Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pilottown Duke of York Petents


Basically, this is a study of how Lewes happened and uses the findings of Dr. David Marine
a member of the Sussex Society of Archeology and History back in 1955. A map that Dr. Marine
sketched outlines eight patents, located by Shipcarpenter on the SE side, Pagen Creek, now Canary, on the SW side and Lewes Creek on the NE side, and a tract of land reserved for the Town set between Shipcarpenter Street and South Street, now Savannah Road.

This area has been called “Delaware's First Square Mile” and holds the sites of the 1631 Swanendael settlement, the 1695 West India Company fort and trading post, Plockhoy's Colony, the
areas of 1617 census by Wiltbank, the 1673 “Burning of Whorekill” and several raids by Maryland's
Lord Baltimore.

The Duke of York's patents brought attention to the “First Square Mile of Delaware” which is thought had not received the due respect it deserved by the Dutch, the Duke of York nor Lord Baltimore and formed a rough neighborhood into a permenent settlement and important port of call
that was deserving greater respect and a court of law and the adjoining lands quickly filled with settlers
wanting legal protected property. This is how Lewes happened to take shape.

The list of Duke of York patents and notes of them is listed below;
#8, no date, 112 acres, to owner Cornelius Verhoofe, #7, January 15, 1675, 69 acres Jan Kipshaven
# 6 , July 7, 1675, 80 acres, owner Alexander Molleston, #5, July 7, 1676, 132 acres, owner
William Tom, #4, July 2, 1672, 150 acres, owner, Helmainas Wiltbank, #3, January 24, 1675,
50 acres, owner William Clark. #2, May 25, 1670, 140 acres , owner Helmainas Wiltbank, # 1,
July 7, 1675, 134 acres , owner Helmainas Wiltbank.

Parcels 1, 5 and 6 were laid out by Edmubd Cantwell, the official surveyor at the time. The
parcel 2, was first granted to Dirck Pieters, by Francis Lovelace, Yorks governor in New York and has a long story behined it. Parcel 3; Original patent holder was Simond Pawlin who assigned parcel to Captain Nathaniel Walker, who assigned it to William Clark, 11 June 1681.
Parcel #4; to Wiltbank , grant by Lord Baltimore. Parce #7 ; Surveyed by Capt. Edmund Cantwell.
Parcel #8, granted while Andros was governor, late in 1676.

The parcel reserved for the Town was probably surveyed in 1675. Wiltbank claimed owner
but the position against him by the Town prevailed. It was laid out by Capt. Cantwell as “Common”
for cattel feed and firewood.

Robert Shankland in 1723 survey noted that the Town tract was claimed by Dyreits Paten, however, this was never proven.

A chronological long road to Lewes follows:
1632: After the Swanendael massacre de Vries and his investors abandon their efforts in this area
and that which was purchased from the local Indians in 1629, from Bombay Hook to Fenwick was
sold to the Dutch West India Company which discouraged settlement and carried on a fur trade with the local Indians.

1638: Swedish interest headed by Peter Minuit, took advantage of Dutch lack of activity , and established a colony at Christina, called it New Sweden what grew with an influx of Swedes and Finns. The Sweds purhased the land south to Cape Henlopen annd caused a disruption to the fur trade.

1655: After years of increasing provocation the Dutch West India Company's director general , Peter
Stuyvesant, led an invasion from his post in Manhatten into Delaware and put an end to Swedish
rule there.

1656: The West India Company, in dept to the City of Amsterdam transferred ownership to them of
land from Christina River to Bombay Hook. This colony was known as New Amstel with it's center at todays New Castle.

1657, t he first director of this colony was Jacob Alricks'. Late this year, fourteen men from Virginia came ashore at Cape Henlopen, probably runaway servants, and raised concerns that the English were trying to take over lower Delaware.

1658: Stuyvesant learned that the tract from Bombay Hook to Cape Henlopen was to be purchased, the area then called Horekil by the Dutch. The West India Company's William Beckman and
Stuyvesant took steps to purchase land from the Indians to build a fort near the Cape as soon as

1659: In June of this year, Beekman for the Company and d'Hinojossa for the City, pirchased
Horekil and took twenty of the City's soldiers there with them. The soldiers were to stay and build a 'fort' on parcel #4. Maryland moved against the Dutch and demamsed them to leave Delaware. The Dutch remained.

1661 New Amstel took Gerritt van Sweringen as it's Secretary, d'Hinojoosa took City of Amsterdam
over as it's director. Maryland softened it's belligerent stand and showed interest in trade.

1662: d'Hinojossa names Alricks, who had returned to New Amstel, and was granted all rights to trade between Bombay and Cape Henlopen. d'Hinojossa made attempt to have Amsterdam take control of the Delaware River . This year Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy, a Mennonite , received grant to establish a semisocialistic society in Horekil.
1663: The ship St. Jacob brought the Plockhoy group, 41 people with baggage and farm tools , to
Horekil. D'Hinojossa took this ship to Amsterdam where Alrick's was already. Upon his return he brought workmen on a four year service term, and Sander Molleston, aka Maelstten, of Saxony.
All of Delaware River, aka South River, was turned over to City of Amsterdam.

