Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chapter V / History of Seaford by R. B. Hazzard

Chapter V gives a statement of the business, dwellings, etc., in the early period of 1800, basically 1800 to 1855 in Seaford.

In 1830 there were in the village of Seaford, between the county road to the north and the river, about fifty houses. Fourteen of them were, in general terms, two story homes. People had not yet learned it took but a few more dollars to build two story houses rather that the single floor home. The rest were single story with shed type attachments and some of our best citizens lived in this class. Some of these sheds still stand in the old part of town.

There were about eight stores in the village, all but one in single story buildings. One on the corner of Front and Water Streets which we feel was the first merchant establishment in Seaford. Joshia Horsey occupied one on the corner of Market and Water Streets, Wrights store was near the corner of North and Water on the north side and opposite was the William Nicholes store. Where the Jacob Hill house is now, was a store of George Hazzard and directly opposite was the store of William and David Conwell.

The tanneries of George and Jacob Hazzard were on the creek.

On the corner of Market and High streets, in the Soloman Prettyman house, now the hotel, Asbury Prettyman and Rhodes Hazzard sold goods. Down Market street, near the bridge, northwest corner of Water, was a single story store used for several years by different merchants, on the northwest corner of Market and High streets was the William Horsey store for a long time, then at the northeast corner of High and Pine was Levin Cannons place. Some of these merchants were also engaged in the boating business, buying wood and corn for shipping.

The farm land in lower Sussex was distressingly poor, and but little more corn was raised than was needed for local consumption. Corn from fifteen to twenty miles around the Marshyhope and Georgetown area was hauled to Seaford and sold to these merchants. There was little to no wheat grown for shipment, hardly half enough for home use. Only the wealthy used tads of it, keeping a little of it for company and use on the Sabbath. It was a rarity.

Housekeepers and cooks knew how to make corn pone and Joniki Cake which were palatable and nourishing

Fashion was the same old tyrant then as it is now. Fine goods for the ladies could be found in the stores but the women often went visiting and to church in a plain calico dress. Ladies and children of men of moderate means were not ashamed to be seen in plain habiliments . A young man would buy, if able, a courting and marriage suit and put it in the hands of a good tailor for fitting. More often they wore the blue fustian which wives and mothers made for them .

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