Friday, March 24, 2017



Blueskin , the pirate, a native seafaring Lewes resident, known to be Levi West, the son of
Hiram West, a grist mill owner in Lewestowne around 1750. As a boy Levi West had live here, knew the neighborhood well, was the 'favorite' of his step father, Eleaser White. His half brother, Hiram White, who still lived here, was known to be 'a stupid fellow'. So called 'Blueskin' because of gunpowder marks on his face, he was unknown as a pirate to the local seacoast village. The distorted bluish scar across his right cheek and neck , as large as a man's hand, had been there since a pistol explosion so close to him that the gun powder penetrated under his skin and could not be removed. He told of a Spanish Captain who was behind the pistol . Blueskin, describing the incident, said with a well satisfied air, “better for that Spaniard if he had fired into his own head that morning”.

Returning home as Levi West, he visited Harim, and stole from his less romantic brother, his sweetheart, Sally Martin. Laterwhen Sally returned to Lewes, she was turned away.

He was a suspected confederate of the notorious Blackbeard and said to be a rapacious buccaneer with a gory career along the mid Atlantic coast, especially the Delaware Indian River region.

As Blueskin 'the pirate', on a lonely strip of seacoast near Lewestowne on the tip of Cape Henlopen , he sat upon a metal bound chest full and heavy with dubloons, jewels, gold and silver, stolen from merchant ships along the Virginia and Carolina coast, watching two of his crew digging the sand. His commands to hurry were heard as he stood to show the brace of villainous weapons strapped to his belt. Soon the hole was deep and he ordered the chest be lowered and covered until there was no sign of being disturbed. Again and again Blueskin paced a distance to a certain tree, making careful note. As the crewmen sat with their backs toward Blueskin , with a ferocious moment of activity, the nonchalant pirate chief, turned, wiped the blade of his cutlass and replaced it again at his side. The two lay still upon the sand. Dead men tell no tales.

Then, unexpectedly, as Blueskin was bent down, to examine the surface under which the chest was buried, his back to the forest, a slight movement behind him, he found himself blinded and imprisoned in a sack of heavy cloth that had been tossed aside where the chest had been resting on the sand, his hands and feet were tied and weapons thrown aside. And there stood Hiram, dull and stupid Hiram, who had followed his half brother, Levi, and hid in the nearby forest, reaped his vengeance for the cruelty to Sally Martin.

Hiram brought the helpless pirate chief , bound, gagged, before the village magistrate and Lieutenant Robert Maynard, Master of the sloop of war Scorpion that had been in Lewes Harbor watching for pirates, was identified , not as Levi West, but as Blueskin the Pirate. Placed aboard the Scorpion and taken to England to stand trial. While awaiting trial at Newgate Prison, Blueskin, removed his stockings and hung himself with them in his cell.


Monday, March 20, 2017





100 Years:
March 20, 1917: For Sale : Beautiful Desirable Country Home, four miles from Lewes, one mile from two rail stations, twenty acres of fine land, good fruit trees, improved with ten room cement block house. Price $3000. W. E, Veasey , Havre de Grace, Maryland

The mother of John Rowland, Deleware Bay & River Pilot, Mrs. Susan Rowland, was seriously burned his morning as a can of stove polish exploded in her kitchen. She is an aged woman and lives alone.

80 Years:
March 20, 1937: The U. S. District Engineer of Philadelphia. Lt/ Col. John H. C. Lee, reports that dredging of the Broadkill River to the inland waterway between Rehoboth Bay and Delaware Bay, is 60% complete.

70 Years:
March 19, 1947: President of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Alton Brittingham, has appointed a committee to actively promote Lewes on Delaware Bay, one mile from Cape Henlopen, to attract tourist and vacation attraction.

RED STAR BUS LINE; Lewes to Rehoboth Beach schedule – 9:46 am; 1:48 pm; 6:06 pm.
To Salisbury, Maryland – 8:46 am; 11:46 am; 1:48 pm; 6:06 pm. 8L04 pm.

60 Years:
March 20, 1957: Mrs Helen Bryan of Lewes, received recognition from Lammot duPont , Delaware Red Cross, for her service in the Salk Polio Vaccine clinic.

Elder Lewes natives were sadden to here that Capt. Eugene T. Osborn, of Long Island, retired U.S. Coast Guard, had passed. He was commandant of the 6th District at Lewes in the 1920's.

50 Years:
March 20, 1967:
Clearwater, Florida: Chris Short won 20 games for the Phillies last year, is pitching in the Grapefruit League.

Lewes: Two Coast Guardsmen, Boatswain's Mate First Class, Robert Bullock and Fireman Apprentice, Joseph Lisco, spend two weeks at a stretch on the Harbor of Refuge Light Station off Cape Henlopen. They both say they like the duty . Life in the round, their nearest company are the ships that pass in the night. .

40 Years:
March 20, 1977 Wanted: Sewing machine mechanic, with experience on safety switch, overlock machine and single needle or blind stitch machine. Dressco, Inc., Lewes.

