Friday, March 24, 2017

LEWES PIRATE BLUESKIN


THE PIRATE BLUESKIN
AKA
LEVI WEST OF LEWESTOWNE

Blueskin , the pirate, a native seafaring Lewes resident, known to be Levi West, the son of
Hiram West, a grist mill owner in Lewestowne around 1750. As a boy Levi West had live here, knew the neighborhood well, was the 'favorite' of his step father, Eleaser White. His half brother, Hiram White, who still lived here, was known to be 'a stupid fellow'. So called 'Blueskin' because of gunpowder marks on his face, he was unknown as a pirate to the local seacoast village. The distorted bluish scar across his right cheek and neck , as large as a man's hand, had been there since a pistol explosion so close to him that the gun powder penetrated under his skin and could not be removed. He told of a Spanish Captain who was behind the pistol . Blueskin, describing the incident, said with a well satisfied air, “better for that Spaniard if he had fired into his own head that morning”.

Returning home as Levi West, he visited Harim, and stole from his less romantic brother, his sweetheart, Sally Martin. Laterwhen Sally returned to Lewes, she was turned away.

He was a suspected confederate of the notorious Blackbeard and said to be a rapacious buccaneer with a gory career along the mid Atlantic coast, especially the Delaware Indian River region.

As Blueskin 'the pirate', on a lonely strip of seacoast near Lewestowne on the tip of Cape Henlopen , he sat upon a metal bound chest full and heavy with dubloons, jewels, gold and silver, stolen from merchant ships along the Virginia and Carolina coast, watching two of his crew digging the sand. His commands to hurry were heard as he stood to show the brace of villainous weapons strapped to his belt. Soon the hole was deep and he ordered the chest be lowered and covered until there was no sign of being disturbed. Again and again Blueskin paced a distance to a certain tree, making careful note. As the crewmen sat with their backs toward Blueskin , with a ferocious moment of activity, the nonchalant pirate chief, turned, wiped the blade of his cutlass and replaced it again at his side. The two lay still upon the sand. Dead men tell no tales.

Then, unexpectedly, as Blueskin was bent down, to examine the surface under which the chest was buried, his back to the forest, a slight movement behind him, he found himself blinded and imprisoned in a sack of heavy cloth that had been tossed aside where the chest had been resting on the sand, his hands and feet were tied and weapons thrown aside. And there stood Hiram, dull and stupid Hiram, who had followed his half brother, Levi, and hid in the nearby forest, reaped his vengeance for the cruelty to Sally Martin.

Hiram brought the helpless pirate chief , bound, gagged, before the village magistrate and Lieutenant Robert Maynard, Master of the sloop of war Scorpion that had been in Lewes Harbor watching for pirates, was identified , not as Levi West, but as Blueskin the Pirate. Placed aboard the Scorpion and taken to England to stand trial. While awaiting trial at Newgate Prison, Blueskin, removed his stockings and hung himself with them in his cell.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, OHIO, SEPTEMBER 22, 1929 'LAURA LOU BROOKMAN'

Monday, March 20, 2017

MARCH 20 PAST 100 YEARS LEWES


LEWES

THE PAST 100 YEARS

MARCH 20TH


100 Years:
March 20, 1917: For Sale : Beautiful Desirable Country Home, four miles from Lewes, one mile from two rail stations, twenty acres of fine land, good fruit trees, improved with ten room cement block house. Price $3000. W. E, Veasey , Havre de Grace, Maryland

The mother of John Rowland, Deleware Bay & River Pilot, Mrs. Susan Rowland, was seriously burned his morning as a can of stove polish exploded in her kitchen. She is an aged woman and lives alone.

80 Years:
March 20, 1937: The U. S. District Engineer of Philadelphia. Lt/ Col. John H. C. Lee, reports that dredging of the Broadkill River to the inland waterway between Rehoboth Bay and Delaware Bay, is 60% complete.

70 Years:
March 19, 1947: President of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Alton Brittingham, has appointed a committee to actively promote Lewes on Delaware Bay, one mile from Cape Henlopen, to attract tourist and vacation attraction.

RED STAR BUS LINE; Lewes to Rehoboth Beach schedule – 9:46 am; 1:48 pm; 6:06 pm.
To Salisbury, Maryland – 8:46 am; 11:46 am; 1:48 pm; 6:06 pm. 8L04 pm.

60 Years:
March 20, 1957: Mrs Helen Bryan of Lewes, received recognition from Lammot duPont , Delaware Red Cross, for her service in the Salk Polio Vaccine clinic.

Elder Lewes natives were sadden to here that Capt. Eugene T. Osborn, of Long Island, retired U.S. Coast Guard, had passed. He was commandant of the 6th District at Lewes in the 1920's.

50 Years:
March 20, 1967:
Clearwater, Florida: Chris Short won 20 games for the Phillies last year, is pitching in the Grapefruit League.

Lewes: Two Coast Guardsmen, Boatswain's Mate First Class, Robert Bullock and Fireman Apprentice, Joseph Lisco, spend two weeks at a stretch on the Harbor of Refuge Light Station off Cape Henlopen. They both say they like the duty . Life in the round, their nearest company are the ships that pass in the night. .

40 Years:
March 20, 1977 Wanted: Sewing machine mechanic, with experience on safety switch, overlock machine and single needle or blind stitch machine. Dressco, Inc., Lewes.

30 Years:
March 20, 1987:
Two eastern Sussex county environmental organizations have asked assistance of the Chancery Court to bar development of a 259 lot community near Cape Henlopen State Park. “Bays Are Yours” and “Cape Association for Protection of Environment” charge that the Glade's Community will damage wetlands, vital to fish, shellfish, wildlife and recreation. This development is to be situated on the west side of the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal, opposite Henlopen Acres.


