Saturday, May 21, 2016



The Delaware River at Trenton runs across sharp rapids by name of Trenton Falls and below these rapids the Delaware runs into the tidewater section on it's way to Philadelphia and the ocean.  In the mid 1600's Trenton had two ferry crossings, the Upper Ferry and the Lower Ferry , both which traveled between Trenton, New Jersey and Morrisville, Pennsylvania, owned by James Trent. Later owners and operators, up into the 1770's there were Thomas Hooten, Robert Hooper and William Richards.
The first bridge to Trenton was at Lower Ferry, between Morrisville  on the Pennsylvania side.  This 1008 foot long wooden structure was open to traffic January 30, 1806 and cost $180,000. Theodore Burr, the foremost American bridge builder of that time, was the designer and builder.  The Trenton Bridge was owned by a private company whose president was John Beatty. This bridge had two 11 foot wide horse and wagon lanes and two 4 foot wide walking lanes, a total of 31 feet wide, it was covered by a cedar shingled roof with partially covered sides. The support abutments were designed to be high enough to avoid all known flood levels.
In 1842 this bridge became the first American bridge to be used by a railroad, and in 1848 was widened for the Philadelphia - Trenton Railroad.  The  use of this bridge by the railroad let to its demise and was torn down in 1875 and replaced by an iron bridge, known as the Lower Trenton 
Bridge which used the same support foundations.

Abstract from Bridges over the Delaware River by Frank T. Dale

Will Rogers & Wiley Post arrive Alaska

The Morning News new edit
Contributed by Harrison

Description: Wiley Post and Will Rodgers Arrive in Alaska for Vacation Trip
Date: August 7 1935

Newspaper published in: Wilmington Delaware

Source: newspapers

Juneeau, Alaska,, 7 August 1935:

After an eight hour and fifteen minute flight from Saettle, Wiley Post and Will Rogers, landed in Gastinau Bay off Juneeau, Alaska. Both Post and rogers declined to comment on where they would go next, except that they might fly into the interior of the Territory. Post said " we will stay here until we take off for some place". Post had intention of meeting his wife, at some point, who was traveling north by ship.
A large group of people lines the water front to greet the pair. Post, who had flown over and through Alaska several time before, left the red pontoon monoplane to greet the Alaskans in his shirt sleeves, with Will Rogers, in grey suit and overcoat , emerged a bit later, with a smile, telling the crowd he had enjoyed the trip immensely and he was glad the weather had been ideal for flying.
Greeted by Posts' old friend and another veteran aviator, Joe Crosson, the group were driven to the home of Governor John Troy for the evening. .

Monday, May 16, 2016


LATE 1800'S – EARLY 1900'S

Starting about 1878, Sussex County, Delaware, fast became one of the most important production counties in the east for the food processing industries. A peach growers son, Walter Cuykendall, watching his fathers peach crop rot on the tree because of a market overflow and bringing a very low price in Boston, New York and Philadelphia , became concerned and investigated the new industry of canning fruits and vegetables. Young Cuykendall worked and learned the process at the Frederica cannery of W. W. Howe in nearby Kent County and soon decided to start another market for the family's crops. In a vacant building at 17 S.W. Front Street, in Milford, set up his operation. He made his own containers here during the winter and encouraged his father and other farmers to bring surplus peaches to be canned . Soon other vegetable and fruit crops, like tomatoes, then lima beans, peas and sweet corn, were made available for processing
Other growers soon followed suit as other canneries were erected.
In Bridgeville, in 1881, the Henry P. Cannon family started canning their surplus and low priced crops. Delaware State officials, seeing an opportunity, got on board with assistance, the University of Delaware, also, and in 1900 there were 23,000 acres of vegetables and 10,500 acres of fruit bringing in an income of over $2,500,000. Being a slow process at first, and in the 1900's the industry improved the machinery to hasten the output and do away with the bottleneck of hand operations.
The county was soon covered with canneries, every crossroads, village and cities had one or more. Any spot you would choose to stand on the Delmarva Penisnula, there were within a 25 mile radius, from 5 to 10 canning facrories. Some names were, Draper, Clifton's, Torsch, Bulow, Bramble, Green Giant, Stokely van Camp, Noble, Mills and
Greensbaun. Today, the food processing industry is so efficient, there are but few canning factories in operation, furnishing the world sufficient supply.


