Wednesday, December 13, 2017



There were only four property owners of property on Poplar Islands in 1877 through the
1880's. They were Captain Howeth, H. N. Sherwood, Captain D. Jones and the
Carroll estate on Cobblers Nexk. Until the 1920's fifteen families made their home there.

Valliant's Store with the post office was located on the smallest island. The larger island
had the school house which also served as the church, a saw mill, graveyard, a road to
at least a half dozen farms. Coaches Island, a separate island, also had several families.

The poplar Island farmers grew tomatoes, tobacco, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn and wheat.
The wheat was threshed with a steam engine powered thresher which now is said to lie about
one eighth mile off shore under water. They used oxen and horses to do the pulling of other
equipment. The people rode horses or walked as there were no carriages. Neither did they
have electricity.

Former Poplar resident Ida Richardson, now living in Tilghman, at age 87 says the church was always almost full but no preacher lived on the island. In the same building she
remembered going to school to Joseph Valiant,”a right good teacher” last ever on the

Sail canoes were the main vessel to each the mainland and oyster's were a good harvest from
the “Poplar Pot”, the natural harbor of the islands chain. Fish, especially rock fish were

Nannie Howeth,87 years old, also former resident, also lived in Tilghman, around the corner
from Ida Nannie was widow of Harvey Howeth, died at age 88. They married 7 June 1916,
lived on Poplar for four years until the brothers, Jim an Charles, sold the farms. This is the
farm the burial plot was on “ever to remain undisturbed according the deed, not accounting
for the effect of the Chesapeake.

Poplar Island was left to the moonshiners. In 1929 Federal Revenuers raided it, arrested
five, seized their yacht, and smashed the thousand gallon still.

Source: Eugene Meyer's “Maryland, Lost & Found”. 1986. Abstract December 13, 2017


Saturday, December 9, 2017


TEXAS 1835


December 9, 1835 the newly created Texan Army, under the leadership of Benjamin Rush
Milam, takes possession of the city of San Antonio in the war for independence from

Benjamin Rush Milam was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, 1788, and became a citizen soldier
of newly independent Mexico and was one of many American's who immigrated to the
Mexican State of Mexico. These immigrants found that the Mexican Government both welcomed and feared a growing number of Americans and they were treated with
uneven fairness.

In 1835 Santa Ana had overthrown the Mexican Republic and established himself the
Mexican dictator, Milam, renounced his Mexican citizenship and joined the rag-tag
army of the new formed Republic of Texas.

After the Texas Army had captured Goliad, Milam was sent into the southwest on a mission
of reconnaissance and was part of the planned attack of San Antonio only to learn that the generals had postponed the attack for the winter. Knowing that Santa Ana's troops were
already on their way to Texas to suppress the rebellion, Milam knew such a hesitation
would end the revolution, he made a impassioned 'call' for volunteers to follow “Ole Ben
Milam into San Antonio”.

Three hundred men did volunteer and made attack on San Antioio at dawn, December 5th
and by the 7th the Mexican 's defending force were badly beaten and surrendered the city.

Benjamin Rush Milam was not there to witness the results of his leadership. He was killed
instantly by a snipers bullet on December 7th. If Milam had survived he might have well
been among the doomed defenders of the Alamo, wiped out by Santa Ana's troops in March.

Source: A&E Networks, History This Day 9 December 2017.

Abstract December 9, 2017 Harrison H.   

Thursday, December 7, 2017



Out trust, rusty, bicycle, which we have not used for a long while, there it is in the shed house,
yes, with two flat tires. Why?

The valve stem. No 'air stops' are are impervious when there is pressure difference outside of
the inside.

Inner tubes are very porous for bikes, cheaper, nonbutyl, rubber, tubes tend to leak.

Besides this, there is little air in the bicycle tire, maybe a pint at 60 psi, where auto tires
have 5 pounds at 35 psi..

Bike tires require twice the psi and the cold temperature brings out Boyle's Law, which
postulates that for a body of air at a constant temperature, the volume is inversely
proportional to the pressure.

A bicycle wheel has more structural hazards. The spokes, thirty six of them, all are pinholes.

A flat bicycle tire gets far more attention that a auto tire, you know, like just when you want
to use the bike.

The bicycle industry has tried other materials, like plastic, which is less porous, but gives a
stiff, shock laden ride.

Porous rubber bicycle tires are likely to be with us for a long, long time. Grin and bare it.

 Source: David Feldman's Mysteries of Everyday Life, 1987. Abstract: Harrison H, December 7, 2017.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017




Philip Freneau, the so called poet of the revolution, was also a minister, a teacher and a
mariner. Early in 1780, during the month of May, he was aboard the privateer “Aurora” under
command of Captain John Laboyteaux, out of Philadelphia, at the enterance of the Delaware

Here they met with a British frigate, one of the fleet of British warships led by the 44 gun
Roebuck which prowled the waters near Lewes. The newly formed Continental Navy had no
match for the Reobuck and other English warships. The best Americans could do were two
“galleys”. a barge like vessel with a single sail and oars, which were effective in the low water
but no match against the heavy armed British fleet.

