Thursday, August 31, 2017



The Delaware Governors that had residence in Lewes were David Hall, Daniel Rodney,

Caleb Rodney, Samuel Paynter, Joseph Maull and Ebe W. Tunnell.

David Hall was born in Lewes, 4 January 1732, was a lawyer in 1773, also a Captain in the
Continental Service in John Haslet's regiment during the Revolution, led his company in the battle of Long Island and White Plains. In 1777 he was commissioned a colonel and his regiment was part of
the famous Delaware Line. During the Battle of Germantown he was seriously wounded and unable
to do further service, returned to Lewes to paractice law. At age 50 he took the position of the 15th Governor, served the full term, retiring in January 1803. In 1813 he became a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Sussex county, serving until he died September 18, 1817 and was buried in the Lewes Presbyterian Church Yard.
Daniel Rodney, the 19th Delaware Governor was born in Lewes, September 10, 1764,
and was engaged in coastal trade util after the War of 1812 when he settled in his native hometown,
married the daughter of Major Hemry Fisher and beame a merchant . He was a judge for the court of common Pleas for three years after 1817, twice was elected to Congress and for a short time was U. S. Senator. He was elected Governor in the fall of 1813. Rodney died September 2 1848 and is buried in
the Episcopal Cemetery at Lewes.
Caleb Rodney, Daniels brother, was born in Lewes, April 29, 1767, and remained a resident his whole life, then upon the death of Governor John Collins in April of 1822, became Governor, as Speaker of the House, until the next January. As a young man he was in the mercantile business as a wholesale and retail merchant. He als served several terms in Delaware's Geeral Assembly. He died
in Lewes, April 29 1840, at the age of 73, and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery at Lewes.
Samuel Paynter, the 26th govenor, took office January 1824. He was born in and a resident of
Drawbridge, in Broadkiln Hundred where he was a merchant. He too, was a judge for the Court of Common Pleas in 1818. Twenty years after his term of governor he was, at age 76, a Representative of the State of Delaware. Paynter died in 2 October 1845 and was buried in the Episcopal Church Yard
at Lewes.
On the death of Governor Thomas Stockton, Joseph Maull, speaker of the Senate assumed
the duties of the office and became the 34th governor of Delaware. After occupying the office for six weeks he too took ill and died May 3, 1846. He had been born in Pilot Town on September 6, 1781,
and studied medicine under Dr. Wolfe a well known practicioner of the day. For many years he was
a physician in Milton and Broadkiln Hundred. He was frequently called upon to serve the State as a member of the General Assembly.
Ebe Tunnell, the 50th Governor of Delaware in 1896, was born in Blackwater, Baltimore
Hundred, December 31 1844 where he lived got many years as a merchant. In 1873 he mvoed to Lewes to join his brother in law in the drug business. He as a member of the State House of
Representatives , elected in 1870. He served a term as Clerk of the Peace for Sussex county and
was a leading and influential Democrat and was their nominee for governer in 1894 but was defeated
by a Republican, Joshua Marvil. Two years later he was renominated and was elected.

Abstract: August 31, 2017. Source of May 7, 1932, Wilmington New Journal. Harrison H.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sarah Rowland, Caesar Rodney & Colonel Samuel Davis, This Old House


The home of Dr. Henry Fisher, Pilot Town Road, is a silent witness to early Lewes hstory, and the Caesar Rodney and Sarah Rowland affair.

It was in this house that Caesar Rodney met Sarah Rowland, the fascinting young Quaker widow who was an ardent Tory. Story is that Rodney had left Philadelphia , during the Assembly Convention to travel to Lewes to quell Tory activities in Sussex county, and while in Lewes he
became infatuated with Sarah Rowland, the daughter of the Lewes postmaster. It is told she cleverly
intercepted mail sent to Rodney at Lewes from Thomas McKean, asking Rodney to return quickly to vote so that Delaware's vote would be accepted by the Declaration of Independence. It was through
the patriotism of Sarah's maid that Rodney was informed of the letter being held by the Tory widow.
As soon as Caesar Rodney became informed he at once took horse for Phildelphia, and made his
memorial ride.

Later, the same house, became the residence of Colonel Samuel Davis, the commander of the troops defending Lewes in the War of 1812. Living with Davis was a young girl, who Davis cherished
as his own daughter. She believed the colonel to be her father until remarks from friends aroused her
suspicions. Taking advantage of the Colonels church visit one Sunday morning the young girl searched
his private papers and found evidence that she was not only the ward of Davis and also was an heiress to several large estates in New Orleans. Later the family moved to New Castle and the girl ward married and became Mrs. Myra Clark Gains, probably the greatest litigant of her age.

Source: Saturday, May 7, 1932, Wilmington Delaware, News Journal.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


ew post on Blogger On the Broadkill

The Milton Camp Meetings , Part I

by Phil Martin
This post is about the history of the Milton Camp, sometimes called Lavinia's Camp Ground, Lavinia's Grove camp, or Lavinia's Wood camp. Because of the camp's long history and many areas of interest, I am dividing the article into two segments. Part I will look at the history of the camp and the social drivers behind it, and Part II will present some first-hand accounts of camp meetings.
With a few interruptions, the Milton camp meeting - an outdoor "tent revival" in August that ran a week or more in Lavinia's Woods - lasted at least until 1965. There is nothing I can find in the Delaware newspapers after 1965 to indicate either that the camp meeting continued to take place, or when it was abandoned. There were actually two camp meetings every year at Lavinia's Woods - one attended by African Americans under the auspices of the local A. M. E. congregation, and one by the Milton Methodist Protestant Church attended by whites. The color line was not a solid barrier, as some members of both races attended each other's camp meetings from time to time. However, for lack of sufficient resources at my disposal, this post is limited to the white people's camp meeting.
Before I delve into what is known about the camp meetings, some historical background is necessary to explain this enduring feature of American Protestant religious life.

