Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Blue Hen Special


The Blue Hen Special use to be in every Delmarva Parade it could get into.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Delmar Centennial


above from August 26 1959 Dupont Seaford Plant newsletter "The Threadline"

Friday, September 17, 2021

Russell and Lala Walls


MR, AND MRS. WALLS RESIGN Mr. and Mrs. Russell Walls have resigned their positions here and have gone to Delmar, Delaware where they have opened a tea room. Mrs. Walls was matron of Lincoln for several years. Mr. Walls was Manager of the employees Club until he was forced to give up the position because of illness. He was employed in the Adult group at the time of his resignation. We are sending along our best wishes for success in their new work.

3 July 1936  Letchworth Village News New York


Russell Robert Walls (1908-19940 was the son of Vincent Harrington Walls and Nellie Hitchens.  Vincent Walls was a well-known Railroadman who started with the railroad in Georgetown and was transferred to Delmar.  Vincent and his family lived about a mile west of Delmar.  He was well known for many things, but in 1929 he shot a chicken theft named George Henry Price (1903-1946).  The shot destroyed Mr. Price’s leg, and it had to be amputated.   Mr. Price was the son of John D. Price and Virginia Price.  George Price had been arrested in1927for stealing chickens from Mrs. Polly A. Culver and Mr. Gardner L. Hastings. He was fined $500 and sent to the Sussex jail.

Even with his leg amputated, he continued to steal chickens, and in 1930 he was again arrested for stealing chickens from Mr. Hughey Pippins of near Delmar. He was given 18 months in Jail.  Mr. Price continued to live in Delmar.  He worked as kitchen help in various restaurants.  In 1946 his home on East street would catch fire, and he would die in the fire. 

above Russell Walls, Nellie Hitchens Walls and her son-in-law Charles King

Back to Russell Walls, Russell graduated from Delmar, Maryland High School in 1927 at the Elcora theater in Delmar. He would find work in New Jersey and, in 1928, would marry Miss Lala Lee  Messick (1905 -1984) of Allen, Maryland.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Messick.

above Lala Walls

Russell and Lala worked in large hospitals aimed toward the mentally and physically handicapped.  They would reside on-site at these facilities.  They worked at the Letchworth Village in New York, The Pilgrim State Hospital on Long Island (when it was built was the largest in the world at 10,000 beds,)  and the Philadelphia State Hospital (Byberry).

Friday, September 3, 2021

smith mills church



A Large Attendance at Smith's Mills Baptist Church Sunday.

Special Correspondence of Every Evening. Laurel. April 21. The annual all-day meeting at the old Baptist Church at Smith's Mill attracted an unusually large attendance Sunday.

Continuous services from 8 a. m. until 4 p. m. with dinner in the grove and sometimes the rite of baptism by immersion in the pond at Smith's Mills, are the features of the day's programme.

The Baptist meeting, as the services are familiarly called, is an event that far outclasses Easter among the ruralists of Western Sussex. New bonnets and new gowns are ordered to be ready for the Baptist meeting, and teams are at a premium for that occasion, often being engaged of the liverymen several weeks in advance of the date. The services are ordinary, and the old church so small that less than one-fourth of those who go find a plane inside its walls, and thus the larger portion pass the time sitting in their carriages or strolling about the old graveyard. Just what there is about that event that attracts such crowds nobody seems to know, except that it is custom, and each reoccurring year find a crowd of 1,500 to 2,500 persons visiting the old Baptist church some time during the day set apart for the all-day services.

The surroundings are anything but picturesque. The building is a dilapidated frame structure about 20 by 40 feet in size, without spire or belfry, and has more the appearance of a country Schoolhouse than a church. A few scrubby trees stand near, and are dignified with the title of the grove. The old burying ground is about an acre in extent., unkempt and overgrown with sedge grass and briars. The roads that converge at the church are sandy and dusty, but yet for the past 60 years the all-day meeting has brought together its annual assemblage, and the interest does not seem to abate.

