaps he left the railroad because of the possible contact he would have had with the train crew that killed his family.  In 1927 he would remarry to Matti Yingling Kenney a school teacher.  They would have a daughter, Janet A. Phillips.

The railroad crew was not named in any of the articles and the Sussex County Coroner's Jury investigation turned in a verdict of accidental death by unavoidable accident which relieved the railroad of all responsibility.  


 Mother and Child Killed at Crossing, as Husband Rushes to Fire


 Special to The Evening Journal. LAUREL, May 6. George Phillips, a fireman on the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania -Railroad, lost his wife, three-year-old son and his home all within a few minutes Saturday night.

 His wife aged 25 years and son with William Dickerson, aged 30, a cousin of his wife's were all three instantly killed when an express train hit the machine in which they were riding at Bacon's Switch four miles south of Laurel about 10 o'clock Saturday night. Just a few minutes before the accident Phillips had turned the automobile over to Dickerson so that he could hurry to his home which he had been notified was on fire. The house located near Bacon's with all contents was destroyed.

 The Philllpses who had spent Saturday evening at Salisbury were returning home shortly after 10 o'clock when Dickerson, a neighbor, met then and informed them that their home was on fire. Phillips then requested Dickerson to drive his wife and son to the home of Mrs. Phillips' father, George W. Davis a merchant, residing at Bacon's Switch., Phillips then proceeded to the scene of the fire.

It is believed that Mrs. Phillips became hysterical over the loss of their home, and that Dickerson, attempting: to calm her, either failed  to notice that he was near the crossing or failed to see whether a train was approaching. The automobile, as it reached the center of the track, was struck by the fast passenger train south bound.

 Mrs. Phillips and Dickerson were catapulted from the machine for a distance of more than fifty feet, being killed, physicians said, almost instantly. The young child was later found burled beneath the debris of the wrecked automobile. He had been killed. Instantly, it was said.

The fire was declared to have been caused by a defective chimney flue. The building together with all its contents was a total loss. It was said that Insurance will partly cover the building and contents,

 Bacon's Switch where the automobile accident occurred, is a small town a few miles north of the termination of the Delaware division of the Pennsylvania Railroad,

 Mr. Dickerson, was a farmer living near Laurel in the Mt, Pleasant neighborhood. He leaves a wife, and one daughter Edna, his mother, one sister, Alice Dickerson, and four brothers, Winnie, Ellis, Paul, and Albert Dickerson, all of Laurel.

 Mrs. Phillips besides her husband is survived by her father, George Davis, of Bacons, and one brother, Virgil Davis, of Sharptown.

 Mr. Phillips' house was partly covered by Insurance but he carried none on his furniture.

 The funeral of Mr. Dickerson was held this afternoon at Mt. Pleasant Church with Rev. Horning officiating. The funeral of Mrs. Phllllps and child will be held at the home of her father in Bacons tomorrow afternoon.

Above from The Wilmington Evening News 05 May 1924

The accident is still remembered in Bacon Switch.  In a 1993 article on Bacon switch in the Daily Times of Salisbury Paul and Doris Phillips says this a bout the accident.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020

1920s Opecheo Dickerson


about 1920 Mrs Opecheo Volvino Ellis Dickerson (1861-1925) on her farm outside of Delmar.  She was named for Opecheo Volvino Van Dyke an evangelist from the 1850s