The Great Awakenings

In the context of religion, the term "Awakening" refers to the end of a long slumber of secularism and religious indifference. Theological historians have defined three periods in the 18th and 19th centuries when evangelism acquired renewed momentum and many new converts were brought into the Methodist and Baptist traditions. The First Great Awakening began in England in the 1730's and lasted until 1743 after being exported to the American colonies. This first revival was powered by a new style of sermonizing that eschewed the dense theological investigative sermons that ministers read to the congregation, in favor of a style of communication, often extemporaneous, that sought to spiritually energize the audience and attract converts.
The Second Great Awakening began in the United States in the late 18th century and reached its peak in the middle of the 19th. The so-called "fire and brimstone" style of preaching is one example of a new type of theological rhetoric that was not directed at the intellectual elites of society, but rather to the common, less-educated population. It was evidently quite successful. One area of western New York State (bordered by Lakes Erie and Ontario to the north and west, and including much of the Finger Lakes region) was dubbed the "burned-over district" because the sheer number of converts there meant no more "fuel" (potential new converts) to "burn" (convert). The temperance, women's suffrage, and abolitionist movements of the 19th century had deep roots in the reformist spirit that was part of the religious fervor of the "burned-over district." The area also spawned Mormonism and several utopian movements.
Western New York State was an underpopulated frontier area in the early 19th century, as were Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. It is in this period that camp meetings led by preachers of various Protestant denominations began to spring up. Presbyterian minister James McGready is generally thought by historians to have originated the first camp meeting in the U. S., in Kentucky, in 1799 - 1801. These camp meetings were described as highly emotional, and participants were susceptible to states of high excitement, rapture, "convulsions," speaking in tongues, and the like. Attendees literally camped at the meeting, as there were no hotel accommodations to be had in frontier areas.
The sustained excitement stoked by preacher after preacher for hours and days on end, and the congregation of thousands of normally isolated people at these first camp meetings bred all kinds of non-spiritual excesses, including drinking, gambling, and (according to at least one observer) sexual promiscuity and abandon. A common joke at the time maintained that frontier populations spiked about nine months after a camp meeting, and the newborns were called "camp meeting babies." There is no way to verify the truth of this assertion, facetious or not.
By the 1850's, camp meeting organizers maintained increased vigilance over attendees' behavior and the excesses of the earlier years were kept under better control. By the time of the Third Great Awakening in the latter half of the 19th century, Methodist churches in the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, operated perennial camp meetings in the summer months in many locations; evangelism advanced on multiple fronts, including missionary work, permanent religious retreats at Rehoboth, DE and Ocean Grove, NJ,  and the Y. M. C. A.

The Milton Camp Meeting (Lavinia's Camp Ground)

The Milton Camp Meeting at Lavinia's Camp Ground just outside of town, to the best of my knowledge, has its origins in the Third Great Awakening. The earliest newspaper reference to it can be found in the September 6, 1873 issue of the Wilmington News Journal, but I believe this camp meeting, run by the Milton Methodist Protestant Church, would have begun some years before that. A report in the August 3, 1914 issue of the Wilmington Morning Journal asserted that Lavinia's Camp was about sixty-six years old, which would bring its initial year to 1848, several years before the establishment of the Milton M. P. congregation in 1857. Yet another newspaper article suggests that the camp may have been started by the Methodist Episcopal Church as early as 1835.

Lavina's Camp Ground, ca. 1911, photographed by Dr. William H. Douglas (Milton Historical Society collection)
The photograph above, found in the Douglas Family folder, is one of only two known photographs of the Milton Camp Meeting. In the background are the "tents," which were actually small cottages owned or rented by families attending the camp meeting. They are two stories tall, presumably with the bedroom(s) in the upper floor and an open sitting area on the ground floor. Some have ornamentation (the balconies and railings in the two leftmost cottages). These cottages were arranged in a circle around the tabernacle, which is not visible in the photograph but would have been just beyond the benches in the right side of the photograph. The benches themselves are arrayed in a semi-circle in front of the tabernacle.
The table-like structure in the right foreground with the wood pile next to it was the source of light for nighttime activities: four logs with a dirt-filled slab on top of them. A bonfire was built and lit at dusk on top of the dirt.

Milton Camp Meeting, ca. 1911 photographed by Dr. William H. Douglas (Milton Historical Society collection)
The photograph above, taken by the same photographer, appears to have been taken on the opposite side of the camp pictured in the first photograph. The evening fire on the raised dirt slab is smoldering at center background. That and the low position of the sun through the trees suggest that the photograph was taken in the morning. Some boys are standing under the awning, to the right of the fire platform; an automobile or truck is partially visible in the far background, to the left of the smoke. The benches facing the tabernacle, at left, are spartan; they have no backs and are just plain wood. Another interesting feature is the "boarding tent" in the center background. Meals were prepared, sold and served in the boarding tent, which was also a permanent structure rather than canvas. The boarding tent as well as several other services provided in the camp were operated by individuals as "privileges" (concessions) that the Milton M. P. Church auctioned off to the highest bidder. The following excerpt from the Milton News letter in the Milford Chronicle of July 11, 1902 provides some insight into the issues surrounding concessions at the camp meeting:
At the sale of the privileges held on Saturday, the boarding tent brought $1; the food pound $9; these were purchased by Prof. W. H. Welch. The confectionery department was bought by John Barker for $5. One of the officers of the church requests the writer to say that the small prices these privileges were sold for was due to the action of the church, which will not allow anything to be sold on Sunday; and the two Sundays that include a part of the camp are the best days the proprietors of these privileges can have. This may be all right from a moral standpoint; but as these meetings are held more for sociality than for spiritual comfort, you had better get all out of them that you can.
At the sale of the privileges for the colored camp at Hazard’s Woods, near the end of Milton Lane, the confectionery stand brought $36; and the boarding tent $12. Witness the contrast, when viewed from a financial standpoint.
The "food" pound Conner referred to may have been the horse pound or stabling area, as this was the age of the horse and buggy. Selling food or confectionery at these camp meetings would not make anyone rich. There was an additional problem: the Milton camp meeting was within easy walking distance to the center of town, and attendees did not have to rent a "tent" or buy food from the camp concessions if they chose not to. Indeed, Milton town residents had always made up the bulk of the attendance at the Milton Camp meeting, and could walk into or out of the camp without difficulty.
There is also another statement in the first paragraph: ..these meetings are held more for sociality than for spiritual comfort. By the early 20th century, the summer camp meeting was seen by many as a social event, and there were few converts made. The value of the Milton Camp meeting as an evangelical tool was called into question for years by the M. P. church, but what led to the end of the church's involvement with the camp meeting was something entirely different.