1664: On March 12, this year, Englands King Charles II gave to Duke of York, aka James, Charles' brother, the coastal lands of America from Maine to New Jersey on the Delaware Bay.
A plan to end the Dutch hold on New Netherlands was prepared. A naval force under the
Colonel Richard Nichols caused Stuyvesant to surrender Manhatten on September 8.
Sir Robert Carr was sent to Delaware with a small force and by that October had put down
d'Hinojossa's feeble resistance and 'confiscate' Plockhoy's settlement.
In this change of masters, Alrichs lost his properties, but soon was accepted by the new
government, received most of it back, plus a liscense to trade with the Whorekil Indian

1665 – 1669 : For the next five years the Duke of York's officials in New York took no interest
in Whorekil, to them it was an unimportant place somewhere under the order of officials at New Castle.
At the same time Lord Baltimore's people, busy at St Mary's, did not push Maryland's claim
to Delaware. They were slow in getting the Eastern Shore settled. Some people from Virginia's Eastern Shore did spill over into Marylands somerset, at that time covering Maryland from the Chesapeake Bay up to Delawares Indian River, and had a settlement called “Manokin” on the Potomoke River. After the lands of Somerset were claimed, then, Maryland looked north, toward the good lands in southern Delaware.
But still the Duke of York did nothing to bring his settlers to Whorekil where land patents were
available to all comers. However, the process was confusing and slow, it strained patience of those
interesed. Who was there? The Dutch that were always there, some West India Company fur traders, The Duke of York's people did not make it easy for these old settlers to remain.

1670: Lord Baltimore had his Maryland Council lay ground work to take over what they called
S The southward 'run' into Somerset, was established later for inhabiting
“Seaboard Side” and Whorekil. Land was available through William Stevens and James Weedon , on easy terms for people of English and Irish descent, hope was they would transport themselves to Durham.
James Weedon was made surveyor and Daniel Brown was made constable of Durham. Apparently
these men and their party were well received by the Pilottown Dutch settlers when they appeared at the Whorekil . At last someone to hand out land grants.
In October, six Dutchmen were granted land at “Whorekil on the Chesterfield Creek”, the short lived name for Lewes Creek. Weedon had a problem, these were not English nor Irish names, so, he changed the Dutch spelling of names to an anglicized spelling. Otto Wolgast became Otho Walgatt,
Willem Claesen was now William Clauson, Antony Pieters became Anthony Peter, and so on.
Whorekil at this time still had a Dutch Court run by Wiltbank, but the Dutch settlers all accepted Weedon's patents. The Duke of York also issued a Pilottown road patent. So who had the control?

1671: It appears that the Whorekil Dutch Court still was accepted in the area as 'in control'.
Wiltbank was commissioned to provide a list of persons at the Whorekil which he did. It accounted for 47 “total souls” , 29 Dutch families, wives, children and servents , and 18 English families from Somerset Maryland.
JamesWeedon. The surveyor, died mid year and his family and servants went back to Maryland. The other Marylanders who came with him remained.

1672: Appears that the dutch are still in controland ignor lord Baltimores demands. Maryland
launched another plan to control Delaware, Whorekil being the chief target, Dutham was changed to
Worcester, officials were appointed but never acted in any capacities.
Pilottown Road land grants were reissued to three persons, Thomas Walker, 300 acres, John Smith, 300 acres, Frances Jenkins 600 acrea. To this tract the name of “Pershore” was given.
These Jenkins grants had no bearing on the Duke of York grants.

1673: In to Sussex county moved John Avery, John Rhodes and John King, without the Duke of York's authorizstion. This year 1600 Dutch troops overwhelemed the English at New York, New Netherlands revived, New york becane New Orange. The Delaware River was South River again

and Whorekil becane Horekil. The Swedes, Finns, Marylanders on south River were able to keep their homes. Howeverm this is the year Lord Baltimore decided to take charge and in December his aid,
Captain Thomas Howell and 40 hoesemen road in and took control for about four weeks, but cold weather and meger food supplies forced Howell to withdraw. On Christmas eve, Howell retirned and ordered the resident to muster with their guns and ammunition for drill and there he confiscated the arms, told the people to gather up their belongings as he was going to burn all dwellings and that he did. This action for sure put the resident in precarious circumstances, there was the cold, no food, several woment with child, The Dutch and some of the English who had made Whorekil home did not leave. Not long after this raid the Dutch & English war ended, New York and Delaware returned to the English and a policy of procedure to grant lands was provided.

1675 – 1676: These years brought hope as property rights and law were restored. Whorekil received and English system Court and the laws of the Duke of York were to be followed. Helm Wiltbank,
Edward Southrin, Sander Molleston, John King and Paul Marsh were ordered to be Justices of this court, and Daniel Brown was made constable. With this court in control the town of Lewes earned it's place among places, so to speak. It was said Lewes had a Dutch mother and a Maryland English father.

The early settlers of Lewes deserve full admiration for forceing a town to come about by
their persistent occupation of the Pilottown Roads patents.

The source of this abstract, repeat abstract, is Warren Macdonald's, assisted by Helens Carter
Potter, article in the 2002 Volume V, Journal of the Lewes Historical Society, which has much more detailed information of the 'people' involved and would be necessary reading to those interested.
November 19, 2017 by Harrison H.

Thursday, November 16, 2017



The Delaware Breakwater Rear Range lighthouse, better know locally as Green Hill Light, was a navigation aid to ship master to help determine an exact location as they came around Cape
Henlopen to enable them to navigate shoals of the Delaware Bay. It was in use between 1881 and
1918 when shifting sand changed the shoreline and the Green Hill Light was no longer usable as am
navigational aid.

Located two miles NW of Lewes on a slight elevation above the marsh, a Sussex county hill, it
consisted of 100 foot high steel tower fitted with a “3d order red light”, which was 108 feet above sea level . Along the side of it was a two story keepers house. Between 1881 and 1889 a kitchen was added, also a red brick shed for oil and a iron hand rail for the keepers safety for the tower. 1910 saw
a one story block structire for the assistant keeps. Shrubs and trees were set out in 1901, over 600 of them. The two story house was sold to Robert Arnell who had it moved to his Old Landing farm.