1952 Sunday Dinner at Eva's restaurant


1952 Eva's Restaurant Delmar Delaware

Saturday, October 17, 2020

1968 Delmar Joint Meeting


1968 from the Evening Sun

Friday, October 16, 2020

Bertha Gertrude Sturgis Marvel, The First Delmar Female Mortician

 In 1875 William Staten Marvel opened his undertaking business in Delmar, Delaware.  He had previously had a blacksmithing operation here and dabber a bit in cabinetmaking and coffin making.  At that time funerals were no where near the elaborate ceremonies they are today.  Usually the family would handle the entire affair and a simple burial in the family graveyard on the farm would do.  As embalming became more accepted with burial in churchyards the funeral home became more prominent.  They were called funeral homes because the undertaking business was on the ground floor and the family lived over top the business in their home.  About 1900 William S Marvel, Jr. became head of the business.  In 1902 he married Bertha Gertrude Sturgis (1882-1963).  At first Bertha was content with running a dressmaking business from her home but as the business expanded she became more active in the operation.  About 1920 Bertha became a licensed mortician in the State of Delaware.  She was certainly the first female mortician in Delmar and one of the first ones in Delaware.  It is unknown where she obtained her training.  In that time period the Eckel College of Mortuary Science was in Philadelphia and many morticians in Delaware attended it.   

Bertha became connected with the undertaking business at a time when it was booming.  A survey published in 1928 revealed that between 1900 and 1920 the number of funeral directors grew by more than fifty per cent. (The annual number of deaths increased by only 2.3 per cent in the same period.) For most of the twentieth century, the majority of funeral homes were family businesses that were passed from father to son—and rarely to a daughter. In the seventies, ninety-five per cent of funeral directors were men, and even by 1995 there were still almost twice as many male mortuary-science students as female ones.  Today, sixty-five per cent of mortuary-school graduates are women.

William S Marvel, Jr. would run the business with his wife until his death in 1941.  At the time of his death a company was formed called W. S. Marvel Company.  It was headed by Bertha and included her two sons; Charles W. Marvel and William S. Marvel, III.  In 1957 William S. Marvel, III took over the company and Bertha retired from the business.   As we know the Marvels sold the business in 1972 to Bill Short, Jr  and in 2005 Bill Short’s daughter, Amy, and her husband Tom Jewell took over the funeral home.

Bertha would pass away in 1963.  Since this was before the internet it will come as no surprise that she had been active in a number of organizations in Delmar and the local area over the years.  Among them were the Eastern Shore Photo Club, The Business and professional Woman club, The Delmar Century Club, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, The Delmar First Methodist church (St Stephens), and Order of the Eastern Star.

Bertha was born in Whaleyville in 1882 and was the daughter of John W. Sturgis and Mary Jane Parker.  John W. Sturgis was in the lumber business the same as his father Joshua Sturgis. 

above from 1877 Map collection

The Sturgis family lived between Millville and Pine Grove (North of Snow Hill) in what most old timers in Worcester County call “The Forest” .  As can be seen Joshua Sturgis lived in a somewhat isolated farm between Millville and Pine Grove.  Between 1886 to 1888 John W Sturgis and his wife, Mary Jane Parker died.  In addition Joshua Sturgis’ wife and daughter also died in this period. 

1877 Coulborn District Worcester County Map by Lake Griffin and Stevenson. Joshua Sturgis about center right of creek

 John Sirman became guardian for Bertha and her two sisters Edna and Ethel.  John Sirman was the husband of Sarah Sturgis who was the daughter of Joshua Sturgis.  The three girls lived with their Grandfather and attend Coulborn School number two which was just south of the map shown above.   They would rotate around with relatives during the summer. 

All three at one time or another would live with their Uncle; William S. Parker (1850-1928) and his wife, Elizabeth (Hastings) (1852- ) In Delmar.   William was a foreman in a lumber mill in Delmar.  It was during this time that Bertha would meet William S. Marvel, Jr. and in 1902 married him. 

Joshua Sturgis would die in 1905.  He left extensive land holdings to his daughter and granddaughters.  Bertha with her sisters would sell some of the land which would help with the family finances.

Bertha’s  sister; Edna L. Sturgis (1884-1911) would also live in Delmar in 1902 with William S Parker but by 1910, with her sister Ethel, they would run a dress making business in Snow Hill.  In 1911 she became sick with cancer and at the age of 28 would die at her sister’s Ethel home in Pocomoke.  She is buried in the Bates Memorial Cemetery in Snow Hill.