The British frigate, with a 12 pound shot, took the Aurora from the rightside, smashing it to
atoms. The Aurora crew was sent to a New York prison ship, crowded and virmin filled,
where Freneau was held for six weeks. He wrote two accounts “Some Account of the
Capture of the Aurora” and “The Prison Ship”. After his freedom was granted he continued to
write of the Continental victories of John Paul Jones and the defeat of General Cornwallis at

Source: Michael Morgan's Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast Press, November 29, 2017.  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

1920 S-5 Submarine disaster at Cape Henlopen.


In the fall of 1920 a U. S. Navy S-5 submarine meet with a disaster off Cape Henlopen while on a
4 hour, full power, practice run, calling for a “crash dive” at the end. During the dive, an intake
valve failed and the S-5 sank with the bow down and full of water. After the sinking there was a 35
hour bout with death, 150 feet under sea before rescue.

First class machinist mate, Frank Pendle, and another survivor, George Bradbury Conklin, tell of the
struggle, first hand.

Pendle was on watch in the engine room, the practice run ending and they were on their way to
Baltimore after starting the trip at Boston, when he felt the sub hit bottom. He had started aft to turn
on the pump to remove the water from the bilges, and as he was going aft the stern rose rapidly, and
everything went scooting forward. I found that only one pump was able to operate.

The master, Lt. Commander Cooke and other officers and some of the crew were stuck in the
control room by water backed up against the door and this did not allow that door to be opened.
A suction pump was put in operation to remove enough waster so that the door could be opened and
allow them to escape.

By this time the salt water had sloshed around the battery compatment and caused a bit of chlorine gas
to escape but not enough to do real harm. Some of the crew put on their gas masks' but it was hard
to breathe be cause the air supply had been cut off.

After everyone had settled down a bit we could hear water lapping against the stern. That was a good
sound since it ment we were part the way out of the water. The captain sent a crew member to the
tiller compartment away up aft to make a hole in the 5/8 inch metal large enough to get a hand out of
so we could get a flag out to signal for help. This hole was made with a hand drill as the electric drill
did not work. Being it was hard to breathe the whole crew had to take turns doing the drilling. After
sometime the hole was made large enough so a pipe with a flag attached could be waved outside. Also
we ccould see outside and there 300 years away was a ship but she dod not see us and soon was out
of sight. We continued to wave the flag, which was a crew members “t” shirt on a copper pole and
soon a ship only 200 yards of us heard the shouts of the captain, saw the flag, and came in close.

This was the Alanthus which stood by tooting her whistle every minute or so, aand some of her crew
came aboard our stern made the small hole big so a rpe sling could take us out. Pendel was the first
man out. Every one of the crew was in pretty good shape after we received air and water from the
rescue ship, not delirious as the story was told.

Captain Cooke was the hero here, holding us together through the hours of hell. The Baltimore
Evening Sun carried the news that the entire crew had been saved.

Source: Baltimore Sun, 6 September 1920. Abstract by Harrison H, Novemebr 25, 2017.

Friday, November 24, 2017

1903 -1951 Mayors of Rehoboth

1903 - 1951

1903 – 1905: Joseph D. Thompson ; 1905 – 1906: Allie W. Dick; 1906 – 1909: T. W. Palmer;

1909 -1910: H. S. Newman; 1910 -1911: Walter Burton; 1911 - 1912: E. B. Riley;

1912 – 1914: Frederick Ross; 1914 -1915: Dr. W. R. Messick; 1915 -1917: Walter Burton;

1917 – 1918: Fred O. Williams; 1918 – 1923: Dr. W. P. Robinson;

1923 – 1927: J. Harry Satterfield; 1927 – 1929: Ralph Wingate; 1929 – 1930: Henry Conant;

1930 -1933: Ralph Poynter; 1933 – 1937: Frederick Ross; 1937 – 1946: Arthur Downing;

1946 – 1947: Col Edgar Stayer; 1947 – 1949: Col Chaeton Shaffer;
1949 – 1951: Arthur Downing:

Source: Wilmington New Journal, Friday, November 2, 1951

Abstract Novemebr 24, 2017 Harrison H.  


1871 – 1947

Henry Conant, of Rehoboth Beach , a man of vision, came to Rehoboth Beach to extend his fishing business, from Chincogteague Virginia. Conantt was born 1871 to William N. Conant and
Sarah Melvin who had a sash and curtain manufacturing business in upper New Jersey.
In addition to his Henry Conant fising business he was president of the Chincogteague Bank.

His survey of Rehoboth impressed him with it's possibilities for development and n 1923 after he had
bought the old Thompson tract just south of Rehoboth proper and the Silver Lake, he set out selling
Rehoboth Beach to the rest of Delaware.

The real estate company he formed was the Rehoboth Heights Development Company which has in
1927 built the dilapidated old farm stead into a beautiful spot, including the Rehoboth Country Club,
a nine hole golf course and some 75 attractive beach cottages, most of these on the ocean front and Silver Lake . Sussex county has assessed this section close to one million dollars.

This section was recently annexed into the Town of Rehoboth, a result which Mr. Conant was very happy with and will lead the resort to greater improvements.

Conant had suggested the town establish a governor's summer mansion at the resort to be be used by present and future governors of the State of Delaware.

In the late 1920's Conant became Mayor of Rehoboth, retiring in August 1930 to return to Chincogteague to make his home. He also will retain a sunner cottage at Rehoboth Beach.

Hemry Warren Conant died at Chincoteague Virginia, Tuesday, September 23, 1947, and ws surived by his wife, Sarah Francis Davis Conant, and two sons Henry Warren., Jr., and Newell R. both
of Chincoteague.

Abstract of Wilmington Newspapers, 1923 – 1947, by HARRISON H. November 24, 2017.