Decommissioned in 1918 the light was recycled, the lens and clockworks were moved to be used at San Francisco 's 18th Lighthouse District. The steel tower, disasembled and loaded on railway cars went to the west coast of Floiad, for use on Gasparilla Island.

The property of Green Hill was abandoned, overgrown, structures were left to deterioate, and returned to the State of Delaware in 1930 which gave the land to Lewes.

Source: Green Hill Light by Gary Grunder, Volumer V, 1002 Journal of the Lewes Historical Society.

Abstract by Harrison H, November 2017.   

Tuesday, November 14, 2017



A question arose at coffee about the early bridges which crossed Lewes Creek, now the
Lewes – Rehoboth Canal. The information below is an abstract of “ Spanning The Creek” by
Hazel Brittingham in volume V, November 2002 , Journal of Lewes Historical Society.

This is early 1900 or perhaps before, there were six, yes six, bridges to cross the creek.
Two railroad bridges and four small spans for man and beast to use to go to the bay front beach
and marsh. Three of these bradges were removed in early 1900 when the creek became the canal.

They were the South Street bridge, Savannah Road today, Market Street bridge, Ocean House
bridge and McIllvain bridge.

McIllvain Bridge was off of Gills Neck, near where the Freeman Bridge is today, probably
got the name from the land owner in the vicinity, Rev. David Mills McIllvain and was the choice of
people going to and from the Cape Henlopen lighthouse. It was used by farmers who cut marsh hay and used the marsh as pasture for their cattle. It had gates to keep cattle from meandering back to town. This bridge was also handy to the public who gatherd fire wood from the Cape Henlopen forest.

According to the journal of Fannie Marshall it was removed 29 Jamuary 1914 but when it was put across the creek is not known.

The Ocean House Bridge was built by Solomon Prettyman sometime after 16 February 1849 when the Delaware General assembly authorized a draw bridge and causeway in front of the new Ocean House at 334 Pilot Town Road leading to a Delaware Bay wharf and was toll free. It had a draw span twenty five feet lomg over the deepest channel. The bridge was in place for sometime after 1913.

Market Street Bridge was the earliest to cross Lewes Creek, authorized 6 November 1773, to be at the foot of the Lewes outdoor market which was behind the brick jail on Back Street, now2nd
Street, where Kings Ice Cream is now. It had a 'draw' of eight feet or more, with sufficient chains to
raise it up and down, so boats could pass through. A caprenter, Peter White, completed it on 12 august 1775. One reason this bridge was important was because it gave towns people good grazing for livestock and access to fishing, oysters, beach plums, cranberries and huckleberries. Market Street Bridge was in continuous use from 1775 to 1914 when the creek became the canal.

South Street, State Street, or Savanah Road Bridge, was built about 1864 or shortly before. Rebuilt, replaced, it is still there and in use.

Mention should be made of the two railroad bridges that were owned and operated by the
different rail road companies that came to Lewes.

Abstract by Harrison H , November 14, 2017:   

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bassols Sculpture

JULY 1975

The Bassols Sculture is a contemporary sculpture of welded steel and brushed aluminum which
was financed jointly by Lewes Historical Socciety and Delaware Arts Council and was valued at
least $5000. The four upright figures, eact topped with a halo , represents in abstracts the towns
architecture of church spires and victorian lines of older houses in Lewes.

Bassols, with a Cuban background, is no stranger to the arts field of Delaware. He lives at
Cool Spring and was an art teacher. He has exhibited contemporary scilpture at a number of Delaware
exhibits that reccieved both applause and criticim, some like his work, others don't, some understand it, some don't.

Early this month his contribution to Lewes was unveiled in front of a doctors historic home on
Pilottown Road. Eyebrows raised, noses stiffened, protest piled up, like “what the hell is this”. In response to criticism he quoted “ some day, this sculpture will become part of Lewes' folklore”.

November 13, Anyway, last Thursday the news was out, sad news, Bassols work has been ordered to the
warehouse, awaiting further decision, by Lewes Historical Society.

Shame on Lewes, it's Historical Society, and all of you.

SOURCE; Wilmington Morning News, Bill Frank, Monday , July 28, 1975. Abstract by Harrison,
November 13, Anyway, last Thursday the news was out, sad news, Bassols work has been ordered to the
2 2017.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

CIA at Lewes


A CIA report, noted in the Wilmingtom News Journal on June 11, 1975, states that the
Lewes Police Agency has received from the CIA, gratuties, for being helpful to the agency. The tiny police force of Lewes would hardly seem qualified to receive a high level international intrigue message of such, but it did.

The reason was that former CIA Director, Richard Helms, has been raveling back and forth between Lewes and Washington, D.C. recently to answer to congress probers about illegal spying
and assassination plots.

During his years as CIA director, Helms, would escape the battles of Washington to a summer
cottage here , Wit's End, at 1303 Cedar Avenue, which is owned by his wife, Cynthia Retcliff McKelvie. The 'gift' was , according to the report, given to the Lewes police for their assistance when it was thought that Helms life was in danger. Chief Louis Fisher, Lewes Police Department, said that if Helms life was in danger he did not know anything about it andtold us that a few year ago the department was asked “to keep an eye on the cottage when Helms was in town” by an agent of the CIA
and his men were instructed to drive by the cottage, time to time, to see if it was OK. Not a great
urgency was noticed. Most of the time we only knew he was here when we saw his car in the drive.

