Monday, April 26, 2021

1984 Town Manager


Daily Times 12 June 1984

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Delmar Masonic Lodge


Delmar Lodge 201 is the third oldest lodge in Wicomico County. On December 27, 1899, a local group met in a building on Chestnut Street, Delmar, then occupied by a public school and it was decided that it would be good for the community to have a Masonic Lodge in the town. The new lodge was instituted early in 1900 with Harry D Renninger installed as the first Worshipful Master.

On July 2, 1901, a special communication of Delmar Lodge 201 was held for the purpose of laying the cornerstone for the new Masonic Temple which was constructed on a lot located on Railroad Ave. between State St and East St. In passing, it should be noted that the reason for the great height of the old Masonic Temple, now known as the Moose Hall, was so that the first floor could be used as an Opera House. The lodge met in this building until 1925, at which time it was evident that a' larger and more elaborate building was needed. The second and present Masonic Temple is located on State St. opposite the Methodist Church.

The Grand Lodge of Maryland has made two official visits here and the lodge has been fortunate in having two Past Masters serve as Grand Lodge Officers, namely J William Gordy as Grand Sword Bearer and Robert J. Banks Grand Inspector.

Hobart Webster of Hebron, Md. is presently Grand Inspector for Delmar Lodge and Robert W. Collins is the Present Worshipful Master. The lodge has one. distinction in the state. Mr. Albert B. Hearn was its Secretary for thirty-five years. He is the oldest in point of service of any secretary in the state.

Finally, Masonry has had an out standing role in the community history through the years.

Above from the Salisbury Times 4 July 1976


Saturday, April 17, 2021

S. E. Whayland, Druggist

 Sewell Hanson Whayland (1886-1962) was the son of James Marion Whayland and Williamanna Willie Lavina Bounds.  He was born in Wicomico County outside of Delmar.  He had four brother; William, Paul, Mayhew and Lewis, and one sister, Violena (Lena).  About 1904 he went to New Jersey where he attended the New Jersey College of Pharmacy.  In 1907 he took a position as a druggist with J. G. Bragdon and Company in Middletown, Delaware.  He would work there until 1911 when he returned to Delmar to own his Drugstore.

In 1911, on Easter Sunday, Dr Whayland married Daisey Elizabeth Culver (1882-1951).  Daisey was 29 and Sewell was 25-years old.

In 1912 J. J. Culver remodeled a house at 107 East  Jewell Street and the Whaylands moved in.  Daisey and Sewell would eventually buy the house. John Jasper Culver was Daisey’s father and Salley Hearn was her mother. J. J. Culver worked on the railroad.

above 107 E Jewell

Dr Whayland’s brothers were active in Delmar having acquired the old hotel and having several businesses in it including the meat market and grocery store they were known for.

above 1931 ad in Salisbury Times.

Dr Whayland started his drugstore at a time when even small towns like Delmar would have several drugstores.  If you were not happy with the local drugstore Sears, Roebuck and company also sold a selection of patent medicine in their catalog. Druggist  had to be trusted not to talk about their customer prescriptions and purchases or they did not last long in a town.  Dr Whayland was in business for forty years so you know he was trusted.   

Drugstores were like little general stores they sold a lot of non-drug related goods ranging from cosmetics, tobacco, magazines, postcards to cheap watches and jewelry.  Dr Whayland went heavy into selling radios of the day.

above 1931 ad

 The medicine they sold was not just for humans but also included selections for farm animals. Generally the medicine they sold could be broken down into three types; generic nonproprietary remedies, compound preparations prescribed by a physician, and proprietary over-the-counter remedies often referred to as patent medicine.  The first group would like paregoric and castor oil that were kept in bulk and dispensed in quantities needed. Interestingly there are no medicine bottles around with his name imprinted on the bottle.  Perhaps he used plain bottles with a label attached to them.  The second group consisted of more complicated prescriptions which may contain narcotics.  They were usually prepared based on formulary books, frequently made by the druggist. 

The last class was the pre-packaged patent medicines. 