Road leading to Lavina's Woods camp, ca 1911  photographed by Dr. William H. Douglas (Milton Historical Society collection)

The End of the Milton Camp Meeting

In the July 22, 1918 issue, the Wilmington News Journal reported several cases of what was first thought to be chickenpox in one Georgetown family. The diagnosis changed to smallpox as the symptoms became more severe, and a previously unreported outbreak of smallpox in Gumboro came to light. Just two days later, the Wilmington Morning Journal reported that camp meeting season was beginning to ramp up and a full season was planned. But by July 30, organizers of several camp meetings on the Peninsula, including the Milton Camp, were advised by the State Board of Health not to hold planned meetings due to the fear of contagion. The camp meeting did not take place that year, but the decree to close it came after concessionaires and others had already invested money in preparation.
In the August 4, 1919 issue of the Wilmington Morning News, it was reported that the committee organizing that year's Milton Camp meeting had decided not to hold it. The reasons given in that newspaper were the lack of cooperation among members of the congregation and the inability to find someone to manage the boarding tent. However, David A. Conner, writing in his Milton News letter in the August 4, 1919 issue of the Milford Chronicle, gave a somewhat different view of the abandonment of the Milton camp meeting. He stated that it had for many years been a social event rather than a spiritual one; before the advent of the automobile and the railroad, the camp meeting was eagerly anticipated by country people who were far from a church, were relatively isolated, and needed a respite. Modern transportation had provided all classes with the means to enjoy alternatives to the camp meeting such as beach excursions, which were proving immensely popular.

A New Lease on Life

In September of 1897, in Cincinnati, a group of Methodist Episcopalians founded the International Holiness Union and Prayer League, which was intended to be a fellowship and not a new denomination. By 1900, however, the fellowship had acquired many adherents who were attracted by its principles and its evangelic missionary work overseas. Its name was changed to International Apostolic Holiness Union. By 1905, having grown into a formal church organization in all but name, the group was renamed to International Apostolic Holiness Union and Churches. After a further period of growth and absorption of other religious bodies, the overall organization adopted the name of one of the absorbed churches and became the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
The Pilgrim Holiness Church arrived in Milton in 1926, held their first meeting on Easter Sunday of that year, and dedicated their church building on April 11. This made a total of four Protestant churches attended by whites of the town. In 1927, the newly established church re-opened the Lavinia's Camp under their auspices. The camp continued in operation until at least 1965.
The two Methodist branches, Episcopalian and Protestant, as the United Methodist Church around 1940, with the result that the Milton Methodist Protestant Church, or Grace Church as it had been renamed, became superfluous to the administrative body of the UMC and disappeared by 1962. The former church building was restored in 2006 and is now the home of the Milton Historical Society and the Lydia B. Cannon Museum.
On June 26, 1968, The Pilgrim Holiness Church and The Wesleyan Methodist Church of America were united to form The Wesleyan Church, which is still a presence in the religious life of the Milton community.
An Account of Lavina's Camp Meeting, anonymous typewritten manuscript (MHS Collection)
Wilmington News Journal, September 6, 1873
Milton News letter, Milford Chronicle, July 11, 1902
Wilmington Morning Journal, August 3, 1914
Wilmington News Journal, July 22, 1918
Wilmington Morning News, August 4, 1919
Wilmington News Journal, July 3, 1959
Wilmington Morning News, July 10, 1965

Phil Martin | August 29, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
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Former Bethany Beach Mayor dies.


James C. Popham, age 49, former mayor of Bethany Beach died Monday, May 7, 1967, at his place of business, the Holiday House restaurant.

Mr. Popham was born in Culpeper, Virginia and was a Sussex countyvisitor since 1938 when he was a student at the University of Virginia. He continued visit the shore while employed in
Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Rubber Company into the late 1940's.

He opened his retaruant and as a property owner ran for a seat on the Town Commission,
winning the seat after which he moved his permanent residence to Bethany Beach. In 1960 he became mayor and during his adminstration Bethany Beach was hit by the worst storm in history. The ocean
front had to be totally rebuilt.

James Popham was a WWII Veteran, a major in the Army Reserves, he is a past president of
the Southeastern Sussex Democrat Club, a member of the State Planning Commission, president of
Commerce Corner, Inc., member of VFW Post 7234, Mason Dixon Post of Ocean View, and All
Saints Episcopal Church in Rehoboth.

A bachelor, he is survived by his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Popham of Rock Point, Maryland
and two brothers, Frank of Washington, D. C., and Russell of Rock Point.

Funeral services were at Watson Grey Melson Funeral Home, Frankford, with interment at the
convenience of the family.