Just what the gift was is another question. Fisher told of a walkie-talkie they sent once but it would not work on the Lewes system and was returned. Fisher and City Manager, Ron Donovan, were guest once at the CIA in Washington for a tour, maybe that was the gift.

A case of government intrigue gone by unnoticed by the peaceful beach town of Lewes.

Source: Sussex Bureau, Wilmington News Journal , Wednesday, June 11, 1975, abstact by Harrison H ., November 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017



Bethany Beach was established in 1898 when the coastal area of Sussex county beame more
easy to reach by transportation facilities. A religious group from Scranton, Pennsylvania, by name,
Christian Church Disciples, chose it as a summer camp for it's Missionary Society. The Scranton
group formed the Bethany Beach Improvement Company that agreed to purchase land, no less than
100 lots, develop it, and provide transportation to it.

The resort was dedicated on Juky 12, 1901, and a large octagonal tabernacle built to hold the
activities of the society.

At that time the nearest railroad station was at Rehoboth Beach, to the north and seperated by
several bodies of water. The steamer, “Atlantic” was put in service and transported visitors from
Rehoboth Station across two bays, up Whites Creek to Ocean View where they then continued the
trip by horse drawn carriages'.

The deeds to the lots had clauses by the staunch Christian society which barred the sale and
possession of alcoholic beverages in the town. This “prohibition” had outlast the origional
religious fervor and for years kept the development to a minimum, preserving a quiet charm of
the town. The missionary society has continued to used it's facilities however, the tabernacle was
torn down in the 1960's.

A National Guard Coastal Artillery Camp on the northern outskirts opened after WWI and is
used as a training ground during the summer months. Bethany also was the location of a Coast
Guard Lifesaving Station and during WWII was home to a Navy radio station.

Abstract October 31, 2017, by Harrison H., from Dick Carter's History of Sussex County,

Delaware Coast News, 1976.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017



At various times during the 18th and 19th centuries ship yards existed at Lewes, Mispillion
Creek, Cedar Creek, Broadkill River, Milton, Indian River, Assawoman Bay, Whites Creek,
Blackwater, Nanticoke, Broad Creek. In 1860 ship buildiing in Sussex was in decline due to the
development of the iron built steamboats. Listed in “Boyds Delaware State Directory” were
three shipyards at Milford, three at Milton, two at Lewes, two at Millsboro, one each at Halls
Store, now Ocean view, and, Laurel. A few years later shipyards were listed at Lewistown,
now Bethel, and and at Seaford.

David Taylor wrote in his “Delaware History” that shipyeards were easy to establisheeded ,
needed was a firm river bank, deep water and nearby white oak timber. Most shipcarpenters had
their own tools and shipyards furnished the sawa, planes and a stearm box for shapeing planks

The virgin forest of Sussex yeilded white oak beams 60 feet long and 2 ½ feet square and
brought to the yards each day as needed. Indian River Hundred itself had 50 saw mills in
operation to meet the timber needs. Fifty four million board feet of lumber per year was said to
be used by the shipbuilders.

The Sussex yards turned out small shallops, coastal schooners and sloops, and later the
bugeyes, skipjacks, both workboats for the Chesapeake Bay oystermen.

Although the advent of the steamer led to the decline of Sussex ship building it also must be
known that the counties white oak and cypress timber became depleated.

Saturday, October 28, 2017



October 26, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on this day by then president Grover
Cleveland in New York Harbor. The statue was a friendship gift from the people of France to the
people of the United State of America.

The statue was originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World” prroposed by the
French historian Edouard de Laboulaye and designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste

It is 151 feet high, the figure of a woman with an uplifted arm holding a torch. The frame
of steel was designed by Eugene Emmanuel Viollet le Duc and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Effel
designed the Effel Tower of Paris.

1877 Congress approved the site on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. The statue was
completed in France in 1884 in May and in August of that year Americans laid the corner stone for
the pedstal. A year later, the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in New York in more that 200
packing cases. The copper sheets were reassembled and the last rivit was fitted the 28th October

The Statue of Liberty was made a National Monument in 1924, and in 1856 Bedloes Island
was renamed Liberty Island.

Ellis Island, adjacent to Bedloe's Island, was opened as the chief entry station to immigrants
to the United States of America which were welcomed into New York Harbor by sight of “Lady

Inscribed on the pedestal is a 'sonnet' “The New Colossus” by american poet Emma Lazarus.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of
your teeming shore, send these, through the golden door”.

Abstract by Harrison, October 28, 2017, of, “This Day In History” world wide

Wednesday, October 25, 2017



Peale was a portrait painter of note and also a dedicated naturalist in Philadelphia where
he opened a museum to display his paintings and specimens of native American animals.

In 1793, he, his wife, and children, Raphel, Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian, spent the summer
at Lewestown on the Delaware, where he could collect examples of coastal birds on the sands of Cape Henlopen. The family scampered over the Cape dunes all summer, collecting egrets, herons,
ducks, and other birds that frequent the dunes and coastal bays. At the end of the summer he sailed back to Philadelphia, only to lrearn that the city was in the midst of a yellow fever epidemic.

Peale sealed himself and family in their home, along with the collection of fowl from Cape
Henlopen, and avoided anyone with the disease. Fearing to visit the market for food because of the fever , when they ran short of food, he turned to the cages of his collection of birds of Cape Henlopen.

The birds which were to be scheduled to be stuffed and displayed at his museum, soon
graced the Peales dinner table.

