Thursday, April 28, 2011

1720's Quakertown in Sussex on the Delaware.

Outside of Lewes there are but few business places established in the Lewes-Rehoboth Hundred, except some transacted at Quakertown, two miles west of Lewes, which was a hamlet of fifteen families up until 1725. A Public House was kept there, the Militia did their training at that place and elections were also held there. Near where was built the residence of Gideon Prettyman stood the pillory and whipping post which were used as long as the courts were held in Lewes. In latter years this place became known as Prettymanville. In 1887 stores there were kept by William Prettyman and A. Cord. There were also a few mechanics shops.

The growth and improvement of Lewes had not been very eventful and in 1721 it was reported as a large and handsome town on the banks of the Delaware. Five years later there wrre fifty eight families at this place and fifteen at Quakertown. 1807 Lewes had about eighty buildings and that number was not increased much until after the Civil War. Twelve years after that event, in which period the railroads were built, 150 new homes had been added and the population was estimated at eighteen hundred.

In 1887 there were within the corporate limits about two thousand souls, five churches, a fine union school, a hotel and at least thirty places of business, including a telegraph office established in 1852.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4th of July at Mardela Springs Hotel

Edward Austin operated the Mardela Springs Hotel during the later part of the 1890's, before it burned in 1914. The 4th of July great celebrations, the square dances on the weekends and the daily drinking of mineral water from the spring near the hotel, are to be remembered. All summer long, and some time during the winter too if the weather was mild, folks from other parts of the Eastern Shore, and Baltimore, would come to the hotel to drink the health giving waters. The spring was covered with an octagonal pagoda which was always cool and quiet inside. Strolling down the foot path from the hotel, guest would often spend an hour of so in the "springhouse" on hot summer evenings, just talking and drinking the irony, flat tasting, spring water. A circular wooden bench which ringed the springhouse would accommodate twenty five or so people.
The spring water bubbled from the earth into a wooden trough and the supposed health restoring water, could be scooped in a tin cup or glass.
The hotel was a three and half story frame building, most always painted white, but sometimes a light yellow, the window shutters and trim painted either dark green or brown. It wad 30 rooms, each furnished with a bed, bureau and a couple of chairs, and a wash stand with a bowl. The spring water was furnished in a jug to each guest.

The weekly square dances were held in a special section of the small two story section at the far end of the hotel or on nice nights the caller and fiddlers would move outside and have the people dance on the porches.
During the 4th of July event the whole community would join the hotels guest on the lawn, some set up booths to sell home made candy, gingersnaps and lemonade for a penny a glass. The hotel would be decorated in red, white and blue bunting and flags would fly from everything. Fireworks were always displayed in the evening.
Most of the hotel guest were families on vacation who came by railroad to Mardela and stayed a week or two. Often, traveling salesmen, especially the tobacco salesmen, who traveled up and down the shore, would stay there too. Life here was informal, the hotel had a lobby as did most hotels those days, a check in desk for registering and picking up keys if you wanted to lock your room. Meals were served family style on a large room length table in the dinning room at which everyone ate.
The men would fish in the day at Barren Creek behind the hotel or ride horses from the hotels stables through the many bridal paths in the area. Women did not ride horses then and stayed at the hotel and enjoyed visiting. If a family wanted to go bathing they would take a train ride to Ocean City, a day long affair, leaving early in the morning and returning after dark.

This article was transcribed from the Baltimore Sun Magazine, issue June 23, 1963 and written by Mrs. Travers Willing, a niece of Edward Austin.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Accessible Archives new edit
Contributed by Harrison

Description: Ellendale Methodist Episcopal Church

Date: Various 2011

Newspaper published in: Pennsylvania

Source: archives

The Ellendale Methodist Episcopal Church:

On July 16, 1873, William McColley granted to Alfred Heavelow, William Short, James M. Jester, Bevans Morris and Alfred Short, a tract of land for a church, parsonage and school.
A school and parsonage costing $500 were soon erected and the church was commenced in 1882 and dedicated December 31st of that year by the Rev. Mr. Johathan S. Willis.
The building committee, composed of Elias B. Reed, Alfred Short, and Benjamin E. Jester, erected a neat frame edifice, thirty bu forty-four feet at a cost of $1,200.00 . The membership was twenty five communicants and a connected Sunday School containing twenty scholars under the superintendency of James H. Jester.
The church has always been connected with the Ellendale Circuit and the pulpit has been filled by the pastors of that Circuit.