Wilmington Morning News, May 8 1967.



The source of this article appeared in the Wednesday, September 13, 1967 , Wilmington
Morning News and was written by W. Emerson Wilson, stating that the year, 1967 was the 275th
anniversary , and on October 7th & 8th will be marked by a observation and the publication of a history of the church. Wilson's source appears to be the history book of Elizabeth Russell Atkins of Lewes.
2017 the church will be 325 years old .
W. Emerson Wilson wrote;
Although a Presbyterian missionary of London, Samuel Lewes, may have formed the congregation
in 1691, it is known that Rev. Samuel Davis, an Irish native, was preaching to a congregation there in 1692, so therefore that date has been accepted for the founding. Rev Davis had served the church in Maryland before settling in Lewes in 1692. Rev. Davis was followed by the Rev. Francis Macemie who is known as the founder of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Coolspring and Indian River Presbyterian Churches are included because of their close connections with the congregations in Lewes.
The Coolspring church may have been set up as early as 1700, even though it was not active
until 1734, and the first church was buit there in 1737 on land obtained from Thomas Penn.
The Indian River church was organized in 1730 near Millsboro.
These three churches served as a unit with a single preacher pastor for many years. In 1666
the Indian River church was abandoned and the Coolspring church later became separate.
The first church building in Lewes was a wooden frame and used until 1707 when replaced by a brick built church in 1726. The present church was dedicated this year and the brick structure became a school until 1871 when it was demolished. The subsequent history now is presented through biographies of its pastors. They follow; A Mr. Thompson was an author and a preacher who had several books published in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1793 when Rev. Josias Martin was pastor, the famous evangelist George Whitefield
spoke at the Lewes church, and a 'split' in the church, attributed to his preaching's, resulted in the
Indian River congregation joining the New Light factions, while the other two remained Old Light congregations but later reunited Another early pastor was, Rev. Matthew Wilson, who served for 34 years, and equally well known as a physician and surgeon. Medical students came from distant states to study under him. He was a surgeon in the Army during the Revolution and preached sermons in favor of the patriot cause. He became a charter member of the Delaware Medical Society and wrote many medical papers.
From the “Old Sessions Book” which the church recorded births, marriages, deaths and offences against the church, there came the story of the year 1809, when young members of the church were reprimanded by the Session for the practice of dancing and their refusal to refrain shocked the Session which entered their name on record as an offence to the church.

The book of Lewes resident Elizabeth Russell Atkns by name, is “History of the United
Presbyterian Congregations of Lewes, Coolspring and Indian River Churches”.

Abstract: August 29, 2017 Harrison Howeth, Lewes, Delaware


Bob Savage
Bob Savage 4:18pm Aug 28
This is from a Delaware State News Article that was posted in the Lifestyle Section on Thursday, May 30, 1985. I could scan the article, but the print might be to hard to read as a post, so I figured I'd just retype it for you.

Titled – A Colorful Curator – Former plumber now runs Indian Museum

Dewey Beach – Kermit L. Hill's grandmother was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. And, because he is proud of his heritage, Hill has been collecting relics for 60 years.
Hill, 70, was a plumber for 32 years before retiring five years ago. He is a familiar figure around Dewey Beach, striding around in a straw cowboy hat, rimmed with colorful bird feathers, Silver earrings peek through his long, white hair. Hill has the high cheekbones and hawkish nose of his ancestors. Only his pale blue eyes belie his heritage.
In front of the small white beach house, where Hill and his wife have lived for 35 years, is an Indian grave with a homemade wooden marker and a pile of bones. The skeleton buried there was dug up by Hill 12 years ago on Thompson's Island, Near Rehoboth.
“Actually” he said, “I dug up two Indians. I didn't dig em up altogether” he corrected himself. “The man who owned the property dug one of 'em out when he planted his corn”.
Hill took one of the skulls to a Delaware State Archeologist to determine the age and sex of the skeleton.
“They said it was a Nanticoke, 800 to 900 years old.” he said. “It was a young girl who died from some kind of disease. I brought it home and put it under the bed. I tried to put it back together, but it was to much for me, so I buried it out in my yard.”
The incident attracted a lot of attention, and Hill had curiosity-seekers coming from Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, “from everywheres” to view the grave and look at the many artifacts which fill his house.
In Hill's tiny living room, the walls are lined with Indian paintings and photographs of various vintage. Several small display cases bulge with arrowheads, implements, pipes, carved animals and jewelry. One case holds a few dozen colorful Indian dolls. All the books on display are Indian-oriented. There are 31 Indian rugs throughout the house which Hill refers to as his “museum”. The collection is insured and the cases are kept locked.
In the kitchen is a display case bulging with arrowheads, many of which were found by Hill around Delaware, some which were bought on his travels round the country and some which were sent to him by other collectors he has met over the years.
“I have over 7,000 of 'em” said Hill.
One small bedroom is completely devoted to his artifacts. Bows and arrows and long spears hang from the ceiling, along with decorative baskets and hand weapons. The walls are hung with photographs of Indians, past and present, peace pipes, beaded hangings, shields – even a plastic shrouded papoose carrier. Several display cased hold rocks, pottery, skull crackers, war clubs, more arrowheads. Several layers of Indian rugs cover the floor.
“I use to live along the Nanticoke River” he recalled. “During World War II, I was in the service for over seven years, and my father kept the stuff for me. Of course,” he mused, “I didn't have as much back then”.
Among Hill's most treasured possessions are a pair of beaded mocassins given to him by his friend, Chief Big John Tree, a Seneca Indian who lived on a reservation in New York. Hill saw an article about the chief in Life Magazine years ago. The chief was one of three Indians selected to pose for the Buffalo Head Nickel, which was in circulation from 1912 to 1938. According to Hill, feature of the chief and two other Indians named Iron Tail and Two Moons were combined to form the profile on the coin.
“I sent him 100 of those Buffalo Head Nickels,” said Hill. “He was real pleased with 'em, so he sent me the mocassins.”
The note attached to the shoes reads, “I am sending you my best and oldest mocassins. You can see they have seen better days. I hope they satisfy you.” It was signed John Big Tree.
Many of the items in Hill's collection were bought from an Indian museum in Pennsylvania when the owner sold it. The new owner tried to buy Hill's collection, but he refused. He refused to part with anything that he has. In fact, Hill refused an offer of $250 for a woven basket which he paid only $10.
The latest artifact on exhibit in Hill's museum is a long-handled weapon. Resembling a golf club in length and shape, the shaft is leather-covered and a large oval stone is affixed to the end. Hill said it is a fighting club used when doing battle on horseback.
“You could give 'em a real headache with this,” smiled Hill, brandishing the club.
Hill's grandmother “came from out West when she was a child – she don't remember from where.” Hill remembers that she made everything used by his family from scratch, like soap. She is the one who taught Hill how to dance and speak the language. Hill dances at the Nanticoke Powwow every yer. A photo on his wall shows him in traditional Indian garb, dance wands in his hands.
As a member of the American Indian Society, Hill is on their mailing list and keeps up with Indian culture all over America.
“There's supposed to be 562 people with Indian blood in Oak Orchard. Not full-blooded,” he stressed. “A lot of 'em come to see me. I've had Indians come from as far away as New Mexico and Arizona.”
Hill has also had his share of school children touring his museum.
“They used to bring 'em in by the busloads,” he sighed. “I remember one little kid asked me if I had an Indian under the bed. I told him I did, and he kept staring at the bed, waiting for something to happen. I think if I had kicked the cover, he'd have been out the window” Hill laughed heartlily at the recollection.
Though Hill does not collect as actively as he used to, he still gets a stick and goes out scavenging periodically.
“But the wind's gotta be blowin' right.” he explained, “It has to be blowin' out. Then stuff gets uncovered; sticks up so I can see it.”
“I sit around and look at this stuff,” said Hill dreamily. “And I think about it – wonder whose it was, what they looked like....”