Sunday, May 15, 2016


In 1770 the Sussex on Delaware Court House was located at Lewes, as had it been for near one hundred years, and people of Lewes were accustomed to being the center of government activities. However, during the past hundred years the interior of Sussex County expanded and caused difficult travel for it's citizens to conduct government business. Petitions had been presented to the House of Assembly to have the Court House fixed at the Cross Roads, near what is now Milton.

Lewes resident, John Rodney, a cousin of Caesar Rodney, was one against this move. He argued Lewes was a town of merchants, sailors, pilots, ship carpenters and other watermen, a thriving town, and the other county residents were farmers, seldom served in public business and were few of them fit for it. The proposal to move the court from Lewes to Cross Roads was defeated.

Then was the Revolution, Lewes and the interior area of the county continued to grow as did the animosity between coastal residents and interior residents of Sussex for a more central location of the county seat. 1791 elections found more poling places outside of Lewes and the Court House was moved a dozen miles or so to fifty acres of James Pettijohns farm, a more central location. A new court house was built, and a town soon developed around it and it was named Georgetown.

Abstract of Michael Morgan's, Delaware Diary.

Thursday, May 5, 2016



Sara Clampitt was born in Lewes 13 August 1817, her father being a river pilot on the Delaware. Her brother John, also a Lewes native, was a carpenter and after the Civil War became a surfman for the Life Saving Service. After moviing with her father to Philadelphia Sara married the portrait artist Joseph Alexander Ames of Massachusetts 9 September 1845 and the newly weds made a year visit to Italy where her husband painted a portrait of Pope Pius IX. Returning to America in the 1850's Sara was active in the anti slave crusade where she met Abraham Lincoln.
During the Civil War she was a nurse at a hospital in the Capitol Buildiing in Washington and was an occasional visitor to the White House on duties and had suggested to the President to have her do a sculpture of him which required a photograph of him for her to work from. This photograph was made by Alexander Gardener in his studio at 7th & D Streets and a photo of Lincoln staring directly into the camera was the one chosen for the model. This photo was observed as the most interesting ever taken of Lincoln, it's rugged homeliness, the deep attraction of suffering and sympathy showing Lincoln's true picture for his bust. Daniel Chester French used the Gardner photograph as a model for the statue in the Lincoln Memorial. The Clampitt bust of Lincoln was purchased by the Federal government in 1868 and placed in the Capitol , third floor east corridor of the Senate Wing. Copies are in the Massachusetts statehouse, three museums in Massachusetts and the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Sara died 8 March 1901 in Washington, D.C. She and her husband were parents of Emily Girdlestone Ames, Emma Ames, Josephine Ames, Robert Fisher Ames and Sophia Marguerite Ames, all being descendents of Major John Whistler, a British soldier in the American Revolution, who returned to America to enlist in the U. S. Army duriing War of 1812 and served in the American west against the native Indians.

Abstract from Delaware Coast News, Delaware Diary by Michael Morgan

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



Pierer Cornelisz Plockhoy was born a Mennonite around 1625 in Zierikzee, a Dutch province of Zeeland. Plockhoy was an Idealists, not all that much knowledgeable of the hard nose political reality of a strict social economic class that goverened the European people for centuries. He advocated a society where there are no classes , no disperity between rich and poor, an egalitarian colony in new America.

Sometime between 1658 and 1660 he obtained financial backing by the City of Amsterdam to support a colony and set about to recruit the desired colonists, farmers, fishermen and craftsmen. In the month of May 1663, he and about 40 followers set sail for America on the ship Saint Jacob, which arrived off Cape Henlopen in July 1663, and Plockhoy led the colonists, bag and bagage and farm utensils, ashore.

The Dutch and England were at war and two years after this settlement was established , after Dutch Peter Stutvesant surrendered New Amsterdam, the English sent Sir Robert Carr to Delaware where he had little difficulty subduing the dutch settlements, including the Plockhoy settlement. The Duke of York ordered Carr that the Dutch Colonists in Delaware were to be treated with humanity and gentalness, however, Carr boasted that he destroyed the 'Quaking society of Plockhoy to a nail', and Plockhoy just vanished.

Abstract of Delaware Diary of Michael Morgan in the Delaware Coast Press, Wednesday May 4, 2016.