Born to Carrie and Samuel Warrington on March 18th, a daughter, in the Beebe Hospital.


20 Years:
March 20, 1997:
Lewes, Delaware – Katherine Harker, of Lewes was searching for four-leaf clover seed and somehow got connected to a “four leaf clover” grower in St. Petersburg, Florida. Things get a bit sketchy here, but in 1952 there was a story about this in the Wilmington Morning News by Nancy Wingate. The 4-Leaf clover company had changes ownership but Harker found them and talked to the owners wife, 'a delightful lady” and found there are no four leaft clover seed, the 'clover Creations' propagate from existing plants. Katherine has decided to make do with the the leaf clovers and will be able to get seed for Trifolim Repens L, aka, white clover.



Abstract of Wilmington, Delaware newspaper articles, dated March 20, 1997 thru 1917.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

1941 85th BIRTHDAY OF JAMES BEEBE SR.

RICHARD BEEBE 85TH BIRTHDAY
JANUARY 8 1941

VIRGINIA F. CULLEN


85 years of life in the same town is the cherished record of James Beebe, father of the Beebe Boys, now doctors at the hospital that holds their name.

Born in Lewes, January 8, 1856, in a small frame house on Ship Carpenter Street, son of James Collins Beebe, descendents of an old Delaware family. His grandfather, Richard Beebe, a Delaware Bay & River pilot, served as a soldier in the War of 1812. His great grandfather, Ichabod, was a prisoner of war of the British during the American Revolution, and after an escape , became a pilot who was lost at sea during a gale off Cape Henlopen.

Mr. Beebe was a brick layer, owned a sand block plant on Chestnut Street in Lewes and had a hand in the building of the early Beebe Hospital structure on South Street in Lewes. In 1901 until 1921 he had the ice cream store at Rehoboth Methodist Camp Meeting. On the site where the hospital now stands in Lewes, he had a grocery and confectionery store.

During the administration of President Grover Cleveland, he and his brother, Clarence, operated the Lewes Post Office, he being assistant postmaster for five years. After this he turned to real estate activities, helped build several housing developments and was owner proprietor of the Ocean House, a hotel, facing the Delaware Breakwater.

Beside his two doctor sons he has two daughters, Mrs Herbert Orton, mother of pilot Herbert Orton, and, Miss Anna Beebe, teacher at Lewes Special School.




Wilmington News Journal , Wednesday , January 8, 1941, By Virginia F. Cullen.

1941 LEWES ANNUAL REPORT


1941 LEWES ANNUAL CITY REPORT
BY
MAYOR THOMAS H. CARPENTER



Mayor Carpenter, going into his second year as mayor of Lewes, gave the city annual report at the Lewes Rotary Club dinner in the Caesar Rodney Hotel on January 13, 1941.

He said that the town had experienced an unexpected growth the past year in which Lewes Beach led other sections with 38 new homes, one store, four apartments, and twenty tourist cabins.
Pilot Town Road has 11 new homes and deVries Circle added six homes, making a total of 50 new structures, 22 built in 1939 and 28 in 1940.

The town finances are stable, the town having a bonded dept of $64,000 at 3-1/4 %, due April 1st, 1967, and $20,000 at 6% due 1941. The mayor is seeking a lower interest rate on he dept through the State Legislature.

Street improvements include re-surfacing of 2000 yards of stone roads and 8,550 yards of dirt
roads. There have been placed $260 worth of street markers. This years plans are to construct a new road through the marsh to the beach. A new road roller was purchase for $250 at a sheriffs sale, a 1-1/2 ton truck and police car were purchased.

He mention that both the beach and town are supplied with lights and adequate sewer service, and that the city owned electric plant holds a value of between $500.000 and $700,000.




Wednesday, January 15, 1941 , Wilmington Morning News, 1941



Friday, March 17, 2017

1941 QUAKERTOWN


QUAKERTOWN

BY

VIRGINIA CULLEN

Quakertown, one of the oldest settlements of colonial America is on the western edge of the town of Lewes, Sussex County, On The Delaware. It was founded by fifteen Quaker families of the Society of Friends, as early as 1725, thought to be before Lewestowne was laid out as a village. There are records of elections, court actions, etc., and there stood a pillory and a whipping post.

Quakertown took in the area what is known now as Westcoats Corners as well as the Quakertown of today. The road through the settlement was named ' Shankland's Lane' , named after Rhodes Shankland who had surveyed the settlements of the area, as well as having 'laid out' the town of Lewes., and one of the oldest families of colonial Lewes. There is one house, a wood frame structure, built by Rhodes Shankland, still being occupied. It is dated back to 1767 and the Marshall Coverdale family, he a marine engineer, his wife and three daughters, live there.
Within the last few years , as the area has began to grow again, families living in Quakertown and surrounding area, have taken rein to revive it as a community. Delving into old records they have learned of ancient “Quakertowne” . These families have gathered at the home of James T. Lank, a former magistrate of Lewes, and elected him mayor and call his home 'Town Hall”. Secretary & Treasurer has been handed to Mrs. Helen Short Quillen, wife of Coast Guard Surfman, John Quillen.
Everything is entirely of an unofficial procedure, but the community expects to get a lot of pleasure and fun out of their own little individual town.
Kenneth Givens, resident, whose wife is the Mayors daughter, Dorothy, and owner and operator of the Sequoia Inn there in the village, has been named 'Historian'.
After 1791, after the county seat was moved to Georgetown, sixteen miles west, Quqakertown was called Prettymanville, for the family of Gideon Prettyman. , large land owner, whose home was built on the site of the whipping post and court yard. Early on, colonial times, there is the name of Shanklandville in this area, near by the Methodist Church , Ebenezaer., the grave yard still there, stones and all.
Who lives there now; Rev. Howard Davis, retired minster, George Marsh, carpenter, William 'Zip' Rice, service station operator, Colin McNichol, plant nursery and florist, Frank Tharp, mechanic, Baily Maull, farmer, Alton Brittingham, Lewes official, John Quillen, Coast Guard Lighthouse Keeper, Ken Givens, surveyor, Marshall Coverdale and Lank.