Monday, August 28, 2017





Kemit L. Hill was born in Delaware, and at age 5 was resident of Representative District 5, which is Little Creek Hundred of Sussex County, where Laurel and Delmar are located. An address for his parents was Laurel-Sharptown Road and/or Road 494 outside of Laurel.
Kermit's father, Ira Melvin Hill was born 20 January 1877, Little Creek Hundred and it appears
he lived there his whole life. Ira is buried in Portsville United Methodist Church Cemetery at Portsville, Sussex county, Delaware. He died 13 February 1962, age 85. He was a farmer.
Kermit's father, Ira, age 24, married Mallie Ellen Taylor, aka Mollie, age 18, on the 4th of June 1902, at Seaford. Mallie was born 1884, seven years younger than Ira. She died in Salisbury on the 25th of January, 1942. She also is buried in Portsville.
Ira and Mollie had six children on record. They were Oscar, born 1904 and died 29 March
1989 in Walforf Maryland. Robert, born 1906. Florence E. 1908, Kermit L. 1915, Doris Elizabeth, born 1925 and {Joyce} . I did find that his sister Doris Elizabeth married William Lawrence Towers, born June 13 1926 in Rhodesdale, Maryland, in Seaford on December 7,[ 1946. ]
Ira Hills father was Joshua T. Hill, 1834 – 1908 and mother was Mary, born 1852
Kermit married Elizabeth Ellen Simpler who was born in Rehoboth 1922 and died 17 November 1990. Her father was Joseph Roland Simpler of Rehoboth. Joseph died in 1959. He had married Amanda W Downing, who died 21 November 1988. Both are buried in Epworth Cemetery at
Joseph and Amanda had six children. They were Joseph Raymond, aka Ray, lived in Rehoboth and was a Rehoboth Beach Country Club member with 37 shares. Another brother was William A., aka 'Doc' , and as I remember was the projector operator at the Blue Hen Theater and was a heavy drinker. The daughters were Gldia, she married Mr. Maloney, Elizabeth Ellen , born 1922, died 1990, who married Kermit Hill, Geraldine who married Mr. Deloy, and Mary, of my generation, who married Ray Wilson of Rehoboth , whose father had a plumbing service in Rehoboth on Rehoboth Avenue next to the Russell Brothers hardware store. I remember Ray worked for the city of Rehoboth in the town office the later years of his life.
Amanda's obituary tells us she died at age 94 in Lewes Convalescent Center, had lived at 530 School Lane, was life long resident and member of Epworth Methodist Church and buried in the
Epworth Cemeter.
In1941 Kermit was a private in the 261st Coast Artillery stationed at Fort duPont. While there
he was in a automobile accident which left him with a fractured skull. He was said to have the largest collection of American Indian artifacts which he began collecting in 1940. Kermit was known to Rehoboth school children, displayed his collections and gave talks at the school. It was said he ate anything and everything that was put before him. He worked for MED Sale Company of Rehoboth , at one time was a local police officer in Rehoboth. He was a sportsman and in 1960 was President of Delaware Federation Sportsman & Conservation Club, member of Delaware Wildlife Association, President of Rehoboth Sportsman. He lived in 1988 at 1 Bay Road, had formerly lived in Dewey Beach on George Street.
Kermit died December 2, 1994 in Milford Hospital and he had graveside services and is buried in Epworth Methodist Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017



Keystone AAA Automobile Club

An Account of Old Worship Houses in 1968

From the 1638 Olde Swedes Heliga Trifaldighets Kyrka, In New Castle County on the Delaware, to the 1742 Hungers Episcopal Church of Virginia's Eastern Shore, is right near 500 miles
and full of anciant chuches. This is an account of them .