In the time Dr Whayland operated his drugstore he frequently made his own pills.  The druggist would grind the ingredients down in his mortar and wet it with a little liquid to make a paste, roll it into a long tube, place the tube on a pill tile (has marks indicating thickness of pills) and cut the tube into pills.

a pill tile and knife

The connection of Drugstores having a soda fountain came about when Druggist while trying to cover the bitter taste of medicine they made would make simple syrups using fruit juices and add to the medicine. When the Liquid Carbonic Company came out with their equipment to make carbonated water the drugstores starting installing soda fountains.  The Carbonated water covered the taste of the medicine. 

After 40 years he would sell his drugstore in 1951 to C. Burns Marvil.  His wife would pass away that year. 

Dr Whayland acquired Real Estate.  One of the larger pieces of land he brought was Whayland’s Addition that ran between 9th and 10th street.  Today you can see his name still mentioned on public notices of real estate being sold or some legal action taking place.

 Dr Whayland would die in 1962. 


Friday, April 16, 2021

Members of the Delmar Maryland Class Play in 1947


The Dogwood is in bloom


In April of the 1950s and 1960s it was almost mandatory that on the Sunday family drive you drove down Dogwood Drive in Salisbury, Maryland.  Each property owner had from two to five dogwood trees planted and in bloom.  It was a great display.  Today that is long gone - it is still a nice neighborhood but there are only a few Dogwoods left. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Lt Col Samuel Wesley Freeny