Above from The News Journal (Delaware) 21 Apr 1903

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Delmar Employees at Letchworth Village 1934


New Employees

Among the new employees who reported for duty during the month of August were Miss Grace Frantz, of Monongahela City, Pa.; Mrs. Theresa Heeney, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Mrs. Lillie M. Nelson, of Delmar. Del.; Miss Frances Fish, of Belle Vernon, Pa.; Miss Doris M. Carter, of Monongahela City, Pa.; Miss Blanche C. Robinson, of Delmar, Del.; Mr. Lacey Figgs, of Delmar, Del.; Miss Lucy Van Tassell, of Beacon, N. Y.; Mrs. Adeline McCleary, of Donora, Pa.; Mr. John Thomas Wolfe, of Brooklyn,, N. Y.; Miss Alice Weiss, of Donora, Pa.; Miss Catherine Thompson, of Webster, Pa.; Miss Ruth Sloan, of California, Pa., and Miss Annie K. Grant, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Above Village Views Newspaper - employee Social Club of Letchworth Village-  4 Sept 1934

Letchworth Village was a residential institution located in Rockland County New York.  It was built for the physically and mentally disabled of all ages.   Built in 1911 it was closed down by 1996 due to inadequate funding and improper care of the residents.  Geraldo Rivera did an expose of it in 1972.  With a 130 buildings it is popular with ghost hunters.  It had a number of Delmar people working at it at various times.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

1929 The Onley Virginia Train Wreck


On the First of December in 1929, a New York, Philadelphia, and Norfolk  Train was traveling north for a one day excursion from Norfolk to New York City.  It was a ten cars train with 448 passengers plus the train crew; Edward C. Northam Engineer,  A. W. Hutchinson fireman, C. F. Cordry Conductor, Marion Calloway, a 43-year-old brakeman from Delmar, Maryland was filling in for Earl Chapman also of Delmar.  

The train, traveling at about 45 miles per hour, reached Onley, Virginia, about midnight, where it ran across a broken track, causing the third and fourth passenger car to derail and the following six cars to ram into them.  The engine and the first two passengers’ cars passed over the rail safely.  In the accident, Nine people died, and 24 were injured.  Marion Calloway, with Railroad police sergeant J. A. Marshall, passed through the second passenger car when it derailed, rolled over, and threw Calloway out the window as the train rolled over him.  All the Doctors in the area were called to the wreck to help people.  The all steel passenger cars helped prevent more injuries than what occurred. Notice in the ad above for the excursion train  "all steel equipment" is mentioned as a selling point. 

Many Navy people were on the train, and they helped pull people out and administered first aid.  Navy Commendations were given to Karl Fletcher Chenoweth, Charles Ludlow, Charles Joseph Coie. Albert David Memark, Lester Leroy Schertill, and Charles Kemper Black.  

For several days after the accident, thousands of people came to Onley as curiosity seekers.  Rail traffic was reestablished on the parallel track within two days.  Cape Charles and Delmar sent their wreck trains (special railcars with cranes and equipment designed to work on wrecked trains) to the accident.

Funeral services for Calloway were held on the 3rd.   His Wife was Susie Alifare Hastings Calloway. Their children were;  Marion Jr (1917-2007),  Martha Virginia (1918-2001), and William C. “Billy” (1920-2010). 

Marion Harland Calloway was buried in St Stephen cemetery.  

Friday, August 27, 2021

Beach - Cleary Wedding 1909

 Delmar, Md., Dec. 11. A pretty wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Beach yesterday, when their youngest daughter, Polly Irene, became the bride of Mr. John Milton Cleary, son of Mr. James E. Cleary. The bride was attended by Miss Eva Wilson, daughter of Rev. J. E. Wilson, of Laurel, as maid of honor. Mr. Bennie . L. Culver was best man. Rev. S. N. Pilchard officiated.

From The Baltimore Sun 12 Dec 1909

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Charles Truitt Retires


From The DuPont Seaford Plant newsletter "The Threadline" Feb 10 1965

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Railroad News 1907


Two Box cars loaded, with lumber and iron, jumped the track, in the freight yard, at Delmar, on Thursday afternoon, of last week.  Traffic was blocked until Friday morning.

The changes that will be made in the railroad yards, at Delmar, have not been fully decided on, but it is known additional tracks will be built to accommodate 240 cars.  A large force of Italians has arrived there to work on the tracks.

Above from The Crisfield Times December 1907

Sunday, August 15, 2021

George Bacon To Missouri

In the 1850 Federal census Missouri had a population of 682,044 people.  Of those a little over 5,000 had been born in Maryland and moved to Missouri.  There were also over 500 who had been born in Delaware and over 5.000 who had been born in Virginia.    