 Bertha’s youngest sister, Ethel D Sturgis (1885-1982) would marry Luther Glenmore Parsons and live in the Pocomoke area.  The names of her sons and daughters would reflect the names of her sister (Edna) and parents (John and Mary).  In 1900 she was living with the William Washington White Guthrie (1854-1925)  family in Delmar.   Edna and Ethel were also dressmakers as was Bertha.  In 1910 Edna and Ethel lived in Snow Hill and ran a dress shop.  Luther was from Pocomoke but was a friend of J D Dickerson who lived close to the Sturgis family so with frequent visits to his friend he would meet Ethel and in 1911 marry her.  



Thursday, October 15, 2020

1918 Pandemic

 Family Search has compiled a list of names of people who died in the 1918 Pandemic.  It is by state and only a few states have been completed but Delaware is one of them.  If you click on Delaware a list of names will come up and you can click on the individual name to see where in Delaware they were from

I don't think it is that accurate as people in my family I know died from the flu are not listed.

family photo in 1918

1930s Delmar Pool Hall


The Photo was simply titled three young men outside of pool hall Delmar Delaware 1930s

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 DELMAR, Del., Oct. 15. Alleging that Mrs. S. T. Adams severely beat his boy over some minor affair, Elijah W. Wootten of this town had sworn out a warrant for her arrest. Wootten claims that this is the second time his boy has been beaten by Mrs. Adams.  - from The Wilmington Morning News 16 Oct 1913

An interesting 107 year old story that brings up more question than answers.  The three primary players in this story are; Mrs. S. T. Adams, Elijah Wootten and the boy.  A little about them; Mrs. S. T. Adams is Sallie Mary Baker Adams (1873-1942).  She is the wife of Stephen Tilghman Adams (1877-1958).  Stephen was a locomotive engineer and they lived on Chestnut Street on the Maryland side of town.  At this time the Maryland side of town had a large number of railroad Brakemen and Engineers living in it.  Sallie at this time would be 41 years old.  She had three children; Florence, Stanley, and Lee. The Adams were originally from the Harrington area.  They had married in 1898 and lived in Philadelphia, moving to Delmar by 1910. 

Elijah William Pargen Wootten (1877-1950) had married in 1897 in Wicomico County to Olivia V. Truitt. At the time they married she was 19 years old and he was 21.  They lived on Pine Street and he too was also a railroad engineer.  They had three children; Blanche. Marion and Myrtle.

The Boy was Marion “Monk” Ellegood Wootten.  He would have been 12 in 1913.  He would later in life become a railroad engineer living in Delmar.

Now we don’t know if Monk was a real pain and problem child or not, nor do we know if Sallie was a real shrew and with a 107 year old story we are not going to ask anyone.   

What we do know is that three weeks after this story there was a fire of unknown origin in Stephen Adams house.  Sallie and the children were away visiting relatives but Stephen was home.  He was forced to jump from the porch roof to save himself.  The recently formed Delmar fire department arrived and sprayed water on the surrounding houses while Stephen’s house burn to the ground.

We don’t know when ( I suspect shortly after the fire) but by 1917 Stephen Adams and family had moved back to Philadelphia and was working for the Baldwin Locomotive Works as a traveling engineer.  The Baldwin Locomotive Works was founded by Matthias W Baldwin a jeweler who had opened a machine shop.  By 1918 the company had built their fifty thousandth locomotive.  Stephen Adams job, as a traveling engineer, was to go with the locomotives when they were sold to break them in (putting up the engine) and provide technical expertise for several weeks after they were delivered.

Join The Delmar Historical and Arts Society

 Join Us.  The Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) is always looking for new members.  We meet at the Delmar Police Department Training room at 7PM the second Thursday of each month.  The cost to be a member is twelve dollars a year.  If you are interested send a check to PO Box 551, Delmar DE 19940.