Memorial at St Marks Church in Ralph, Delaware Samuel Wesley Freeny/Freeney was the son of Samuel Wesley Freeney (1860 - 1899) and Martha Anne Ralph (1859 - 1933). He was born and raised in Wicomico County, Maryland, and received his early education there. He would later attend and graduate St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin. The 1900 US Census shows the family as living in Delmar, Wicomico County, Maryland. Samuel's mother was a widow at this point. The following family members were living in the home at this time: Head Martha A Freeny F 41 Delaware Son Barton R Freeny M 17 Maryland Son R Lee Freeny M 14 Maryland Dau Bessie E Freeny F 10 Maryland Son Samuel W Freeny M 4 Maryland Sam was the husband of Bertha S. Obery who he married in Maryland, and was the father of a son, Samuel W. Freeny, Jr, (he would actually have been the third). Sam was commissioned an Officer of Marines effective 4/19/1917. His first assignment after he completed his officer training at Quantico, Virginia, was with the 93rd Company, 7th Marine Regiment, Deer Point, Guantanamo, Cuba. He had a distinguished career serving both stateside postings as well as overseas posts in the Haiti, back to Cuba, Philippines and China. He steadily rose in rank and was a Lieutenant Colonel by 1941 stationed in China. In November, 1941, orders were given for the 4th Marine Regiment to depart from Shanghai, China, where they had been operating for the previous 15 years. This departure was due to the growing Japanese military influence in the area and the fact that the marines were grossly outnumbered. The Regiment, consisting of two small battalions, a headquarters unit and the regimental band, left China on the 27th and 28th and sailed to the Philippines. LtCol Freeny was the Executive Officer of the regiment and was assigned to the Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines (Commander was LtCol Curtis T. Beecher) and they were sent to the Marine Barracks, Olongapo Navy Yard, Philippines. At approximately 0300 hours on the morning of 12/8/1941, word was received of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Reveille was sounded and LtCol Freeny addressed the men of his unit while still in his nightshirt, about the attack and that the United States was at war with the Empire of Japan. On 12/14/1941, Japanese bombers attacked the Olongapo/Subic Bay area. Ten days later, the order was given to burn the Subic Bay Navy Base and withdraw. Olongapo was set aflame in anticipation of Japanese troop arrival. The USS NEW YORK was scuttled in Subic Bay to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. When the American forces made a last-ditch stand on the Bataan peninsula, the Naval Station was abandoned and most of its facilities were burned before the Japanese arrived. The 11,000 defenders fought bravely for 6 months with their final battle being conducted at Corregidor when they finally surrendered to the Japanese forces. LtCol Freeny had been wounded on 4/29/1942. During the battle at Corregidor, LtCol Freeny organized a platoon of men he gathered from the Malinta Tunnel, to reinforce the beleaguered 1st Battalion. One of the U.S. Army enlisted men he acquired complained, "I've never fired a rifle before. I'm in the finance department!" Freeny replied, "You just go out and draw their fire and the Marines will pick them off." LtCol Freeny was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, on 5/6/1942. After two years of imprisonment in the Philippines, the decision was made to move the POW's to Japan where they would basically be used as slave labor. The Oryoku Maru was a Japanese passenger cargo ship which was commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II as a troop transport and prisoner of war transport ship. Japanese POW transport ships are often referred to as "hell ships", due to their horrendous living conditions and the many deaths that occurred on board. The Oryoku Maru left Manila on 12/13/1944, with 1,620 prisoners-of-war, mostly American, packed in the holds, and 1,900 Japanese civilians and military personnel in the cabins. As the ship neared the naval base at Olongapo in Subic Bay, US Navy planes from the USS HORNET attacked the unmarked ship damaging it. The Japanese civilians and troops were immediately evacuated back to shore. After two days, the Japanese told the POW's they had to take off their shoes and hats and swim to shore. Soon thereafter, American planes again attacked the ship, causing it to sink on 12/15/1944. At the time of the attack, about 100 prisoners had already died from suffocation or dehydration during the two nights at sea. Nearly 200 others were killed in the bombing or shot in the water as they tried to escape. The survivors of the sinking were held for several days in an open tennis court at Olongapo Naval Base. While there, the prisoners were afforded no sanitary conditions whatsoever. Prisoners experienced severe mistreatment, and several deaths occurred. The remaining prisoners were later transported by train to San Fernando, La Union. About 1,000 of the survivors were loaded on another Japanese ship, the Enoura Maru, while the rest boarded the smaller Brazil Maru. Both ships reached Takao (Kaohsiung) harbor in Taiwan on New Year's Day, where the smaller group of prisoners was transferred from Brazil Maru to Enoura Maru, and 37 British and Dutch were taken ashore. However, on January 9, the Enoura Maru was bombed and disabled while in harbor, killing about 350 men. The survivors were put aboard the Brazil Maru which arrived in Moji, Japan, on 1/29/1945. Only 550 of the 900+ who sailed from Taiwan were still alive. 161 more men died in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the coming months leaving only 403 survivors of the original 1620 to be liberated from camps in Kyushu, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan in August and September 1945. However, LtCol Freeny was not among them. On 12/21/1944, while still housed in the POW camp at the Olongapo Naval Base, Col. Beecher and the POW doctor's, were ordered by the Japanese to select the 15 most ill prisoners for transport to Manila for medical care. One of those selected was Col. Beecher's XO, LtCol Freeny. He was very weak and was suffering from partial paralysis by this time and was the only Marine selected to go. The men were loaded up on a truck at 1900 hours on the 23rd and driven about two miles away from the camp to an old cemetery. A large pit had been dug and the men were forced to kneel at the edge of the pit and each one was bayoneted and/or beheaded and thrown into the pit. After the war the bodies were recovered and the families of those who could be identified were notified. LtCol Freeny's wife Bertha, requested that his remains be returned to the United States for burial at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, were he now lies next to her (she died in 1980).

Saturday, April 10, 2021

WSAL and Kid Smith


WSAL was the second radio station Salisbury had.  The first was WSMD which went out of business in the early 1930s. It was followed by WSAL that operated on 1200 KC with 250 watts of power.

It was on WSAL in 1939 that Delmar Mayor L. T. Lockerman gave his history of Delmar on the segment called “Know Your Town”. It was transcribed to the Bi-State Weekly February 10, 1939 edition and is used to this day as a reference on Delmar. Joe Long at one time emailed me saying his self and other baseball players would stop by the station and talk on air about the games they played. Willis Conover worked at WSAL in 1939 as a part-time radio announcer. He was attending the State Teacher's College at Salisbury, Md at the time. Willis Conover was one of the most famous American Jazz announcers in the world but was virtually unknown in America. He did a Jazz show on Voice of America Radio for forty years, and was known to millions of people around the world but since Voice of America was forbidden to broadcast in the U.S., it was only the rest of the world who knew him. WSAL, Salisbury, Md. Broadcast License of licensee belonging to Frank M. Sterns was revoked, effective March 31, 1940.