Abstract of Tuesday, January 14, 1941, Wilmington New Journal news article by Virginia F. Cullen.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

BEEBE HOSPITAL SHAW ADDITION DEDICATION


DEDICATION SHAW ADDITION
BEEBE HOSPITAL

Thursday , March 17th 1927, afternoon, in Lewes, the new Natalie Townsend Shaw addition to the Beebe Hospital , recently completed was dedicated with an elaborate program of speakers from around the surrounding area. .

The addition donated by Benjamin F. and Helen F. Shaw in memory of their deceased daughter,
Natalie Townsend Shaw, was built at a cost of $40.000. It is two floors, with a basement, 70 foot long and 30 foot wide, which doubled the capacity of the hospital to 60 beds.

The dedicatory ceremonies began with Rev. Milton S. Andrews, pastor of the Lewes Methodist Episcopal Church delivering the invocation, followed by Rev. Disston W. Jacobs of Milford who gave the dedication address, representing Mr. and Mrs. Shaw. Other speakers were Dr. P. Brooke Bland, professor of obstetrics, Jefferson Medical College and the consulting staff, Dr. Ross V. Patterson, dean of Jefferson Medical College, Wilmington Mayor George W. K. Forrest and the Rev. Mr. Leishman of Lewes Presbyterian Church who gave the benediction.

The Beebe Hospital had been dedicated in 1916 by brothers, R. C. Beebe and Dr. James Beebe, and consisted of two rooms and an operating room. During the World War I, activities came to a virtual halt for the hospital since Dr. James Beebe was serving in France with Pennsylvania Base Hospital #10.

In 1919, after the war, it was decided to enlarge the hospital to accommodate ten patients which was done through the efforts of William R. Messick of Lewes and Benjamin Shaw. $25,000 was spent on improvements, the wood frame section was done away with and a fire proof concrete block structure was erected by duPont Engineering Company, completed in 1921. The hospital was well patronized.

In 1921 a nurse's home was built across the street together with a nurse training school for 12 students, 5 graduate instructors and the superintendent.

The latest addition is modern construction with modern equipment, contracted for by Ralph
Poynter of Rehoboth, the architect being Clarence Hope.

A memorial tablet is located in the hall of the addition to the daughter of the Shaws' who died at age 21 several years ago.


Hospital trustees are Benjamin F Shaw, W. Miller Shaw, Townsend W. Miller, Dr. James Beebe and Dr. R. C. Beebe. Members of a newly organized advisory board, to keep he hospital in close touch with the community are, Joseph Marshall, Thomas Ingram, John Thompson, C. C. Marshall and Harry Lyons.


Wilmington News Journal , Wednesday, March 16, 1927.

FARMINGTON LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

FARMINGTON

Farmington, first known as Flatiron, is a town in Misspillion Hundred that came about in 1855 with the railroad. It stood in the neighborhood of centuries old historic tracts where the early settlers established homesteads as early as 1680. In 1780 the Methodist held the first annual conference in the United States here.

In this vicinity as built a church of the Methodist Protestants after the split from the Methodist Episcopal church.

Right after the railroad station of Flatiron was set on the Delaware Railway, streets were laid out, and within three years they had a post office with postmaster Shadrack D. Taylor and the name was changed to Farminton.

Canneries and evaporating plants helped the town to boom. One of the canneries had a seasons capacity of over 100,000 baskets of peaches put into cans and the evaporation plants averaged 1800 baskets a season.

J. B. Simmons' saw mill produced 7000 board feet of lumber each day in 1877.
These industries gave work to several hundred men.

It was in 1780 when John Wesley met at the homestead of Thomas White, a judge of Kent County Court of Common Pleas, for the first Unites State Methodist Conference. On this property was built Whites Chapel in 1780 which held the first day school and Sunday school in Misspillion Hundred. Bethel Methodist Protestant Church, one of the first of this denomination in America was built in here 1871.

A Presbyterian Church of Farmington was erected in 1840 on the W. H. Powell farm and later moved into the town.

In 1863 a select school was established by Rev. J. M. Williams, president of Wesley College of Wilmington. In 1937 there were two buildings of this school still occupied by The Irish American Hall and The German American Hall, at Sixth & French Streets.

The Farmington Methodist Episcopal Church, known as Salem Church, was built a mile out of town in 1818 and opened a day school there. It was replaced in town in 1873.




Wilmington Morning News, Thursday, January 9, 1936 Looking Around Delaware

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NOXONTOWN - LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

NOXONTOWN

On the banks of Noxontown Lake of Appoquinimink Hundred in New Castle county, lies ancient Noxontown, a site that first attracted the settlers from Finland who came about 1669. In the pioneer days it was the seat of many fairs, including the first annual Delaware fair. These fairs brought to Delaware many thousands of visitors from the Mid Atlantic colonies.

Noxontown was where Caeser Rodney's troops encamped in 1777 to hinder the British and Hessian troops of General Howe on their march up the peninsula toward Philadelphia. There is also a story that a plot to betray General Washington was unraveled at this camp.

