Monday, July 25, 2016


The spacious and elegant house of the Brandywine Chalybeate Springs Company, which was completed last fall is now open and handsomely furnished for the reception of visitors and boarders under the superintendence of Mr. Charles Stanley.
This 'Watering Place' is finely situated in the high and healthy country five miles northwest of Wilmington commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country , the Delaware River, and neighboring states. The grounds afford pleasant and shady promenades and are bounded by fine streams.
The virtues of the 'Waters' are those of the purest Chalybeate according to Professor Keating of Philadelphia. They are particularly efficacious in bilious and other fevers and are celebrated as a fine tonic.
The vicinity of Wilmington offers access to excellent markets and travel by steam boat to Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Carriages and horses may always be had for delightful rides over good roads to neighboring towns . Horses taken at livery in good hands.
Charges will be moderate. CHARLES STANLEY, June 1, 1827
Abstract from the Thursday , July 19, 1827 issue of the “Wilmingtonian and Delaware Advistser newspaper.
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Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries there were a number of hotels, taverns and inns in Mill Creek Hundred but the one true resort hotel was Brandywine Chalybeate Springs Hotel built in 1827. At that time it was the largest building in the Hundred and certainly the most lavish. It sat at the corner of Faulkland Road and Newport Gap Road
and was owned by the Yarnall family who had operated the Conestoga Wagon Inn since 1800. The property was sold a sheriff's sale to a group of Quaker businessmen who bought it for the foul tasting, reddish water, seeping from the hill behind the old inn and not the beauty of the building. The 'water' came from a chalybeate spring issuing a iron salt water.
The builder was a local, Justa Justice, and the building was on high ground above the spring, a magnificent, gleaming white building with a grand colonnade and wide piazzas. It was first known as New Castle County Chalybeate Spring Company but soon renamed to capitalize on the Brandywine name famous for a Revolutionary War battle in 1777. It was a true resort unlike the many Inn's which dotted the landscape thereabouts. It was not a place where guest stayed overnight on the travels, it was a destination for visits of several weeks or even months, where they had cotillions, balls, and concets . A real French chef prepared what were undoubtedly the most sumptuous meals. It was where you were “seen” morning and evenings when mingling and socializing with other guest. For the elderly and infirm guest the focus was on the “spring” itself.

The chalybeate spring was at the base of a high hill near Hyde Run where stone steps led to the circular stone tower which protected the spring.

It is a sad story that circumstances and a financially unsuccessful life would result in a relatively short life for the Brandywine Springs Chalybeate Hotel.

Abstract from The Mill Creek Hundred History Blog of Scott Palmer.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

55 years newspaper priinting

Colonel John Woolsey Wharton Johnson, age 65, died at his Georgetown home ,
Sunday, February 24, 1924 of a cancer he attributed to a head injury received in a railroad excursion accident at Harrington, fifteen years ago, where he had gone to hear William Jennings Bryan speak at a political meeting. Johnson was born July 30, 1858 at Doe Bridge Mill, near Millsboro, to Benjamin B and Hannah Kollock Johnson. On October 14, 1883, at age 25, he married Ella S Simpler, age 18, in Sussex County. They had a daughter Julia born in 1884.
Johnson had for fifty five years, starting at age eight at the Sussex Journal as a 'printers devil' , been in the newspaper printing business in lower Delaware until 1922 when he was 'placed on pension' at the Sussex Printing and Publishing Company in Georgetown. At the Sussex Journal he worked with Colonel W. Fisk Townsend, who left, as a legacy, the title Colonel to Johnson.
After his employment with Townsend he went to work with the Delaware Inquirer of Robert T. Hart and William Pride, then returned to the Sussex Journal of David Marvel and McKendree Downham. He was with the Milford Chronicle, the Breakwater Light at Lewes, edited by Issac Knowles, which later became Delaware Pilot. Back to Georgetown with the Delaware Democrat, the owner Lawyer Edwin Paynter of Sussex County.
1906, the Delaware Democrat and Sussex Journal merged , the Lewes Delaware Pilot, moved it's printing plant to Georgetown and the Sussex Printing and Publishing Company was formed. Throughout all the mergers, buying and selling , of lower Delaware newspapers, Colonel Johnson, retained his affiliation with printing newspapers. The Sussex Printing & Publishing Company owners in 1921 were Willard Saulsbury and Andrew Lynch who pensioned John Woolsey Wharton Johnson for keeps. 
SOURCE: Wilmington Evening Journal  25 February 1924