Ashbury Methodist Church , Wilmington, dedicated 1789 by the Bishop Francis Ashbury,
which in it's cemetery lies the Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane. Close by is the 1740 Park
Drive Presbyterian Church, now the home of Delaware Colonial Dames. At East Seventh Street is
Old Swedes, know also as Heliha Trefaldighes Kyrka, or, Holy Trinity Chuch of 1699 built by Swedish Lutherans and consecrated Trinity Sunday, June 4, 1699.

South to New Castle Towne, overlooking a 'Greens which was the site of a 1672 log fort , is the 1706 Immanuel Church. At Second Street is the 1707 Old Presbyterian Church , bult when the town
of New Castle was a port of immigration, visited by new Americans to give thanks for the safe voyage.

To the west in Maryland on Old Post Road, at Calvert Cross Roads, is a 1724 Brick Meeting House which William Smallwood , an officer of the Continentals of the Revolution , once used as a hospital.

At Cooch's Bridge, is Welsh Tract Bapist Church , founded in 1701 by a congregation of 16
formed in Wales and came as group to settled a 40,000 acre William Penn Grant. Here Washington and Cornwallis troops 'did' battle in 1777.

St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church, North East, Maryland, built in 1742 when The Church
of England was the Established Church of Maryland. The church yard has grave markers of early Indian converts.

Old St. Ann's Episcopal Church, 1768, Middletown, Delaware. The inerior has original
Box Pews and Palladien window. Out side are a 200 year Oak Tree, boxwood and ivy brought from England.

Old Bohemia, or St. Francis Xavier Jusuit Church . Founded in 1704 as one of the earlist
Catholic establishments in the English Colonies. Located at Warwick, Maryland, two miles down
a country road.

At Kennedysville, Maryland is Shrewsbury Episcopal Church, an 1832 church,

At Chestertown is the Emmanuel Episcopal , established 1772, where the conference of
1780 accepted the name ' Protestant Episcopal Church' to relpace 'The Church of England' in the

Near Langford, Maryland is St. Pauls Episcopal Church, built 1713, at the cost of 70,000
pounds of tobacco.
St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Church Hill, Maryland, a 1732 church, distinguished by the
tone of its bricks, a semi circular apse and gambrel roof and lettered panels on each side of the

The Old Wye Church, built 1721, restored 1854, again in 1949.

Near Cordova , Maryland, stands St. Joseph's Catholic whice celebrated it's bicentennal
in 1965. The old church was a Jesuit mission established by Father Joseph Mosley which he built
a brick chapel and dwelling in 1782, under one roof to evade the law against public places of
worship for Catholics.

Old Third Haven Friends Meeting , in Easton, built in 1682, with timbers hewn with a broad axe, and said to be the oldest frame building dedicated to religious meetings still existing in America.

Old Trinity Episcopal at Church Creek, Maryland, which has been traced to before 1690, is
one of the oldest Protestant churches now in use. The recent restoration followed many years of
research and the accomulation of 'old pine' for the interior . The church yard has the graves of the
Carroll Family, including that of Anna Ella Carroll, a good friend, advisor and ghost writer for
Abraham Lincoln.

Old Green Hill Episcopal Church on the way to Salisbury, route 352, dated 1733, is the only remains of a early port of entry. It's brick wall, brick floor, high back family pews and a clerks
desk are original.

Spring Hill Episcopal Church, dates from 1733, west of Salisbury, has orignal and
natural wood panelling.

At Snow Hill we find All Hallows Episcopal, built in 1748 for 120,000 pouds of tobacco.
It is of soft hued brick with distinctive windows rising to the eves.

Manokin Presbyterian, 1785 at Princess Anne, Maryland.

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, also in Princess Anne, built in 1770.

At Hopewell, just below Princess Anne, is St. Peters Church built in 1850, where 'The Methodist Preacher of the Islands” of the Chesapeake Bay, preached his first sermon.
At Rehoboth on the Pocomoke River is the Rehoboth Church, the first Presbyterian Church
in America, built in 1706, and except for some window changes, the brck walls remain as they were laid. In the churchyard at the site of the 1740 Coventry Episcopal, now in ruins across the road, is a bell hanging between two trees , thought to be a gift from Queen Anne.

St. James Episcopal Church at Accomack, a Basilican type building with four fluted Dorie
columns erected in 1828. Also here in town is the Mackemie Presbyterian built in 1838 .

At Pungoteague is St Georges Episcopal Church of 1738.

Hungers Episcopal Church which dates to 1742 . After the Revolution the church was descrated and the lead from the organs pipes was used to make weights for fish nets. The church was
restored in 1851.

In Eastville, Virginia is Christ Episcopal Church built in 1826, but dates to 1614. Eastville, has the oldest standing courthouse in America
Old St. Martins, at Showell, Maryland, brick built in 1859, which is shuttered but has service
once a year in June.

Blackwater Presbyterian at Clarksville, Delaware, organized in 1667 by William Tunnel.

Prince Georges Chapel in Dagsboro, built 1757, still has its original pine interior.

At Broad Creek is Christ Church , a frame structure built in 1771 has its original unpainted
'heart of pine' interior which remains in perfect condition.

In the Indian River Hundred, Delaware's Sussex County, is St. Georges Episcopal Church with an orgional Palladian window, origional box pews, galleries with curved stairs and hand rails built in 1794.

Barratts Chapel, Frederica, Delaware, built in 1780, known as the Cradel of Methodism in

Christ Episcopal Church, Dover, Delaware whose brick structure dates from 1734, and remins the Nave of the Episcopal Church of Delaware. Here is buried a Delaware signer of the Declaration of Independence, Caeser Rodney.