Near by this village was born the Rev. Levi Scott, the first American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church who is buried at Union Chapel. The parents of Bishop Scott emigrated to “Wooden Duck”, Appoquinimink , from Ireland in 1772.

The home of Governor John Hunn's father, who was a “chief” to the Maryland-Delaware Underground Railroad was located near the village.

Early records dated 1669 show William Tom petitioned Governor Nicholas of New York for a permit on behalf a group of Finnish settlers in 1671 when 400 acres were patented to Abraham Coffin, called “Mountain Neck” .

Mountain Neck later became a part of the estate of Johannes De Haes in New Castle county.
He and a partner, Ephraim Herrman , held it and other holdings throughout New Castle county.

De Haes was French and an ancestor on his mothers side of the Janiver family, later prominent in Delaware affairs, and the original De Haes settler was a magistrate in William Penns first assembly.

Thomas Noxon, founder of the hamlet had built grist mills on the shore of the lake before 1740 and coastal vessels were once able to sail up Appoquinimink Creek to these mills. Noxon also had a brew house, a malt house and a bake house, which contributed a great deal to the gaiety of the local fairs.

A hotel which had stood there since early times was torn down in 1885. In 1935 there was one of the old mills still is existence.

Today, the Protestant Episcopal School of Saint Andrews for Boys sits at the site of the once proud town.



Wilmington Morning News, Wednesday, January 15, 1936 - Looking Around Delaware

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE REHOBOTH

LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

REHOBOTH BEACH

To Delawareans Rehoboth is much more than an ocean beach in southwestern Sussex County, it is an institution. The first breath of Spring the duPont Highway, now spanning the entire length of the state, is loaded with motorists hurrying to the premier seaside resort, with it's broad sands and boardwalk . This keeps on until well after the falls Labor Day holiday. Rehoboth is unique in the closeness of pine forest to the ocean beach. Balsom scents and the salt air give a healthful tang to the air.
Rehoboth is a Biblical name, meaning “wide open space”, and was the name given in 1689 to the Hundred in which it lies. Not far from Rehoboth is Lewes, the first town in the first state and the site of an early Dutch settlement.
Travel to Rehoboth was known to be difficult which prevented development. It was not until 1855 the the state legislative assembly granted five acres of the state lying between lands of Robert West and Indian River Inlet, and incorporated “The Rehoboth Hotel Company” to build a hotel within five years. This was not done but in March of 1875 the renewed charted of the “Sussex Hotel of Rehoboth City” saw development of cottages and hotels.

A mile north lay the Methodist Rehoboth Association of 1871, where several hundred acres for a camp meeting and resort were layed out into building lots, cottages and hotels followed, with a name change to “Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church”. The Camp Meeting feature discontinued in 1881. 1878 the Queen Ann Railroad of Maryland Delaware & Virginia came and the sea coast resort boomed.

There was a short period of depression to the resort when the rail road and the westershore ferry to Baltimore failed, however, new modern roadways and advanced models of the automobile brought new life. Patronage of Wilmington, Baltimore and Washington folk brought it to popularity as “The Nations Capital” , a rendezvous for the Washington, D.C. diplomatic corps.

Hunters and fishermen also make the region their mecca, boating on the near by lakes and bays,
a fine golf course attract followers.




The Wilmington Morning News, Tuesday, December 24, 1935. Looking Around Delaware.

LEWES LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE

LOOKING AROUND DELAWARE
LEWES

Lewes has been known as “the story book town” and that it is, the history the longest and richest of any other town in the state. Lewes has never lost it's nautical atmosphere nor it's characteristic quaintness.

Sitting near the capes of Cape Henlopen, where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic meet, a settlement of Dutchmen set up in 1631, then named Fort Obdike.
It met a tragic fate, the entire settlement being massacred by local Indians over a tin sign placed at it's entrance to promote 'peace' but misunderstood by the natives.
The next band of settlers expecting to find a thriving colony, found only ashes and bones of their countrymen, in the burnt out fort. Even the post watch dog was put to death, it's skeleton found with seven arrows through it.

In 1635 a settlement of Englishmen, moving north from the Virginia's Colony's in the south, built a colony or outpost for the Dutch New Amsterdam and called it Zwaandael, after the valley of the swans as they found it. Under Dutch rule Lewes became a thriving seaport town, known worldwide of it's maritime activities. Here the Dutch held the first court and built the first court house, outside of New Amsterdam. In the center of town was a well, all seafaring men, Pirates, Sai;ors, ship masters, etc, had quenched their thirst. In 1935 it is said there were some traces of this gossip center.

The 'Jolly Roger' was well known and twice the town was 'sacked' by the 'freebooters' and 'privateers' . The Pirates were even welcomed there time to time, and saw the likes of Captain Kidd and Blackbeard.

Peninsula lore has a Edward Trach, known as Blackbird, a coastal pirate, was a Delmarva native and was the person who settled Blackbird, the town in New Castle county.

There is Henlopen Lighthouse. Next to oldest in America, built with funds of Philadelphia merchants and other Delaware River traders, fell into the Atlantic in 1926. It oversaw two historical naval events, the capture of a ships party from the H.M. S. Roebuck ,t rying to stop the landing of gun powder in June 1776, and the capture of the British Man of War, General Monk by the American Sloop of War Hyder Alley in 1782. During the Revolution and War of 1812, the Henlopen Light was extinguished and used as a lookout.

Along Pilot Town Road many old houses are homes to generations of river pilots who have called Lewes home always.

Lewes had one of the first 'free' schools in America and for many years was the county seat.

In the St. Peters Church Yard, founded in 1703, are buried many Colonial dead.