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MAY 19, 1925

Beside faithful comrades of bygone days , Lieutenant General Nelson a. Miles, has been placed to rest in his eternal bivouac on the slopes of Arlington National Cemetery.
Escorted by remnants of valiant legions that followed him through three epochs of warfare and now tenderly guarded by stalwart youth of a new Army, the veteran hero of Chancellorsville went on his last journey through a city bowed in sorrow at his passing.
With the boom of artillery and the sharp rattle of rifles which chorused a farewell, the General was laid to rest in his family sepulcher in Arlington while the President of the United States, other high officials of Government, the battalions representing every branch of the Nations Arms paid tribute.
In attendance were veterans of the Civil War and Indian Campaigns , people of other military and patriotic societies, besides hundreds of private citizens.
The procession to his grave was the greatest since the burial of the Unknown Soldier. Twenty four hundred men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, members of Veterans Societies, President Coolidge and the Miles family, paraded in his honor.
General Miles remains were clothed in the dress uniform of an Army Lieutenant General, the gray steel coffin carried on an artillery caisson drawn by six black horses. Honorary pallbearers were retired Army and Navy commanders and on foot beside the caisson the entire distance to the tomb were officers of the service he had loved. The funeral began at 1:45 o'clock when a troop of the Third Cavalry drew rein at his home in the Rochambeau on Connecticut Avenue to escort his body to St. Johns Episcopal Church, Sixteenth and H Streets.

President Coolidge and distinguished person already filled the church and crowds of several thousand citizens, lines of troops with inverted rifles, filled the streets through which the procession passed. The Army Band was at attention in front of the church and played “Nearer My God To Thee”. In the church Rev. Dr. Robert Johnson , rector, recited the Episcopal faith simple burial service , and the earthly remains of General Miles were given to the National Military Service and the march to Arlington began.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lewes As A Target


There were the pirates in the 1600's that were sailing by, who made several attacks on the coast. In 1689 pirates actually ransacked Lewes after which citizens complained “ Lewestown, on Delaware, is very open to danger and very naked for defense”.
During the American Revolution, British ships roamed the coastal waters of Cape Henlopen at will,
The War of 1812 saw a British flotilla anchored of Lewes, demanding provisions for their ships and troops, whereas , when refused, they bombarded the town for a day or so. This is the attack when Lewes lost a chicken and had one pig wounded with a broken leg.
Fifty years later during the Civil War among the states, on the third of November, 1864, it was reported by a member of the Associated Press, W. W. Fulton, to the Secretary of the Navy , Gideon Welles, that the Confederate pirate Tallahassee was in the Delaware Breakwater, destroying vessels. Then a report that the town was burned. Neither report could be traced and Lewes residents told there as no truth to the stories.

Spanish American War, a generation later, there was fear that the Spanish fleet would arrive off shore and fire , but these ships failed to appear.

!916, World War I, reports of the lights of enemy aircraft over the bay, turned out to be optical illusions caused by the close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in the night sky.

World War II, we had made preparations, Fort Miles was built. Lewes had protection at last.

The source of information for this abstract is the July 8 , 2016 issue of the Coast Press article , Delaware Diary, by Michael Morgan.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



John Bayne Welch, a prominent citizen of Milton died Monday morning, January 18th, 1926. The funeral was held from his late residence Thursday. Interment was is Goshan Methodist Cemetery.
Mr. Welch was born in New Market, Sussex County, Delaware, between Milton and Ellendale, on April 3, 1848
He is the great grandson of John Welch who organized the Odd Fellows Society in America. His education was at local schools and at the Hicks & Woods Academy of Milton. In 1871 he married Eliza Ann Reynolds of Milton, and to this union were born eleven children.
In 1871 John Welch associated with L. B. Chandler, druggist of Milton, and remained in this profession his entire life, once being in partnership with William Starkey at Milton.
He was a member of Goshen Methodist Church and served them as a Sunday School superintendent, choir leader, and a Sunday School Class leader. He had been president of Sussex County Bible society for many years. He was a member of the Golden Rule Lodge, #17, of I.O.O.F. and the Heptasophs. As a poet he wrote many worthy and commendable poems. Among his sacred songs are “Bells Across The Snow”, “He Knows My Father Knows”, “Speak A Good Word For Jesus” and “Christ For Me Every Day'”
After his first wife's death he married his second wife Beulah Fowler of Felton, Kent County, who survives him, as do nine of his children, William H. Welch, mayor of Milton, Fred H. Welch of Philadelphia, Clarence Welch of Milford, Arthur Welch of York, Pennsylvania, John B Welch of Camden , New Jersey , Mrs May Hazzard of Milford, Mrs Lottie Wagamon of Milton, , Walter Welch of Rockford, Illinois, and Edgar of New York, also a brother M. W. Welch of Bridgeville.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

