DOES ANYONE AROUND HERE REMEMBER
VIRGINIA CULLEN ?
William Frank, Wilmington New Journal , said “ I guess very few have ever heard of her skill ,
but let me state that she was a journalist of tremendous energy, resources and determination” .
For years, Virginia Cullen, was the chief, often the only, News journal correspondent down in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Fenwick Island area.
When it came to a critical period, such as a hurricane, severe nor' easter or such, News Journal editors would depend on Virginia Cullen to come through with a mass of detail.
Remember the big blizzard of 1934 that isolated Lewes and Rehoboth and all the other little towns down there. She was there and covered it. No telephone nor telegraph lines were in service, highways were totally closed, but Virginia Cullen wasn’t stopped. Somehow she got to Lewes, made an abandoned chicken shed house headquarters with an amateur radio station. She scurried around picking up news items here and there. Plowed her way back to the old chicken shed house and relayed
her news to the News Journal newsroom via the improvised broadcasting station.
In 1961 the Salisbury Daily Times reported : There is a sign over a mail box on a modest cottage on Maryland Avenue that simply says 'Virginia Cullen – News Reporter'. A sign has never said so much so quickly.
Virginia Cullen, some know her as “Din”, is 'THE' news reporter on the Delaware coast and has been gathering and writing news most of her adult life.
In Rehoboth Beach , an upper crust resort , Virginia handled 'straight' news, organizations events, and society tidbits of members of the Washington diplomatic corps , the upper echelon of
capital officials, and leading socialites from throughout Delaware.
There are some metropolitan newspapers that pay more than usual attention to such goings on, a fact that keeps Cullen pretty busy in the social season.
Mrs Cullen is author of “The History of Lewes”, a booklet for the DAR 1956 for the 325th
anniversary of this salty old town, benefit, restoring Lewes ancient landmarks. She came to Lewes in 1932 to write about the towns tercentenary, liked it so well she stayed. She moved to Rehoboth in
Virginia Cullen is a native of Charlottsville, Virginia, born 1893 on Montville Road to Broadus and Lottie Goodyear Flannagan. Her father was a traveling saleman, she had thee brothers and two sisters, was first on the staff of the Savannah Georgia, Morning News, and as never lost her Dixie draw. She had married in 1913 to Joseph F. Cullen but divorces eleven years later.
She feels the story of the 1945 surrender of the Nazi U-boat as her greatest news work. She has a grown daughter, Mrs Thomas John Ryan, of West Chester, and two grand children.
Virginia Cullen died in 1969 at the age of 76 in West Chester at Brandywine Hall, near her
daughters home and was still writing Sussex County news for the Wilmington newspapers.