30 Years:
March 20, 1987:
Two eastern Sussex county environmental organizations have asked assistance of the Chancery Court to bar development of a 259 lot community near Cape Henlopen State Park. “Bays Are Yours” and “Cape Association for Protection of Environment” charge that the Glade's Community will damage wetlands, vital to fish, shellfish, wildlife and recreation. This development is to be situated on the west side of the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal, opposite Henlopen Acres.

Born to Carrie and Samuel Warrington on March 18th, a daughter, in the Beebe Hospital.

20 Years:
March 20, 1997:
Lewes, Delaware – Katherine Harker, of Lewes was searching for four-leaf clover seed and somehow got connected to a “four leaf clover” grower in St. Petersburg, Florida. Things get a bit sketchy here, but in 1952 there was a story about this in the Wilmington Morning News by Nancy Wingate. The 4-Leaf clover company had changes ownership but Harker found them and talked to the owners wife, 'a delightful lady” and found there are no four leaft clover seed, the 'clover Creations' propagate from existing plants. Katherine has decided to make do with the the leaf clovers and will be able to get seed for Trifolim Repens L, aka, white clover.

Abstract of Wilmington, Delaware newspaper articles, dated March 20, 1997 thru 1917.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


JANUARY 8 1941


85 years of life in the same town is the cherished record of James Beebe, father of the Beebe Boys, now doctors at the hospital that holds their name.

Born in Lewes, January 8, 1856, in a small frame house on Ship Carpenter Street, son of James Collins Beebe, descendents of an old Delaware family. His grandfather, Richard Beebe, a Delaware Bay & River pilot, served as a soldier in the War of 1812. His great grandfather, Ichabod, was a prisoner of war of the British during the American Revolution, and after an escape , became a pilot who was lost at sea during a gale off Cape Henlopen.

Mr. Beebe was a brick layer, owned a sand block plant on Chestnut Street in Lewes and had a hand in the building of the early Beebe Hospital structure on South Street in Lewes. In 1901 until 1921 he had the ice cream store at Rehoboth Methodist Camp Meeting. On the site where the hospital now stands in Lewes, he had a grocery and confectionery store.

During the administration of President Grover Cleveland, he and his brother, Clarence, operated the Lewes Post Office, he being assistant postmaster for five years. After this he turned to real estate activities, helped build several housing developments and was owner proprietor of the Ocean House, a hotel, facing the Delaware Breakwater.

Beside his two doctor sons he has two daughters, Mrs Herbert Orton, mother of pilot Herbert Orton, and, Miss Anna Beebe, teacher at Lewes Special School.

Wilmington News Journal , Wednesday , January 8, 1941, By Virginia F. Cullen.



Mayor Carpenter, going into his second year as mayor of Lewes, gave the city annual report at the Lewes Rotary Club dinner in the Caesar Rodney Hotel on January 13, 1941.

He said that the town had experienced an unexpected growth the past year in which Lewes Beach led other sections with 38 new homes, one store, four apartments, and twenty tourist cabins.
Pilot Town Road has 11 new homes and deVries Circle added six homes, making a total of 50 new structures, 22 built in 1939 and 28 in 1940.

The town finances are stable, the town having a bonded dept of $64,000 at 3-1/4 %, due April 1st, 1967, and $20,000 at 6% due 1941. The mayor is seeking a lower interest rate on he dept through the State Legislature.

Street improvements include re-surfacing of 2000 yards of stone roads and 8,550 yards of dirt
roads. There have been placed $260 worth of street markers. This years plans are to construct a new road through the marsh to the beach. A new road roller was purchase for $250 at a sheriffs sale, a 1-1/2 ton truck and police car were purchased.

He mention that both the beach and town are supplied with lights and adequate sewer service, and that the city owned electric plant holds a value of between $500.000 and $700,000.

Wednesday, January 15, 1941 , Wilmington Morning News, 1941

Friday, March 17, 2017





Quakertown, one of the oldest settlements of colonial America is on the western edge of the town of Lewes, Sussex County, On The Delaware. It was founded by fifteen Quaker families of the Society of Friends, as early as 1725, thought to be before Lewestowne was laid out as a village. There are records of elections, court actions, etc., and there stood a pillory and a whipping post.

Quakertown took in the area what is known now as Westcoats Corners as well as the Quakertown of today. The road through the settlement was named ' Shankland's Lane' , named after Rhodes Shankland who had surveyed the settlements of the area, as well as having 'laid out' the town of Lewes., and one of the oldest families of colonial Lewes. There is one house, a wood frame structure, built by Rhodes Shankland, still being occupied. It is dated back to 1767 and the Marshall Coverdale family, he a marine engineer, his wife and three daughters, live there.
Within the last few years , as the area has began to grow again, families living in Quakertown and surrounding area, have taken rein to revive it as a community. Delving into old records they have learned of ancient “Quakertowne” . These families have gathered at the home of James T. Lank, a former magistrate of Lewes, and elected him mayor and call his home 'Town Hall”. Secretary & Treasurer has been handed to Mrs. Helen Short Quillen, wife of Coast Guard Surfman, John Quillen.
Everything is entirely of an unofficial procedure, but the community expects to get a lot of pleasure and fun out of their own little individual town.
Kenneth Givens, resident, whose wife is the Mayors daughter, Dorothy, and owner and operator of the Sequoia Inn there in the village, has been named 'Historian'.
After 1791, after the county seat was moved to Georgetown, sixteen miles west, Quqakertown was called Prettymanville, for the family of Gideon Prettyman. , large land owner, whose home was built on the site of the whipping post and court yard. Early on, colonial times, there is the name of Shanklandville in this area, near by the Methodist Church , Ebenezaer., the grave yard still there, stones and all.
Who lives there now; Rev. Howard Davis, retired minster, George Marsh, carpenter, William 'Zip' Rice, service station operator, Colin McNichol, plant nursery and florist, Frank Tharp, mechanic, Baily Maull, farmer, Alton Brittingham, Lewes official, John Quillen, Coast Guard Lighthouse Keeper, Ken Givens, surveyor, Marshall Coverdale and Lank.