Abstract: October 25, 2017, by Harrison H, from Michael Morgan's Delaware Diary, Delaware
Coast Press, Wednesday, 25, October 2017.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017



Fireworks this weekend begin the month long celebration at the Mulberry Street school

with pony rides, races and games.

Sunday the fire house will hold an open house, fire truck rides and exhibits of old and new

equipment, movies starting at 2 pm.

Next week end will feature arts & crafts displays of carved farm scenes, weaving of fish

net, and quilting.

The following weekend there are industrial tours to King Cole Ranch and Alantis Plastics.

Sunday this weekend will be Heritage Sunday at the churches. The Wesleyan Church will have

a dinner on church grounds.

25th  September will be the parade with six bands, antique cars and farm machinery,  horses,

bicycles, historical floats. The Lion are to hold a street dance after the parade.  The Milton Jaycees 

 and the Bicentennial Committee are sponsers of the program.

Abstract of the Wilmington Morning News, Friday, September 5, 1975 by Harrison H, October

23 , 2017.



For years Milton has tried to bring a doctor to town, so it was a surprise when, unannounced,
Dr. Charles G. Wagner, showed up and opened a practice in the rural town of 1400 residents.

Wagner, age 32, has opened an office next to the H. O. Brittingham School on 424 Mulberry
Street, in the former home of the Harrison Howeth family's, Chandlers Old Orchard Farm. He also
will make house calls.

Milton Chamber of Commerce president, Ed Scott, says he did not ask for any help, just came
in and set up shop.

Doctor Wagner and his wife, Jo Anne, a RN , came to Delaware in May to Milford Memorial
Hospital as full time doctor and nurse in the emergency room where he works five days on and five
days off, for 12 hour shifts and will see patients by appointment on his time off and weekends.

He was born in in 1946 in West Virginia, grew up in Connecticut and New Jersey, was in
the Army in Korea and Viet Nam as a helicopter pilot. He graduated in 1974 from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. He did resident work at New York's St. Luke's Hospital.

Then, Mrs. Wagner said they heard that Mlton needed a doctor and the call to the east just
“got to us”.

Abstract of Ray Goldbacher in the Wilmington New Journal , Friday, August 25, 1978,
by Harrison H. 10/23/17.

Saturday, October 21, 2017



Dick Clark's “History of Sussex County” relates the Overbrook was never a town or village,

rather a neighborhood of of prosperous farms. It was also a station on the QueenAnne's Railroad in

1900's when excursion trains which ran to Lewes' Queen Anne's Pier and on to Cape May, New


Clark goes on the tell the Overbrook area was home to the lower Delaware fox hunters

group, a rugged, wild and boistterous, down to earth bunch, unlike the more elegant participants of

Virginia and Maryland in their well taylored habits , riding to the hounds and sound of brass

hunting horns. Many local farmers had packs of hounds, five or more, that they let loose to run

across the winter fields and forest , baying, with the farmers right behind, whooping and hollering.

I believe I have record that Overbrook at one time had a post office in a general store, and even a schoolhouse.

I'll add this later, if I can find it.

Abstract October 22, 2017, by Harrison H, from “History of Sussex County”, Delaware Coast Press.
By Dick Clark, 1976.

Monday, October 16, 2017



Carey's Camp is west of Millsboro, near the crossroads at Conaway Road and Caey's Camp Road, the location being called Mudford in early times. This was a revival encampment, the bush
meetings, of two groups of Methodist Societies which were many about the peninsula. They were the Phillips Hill and the Mission School societies. There were no buildings at the 'bush meetings' the people slept and ate in tents under canvas sheets held up by timber poles or wagons.

There was a strong desire to have a church, and in 1884, a Carey family, Elijah and Levenia,
donated an acre a bit east of Mudford and Carey's Church was begun. Progress was slow, money
was none, but in 1891 the church was dedicated.

There was an elderly gentleman, more than a hundred years of age, Joe Ben Husdon, living in the 1980's who watched the construction.

Since the summer revival meetiings were a popular event it wasen't long before a permenent
campground was built. Forty seven small crude sheds, they called them tents, with open fronts constructed, facing a large cross shaped tabernacle .

These early camp meetings were evanglistic revivals and attended by thousands , the sermons were long and had 'after service' when all the saved christians gave witness testomoials , and last until after midnight. . A 'love feast' early morning service was held every morning, fllowed by more testimony, was led by a layman.. Childrens Bible School was held in the mornings.

A social viewpoint was very important. Transportation, the horse and buggy, posed limitations of friends in ones social circle. To renew old friendships and romantic relationshipa posed another atmosphere.

Abstract by Harrison H., 16 October 2017. Source is “Carey's Church and Camp” writen by
Don Ward, Berta Smith and Niel Carey, for the March 2006 issue of “Shoreline Magazine” of the Nabb Research Center, Salisbury.

Saturday, October 14, 2017




It is considered bad luck to paint a boat blue. There is a belief that the similarity of the color
to that of water, entices the bay to swallow the blue boat.

Another account out of Cambridge tells of a sailor navigating a blue hull boat , caught in a storm, just out of reach of safe harbor, the life savers could hear him but not see the blue boat on the waterline, and he was drowned, but the story was remembered.

The mose unique supererstition comes from Elliotts Island. “There was a waterman so enhanced by a woman's blue eyes while out sailing that he lost 'his water sense' , went aground and
perished a slow horriible death.

Most boats have womens names, a name to whom the master of the vessel is to be 'true' during
the voyage.