Old Union Methodist south of Odessa bilt in 1847. In Odessa is the Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House, said to be the smallest brick house of worship in America dated to 1785.

North of Odessa, Old Drawyers Presbyterian , built in 1773.

SOURCE: Friday, July 12, 1968, Philadelphia Inquirer

Sunday, August 20, 2017



This article appeared in the Wednessday, October 5, 1966 newspaper “The Express” of Lock Haven
Pennsylvania, in the column “ShoreLInes” by Joseph Cox.

A backwoods girl from Shinglewood near Lock Haven became the first Miss America, rather, the first Miss United States.

The contest was held about 1880 at Rehoboth Beach Delaware said Col. Henry Shoemake president of the Pennsylvania Folklore Society when he recalled the story of Myrtle Meriwethers selection as Miss United States, the most beautiful unmarrid woman in our nation, and her return to her country store in Oswayo Valley,as a chapter in the states folklore.

Myrtle belonged to a business womans league in norther Pennsylvania, she was the corresponding secretary, that was induced to hold their convention at Rehoboth Beach. While there at her convention, exporing the boardwalk, she saw posters of a 'young womans beauty contest. She noticed that there was candidate for Pennsylvania, as several other states.

The contest promoter of Rehoboth Beach. Joseph H. Dodge, sized her up and called her attention to
the specifications , single, less than 35 years old, five feet four, no more than 130 pounds, and tat he prize was a gilded plaque and $300 in a bridal trousseau. Dodge praised Myrtle's evident qualifications and assured her she would win the Pennsylvania position should she enter. She decided to enter the contest.

The day of the contest parade of the Vestals, as it was called, began the girls marched around the open air stage as a group, then singly.

The judges were Thomas Edison, Judge Harrington of Delaware Supreme Court and M. Banwart the French envoy in Washington, D.C. Suddenly William Thompson, rapped for order, and announced that Miss Pennsylvania was Miss United States, the most beautiful unmarried woman in our nation.

Unlike her modern day counterpart, the first Miss America, forgot the whole thing as she settled down
to the quiet routne back home in Shinglewood as a backwoods girl.

There is a faded picture in an old newspaper, the only reminder now, of Myrtle Meriwether in the
back seat of the horse drawn Shinglehouse-Coudersport stage, in the collection of Col. J. W. Quiggle, president of the Rehoboth Beach Association.

Saturday, August 19, 2017




Orville Houghton Peets, internationally known artist and lithographer died Wednesday,
April 17, 1968 in Beebe Hospital at Lewes, Delaware. He was 84 year of age and lived along
the Sussex county Indian River. He was a son of Edward Orville and Mary Houghton Peets of
Cleveland,Ohio. Edward was an artist also.

Ethel Poyntell Canby, age 37, daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Tilghman Johnson Canby,
of Wilmington, Delaware and Orville Peets were married 23 September 1914.

Mr. Peets was a graduate of the Julian Academy and Ecole des Beaux-Arts, both in Paris,
France. He received awards from museums in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

His art work hang in Musee du Jeu de Paume in Paris, New York City Hispanic Museum,
The Delaware State House in Dover, New York Public Library, the Library of Congress and
Philadelphia and Chicago Museums of Art.

Peets was a veteran of WWI serving in France as an Intelligence Officer.

Orville Houghton Peets was a member of the Lewes Historical Society, Wilmington
Academy of Fine Arts, Rehoboth Camera Club, Delaware Historical Society and the Rehoboth Art
His funeral services were private.

Thursday, August 17, 2017



Lewes, Delaware Sunday, March 12 1949 :

Soviet Naval Officers were marooned ashore in Lewes last night at the Caesar Rodney Hotel after they had attended a dnner.

The officers were from the cruiser Murmansk, the former USS Milwaukee, which was lent
to the Russians five years ago and now being returned.

The return ceremonis are scheduled for Monday.

After the dinner a U. S. Coast Guard cruiser took them out to the Murmansk but high winds
made it impossible to board the ship and they were returned to the Caesar Rodney Hotel. The gold braided officers were Commodore Vasily Foodorvich Kotov and Rear Admiral E. G. Glinkof.

The town of Lewes sent a bouquet of spring flowers to the crew of the Murmansk as a gesture of freibdship from the 317 year old town.

Source: Columbus Dispatch, Sunday, Ma

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


1924 – 1925

Lewes, Delaware, September 6, 1924

The public school of Lewes will open for the academic year 1924 – 1925 Monday,
September 8 for a nine month term.

Grade one enterants will be admittted if the are or will be age 6 on of before January 1, 1925.
With the excellent physical plant and teaching staff from standard colleges and normal schools ,
the school year promises much progress and achievement. Enrollement will be higher than previous
years owing to better transportation facilities.

Members of the Lewes Board of Education are; Napoleon Register, Dr. James Beebe and
Thomas Ingram. Ira Brinser has again been appointed superitendent of School.

The teaching staff are; Miss Catherine jones of Wilmington, for grade one. She is a graduate
of Wilmington High School and the Illman School for Training of Primary Teachers.
Grade two; Miss Edna Blizzard, of Lewes, graduate of Lewes High School and a student in
teachers training at Delaware College.

Grade Three; Miss Virginia Lingo of Rehoboth, a graduate of West Chester Normal School .

Grade four; Miss Mary Megee of Lewes a student of Delaware College teachers training

Grade five; Miss Elizabeth Register of Lewes, Lewes High graduate and student at
Delaware College teacher course.

Junior High School:
History, geography, and girls physical education , Miss Margaret Deckard, A. B., of Marysville,
Pennsylvania, graduate of Marysville High School and Wilson College.