Abstract of Tuesday, January 14, 1941, Wilmington New Journal news article by Virginia F. Cullen.

Thursday, March 16, 2017



Thursday , March 17th 1927, afternoon, in Lewes, the new Natalie Townsend Shaw addition to the Beebe Hospital , recently completed was dedicated with an elaborate program of speakers from around the surrounding area. .

The addition donated by Benjamin F. and Helen F. Shaw in memory of their deceased daughter,
Natalie Townsend Shaw, was built at a cost of $40.000. It is two floors, with a basement, 70 foot long and 30 foot wide, which doubled the capacity of the hospital to 60 beds.

The dedicatory ceremonies began with Rev. Milton S. Andrews, pastor of the Lewes Methodist Episcopal Church delivering the invocation, followed by Rev. Disston W. Jacobs of Milford who gave the dedication address, representing Mr. and Mrs. Shaw. Other speakers were Dr. P. Brooke Bland, professor of obstetrics, Jefferson Medical College and the consulting staff, Dr. Ross V. Patterson, dean of Jefferson Medical College, Wilmington Mayor George W. K. Forrest and the Rev. Mr. Leishman of Lewes Presbyterian Church who gave the benediction.

The Beebe Hospital had been dedicated in 1916 by brothers, R. C. Beebe and Dr. James Beebe, and consisted of two rooms and an operating room. During the World War I, activities came to a virtual halt for the hospital since Dr. James Beebe was serving in France with Pennsylvania Base Hospital #10.

In 1919, after the war, it was decided to enlarge the hospital to accommodate ten patients which was done through the efforts of William R. Messick of Lewes and Benjamin Shaw. $25,000 was spent on improvements, the wood frame section was done away with and a fire proof concrete block structure was erected by duPont Engineering Company, completed in 1921. The hospital was well patronized.

In 1921 a nurse's home was built across the street together with a nurse training school for 12 students, 5 graduate instructors and the superintendent.

The latest addition is modern construction with modern equipment, contracted for by Ralph
Poynter of Rehoboth, the architect being Clarence Hope.

A memorial tablet is located in the hall of the addition to the daughter of the Shaws' who died at age 21 several years ago.

Hospital trustees are Benjamin F Shaw, W. Miller Shaw, Townsend W. Miller, Dr. James Beebe and Dr. R. C. Beebe. Members of a newly organized advisory board, to keep he hospital in close touch with the community are, Joseph Marshall, Thomas Ingram, John Thompson, C. C. Marshall and Harry Lyons.

Wilmington News Journal , Wednesday, March 16, 1927.




Farmington, first known as Flatiron, is a town in Misspillion Hundred that came about in 1855 with the railroad. It stood in the neighborhood of centuries old historic tracts where the early settlers established homesteads as early as 1680. In 1780 the Methodist held the first annual conference in the United States here.

In this vicinity as built a church of the Methodist Protestants after the split from the Methodist Episcopal church.

Right after the railroad station of Flatiron was set on the Delaware Railway, streets were laid out, and within three years they had a post office with postmaster Shadrack D. Taylor and the name was changed to Farminton.

Canneries and evaporating plants helped the town to boom. One of the canneries had a seasons capacity of over 100,000 baskets of peaches put into cans and the evaporation plants averaged 1800 baskets a season.

J. B. Simmons' saw mill produced 7000 board feet of lumber each day in 1877.
These industries gave work to several hundred men.

It was in 1780 when John Wesley met at the homestead of Thomas White, a judge of Kent County Court of Common Pleas, for the first Unites State Methodist Conference. On this property was built Whites Chapel in 1780 which held the first day school and Sunday school in Misspillion Hundred. Bethel Methodist Protestant Church, one of the first of this denomination in America was built in here 1871.

A Presbyterian Church of Farmington was erected in 1840 on the W. H. Powell farm and later moved into the town.

In 1863 a select school was established by Rev. J. M. Williams, president of Wesley College of Wilmington. In 1937 there were two buildings of this school still occupied by The Irish American Hall and The German American Hall, at Sixth & French Streets.

The Farmington Methodist Episcopal Church, known as Salem Church, was built a mile out of town in 1818 and opened a day school there. It was replaced in town in 1873.

Wilmington Morning News, Thursday, January 9, 1936 Looking Around Delaware