Also green boats cause fear of rotting and falling apart. A crow flying over the bow of a
boat is bad luck.


Aunt Caroline, an Indian half breed, said to have ethnic powers, once prayed to the
Lord God to spare watermen caught off shore in ice during a storm. Sure enough, while still on her knees, the ice flow opend in the creek and the boats were able to come right in to shore. A fact, says Elsie Brimer of Smith Island, in 1972.


In the gneral area of Somerset county there is an Indian maiden who comes to help those
who are in trouble. Her names is Meniah and this is a beautiful legend. It is not known just how it began, but whenever you are in deep trouble in that county, she comes to help you. Many a sailor
has said that there was an unusual woman at the wheel when they knew neither what way to go,
and she , at the wheel, guided them in the right direstion and to port. A fact, says Thomas Flowers,
Hoopers Island, 1972.

New technology, sometimes viewed as threatening tradition, bring anxieties. Steamships,
as early as 1813, took new routes which the sailing vessels could not navigate against the flow and tide and the wind direction. This was not accepted by all who for years had labored on the sea.
This brings up “Irish Jack” set sometime in 1893 when steamer had become a common sight in
the Chesapeake.


There was an old sailor around here and they called him Irish Jack, his last name never
was heard. He told he came from Ireland on a log and people believe “Irish Jack knows and no one can do it better”. To the 1893 inauguration steamships ran excursions from Crisfield to Washington
and one this trip, about half way across, they ran up on Irish Jack in his 16 foot skipjack, sweating and
happy and all, he was invited to come aboard or at lest take a tow, but told the steamer crew “it would be no honor to go by steamer”. The steamship moved on.


Back when several families would 'get together' and take a big boat on a trip to Baltimore
for a bit of fun and merryment, they took along ost everythng hey needed for a day of so, even the chicken coop, with chickens, for the eggs. One on a crossing, Captain John Marsh, told others of the bunch that he can tell their location and the water depth, from the smell of the sounding line.

Bets were on and he went in the cabin so not to see where they were. He gave correct locations and depths several times, before, one ogf the group decicded to 'trick' him. The next sounding, the bottom of the sounding line was rubbed in the chicken coop and passed down to him. Captain john told them there were in 45 feet of water, off Bloody point, or were back home in the back yard in
the chicken pen. So tells Alex Kellam, Smith Island, 1971.

So ends, folk tails of the Chesapeake, until more come to light.

Source: Aaron Lumpkins' Waterman's Tales, Folklore of the Chesapeake, June 2009,
'Shoreline” Magazine, Nabb Center , Salisbury.

Thursday, October 12, 2017



Abstract of 1807 book “A Geographical Descrition of the States of Maryland and Delaware,
by Joseph Scott, via Jefferson Boyer in December 2015 “Shoreline Magazine” from the Nabb
Center, Salisbury.

One of the largest counties on the Eastern Shore, the other is Worcester. Established before
1671, 32 miles by 27 miles, 375,000 acres or so. To the north is Caroline county and the
Choptank River and Talbot county. South east is the Nanticoke River and Somerset county. The
western boarder is Chesapeake Bay and Hoopers Island . The farmers produce corn, wheat and
lumber. Watermen bring in crabs, ayster's, clams, fish and water fowl.

Cambridge is the county seat, a post office town with about 300 residents and 50 homes,
which sit on the south shore of the Choptank, about 15 miles from the mouth of it at the bay. This
village, healthy and agreeable, has a church, court house, jail.

Vienna a small post town, sits on the west side of the Nanticoke , high and dry at 12 to 13 feet
above the river. There are maybe 12 or 13 dwellings in poor , four stores, two granaries, two
taverns, a port collector office and a brick Episcpal church which holds divine service once in a
while. There are two wharves from which ships of any burthern may load. The town has little trade
due to the absence of enterprising residents. Vienna is 120 miles from Washington city.

New Market and Middletown lay between Cambridge and Vienna, Federalsburg on Marshy
Hope prong of the Nanticoke, is 25 miles N.E. by E.

Dorchester has it's share of islands, Goldsboro Island, 2200 acres on the Hunger river,
James, 1600 acres, Hoopers Island , east side of the bay, at Hunger river, is 7300 acres. Also there
are Barren Island and Sharps Island, east of the bay.

The counties largest rivers are Nanticoke and Choptank.

Nanticoke is the largest, 45 miles long, starts in Sussex Delaware, flows south east into the
Chesapeake Bay. It is named for the tribe of Indians which lived along it's shore.

The Choptank also begins in Delaware . Flows south east , 43 miles, into the Chesapeake.

Monday, October 9, 2017




Lewes, Delaware , September 15, 1903, Delaware Pilot.

It will take several days until an estimate of the damage from the storm last Tuesday night will be
clearly known, especially that done to the vessel's. Lewes got off with a number of trees uprooted,
and damaged buildings, the most serious being the power house smoke stack bown down which
left the town in darkness.

In the 1900's weather forecasting was incomplete, wind direction and barometric readings were 'it'.
When a storm came up, it was anyones guess when it would abate.

This particular 'vagabond hurricane' was one that proved to be unpredictable and came out of the
Atlantic , having been born a 1000 mile to the east of the Bahamas and stayed at sea until it turned
northward and raked the Delaware coast. It caught residents by surprise.

The three masted schooner, Hattie A. Marsh, was driven into the new outer breakwater, and broke
up, taking five crew members with her. Two, crew members, the mate and one sailor, were saved by
the Lewes Life Savings Station crew.