WSAL had a number of live entertainers on their station, some paid, some were not.  Kid Smith was a regular in the 1938 to 1940 time period.  Dressed as a hobo clown he, with his two daughters, were billed as "Kid Smith and the Smith Sisters."  The below advertisement is of them

Yes it was the type of act that makes today’s young adults cringe with the fear that their great grandfathers thought this type of act was funny.

Kid Smith was Walter Barney Smith (1897-1977).  The “Kid” part of his name came from when he use to box as a career as a lightweight but gave it up in 1924. He was married in 1917 to Bertie Elmira Harris (1896-1976) and they had three daughters; Thelma Vada Smith (1918-1992), Dorothy Gay Smith (1920-1974), and Ola Lorene Smith (1927-2014).

  above Walter Smith

He and his family were in several different musical groups that went by various names.  They played opening acts at movie theaters before the talking picture show came on.

above March 1939 ad 

They played a benefits and shows.  They worked medicine shows, tent shows, car lot openings etc.  They lived in Virginia and mostly they played in the Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina area.

above 1939 article from Star Democrat - Easton Md. 

According to Walter Smith in 1939 he had a seven-year old Patsy Cline in the act.

In the 1940s his daughters started marrying and doing the act less often.  In 1947 he remarried.  He married Tona Lee who was brought up in tents shows and who had a contortionist act. 

In 1977 Kid Smith died and is buried in Georgia.

There is a good article on Walter Smith in the JEMF Quarterly Spring 1973 publication.  It came be found on internet archives.  The John Edward Memorial Foundation (JEMF) promoted the study of twentieth-century American Folk music.  

Friday, April 9, 2021

1922 Delmar School


1922 Delmar School

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021



South of Delmar on Old Rt13 before you get to Foskey Lane are five houses that sit apart from the other houses.  Well, four older homes and one of more recent age and they look like they may have formed a hamlet of their own and maybe had a name like Hearnsville or something.   

The homes sit on a triangle of land and the homes appear to have been built when George and Edith Gordy had the land in 1910.  George and Edith Gordy were foreclosed on and Richard Herman Hodgson, a real estate person in Salisbury, acquired the land.

 Richard H Hodgson had a survey done of the land in 1927. 

In 1935 he sold the land to William H Hearn and his wife Alice A Taylor Hearn.  The land has continued to stay in the hands of the Hearn family until the last 15 years when some of the lots were sold outside of the family. 

Two of the lots were owned by William Howard Hearn, a son of William H Hearn.  You may remember “Mr Bill” was the stationary engineer and custodian at Delmar Elementary School for over 30 years – retiring in 1977

The land was resurvey again in 2006

Saturday, April 3, 2021

2015 Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt


Some participants of the 2015 Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt in Delmar

The Wanda Adkins Memorial Hall


Out at 9095 Bi-State Blvd is the Union Hall for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1307.  The building is on 5 acres of land and was built about 1982.  The land was sold multiple times over the years before being sold to Local 1307.  It originally was a larger property owned by the Leonard family (Of Leonard Mill Pond).    

Local 1307 core membership comes from the Utility Companies on Delmarva such as Choptank Electric, Delmarva Power, A&N Electric cooperative, and NRG Energy.  It seems to have over a thousand members. 

Wanda M. Adkins was president of the Local when she passed away in 2007.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

America sells 678,443 horses to Europe

 America sells 678,443 horses to Europe

The United States shipped 678,443 horses and mules, valued at $131,914,000 to Europe for the allied armies in the last year and a half, according to export figures assembled today in the bureau of foreign and domestic commerce. During the whole of 1913, only a few more than 30,000 horses and mules went to Europe from the United States, but three months after hostilities began they were going at the rate of 30,000 a month. The steady flow reached its height last October, when 60,000 were shipped.


Bismark Daily Tribune Mar 18  1916

2012 Maryland Record


Dan Thomas of Delmar and his 2012 record Sheepshead Fish  From Maryland DNR 

The Scrapple Trail

 The Middletown Transcript has an article on scrapple and it mentions Delmar's Bunky Luffman.

To read it follow this link