Mrs. Katherine V. Johnson, Lewes, graduate of Ontario Normal School , for english, reading,
and grammer.

Miss Etta Futcher , graduate of Lewes High School Student Delaware College and Pennslyvania
University, summer school, will teach arithmetic, penmanship and hygeine.

Senior High School :
Miss Isabella Ross of Lewes, a Lewes High School graduate, West Chester Normal and Columbus
University, social science and mathematics.

Miss Virginia Galt, of Hermond, Virginia, A. B. Goucher College, latin and history.

Miss Anne Martha Osborne, A. B. of Danville, Indiana, a graduate of Indiana Normal
School, Earlham College and University of Indiana, english.

Miss Elizabeth MacIntire of Lewes, graduate of Lewes High School , A.B. Womans college, University of Delaware, is home economics teacher.

Stewart E. Poole, Hillsboro, Maryland, Beacom Business College, commercial course
      1. C. Schock, B. S., Franklin Marshall College and Temple University, general science, biology, chemistry and physics.

A. Boyd Cass, Nichols, New York, graduate Mansfield Normal and Pennsylvania
State College, manual arts.

Ira S. Brinser, superintendent, Millersville Normal, Franklin and Marshall, Harvard.

Teaching Staff of Lewes Colored School:
Grades one and two, Miss Mariam Brown, Lock Haven Normal School. Grades three, four and
five , Eugene Lockwood of Lewes. Grades six, seven and eight, George Read of York, Pennsylvana,
A. B. Lincoln University.

Friday, August 11, 2017

1926 Henlopen Hotel



1926 - 1928

Thursday afternoon, August 5th, 1926, title of the Henlopen Hotel passed from the
present owner, Mrs. Lucy May Burton, to a company with the head officer being Mr.
William Coyne of Wilmington. Mr. Coyne's company has been interested in erecting a
modern hotel at Rehoboth on a site adjoining the Henlopen Hotel. The purchase price was not
disclosed to the public.

Others present when the transaction was concluded by Mrs. Burton and Mr. Coyne
were C. P. Burton, William Kurtz, Mr. Coyne's attorney, Georgetown lawyers Dan Layton and
Frank Jones. Also Thomas Haydock an architect, E. D. Prince of the hotel company and Ralph
Wingate, Rehoboth realtor, the broker who arranged the sale. It was stipulated the management
of the Henlopen will continue under C. F. Burton for the rest of this season. Also decided was that
it is now time to build a new modern comfort establishment ordinarily sought by vacationist at
any first class resort.

Plans for the new hotel have been completed by Haydock & Young , builders of Philadelphia,
and work is to begin at once on a concrete block structure, which is to be a spanish type structure
of architecture. The interior will be built of gypsum block fireproof materials.

Plans call for 180 sleeping rooms, each with a lavatory with hot and cold running water,
that will have the same rate as present. The dinning room is to be much larger and be located at the ocean front giving guest the benefit of ocean breeze and view of the Atlantic. The main lobby will be toward the rear and elevators will be installed. The entire front will be taken over by sun decks.
A dance floor, three times larger that present will be on the ground floor and have a stage to
accommodate theatricals or conventions. There will be a area to hold colonial relics and items to
remind guest of the Henlopen Lighthouse for which the hotel was named.

It has been announced, by Haydock & Young, that whenever possible, all contract works, building materials, etc., will be let or purchased in Delaware.

William Coyne, who has made the much desired modern hotel for Rehoboth possible,
is a vice-president of I. E. duPont & Nemours and Company and his visits of many years have
made the the new hotel a reality.

The Las Flores Hotel Company which had planned to build a new hotel at Rehoboth will be management and operate the new Henlopen Hotel.

Wilmington Morning News, Saturday, August 7, 1926. Abstract: Harrison H, August 11, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017



TUESDAY , APRIL 1, 1924.
The Wilmington Evening Journal , April 5, 1924, reported that the milk receiving and cooling station at Nassau is in operation and that an inspection and program was held last Thursday when dairymen and agriculturalist from all sections of lower Delaware where visitor.

Thomas R. Ingram of Sussex Trust Company eas chairman of this affair. Brinser's Band of Lewes was resent and furnished music during the afternoon and evening.

The new plant was in operation Tuesday, April 1, and diarymen of the Nassau community
were paid $2.85 per hundred pounds at the plant. The secretary of the Interstate Milk Producers
Association , C. I. Cohee, spoke about the necessary requirements expected of the diary farmers
to produce high grade milk for the Nassau plant. He congratulated Sussex County Ag Agent
Molloy Vaughn and his committee who had aroused the farmers to establish the cooling plant.

The diary farmers are reqired to have their milk at the plant before 9 in the morning so it
can be be cooled peior to rail shipment to Philadelphia in the afternoon.

Dean McCue, University of Delaware School of Agricculture , also was a speaker and he
emphasized the fact that eastern Sussex was suitable for milk production and that he Nassau Station would be a siccess. Other speakers were H. D. Davis of the Supples – Willis Diary Company of Philadelphia, Molloy Vaughn and Hiram Burton of Lewes.

Some 700 persons enjoyed the visit and feed cafeteria style , free ice cream supplied by the
Supplee - Willis people of Philadelphia and the owners of the Nassau plant.

The Nassau Station is one of the most modern in Maryland and Delaware, the only grade A
receiving plant on the Delmarva Peninsula and cost $25,000. Milk is furnished from more than
four hundred thoroughbred cows.

Samuel Wallace of Philadelphia is manager of the Nassau plant of the Supplee – Willis Company. Also present at the affair were Dell Henderson Supplee -Willis superintendent and Dr.
R.C. Dayton, representative of Grade A.