Farm crops, corn and orchards suffered but the late tomato crop survived. Fish plant piers and the
governments telephone line were done in. There was no communication down the coast south of

Source: Micheal Morgan, Delaware diary, Delaware Cast Press, 10/04/2017: Delaware Pilot &
“Weather Underground”. Abstract: Harrison H.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


1911 – 1912

July 7, 1912, the season regualarly opened and it's most prosperous summer is being

predicted. Many improvements over the past months will allow Oak Orchard to better take care

of it's visitors for a week or month. New cement works along the beach prevent the river from

reaching in and cutting the beach during every heavy storm.

The Indian River House, already noted as a hostelry , is open and already doing business

under direction of Charlie Phillips and his bride, Miss Lawrence, of Wilmington. Last year,

Miss Anna Cooper of Millsboro , had charge.

Miss Myrtle Wilson, Margaret Lynch, of Georgetown , Blanch McNear of Wilksbarre,

Pennsylvania, Elizabeth McLernon of Camden, New Jersey, George Messick, Bill Short, Jr.,
Payton Banning and George Walls all of Georgetown, enjoyed a coaching trip to this place

recently. Dr. Messick of Milford and his family are at the Messick cottage , Dr. Chapman of

Georgetown is at the Ioka cottage, the R. P. Davis family are spant a few days at the Crapmore

cottage. Captain Vessey has bought the boyce cottage house and Fred Blizzers family, the Willins

of Georgetown are there. Charles Cullin and Albert Worth were the weekenders at the Crow;s

Nest. Mary Houston of the Houston cottage entertained friends from Milton , Lewes, and New

York. The G. C. Calhoun's and Mrs Manners will spend the month at the Ioka cottage.

Last Sunday all but three of the cottages were occupied.

Wilmington Evening Journal, Monday July 8, 1912

Monday, October 2, 2017



A new picnic ground on the dual highway leading into Rehoboth Beach and Lewes has
been laid out by the Henlopen Grange 20, of Lewes for motorist going to the resorts. One acre
of shady pine woodland was offered by two Grange members, the Misses Mamie and Arzie
Wilson, the owners.

A group of 12 Grangers have cleared off the picnic ground, set up tables and facilities
for use by the motoring public free of charge. The plot is located on the south bound lane
of the dual about half a mile south of Five Points intersection.

Two years ago a picnic area was set up by Sussex Garderners Club, two miles out of Rehoboth is now over taxed and the new area will be an extra stop over.

Both of these picnic areas will be maintained by the Garderners Club and the Grange.





Lewes is preparing a colorful parade for it's 325th anniversary , Saturday, August 11th.
There are 21 ' floats' planned to portray episodes of the town's history. The four day observance
will be from the 9th to 12th of August. Henry P. Marshall is program chaIrman.

The following organizations are to sponsor a float . They are;

Sussex Archaeological Association with a display of aboriginal Indians at Lewes before the Dutch.

Zwaanendael Club, with David Petersen deVries, Dutch leader of the 1631 settlement.

DAR, Colonel David Hall Chapter, Colonel Halls as a Revolutionary patriot.

Henlopen Grange of Lewes, will display the Plockhoy 1663 colony.

Lewes Lions and the story of Caesar Rodney and his romance with the Lewes postmasters

Lewes Special School will remember the the first girl graduates of the Lewes Union School of

American Legion Post 17 are to bring the 1698 – 1790 Pirate Episodes to life.

Hollymount Home Demonstration , the 1709 Quaker colony at Lewes.

Bethel Methodist Church will bring to life Rev George Whitefield , hell fire and brimstone
evangelist who preached his first sermon at Lewes in 1793.

Lewes Coast Guard Station will bring on the first vigilantes of 1884.

Other floats to be assigned are; 1812 bombardment to Ft Miles. LFD, the 1673 fire that
burned the second Dutch settlement, Delaware River Pilots to the YATCH Club , Fisherman Paradise
to Lewes Anglers. Lewes Trust will be asked to sponsor the deBraak episode, Sussex Trust, the six
governors fostered by Lewes, the Betsy Patterson, Jerome Bonaparts bride, and her 1804 storm
forced visit to Pilot Town Road, is asked to be by Lewes Dairy.

Homecoming Day at the Village Green , Thursday, tours on Friday , Saturday the 'parade', and
Sunday is 'Come to Church Day' with an evening union service on the beach front.

June 1 1956, Wilmington New Journal is the source.



Superintenant H. Geiger Omwake of the Lewes Board of Education announced six new
post on the faculty of Lewes Special School were filled to complete the roster for the fall

The school will be 20 days late in opening due to renovations being completed and the new
building program. The opening day is September 26.

Mrs Della Maas, will succeed Mrs Myrtle Emory as librarian . Maas has a MA in Library
Science from the University of Nebraska, and 14 years experience, and is the first fully qualified
librarian of Lewes School.

Miss Doris Jean Layser, a West Chester State Teachers College graduate, will teach girls
physical education and coach the girls athletic teams. He plans to add girls hockey to the program
and field a varsity team for competition.

Miss Barbara Smith who holds an A.B. Degree from West Liberty State College will replace
Miss Dorothy Pulliam Kretzer as the fourth grade teacher.

Norman E. Smith, also a West Liberty State graduate will teach high school English class.
He will replace Miss Rachel Kepley and will direct the Junior Press Club as he has had special
education in journalism.

An additional fourth grade class made necessary by increased enrollment will be taught by
Mrs Marie Bricker, a graduate of Millersville State Teachers College . She has seven years of
teaching in Bradford and at Penn State.