In 1798 the British sloop of war, DeBraak foundered off the cape and many attempts to recover gold said to be in the wreckage have been made without success. The ships master, Captain Drew has a monument in the St. Peters Cemetery, however, it is thought he 'went down with the ship;...............





Wednesday December 11, 1935, Wilmington Morning News, “Looking Around Delaware”.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

MILTON LOOKIMG AROUND DELAWARE

DELAWARE AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

A WORKS IN PROGRESS



1600's

The Indian Nations of the 1600's planted corn or maize, several types of beans, and squash before the first Dutch settlers arrived in 1631, followed by the Swedes in 1638, and the English in 1664.
The first of the European settlers that arrived cultivated crops, wheat, barley, corn, peas and raised livestock such as pigs, sheep, goats and cows for meat and milk which were critical to their survival and sustenance.
Early Delaware had perhaps 110 plantations tending 2000 cows, oxen, thousands of pigs, plus horses and sheep. William Penn's colony produced the political and economic stability enabling the “three lower counties” to prosper in agriculture.


1700's
In 1704 the “three lower counties on the Delaware” of Pennsylvania had formed their own legislative assembly, planting the seed for Delaware's emergence as an independent state during the American Revolution. It kept Philadelphia as its major trading center to which it sent 'tobacco' that was commonly used to settle debts and obligations, and 'beef ' being raised in the marshes and forest. The 'beef' production was a four year venture at the time, compared to the ten month birth to market span of today.

By 1770, tobacco had declined in its significance and other grain crops, wheat, corn, oats, rye and barley. Became Delaware on the Delaware's agricultural trade through the last part of the century in the Philadelphia markets.

By 1750 the grain milling industry had been established on the Brandywine River and the Delaware grown grain had a market supplied by the river boats and over land Conestoga wagons powered by oxen and later mules. The mostly Quaker families of Tatnalls, Canbys, Shipleys, Leas, Morton and Pooles, opened grain milling ventures in New Castle on the Delaware.

'Soft Red Wheat' became the most important crop, bringing fame and prosperity to the new state of Delaware.

In 1790, Oliver Evans, born in Newport in 1755, was granted one of the very first 'patents' which were signed by President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for an improved grist mill .
James Tilton, Delaware resident and Surgeon General of the United States, remarked that Delaware had the largest and most perfect manufacture of flour known in the world.



1800's

The farming in the area benefited with the transportation improvement, ships sailed the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays moving farm products to the major northern cities. Railroads eventually connected farmers produce to their city cousins kitchens.

Milk from the lower three left Nassau for Philadelphia every day. Railroad's took peaches from the farms of Delaware to cities north, and west. 1832 saw Issac Reeves and the first fruit trees and by 1840 Major Phillip Reybold of New Castle on the Delaware was the 'peach king' shipping by sail and steamboat to the old world. The 1890's had more than 4 million peach trees, Delaware was called the Peach State, the Peach Blossom was the state flower , then a disease, “Peach Yellows”, destroyed the entire industry. Strawberries became a principal crop.

Canning soon became a major industry , 1885 saw a factory, Richardson & Robbins, in Dover producing fruits and vegetables, meats, and a special “Plum Pudding”. Thirty years later Delaware had 50 or so canneries, shipping canned tomatoes, sweet corn, peas. Lima beans and most other vegetables , to the rest of the country. The consistently high quality of vegetables and fruit grown in the soils of Delaware brought nation wide processor like, Green Giant, Van Camp, Stokley, Campbells,
and Libby, McNeil & Libby, to the state for many years.

One persons influence had a major impact on Delaware agriculture, that of John Gillis
Townsend. In 1894, while a telegraph operator on the railroad, he began involved in timber, fruit and vegetable production, both fresh and canned, The University of Delaware's Agriculture School Building is in his name.

The Dover based Delaware State College is a land grant college for agriculture and mechanical arts.

1900's

Today, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware are partners in Delaware Extension Cooperative which was formed in 1914 by the Smith Lever Act, a partnership of the government and land grant schools to practice research, technology, consumer service and 4H Youth Development.
!941 saw the development of the “Substation” on the farm of the Tyndall Farm, west of Georgetown.
1919 saw the start of the county fair, now the Delaware State Fair, held once a year for one week and holds exhibits , livestock contest, entertainment, etc.
1923 the broiler industry had it's beginning when Cecile Steel of Ocean View received a triple order of layer chicks by mistake. Poultry production is 70% of the Delaware farm receipts.
1920's and 1930's there was farm activity in the Christmas decoration business as the Holly Man of Milton furnished the major northern cities wreaths and buntings until the birth of plastic.