We are also looking for old family photographs and stories of Delmar families.  If you have any please scan the photo and email them to

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

An Early Morning Wedding For Fannie Parker



DELMAR. Del., Sept. 18 -- Miss Fannie King Parker, of Laurel, and Paul C. White, of Wilmington were married at the home  of Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Stephens, of State street yesterday by the Rev. F. N. Faulkner. The couple were attended by Orem Price and Miss Bessie Stroud, both or Pocomoke City. Md. A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony, after which the wedded couple took the 6:52 train for the north and will extend their tour to Great Falls, Montana.

 The wedding guests included Mrs. W. O. Stephens, W. O. Stephens. Mr. and Mrs. James Lowe, Jr., of Salisbury; Misses Fannie Ward, Katie Carmine, Nan Kenney, of Laurel; Miss Mary J. Culver, Miss Annie Anderson, Miss Sarah Stephens, Miss Annie Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Ellis.

 Mr. and Mrs. White will make their home in Wilmington, where he is employed in the real estate department of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

Above from The Wilmington Evening Journal 1913 September 18

Sunday, October 11, 2020

1945 Sale of Willie F Wilson Property


William "Willie" Franklyn Wilson died on Feb 4th of 1945.  He had a farm outside of Delmar and this will show what equipment and furnishing a small farm in the area would have.  His wife, Minnie Miller Wilson would die in 1954.

1961 Delmarva Firemen's Association Parade


Sunday Dinner At Sparrows Oyster Bar


1969 ad from the Atlantic Va. "Cardinal" High School Yearbook

Our family from Delmar in the 1960s may have taken a long ride to the beach at Red Hills and had lunch or dinner at Sparrows Oyster Bar.  Red Hills was a very popular beach just south of Greenbackville, Virginia.  In the early 1900s sometimes as many as 3,000 people would be there for the day.  By the 1960s less than a hundred a day would be at the beach. 

Taking RT12 out of Snow Hill heading south once you crossed the Maryland Virginia line you would drive pass the road to Greenbackville and the next road to the left would be Red Hills Road (Va RT712), at the end of the road the road makes a fork keeping straight down a dirt road takes you to Red Hills, bending left takes you to Sinnickson and the road ends at the small boat harbor on Swans Gut Creek (across the creek is Captain Cove).  Sparrows was on the road (bay side) to the harbor.  It was a converted two story house.  It had a menu of seafood and basic comfort food and was a  small place with booths, very casual.   Sparrows was run by Leon Clifton Sparrow and his wife, Dessie Marie Culp Sparrow. Leon was a very distant relative to George W Sparrow who came to live in Delmar.  In 1974 Dessie passed  away and I am not sure if that ended Sparrows Oyster Bar or if some other event did so.  The building it was in has vanished, some one said a storm knocked it down.   

Red Hills was purchased in 1886 by R D Sinnickson and much later by C D Fleming, a major lumberman, purchased it and with his passing it was owned by his son, Toppy Fleming.  

Certainly the authority on Red Hills would be Bob Jones who has the facebook page "Worc. Co. History"  The photo of Red Hills (about 1911)  below is from one of many articles he has written about Red Hills.

Since we are on the subject of seafood and that side of Delmarva let me include a recipe from the beloved Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore, Wm Donald Schaefer, the man who called the Eastern Shore of Maryland an outhouse.  

Friday, October 9, 2020

1981 Bi-State Drum and Majorette Corps


Delmarva Central Railroad wins a short line association business development awards

 The Delmarva Central Railroad was recognized in Train Industry Newsletter as being one of The four railroads that earned short line association business development awards this year have one thing in common: They all gained new traffic by going beyond merely moving freight from Point A to Point B. 

Officials from the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad, Delmarva Central Railroad, The Indiana Rail Road, and the Ann Arbor Railroad shared their success stories during a panel discussion at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s virtual conference on Wednesday.......