Rodney Bricker, also from Bradford, will fill an appointment of elementary school
principal. He has a Masters in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania.
He will also teach a new section of the sixth grade. Mr Brickler is working toward a doctorate
and is a veteran of WWII.

Source: Friday, August 25, 1950 Wilmington New Journal , Wilmington, Delaware

Saturday, September 30, 2017





The Dallas, Texas, Morning News, 22 March 1979 reports an extensive effort to protect the
chain of fragile barrier islands stretching from Maine to Texas along the Atlantic and Gulf coast
will be announced by mid May, this year.

The plan envisions using federal assistance to 'limit' housing and recreation development , also
give greater effort to preserve the wild areas on the islands less developed.

The proposal was ordered by President Carter two years ago when he warned many of the 300
or more island units were unstable and not suited to development, however, were receiving
federal subsidized programs to insure new construction on many of them.

The report tells that the Barrier Islands were formed over centuries as wild Atlantic storms piled
sand dunes, then sent flooding surf through the weak points to form narrow bays behind the dunes.
The study notes all barrier island are unstable, their sandy shore lines constantly moving with the force of storms, surf and currents.

Highly developed localities are classed as barrier islands, among them are Nebant, Massachussetts,
Fire Island, New York, Atlantic cirt, New Jersey, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Cumberland Island,
Georgia, Cape Canaveral, Miami Beach and Sanibel Island in Florida.

Man made efforts to curtail natural damage helps but hinders other areas below and beyon.

Steps expected to be recommended are to end the federal subsidies now available, like fresh
water systems, subsidized mortgages and insurance.

Ron Cooksy, Interior Planner, said we are not looking to 'lock up' these islands, but develop them
wisely as can safely be done. Some of them can't.




The Dallas, Texas, Morning News, 22 March 1979 reports an extensive effort to protect the
chain of fragile barrier islands stretching from Maine to Texas along the Atlantic and Gulf coast
will be announced by mid May, this year.

The plan envisions using federal assistance to 'limit' housing and recreation development , also
give greater effort to preserve the wild areas on the islands less developed.

The proposal was ordered by President Carter two years ago when he warned many of the 300
or more island units were unstable and not suited to development, however, were receiving
federal subsidized programs to insure new construction on many of them.

The report tells that the Barrier Islands were formed over centuries as wild Atlantic storms piled
sand dunes, then sent flooding surf through the weak points to form narrow bays behind the dunes.
The study notes all barrier island are unstable, their sandy shore lines constantly moving with the force of storms, surf and currents.

Highly developed localities are classed as barrier islands, among them are Nebant, Massachussetts,
Fire Island, New York, Atlantic cirt, New Jersey, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Cumberland Island,
Georgia, Cape Canaveral, Miami Beach and Sanibel Island in Florida.

Man made efforts to curtail natural damage helps but hinders other areas below and beyon.

Steps expected to be recommended are to end the federal subsidies now available, like fresh
water systems, subsidized mortgages and insurance.

Ron Cooksy, Interior Planner, said we are not looking to 'lock up' these islands, but develop them
wisely as can safely be done. Some of them can't.

Friday, September 29, 2017



Sam Vitiello , 42 year old butcher form Moscow, Pennsylvania, that's a small village near
Scranton, drove the 250 some miles to the seashore and ran smack into the gas shortage. He spent
one whole morning of his weeks vacation  finding an open station and waited in line for forty minutes to get a pump.

Reports of two or thee block gas station lines may just frighten tourist from coming to the
seashore this summer.

For the past two weeks service station operators in the resorts of Ocean City, Fenwick Island,
Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach, have watched with frustration as the gasoline lines at their
stations grow. The say everyone's mad,  all upset, because they heard everyone says “come on down, there is gas here” , and when they get here, there are the lines.

Ocean City Mayor, Harry Kelley, has promised all summer that his resort will have gas to get everyone back home and he did not 'back down'. Yesterday , the city opened a station from 5 pm to
8 pm at 32nd Street and Coast Highway. “We have 64000 gallons and we will be open until the
2nd of August.

Source: Washington, D. C., Evening Star , 27 July 1979

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1932-1935 Coast Highway



Vigorous road construction in the early 1930' s had Delaware's highway network the envy
of surouding states. The newest road ran down the coast and was complete in 1935. This was the
Ccoastal Highway, 13 miles of asphalt between Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach.

State Senator Louis A. Drexler of Bethany Beach spearheaded a drive to have the coastal road built in the 1920's and after several false starts and other delays caused by the Great Depression,
survey work began for the road in 1932 .

The biggest obstacle to the building of the road along the ocean was the Indian River Inlet.
There were some rumors that the surveyors recommended the project be abandoned but Delaware's
State Highway Engineer, W. W. Mack, took the survey to to recommend how the road should be
built. In addition, Mack announced that a permanent bridge would be built over the inlet.

Within two years the Delaware Coast News, described a trip on the new highway
“ An automobile ride own the new highway from Rehoboth Beach to Bethany Beach starts off
encouraging at south Rehoboth , or Dewey Beach, with several palatial cottages but ends most
abruptly and you catch only a few glimpses now and then of the ocean, a momotonous view of frase overed sand dunes on the ocean side and great stretches of marsh on the Rehoboth and Indian River Bays side”.

However, the opening of this highway in 1935 was seen as a boon for Rehoboth as it drew a number of vistors from Millsboro, Frankford, Millville, Dagsboro, Selbyville and Ocean View. It was another five years before the coast highway connected Delaware's beaches with Ocean City.

Source: Michael Morgan, Delaware Diary & Technical World Magazine, Delaware Coast News.