December 1914 northeaster



Destruction has followed the northeaster storm raging along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Maine the weekend and still not abated this Monday motning, December 7th. Rehoboth has been hit hard and damage is great by the storm. Surf Avenue is cut away, the boardwalk washed away for the most of it's length. Fifty mile per hour winds caused the ocean to sweep ashore with a mighty force, carrying away the new bulkead, washing the earth along Surf Avenue away and undermining cottages which line that Avenue. Horns Pavilion, at the center of the beach, and much of it's stock has been carried away. It is feared that severaal cottages will be swept away this afternoon by a hammering high tide and some redident have been able to remove household goods. One cottage on Surf Avenue has been washed away, and fear is that more will do so during this afternoon high tide. Henlopen Hotel is isolated because of high water surrounding it. Hill's new bath house was carrie to sea . There is no fresh water service at this time, electricity and gas have been cut off due to leaks, and storm sewers are destroyed.
Saint Agnes Catholic Church and the summer home of the sisters, the residence of Bishop Monaghan at the south end of Rehoboth are menaced by the rushing waters.
Wilmington had ice and sleet which covered trees and wires but temperture rise prevented sever damage. The Christiana River uverflowed it's baks several places and south wilmington lowlands were flooded. Rain recored 1.6 inches Saturday morning.
The storm on the Delaware River was also severe, two Reading Railway Company tugs put in at Jackson & Sharp yard to wait out the high winds and seas. High winds struck a Wilson Line steamer in the Christiana River and jared dishes off the lunch counter. Workmen at Carney's Point had difficulty gettng to work and had to go by Pennsgrorve – Long Beach ferry when the Emily postponed her trips. The steamer Frances B. Hanify just built at Harland and Hollingsworth Corporaton yard sat at anchor off the city waiting for more favorable weather to make it trial run.
The big storm should swirl northward tonight, driving rain will mix with snow in New England, and tomorrow, along the middle of the coast, the gales will abate and return to normal along the enrire coast.
Source: The Evening Journal ,Monday, December 7, 1914, Wilmington, Delaware

Thursday, July 7, 2016



When the post office at Angola, Sussex county, Delaware, is discontinued Wednesday, Dagsworthy Derickson Burton, age 86, can look back on a half century of faithful service to the public. Since 1886 Mr. Burton has been the postmaster there. The fact that he has been in office over all there years attests his ability and faithfullness.
Angola is not a large town but the community depended on reliable mail service when the post office was established, more so then than now. Good auto roads and the automobile have seen to that. Both Angola and neighboring Holleyville will now be served by the Harbeson
post office.
Postmaster Burton of Angola has given the better part of his life to public service and leaves as the dean of postmasters in Delaware with satisfaction knowing he has earned that honorable distinction.
[Wilmington New Journal, Saturday , September 11, 1937]

Dagsworthy Derickson Burton was born April 17 1851, in Indian River Hundred, Sussex, Delaware to Willian C. Burton, who lived between 1822-1910, and his wife, Anna Eliza Derickson Burton, who lived between 1826 and 1903, and married in Sussex county the 10th of May 1848. He was first born to family of seven children, he and three brothers and three sisters. His mother died in 1903 and father in 1910. His father, william C., was a Civil War Veteran of the Union .
Anna Eliza Derickson was born in Indian river Hundred to Dagworthy Derickson who lived between 1799 and 1860 and his wife, the former Priscilla Marvel, born 1800.
Dagsworthy married Mary Prudence Burton, daughter of Peter Robinson Burton , 1821 – 1891, and Mary Prudrnce Hunter, 1821 – 1860, born the middle of a ten member family, four of which died as infants. Both Dagasworthy and Mary are buried in Saint Georges Chapel Grave Yard.
Dagsworthy and Mary Burton had one son, Clifford E., born 28 December 1876, Sussex County, and died November 2 1956, and buried at St. Georges Chapel. Clifford remaid at home and farmed the family lands around Angola and Burton's Pond. Clifford was married to Margaret Short and had son Leland Sipple Burton, born 1904 and died 1977 at Lewes. Leland became a Delaware Bay and River Pilot, married Mary Elizabeth Townsend on 23 April 1930, had a son Leland, Jr. born 1936 and daughter Charlotte Townsend Burton, born 1940. Leeland, Jr.. married Jeanne Elisabeth Schaffner and Charlotte married Vernon Noel Helmly.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016



The interior equipment, a grain grinding apparatus at least 130 years old, of a grist mill of Burton's Pond near Angola and Love Creek, has been purchased by an agent of Henry Ford and is being shipped to Detroit to be erected at a Dearborn museum of the auto manufacturer. The mill known as Burton's Mill had been in operation continuously for more than 130 years until three years ago.
While there is no name given as to the buyer it is reported that the mill equipment has been purchased “for a prominet resident of Detroit who intends to set it up in a Dearborn Museum “. The agent bought it as is, with no practical value and it's useful only as an interesting museum piece.
As of this date, Friday, September 25, 1931, the mill has been dismantled and is being cased and shipped by railroad from Sussex county to Detroit. Some state residents are said to be highly indignant at the removal of the historical article, however, there is no museum in Delaware of adequate size to accommodate it.
Persons who have examined the equipment, told it was water driven and never modernized, there are two separate grinders, one for coarse grinding and one for fine grinding. They say the equipment was constructed between 1790 and 1800 and has out last three buildings, the first of which was all log built. Today the road to it had grown over and only a small foot path led to it.
The same 'agent' had also tried to buy a historic New Castle store from William Laird who refused to consider the sale.
Source: Wilmington News Journal, Friday September 25, 1931