One area of North Central Missouri was called “Little Dixie” due to the number of people from Virginia and other southern states that moved to it.  The number of countries that make up “Little Dixie” varies with the source being referenced but from 13 to 17 countries spread across the north central part of Missouri.  Little Dixie starts in the East at the Mississippi and the Salt River below Hannibal, Missouri and travels west from there. 

Missouri came about by way of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  Missouri was a slave state since its statehood in 1821.  When the Southerners migrated to Missouri’s Little Dixie by way of the Mississippi river, they brought their cultural, social, agricultural, architectural, political and economic practices, including slavery.  They grew hemp and tobacco and had large farms with 20 or more slaves. The area today is still well known for the antebellum houses and their political views.

One town, a large number of travelers passed through, was Hannibal, Missouri.  The bulk of Hannibal is in Marion County and a small portion is in Ralls County. It is about 100 miles north of St. Louis.  In 1830 the population was 30 and in 1850 the population was over 2,000.  In 1850 Hannibal was a bustling river town. In 1859 the Hannibal St Joseph Railroad was completed.   Many people migrating west would travel to Hannibal, then by train to St Joseph to be outfitted for the trip further west.   Hannibal had 14 tobacco factories, mills, lumberyards, etc. At that time it was the third largest city in Missouri. With strong southern sympathy in Ralls and Marion County when the American Civil War broke out the Union sent large forces to those counties to ensure young men did not leave to join the southern forces and to ensure the Mississippi stayed in Union control.  The Missouri government broke into two governments with the part that favored the south becoming a government in exile in Neosho, Missouri (located in the south west part of the state)

A number of families from Delmarva migrated to Little Dixie.  One person who went there was George Bacon.  George Bacon (1809-1874) was part of the Bacon family that lives just north of Delmar.  George was the son of Henry and Mary Parker Bacon.  Some members of the Parker family had gone to Missouri and settled on the Salt River around Shelbyville. Henry had served in the Delaware Militia during the War of 1812.  George was involved in the Methodist church at an early age and continued that involvement throughout his life.  While in his teens he was a clerk in a store in Laurel.  He remained in Laurel until 1835 when a sense of adventure struck him and he headed west on horseback to Missouri.  He investigated Palmyra, Missouri and found it his liking.  He returned to Laurel Delaware and begged money from his father to help buy $2,000 worth of merchandise to be sent to Palmyra.  $2,000 in today’s money would be about $62,000. He set up a retail store in Palmyra.  


In 1837 he married, in Palmyra, Catherine Lakenan (1817-1904).  They had children: Thomas H Bacon (1839-1908), Mary E. Bacon (1841- ), Robert L. Bacon (1844- ), and George Richardson Bacon (1846-1876).  Since George was active in the Methodist church he donated land to build Bacon’s chapel on.  He was also a trustee of the church when in 1844 the great split came to the Methodist church over slavery.  He locked the doors of the church preventing the preacher from using the church until the church was placed on the side of Methodism George favored. 

above 1859 The Hannibal Daily Messenger

In 1847 he moved to Hannibal, Missouri, home of Mark Twain.  There he had a very successful grocery business. He was active in the town.   

In 1874 George Bacon died.  He was buried in Mt. Olivet cemetery in Hannibal.  

The Bacon family of Missouri was well aware of their relatives in Laurel.  They visited some and during the American Civil War there was talk that the oldest son, Thomas, while in the Confederate Army had visited Laurel.  George’s son, Robert was also in the Confederate Army.



Friday, August 13, 2021



Special to "The Morning News." DELMAR, Feb. I8. Many Delmar citizens are agitating the question of having a public park. This question has been up before, but without results. There is no doubt but that Delmar needs such a place of recreation In the summer months, as there is a large class of people who are not able and who do not have the time to spend a part of the hot weather at the seashore, who could get amusement and pleasure from a park.

Above from The Wilmington Morning News Feb 19, 1912

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Delmar Jaycees 1961


July 26, 1961 From Dupont Seaford Plant Newsletter

Monday, August 9, 2021

Lester Gordy Receives 25-Year Pin 1972


Receives 25-year pin from "The Threadline" The Dupont Seaford Plant newslettter

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Delmar Fire department Pumper 1964


From DuPont Seaford Del. Newsletter "The Threadline" November 4 1964

DuPont employees in front of Pumper

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Frank Tappan and the Aircraft Spotter Staions


Frank Webster Tappan (1892- 1958) was born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Frank M. and Elizabeth Tappan.   He worked for the Railroad in Parksley and Cape Charles as a brakeman.

