Thursday, June 22, 2017


APRIL 15 1699

April 15, 1699, the first members of the Conwell family, Yeates and Rebecca Fisher, arrived in America, sailing into the Delaware Bay and anchoring their vessel at Reedy Island.

They settled in Broadkiln Neck and in 1705 acquired one thousand acres from Rebecca's father, William Fisher.
Yeates and Rebecca had four children , William, John, Elias and Hannah who all married.
William died young leaving two children. John was married twice, leaving three children from each wife. John is an ancestor of the late Joseph Conwell of Drawbridge, Jane Robins, late of Broadkiln Neck, and the late William A, Conwell , father of David M. Conwell and Mrs D. A. Wiltbak of Milton.

The third son, Elias, is the ancestor of Mr. John T. Conwell of Broadkiln Neck and Mr. Asa Conwell of this Milton.

Hannah, the only daughter, married Abraham Gum.

About two hundred descendents of Yeates and Rebecca can now be traced, many who live in Delaware, but the majority live in other states, several out west.

Considerable portions of what is now North Milton, at one time belonged to the Conwell family. The frist mill of Milton was built by a Conwell with business partner by name of Coulter.
The Milton property named above was owned by DR. John Spencer, his daughter , Unice, becoming the wife of George Conwell a brother of Asa F. Conwell's grandfather, born May 1st, 1747.

Records are scarce telling frm what part of England or Ireland the Conwells came. A mention of William, Yeates grandfather, gives a birth date of 1615 at Essex, England.

It is probable that the family originally came from Sweden and were connected with the Swedes who first settled Delaware.

The Conwell name is rather rare in the United States but wherever found represents integrity,
industry, character and good citizenship.

Source: Milton Times, April 15, 1809, Milton, Sussex County, Delaware. /
Abstract Harrison 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017




d' Hinoyossa was perhaps the most influential man in colonial Delaware history, most known for surrendering the Dutch colony along Delaware River to the Crown of Britain many years ago.
Tradition suggest he traveled with Jacob Alrichs from Brazil to Holland to work in Ansterdam,
thence, to Niever Amstel, (New Castle, Delaware) , when Alrichs was governor of New Amstel. At that time it was difficult for the colony as hunger was widespread and an invasion from Maryland seemed inevitable.

When Alrichs died in 1659, d'Hinoyossa became the colony's leader . He was 'dubbed' the
“Little Prince” by his subordinates because of his arrogant manners. Accounts were known where d'Hinoyossa abused his subjects, sold company supply's for his personal gain and traded company guns to the local Indians. One account has him using parts of the wooden fence at Fort Casimir to fire his beer brewing kettle. Apparently, profit was more important to him than defense.

However, these abuses did not overshadow his accomplishments. Through diplomacy
d' Hinoyossa set up trade relations with the Lord Calvert administration of Maryland . With
Delawares Augustine Heermann, he started “Smugglers Path” from Chesapeake Bays New Bohemia
(now Bohemia Manor, Maryland) to Appoquinimink (now Odessa, Delaware) . In order to avoid
tax and ensure safe transport, Marylander's passed tobacco to the Dutch in return for slaves and strong beer. D' Hinoyossa envisioned Odessa would become a trade center for the colony’s and patented land at the confluence of the Appoquinimink and Drawyers creeks, which were diked and drained by his servants for use as agricultural lands.

After the English captured New Amsterdam in 1664, Sir Robert Carr and a force of 130 English soldiers with two ships were dispatched to capture the Dutch possessions on the Delaware River which most of the colony settlements gave up immediately, the garrison at Fort Casimir delayed in an attempt to negotiate more favorable terms. Although d' Hinoyossa served a small feast to the
British officers, his negotiating ploy failed. The ships opened fire, damaging structures in the fort, the British troops stormed the rear walls, taking the stronghold quickly. The English left the townspeople alone, granting them rights as British subjects.

After this surrender, d' Hinoyossa left New Amstel and settled with his wife and seven children
in Talbot county, Maryland. Later, he returned to the Netherlands Dutch Republic, was commissioned in the army. When the Sun King and his French Army invaded the Netherlands in 1672, d' Hinoyossa was charged with the defense of the city of Wesel, which he quickly surrendered . He was subsequently tried for treason, mutiny and cowardice and beheaded.

Abstact of blog of Craig Lukezic, Delaware Historical Cultural Affairs.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017




Red Star bus line was organized Delmarva by local business men of Delaware and Maryland.
In the early 1930's, when highway buses were replacing the transportation need of the railroad and steamships.
Most roads were single lane in those days and it was a winding trip to most cities and the ocean resorts. The first buses looked more like enlongated automobiles than do today's monsters.
World War Two caused more travel and helped Red Star to become valuable property. The after the war increased production of the automobile , bus travel became burdened just like the railroads and steamships.
In time Red Star merged with Carolina Trailways which allow bus travel it to live another decade or so, but as we all know, the family car took over the roads to the ocean resorts of Delmarva.
The last full time, repeat full time, bus depot in Rehoboth, appears to have been Snyder's Soda & Ice Cream, newspaper store, on Rehoboth Avenue.

Abstract: Salisbury Daily Times, July 4, 1976, Harrison 2017.



The dedication of the Coolspring Community Building, a gift of Dr. David M. Hitch of Philadelphia to the Coolspring Presbyterian Church, took place the afternoon of August 1, 1928 at Coolspring on the Georgetown to Rehoboth highway.