Source: dda.delaware.gov/aghistory/history

INTERESTING ESTATES ON THE DELAWARE WOOLTON HALL, CLAYMONT

LOSS OF THE CRISFIELD PUNGY
WALTER McGEE
ON
POPLAR ISLAND
Poplar Island wreck, the loss of the pungy Walter McGee of Crisfield and three bay sailors, and three who saved themselves in a small deck boat, as the schooner is pounded to pieces on Kilton's Point, near Eastern Bay, Poplar Island.
Louis Somers, one of the survivors of the crew of the Walter McGee, which went ashore at Poplar Island yesterday, arrived in Crisfield today , said there were six on board the vessel at the time of the disaster, all who were from Crisfield. Three were lost and three were saved. Lost were Frank T. Maddrix, Fred Ford and the colored cook, George Heath. The survivors are Captain Alfred Justis, Louis Somers and Charles Maddrix.
The lifeless body of Frank T. Maddrix was taken from the rigging by Captain Howeth and Robert Harrison, of Poplar Island, and taken to Mr. George Ustlton for care, and conveyed to Crisfield by brothers of the deceased. Mr. Maddrix was a blacksmith by trade, a respected citizen of Crisfield. 55 years of age and had a family. He had just received a patent for an improved oyster rake and had on board the iron and hardware necessary to begin manufacture.
Frederick Ford was a prominent young man of town, a nephew of Senator A. Lincoln Dryden, who is now at the wreck , hoping to recover the body from the shore.
George Heath, the colored cook, is as far as anyone knows, still lies in his berth on the McGee.
SURVIVOR'S STORY
Louis Somers, a survivor, gives the account of the disaster. Tuesday morning the McGee started from Baltimore with nineteen tons of coal and some iron and hardware on board. However, from the time last week when we left Crisfield for Baltimore, with scrap iron, we met with nothing but a succession of misfortunes. The vessel was leaking and we were obliged to man the pumps continually. The wind picked up, we lost the jib carrier, and had to scud the wind twice. Tuesday night we anchored under Poplar Island, at daylight the wind was at its height, we were dragging anchor and manning the pumps. We were exhausted but were able to warm ourselves in the cabin as long are she stayed afloat. The sea spray was making ice on the rigging. Very shortly after sunup the vessel struck 400 yards from shore and the seas began pounding us apart. There were people on shore but with the strong wind and heavy sea no one could render any assistance. Although it was not bitter cold, we were still almost stiff with ice and we managed to launch the yawl, which quickly filled with water from the high sea, the men praying all the time through this ordeal.
Frank Maddrix was first to succumb, he had wrapped himself in the main sail and from there never arose. Fred Ford, helping to bail the yawl, passed next from exhaustion, Captain Justice carried his body back aboard and lashed it to the main mast. Heath, the cook, never came on deck, and perished in his bunk below.
At a length of time we managed to get the yawl free and reach shore where Maddrix and Somer passed out and were carried to near by houses and revived. The Walter McGee is a total wreck.
William Sheriff, son of the Rev. Sheriff, of Crisfield Baptist Church, went with the McGee to Baltimore from Crisfield but missed the vessels return trip, luckily.



Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun, Friday, March 31, 1899

Delaware Ag History

DELAWARE AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

A WORKS IN PROGRESS



1600's

The Indian Nations of the 1600's planted corn or maize, several types of beans, and squash before the first Dutch settlers arrived in 1631, followed by the Swedes in 1638, and the English in 1664.
The first of the European settlers that arrived cultivated crops, wheat, barley, corn, peas and raised livestock such as pigs, sheep, goats and cows for meat and milk which were critical to their survival and sustenance.
Early Delaware had perhaps 110 plantations tending 2000 cows, oxen, thousands of pigs, plus horses and sheep. William Penn's colony produced the political and economic stability enabling the “three lower counties” to prosper in agriculture.


1700's
In 1704 the “three lower counties on the Delaware” of Pennsylvania had formed their own legislative assembly, planting the seed for Delaware's emergence as an independent state during the American Revolution. It kept Philadelphia as its major trading center to which it sent 'tobacco' that was commonly used to settle debts and obligations, and 'beef ' being raised in the marshes and forest. The 'beef' production was a four year venture at the time, compared to the ten month birth to market span of today.

By 1770, tobacco had declined in its significance and other grain crops, wheat, corn, oats, rye and barley. Became Delaware on the Delaware's agricultural trade through the last part of the century in the Philadelphia markets.

By 1750 the grain milling industry had been established on the Brandywine River and the Delaware grown grain had a market supplied by the river boats and over land Conestoga wagons powered by oxen and later mules. The mostly Quaker families of Tatnalls, Canbys, Shipleys, Leas, Morton and Pooles, opened grain milling ventures in New Castle on the Delaware.

'Soft Red Wheat' became the most important crop, bringing fame and prosperity to the new state of Delaware.

In 1790, Oliver Evans, born in Newport in 1755, was granted one of the very first 'patents' which were signed by President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for an improved grist mill .
James Tilton, Delaware resident and Surgeon General of the United States, remarked that Delaware had the largest and most perfect manufacture of flour known in the world.



1800's

The farming in the area benefited with the transportation improvement, ships sailed the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays moving farm products to the major northern cities. Railroads eventually connected farmers produce to their city cousins kitchens.

Milk from the lower three left Nassau for Philadelphia every day. Railroad's took peaches from the farms of Delaware to cities north, and west. 1832 saw Issac Reeves and the first fruit trees and by 1840 Major Phillip Reybold of New Castle on the Delaware was the 'peach king' shipping by sail and steamboat to the old world. The 1890's had more than 4 million peach trees, Delaware was called the Peach State, the Peach Blossom was the state flower , then a disease, “Peach Yellows”, destroyed the entire industry. Strawberries became a principal crop.

Canning soon became a major industry , 1885 saw a factory, Richardson & Robbins, in Dover producing fruits and vegetables, meats, and a special “Plum Pudding”. Thirty years later Delaware had 50 or so canneries, shipping canned tomatoes, sweet corn, peas. Lima beans and most other vegetables , to the rest of the country. The consistently high quality of vegetables and fruit grown in the soils of Delaware brought nation wide processor like, Green Giant, Van Camp, Stokley, Campbells,
and Libby, McNeil & Libby, to the state for many years.

One persons influence had a major impact on Delaware agriculture, that of John Gillis
Townsend. In 1894, while a telegraph operator on the railroad, he began involved in timber, fruit and vegetable production, both fresh and canned, The University of Delaware's Agriculture School Building is in his name.

The Dover based Delaware State College is a land grant college for agriculture and mechanical arts.