Poultry-related traffic dominates on the Delmarva Central, the 188-mile railroad operated by Carload Express. Chief Marketing Officer Cliff Grunstra set out to learn all he could about the poultry industry and found that amino acids, which are essential ingredients in chicken feed, were trucked long distances to suppliers in the railroad’s service territory.

The railroad purchased a former BASF chemical facility in Seaford, Del., that was rail served. Delmarva Central didn’t have any traffic lined up at the time, but wanted to preserve a site that had rail spurs, Grunstra says.

Ultimately the railroad was able to sign deals with a couple of producers of amino acids, Illinois-based ADM and Missouri-based Novus, who now ship via rail to a pair of new transload centers, including the former BASF site......

to see the article go here;

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

1981 Delmar Parade


1981 Memorial Day Parade it ended at State Street Park to dedicate the VFW War Memorial Monument

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Kenwood Inn Tea Room 1932

 In 1932 our imaginary Delmar family may have gone to Salisbury to the Kenwood Inn Tea Room run by Mrs. George Gray for their Sunday dinner.  

The Kenwood Inn was a Victorian style House located at 302 North Division, that rented rooms and had a dining room.  It was run by Mrs. George B. Gray.  Mr. George Bell Gray (1871-1957) was a tailor in Salisbury and he was married to Sarah Emmons Gray (1878-1969).  Mrs. Gray was originally from New York.    The couple had a son, George Emmons Gray (1897-1973).  Back to the Kenwood Inn, in 1933 it moved from 302 North Division to 104 High Street which was another Victorian style house.  

At this time Mrs. Gray had her daughter-in-law, Alice A. Vincent Gray begin to help her.  Of Note; 302 North Division became the Maryland Tea Room run by Mrs. John Hagan.  Alice was from Cape Charles where her father Charles Vincent worked for the railroad.  By 1934 the Kenwood Inn Tea Room moved again this time to Main Street.  

and in 1934 Sarah Gray sold the Kenwood to William Bullitt Fitzhugh Vincent who was Alice's brother.  Of Note; Perhaps and probably Mr. Vincent (since he was born in Cape Charles)  was named after William Bullitt Fitzhugh who started the first newspaper in Cape Charles in 1886 called :The Pioneer".  Fitzhugh would later serve in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Bullitt Vincent lived in Delmar worked for the railroad .  His wife was Catherine Anna Lank Vincent who was the daughter of Elijah Henry Lank a baggage master for the railroad.  Bullitt and Anna were married in 1920 in Delmar when she was 17 and he was 21.    The couple had a son; Robert "Bobby" Jones Vincent and Elijah Henry Vincent.  

By 1938 the marriage was over and Bullitt Vincent remarried to Helen Fisher Brooks.  In 1940 Anna Vincent remarried to John R. Hines and they moved to the western Shore of Maryland..  

The Kenwood Inn just disappeared after William B F Vincent took over.  He later work as a bus driver for the Red Star Bus Line out of Rehoboth Beach.  

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Swat The Fly


Sept 24th 1908 The Wilmington Evening Journal

Back in the early 1900s Delmar was not a nice place, open drainage ditches, livestock in the backyards, outhouses, horse crap in the street and added to that was a perpetual cloud of smog from the coal fired and wood fired steam engines. It is no surprise that there were often Typhoid outbreaks. Typhoid was contracted by drinking contaminated water or contaminated food which caused a bacterial infection resulting in high fever, diarrhea and vomiting.  One transmitter of this was the common housefly.  

1908 quote

And so in the 1900s the war on flies raged on

Frequently there were contest of who could kill the most flies.  the dead flies were gathered and put in a bottle and some local business would pay for the bottle of flies.  A nickel for a pint of flies was a common price.

1917 Wilmington Morning news

One of the most frequent ads on the internet is from Cole pharmacy in Mansfield PA