The Rev. Thomas Parker McKee, pastor of Georgetown First Presbyterian Church, also the pastor at Coolspring Presbyterian Church, presided at the dedication ceremonies. Dr. Hitch , doner, handed over the key to to the church officials, saying “ we can heartily thank Mr. Robinson, the builder, for erecting the building in a conscientious manner, co-operation with his personal interest with us pertaining to it erection. Therefore it is with great pleasure I present this key to you , confident that my trust is well placed”.

Te community building is less that a mile from the church on grounds formerly known as “Sunken Gardens”, is a modern structure 75 feel by 34 feet. The main floor will serve as an
auditorium seating at least 500 people. It will have a stage and rest rooms. The basement is to have a
roomy and convenient kitchen and dinning room, dressing room and a sitting room.

Other speakers were Congressman Robert C. Houston, and, James Tunnell, both of Georgetown and elders of the Georgetown First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Edward Sudler of Georgetown , Miss Margaret Baylis of Lewes, and others gave musical solos. The Presbyterian Church Ladies Aid Society served a chicken dinner to people present from all sections of lower Delaware.

Source: Wilmington News Journal , Thursday, August 1, 1929. Abstract 6/14/2017, Harrison

Saturday, June 10, 2017



Sunday, April 18, 1965, dedication plans are under way for the $250,000 Municipal building and Convention Hall with its first event scheduled for next Saturday.

Mayor Joel C. Stamper has announced that dedicatory ceremonies will be held May 28, eve of the Memorial Day weekend, traditional season opener for this resort.

Stamper has named Commissioner Joseph J. Crowley chairman of the committee and others to serve with him, Commissioners Frank Parker, Jesse Gundry, Eugene Russell and Richard Hackett, Paul Curtis Stokes and convention director Miles Frederick.

The first event in the new convention hall will be a cabaret dance sponsored by the Lord Baltimore Dance Club.

Stamper has said the city is pleased with the response for use of the new facility and that the following events are already scheduled; May 23, Selbyville Cotillion club, May 27, Peninsula Conference Christian Services, W omen’s Society of the Methodist Church, June 4th to June 6, VFW Annual Convention, June 11th state convention of WWI veterans, July 19, Beebe auxiliary dance, July 16 to July 18th, an antique show, August 7, annual Blue Carriage Ball.

Source: Washington Evening Star, Washington, D.C. April 18, 1965

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1927 Broadkill River Improvements


Major R. P. Howell, in charge of the Wilmington district U. S. Engineers, has issued questionnaires, concerning improvements to Broadkill River from Milton to the Delaware Bay.

The Congressional River and Harbor Act of January 21, 1927, calls for examination of the
river and improvement if they are found advisable.

Major Howell made a trip, Wednesday , October 5th, accompanied by assistant engineers
R. G. Davis and M. G. Moore, aboard the government ship “Josephine”, on the river from Milton to Delaware Bay.

A Federal Law, authorizes the War Department, to provide a channel six feet deep, at mean low water, from the bay to Milton.

The questionnaires ask for the type of business, the type of goods received and shipped by it, the amount in tons and yearly value, by the river, then the extent of improvement desired.

The Broadkill River in Sussex county, rises and flows northeast 13 miles emptying into the
Delaware Bay, five miles above Cape Henlopen . At the mouth it is 300 feet wide at high water
and 90 feet in Milton. During low water it is 250 feet at the mouth and 80 at Milton. The channel
is obstructed by shoals and at the mouth is a shifting sand bar

According to a Government Report the Broadkill River does not meet the demands of commerce.

The proposed project, which will be followed out if the government can be shown improvements are necessary, is to establish a permanent entrance to the river by dredging a
channel across Lewes Cape, 150 feet wide and 6 feet deep at mean low water.

In 1926 the shipments of oysters and fruit, from Milton, had a value of $106, 000.

Source: Abstract by Harrison Howeth, 2017, Wilmington News Journal , Thursday, October 6, 1927.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017




Lewes, September 15, 1958, Hercules Powder Company, disclosed it has on an option to
purchase about 1800 acres on the Delaware Bay a mile north of town. The boundary covered by the option extends from Roosevelt Inlet area along both sides f Canary Creek to the Broadkill.

This tract includes lands owned by the Ritter family and the Brittingham family and Lewes Town Commissioners. The option in case for the Lewes property would be for long term lease, while the Ritter and Brittingham lands would be an out right purchase.

J. H. Tyler McConnell, secretary of the Hercules Powder Company, announced the company has no immediate plans to construct a plant on this property, just a desire to be prepared with an
available site for future expansion in this area. The site is readily accessible to ocean transport, rail
and highways and even if it is largely marshland it can be reclaimed for industrial use.

Hurcules officials have said they will be good neighbors in every sense of the word, just as it has proved to be in over twenty two other locations in the United States where it has plants. The Lewes residents, as well as those in other communities, the farmers, sport and commercial fishermen,
wildlife, should not be concerned. Hercules has established leadership in the chemical industry for safety and employ relationship and community co-operation.

The owners of the properties involved, all Lewes residents, are: Grace Brittingham, Edward Winfield Bittingham, Jane Dean Brittingham, William Ritter and Lewes Town commissioners.

Abstract, from Wilmington New Journal , Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday September 18, 1958.

Harrison Howeth, 2017