1900's

Today, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware are partners in Delaware Extension Cooperative which was formed in 1914 by the Smith Lever Act, a partnership of the government and land grant schools to practice research, technology, consumer service and 4H Youth Development.
!941 saw the development of the “Substation” on the farm of the Tyndall Farm, west of Georgetown.
1919 saw the start of the county fair, now the Delaware State Fair, held once a year for one week and holds exhibits , livestock contest, entertainment, etc.
1923 the broiler industry had it's beginning when Cecile Steel of Ocean View received a triple order of layer chicks by mistake. Poultry production is 70% of the Delaware farm receipts.
1920's and 1930's there was farm activity in the Christmas decoration business as the Holly Man of Milton furnished the major northern cities wreaths and buntings until the birth of plastic.



Source: dda.delaware.gov/aghistory/history

Friday, March 10, 2017

DORCHESTER COUNTY MARYLAND AKERSFERRY

AKERS FERRY
CHOPTANK RIVER
DORCHESTER COUNTY
October 2, 1788, the Maryland Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland printed the notice that “is hereby given , that the justices of Dorchester county, intend to prefer a petition to the next general assembly of Maryland, to make the road which leads from Talbot Town to Akers Ferry a public road”.

AKERS FERRY SITE
1722 – 1935
CHOPTANK RIVER MILE

In 1722 permission was granted to Henry Bullen to operate a ferry across the Choptank River. The ferry essentially operated where the Fredrick C . Malkus Bridge, also once known as Emerson C Harrington Bridge, which carries Maryland route 50 over the Choptank River is now located.

William Akers operated the ferry from 1768 to sometime before 1812 and lived in the house here which was also an ordinary or inn. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. By 1788 Dan Akers operated the ferry, followed by James Saunders, Harrison akers, William flint, and Aaron Mitchell. The house is part of the Ferry Farm today located between Bolinbroke Creek on the east and Reads Cove and Porpoise Creek on the west, on the south side of Ferry Farm Road, east of U.S. Route 50 at the north end of the Choptank River Bridge

The Emerson Harrington Bridge across the river was begun in 1933 and opened in 1935 and received it's dedication by Franklin D. Roosevelt. That's when the Akers Ferry was discontinued.

Source: Lower Choptank River Cultural Resource..

BALTIMORE MAN MEMBER CANADIAN AMERICAN LEGION


WORLD WAR ONE

1916

SERVICE IN THE

CANADIAN AMERICAN LEGION

This is a history of Ralph Hodgdon, 414 North Carrollton Avenue, Baltimore Maryland, from the November 20, 1916 issue of the Baltimore Sun newspaper, who had joined the Canadian American Legion at Camp Borden at Algonquin Park. His service was shortly ended because of bad eyesight.

Ralph was a member of the Maryland National Guard for nine years and while on a business trip to Canada was persuaded to enlist in the Canadian American Legion, a Canadian contingent of American volunteers, preparatory for war life in Europe.

The men were paid $1.10 a day for service, received $20 a month from The Canadian Patriotic Fund and $15 a month from the Canadian Women’s League. They were fed from the cream of the country, a sample meal being oatmeal with milk and cream, the best thin sliced bacon, hominy, excellent bread, great coffee and cherry jam.

When Mr. Hodgdon was released because of his poor eyesight the were 213 men in the Canadian American Legion unit at Camp Borden, 100 miles north of Toronto, near Algonquin Park, where there were some 40,000 men of the Canadian Army.

Always on duty, they got three days off every second week and the equipment was new and of the best makes. The regiments were made up according to physical and racial classification.

EBENEZER AT LEWES

OLD EBENEZER CHURCH CEMETERY


The Old Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery, aka Old Methodist Church Cemetery, is located on Quakertown Road, aka, Savannah Road, route 9 highway, west of Lewes, one mile from 4th Street in Lrwestown.

It is thought to be the oldest burial plot in Sussex County and describes as ' Ancient Colonial burial ground at entrance to Lewes, no longer in use.'

The graves were “uncovered” by men of the Lewes Conservation Corp Camp, the CCC, in 1935 during the towns observation of “Old Sussex Day”.

The 100 or so, slate and granite stones found in heavy underbrush had inscriptions of “Chaucerian” spelling of an extinct orthography.

Recorded in the Georgetown Court House, March 28, 1788, a Board of Trustees, Ebenezer Church, incorporated with purpose to build a church. The trustees were; John Wiltbank, William West, William Coulter, Abraham Hargis, Shepard Prettyman, William Prettyman, and Thomas Coulter.

This board of trustees purchased on 7 May, 1788, a lot of 70 square perches for 7 shillings, lawful money of Delaware on Delaware, the lot on north west side of South Street, near the the south west of the maim branch of Canary Creek which crosses the street, on Shankland's Lane. Exactly one mile from 4th Street Lewestown on Delaware., this being the site of the Ebenezer Church.

Prior to the erection and organization of this church, circuit riders, traveled settlement to settlement, preaching in private homes, Rhodes Shanklands home being one of them.

An entry in the journal of Frances Asbury, dated 25th September 1779 “ Rode to Shanklands near Lewestown, who is the son of a New Light Presbyterian”. Asbury declares Shanklands home the first open to him. Rhodes Shankland, Esquire, surveyor and landowner.

A wood frame building was erected in 1788 and named Ebenezer. The Hebrew meaning being “Stone of Help”. It later was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt on the same site. The cemetery remained.


The second Ebenezer Church , dedicated 4 January 1858, located on a road toward Loves Creek, on a lot ½ acre in size, on farm of Mrs Abbie Marsh, a frame building 36 x 40 with a gallery. This church ceased in 1934 and was demolished in 1955. The grave yard remains.