He would marry in 1913  Iva Celeste Beachboard.  He would go off to War and serve in France with the 314th Field Artillery 80th Division Battery F.  He would be awarded a Purple Heart.  He would get a divorce from her in 1922.  They would have one son Harry Truitt Tappan.  He would marry next Edna Miriam Cole (1899-2003).   They would be transferred to Delmar.  Edna and Frank had two daughters, Katherine and Miriam. 

He was one of the movers and shakers in Delmar, involved in various organizations from Masons, to Church, to The American Legion.  He would retire from the railroad and live in Delmar until 1958, when he died.  His wife, Edna, would live to be 104, and she passed away in 2003.

During World War Two he was in charge of the aircraft spotter station at Wards store. There were four aircraft Spotter stations located on the Delaware side.  One was in Delmar at the High School. One was in Columbia. One was in Gumboro.  The fourth was located at Ward's Store. It is unknown what these spotter stations looked like, but they were mostly just a tiny shack or cabin on the ground not mounted on a tower.  At one point during the War, they were manned 24-hours a day.  It took great difficulty to find enough volunteers who would operate the stations for two-hour shifts.

The spotter stations in Delmar and Gumboro could be manned 24 hours a day because there was enough population for people to walk to the station and do their shift.  Out in Columbia and wards store there was more difficulty finding the people to man these stations.  The problem centered around gasoline.  A spotter who worked in Columbia or ward Store would drive to the station and they would have to use their rationed gasoline to do so.  Since gasoline was limited just for normal household/work use to subject the gasoline used to go to and from the spotter station each day would leave them very little gas.  Eventually the government decided if a spotter used gasoline that equated to 90 miles of driving a month to go to the spotter station they would receive a supplement gas ration.  Obviously the 90 mile threshold was a high threshold to meet.  The holder of an “A” ration book would receive four gallons of gas a week (16 gallons a month) and the government figured it was for 150 miles to drive to work and 90 miles of pleasure driving. This would say they were getting 15 miles to the gallon.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

1955 Minton and Nichols Station

 1955 Telephone Directory ad

Washington Wooten




Special to The Evening Journal.


DELMAR, Del., Sept. I4 -  Washington Wooten, an employe at the locomotive shop, was stricken with apoplexy while at his work yesterday and died in a short time. He was about 50 year of age and leaves a widow and three children.


Above from the Evening Journal (Wilmington) 14 Sep 1918


Edward Washington Wootten (1872-1918) lived on Elizabeth Street, was married to Martha Elizabeth Truitt and they had children; Norman, Ethel (married William McCalister) and Earl.  Washington Wootten is buried in Saint Stephens cemetery

Friday, July 9, 2021

Using Google Maps To Search For Houses

 Using Google Maps To Search For Houses

A tool to use in researching houses in your town is Google Maps.  It does not go back in time very far, but is still useful. In Delmar, Houses are destroyed by fire or torn down at the rate of about 3 to 5 percent a year, so perhaps if you did not take a photo of the family home before it was destroyed you may have one more chance. 

You may have seen the Google Vehicle in Delmar going up and down streets taking their photographs.  The most current photo is the one you see in Google streetscapes.  However for Delmar the previous photographs are archived and go back to 2008. 

To use this tool go to Google Maps,   in the search block type in “1 East State Street Delmar Delaware”, this will bring a pop up window which will include a streetscape photograph and in the background will be a map of Delmar.  In the lower right corner will be an icon of an orange man that Google calls Pegman.  Drag Pegman to the location on the map that you want to look at.  For demonstration purposes drag him to the Delmar Police department.  This will show a current photograph of the Delmar Police Department. You can move around the police department and the streets on that block by following the arrows on the screen.  In the upper left hand corner of the photo will be a popup menu.  On that menu is an icon of a clock.  Click on this clock. Another popup video will appear with a timeline going back to 2008. Drag the timeline back to 2008.  Click on the plus sign to enlarge the video and the same location you had been looking at will become the image of what was there in 2008.  In this case it happens to be the “old” town hall. 

After you have maneuver around town and found the image you want you can use the Snipping tool found in the Windows Accessories package and outline the image and save it to your computer.

Because of cookies and other computer crap that makes each computer a little different you may have to play with these instructions on your computer to get them to work.