Source: findagrave.com & records found in basement of Bethel Methodist Church, Lewes, by 'Gennie”

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

LEWES MEMORIAL METHODIST PROTESTENT CHURCH

 
METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH
LEWES, DELAWARE


Wilmington Evening Journal, Saturday, October 31, 1908

Lewes, Oct. 31 - Groome Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church will be dedicatd on Sunday, November 22. The speakers to take part in the exrercises are the Rev. W. R. Graham, the Rev. H. O. Keen of Georgetown, The Rev. G. R. McCready of Milton, the Rev. D. L. Johnson of Georgetown, and the Rev. J. D. Smith.


Wilmington Evening Journal, Friday, March 13, 1908

Rev. H.O. Keen, pastor of Groome Church, Lewes, has been donated a building lot adjoining the church in that town by Charles G. Groome and Miss Lillie of Philadelphia upon which to erect a parsonage. The church is named in honor of their mother, Mrs. Ann Grooome, who recently died.

Wilmington Evening Journal, Thursday, October 22, 1908

The new Groome Memorial Methodist Protestant Church will be dedicated on November 12, when prominent speakers from all over Delaware and Maryland will be present. It is the first Methodist Portestent church to be erested in Lewes and is largely the gift of the Groome family who contributed the ground and considerable of the money in honor of their deceased mother.
One of the features will be a large stained lass window given by the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association in memory of their deceased members.


Wilmington Evening Journal, Saturday, March 5, 1910

Lewes, Del. March 5 – with the Closing of the conference year, the Lewes Groome Memorial Church has a record to be proud of. The Rev. W. W. Johnson gas raised $3768.57 toward the church dept and this year expects to reduce the indebtedness by $800. The church which has been in existence only two years, has a membership of 124 and during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Johnson there have been 162 conversions.

Groome Deaths




The Salisbury Daily Times, Wednesday, March 5, 1958

Lewes, Delaware – A member of the Groome Methodist Church, Lewes, who is a lifelong resident of Sussex county and lived in Lewes the past 25 years, Mrs Laura Truitt Megee Bryan, age 85, widow of Robert William Bryan, who died in 1953, died Sunday in Beebe Hospital after a five week illness there. There are twelve children surviving.
The funeral was held in the Groome Church, conducted by Rev. Edward Dougherty, pastor of the Groome and Bethel Methodist Church. Burial was in Bethel Cemetery.

Wilmington New Journal, Saturday, October 4, 1997

Lewes, Delaware – A member of the Lewes Groome Memorial Church, Maxine Smith Cropper Dirks , age 79, of Quaker Road, Lewes, died Wednesday at home of cancer. She was owner of Maxine's Beauty Shop in Quakertown and a school bus driver for Cape Helopen Schools. She is survived by husband Timothy K. Dirks , daughter Janice Pepper of Milton, brother Joseph Smith of Roxana, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Services were in the Groome Church and burial in Henlopen Memorial Park, Broadkill River.


Groome Deaths




The Salisbury Daily Times, Wednesday, March 5, 1958

Lewes, Delaware – A member of the Groome Methodist Church, Lewes, who is a lifelong resident of Sussex county and lived in Lewes the past 25 years, Mrs Laura Truitt Megee Bryan, age 85, widow of Robert William Bryan, who died in 1953, died Sunday in Beebe Hospital after a five week illness there. There are twelve children surviving.
The funeral was held in the Groome Church, conducted by Rev. Edward Dougherty, pastor of the Groome and Bethel Methodist Church. Burial was in Bethel Cemetery.

Wilmington New Journal, Saturday, October 4, 1997

Lewes, Delaware – A member of the Lewes Groome Memorial Church, Maxine Smith Cropper Dirks , age 79, of Quaker Road, Lewes, died Wednesday at home of cancer. She was owner of Maxine's Beauty Shop in Quakertown and a school bus driver for Cape Helopen Schools. She is survived by husband Timothy K. Dirks , daughter Janice Pepper of Milton, brother Joseph Smith of Roxana, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Services were in the Groome Church and burial in Henlopen Memorial Park, Broadkill River.


SHIPPING ON THE BROADKILL


MILTON TOWNCRIER
HISTORICAL ITEMS
SHIPPING ON THE BROADKILL



Thomas H. Hughes, editor of the new weekly Milton Towncrier, has saved space to print items about the vessels that used to ply the Broadkill River between Milton and the Delaware Bay.

The April 4th , 1954, issue has a letter from Captain T. C. Conwell, native of Milton, and now an executive of the American President Lines of San Francisco, which listed the names and size some of those vessels now nearly forgotten. Some were built in Milton which was in the 19th century a famous for ship building of schooners and even steamers. Between the Civil War and 1880's there were usually three to four schooners on the stocks, some as large as 125 feet long.

Some of these ships regularly sailed between Milton and points north like Philadelphia and New York doing their coastal trading.

Captain Conwell writes about the 138 foot long steamer, Endeavor, built in Philadelphia in 1896 which traded in Milton more than three years before going to the Chesapeake Bay to work.
Railroads were now traveling up and down the Delmarva Peninsula, carrying passengers and freight that were the lively hood of the river and bay vessels.

Stubborn and tenacious was the Delaware spirit that tried to prolong the era of waterborne transportation.

As late as 1906, Captain MeGee built the Marie Thomas as a three masted schooner in Milton, in which was installed one of the first internal combustion engines, a 60 HP , kerosene burning motor.

Captain Conwell also mentions the seagoing ships built in Milton, too large to carry cargo in the shallow Broadkill stream but sailing the Oceans and Bays of the world.






Source: Wilmington Morning News, Tuesday, April 6, 1954.