Monday, November 17, 2014


Gifts for the History and Genealogical Person

I know it’s only the middle of November, but the holidays are right around the corner. Retailers have had Christmas items on display since, well, back-to-school stuff went on clearance. And so I will mention to you some gifts for the Delmar history people.
The DHAS Calendar;
The 2015 Delmar Historical and Arts Society calendar costs $12.00 and is an excellent Christmas gift.  Please fill out the below information to order one.  If you desire it to be mailed to you or someone else there is an additional $4.00 for postage and handling.
Name of buyer________________
Deliver To: ___________________
Street address __________________
City, State, Zip _________________
Phone Number _________________
Email _________________________
Number of Calendars Purchased______________________
Mail order to DHAS, 34662 St. George Road, Delmar DE 19940 atten Chris Walter
Give a membership to the Delmar Historical and Arts Society.  Our membership runs from January to December and the rates are; Individual membership $24.00, Institutional membership $48.00, Life membership $200.00, Student and Senior (62 and over) $12.00.
Mail check with name and address and email address to DHAS, PO Box 344, Delmar DE 19940.
The Delmar Historical and Arts Society still have the Freeney-Hearne Cemetery book in black and white for $25.00.  $4.00 more postage and handling.  Mail check with name and address and email address to DHAS, PO Box 344, Delmar DE 19940
The DHAS memorial brick project offers an opportunity to commemorate the major events of life and honor those whose lives have ended.  The bricks are placed in the sidewalk in the downtown section of Delmar, Delaware.  A commemorative brick with a three-line inscription of 15 characters per line can be purchased for a $100 donation.  Please provide us with the following information;
Person Inscription – Max 15 characters including space per line;
First Line
Second Line
Third Line
 Send order to DHAS , 34662 St. George Road, Delmar DE 19940 Atten: Chris Walter
and for family tree research you can purchase from the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society the following books;
Click on photo for larger size to read.
Mail your check to LDGS, PO Box 3602, Salisbury MD 21802-3602


Monday comments

The Delmar Christmas parade is Dec 6 at 2pm follow this link for parade route and application to be in it.

This Wednesday at 7 PM at the
the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University - Wayne and Powell Street Unit #190
, Tony Russo will speak to the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society about his just released book "Eastern Shore Beer"

If that does not interest you on Wednesday night the 19th Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 Pm, don't know why it has changed from their usual Thursday meeting.
You have until November 27th to purchase a ticket to the Delmar citizen of the Year award
We have had a number of deaths in Delmar of men who were active and living history books of "Old" Delmar.  Tommy Young has passed away.  Earl Hudson has passed away.  Gary Horseman has passed away.

An odd article about Delmar is below.  I have tried to do some research on Hester Cordroy but have come up with nothing.  But here is the article anyway.


Although 112 Years Old, She Lives alone, Nine Miles From Her Birthplace
Delmar, Del. – The eldest woman on the peninsular embracing Delaware and the eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia is a resident of Delmar.  She lives in a house by herself. She is Mrs. Hester Cordroy, aged 112 years, having been born on a farm nine miles to the east of Delmar on February 12th 1797.  The most remarkable part of it all is that this woman actually cultivates two large gardens adjoining her home and sells the products.  She uses a hoe in helping along the growth of potatoes, corn, onions, etc.  and when she become tired, she gets a large spoon from the kitchen and utilizes it while crawling down the rows of plants. 

Mrs. Cordroy, who is a familiar figure to all the residents of Delmar and vicinity, has ten great-grandchildren.  Upon the death of her second husband 43 years ago, she built a home in Delmar on a lot which she bought for $75.  This site is now worth $1000.  This has since been her home despite the attempts of grandchildren and great-grandchildren to dissuade her from living alone.
“Aunt Hester” as Mrs. Corduroy is known was the youngest child of Hamilton Neal , a wealthy farmer.  When 14 years old her mother died.  Leaving her and her father to run the farm.  She had 12 sisters all of whom married early in life and two brothers who were in the War of 1812.

The oldest woman on the peninsular tells graphically how she plowed all day, when a girl and then milked seven cows after dark.  “If the girls of today would do more work and think less of the parlor,”  she said “they would be healthier  and live longer.”
From The Red Cloud Chief, Nebraska, 15 July 1909

Something I had not given much observation  to until recently is most women seem to have a collection of odd earrings.  by that mean if one earring is lost they keep the leftover one.  Do they think the lost one will go searching for it's mate or just a wild hope they will someday come across that missing earring?

Walmart and Food lion have had "live" Christmas Trees for sale for the last week.  By Christmas those suckers will be so dry they should go up in flames. 

We purchased our Hayman sweet potatoes for thanksgiving last week

Christmas is right around the corner - get out there and shop people.

While picking up a few things at Family Dollar I was looking at those little calculators for a dollar.  Back when I was in college ,in the seventies, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that said in a few years calculators would be sold at the super market in blister packs for under $10.   I found it hard to believe.  So at my first job at NCR Corporation in Millsboro I had a ten key adding machine and an electronic desk calculator (made by NCR) on my desk.  The calculator cost over a thousand dollars and we actually paid $150 a year for a maintenance contract on it.  Well within five years calculator costs were under a hundred and we gave up the maintenance contract on them and within another year tossed the original ones in the trash.  So now you pick up a calculator for a dollar that does more than the thousand dollar one, 40 years ago, and people under 40 do not believe there was a time when there was not calculators and people counted on their fingers and toes.

The number of TV shows I watch are getting less and less.  The network just seem to think that the average family in America is in love with queers and the sitcoms shows just have to have at least one in the show.  I enjoyed "The Millers" and this season they had to add a homo in it, so I dropped it.  Now the show is being cancelled so maybe I am not the only one out there who is sick of this.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Joanna takes a licking

Joanna, from Delmar Delaware, dog set the record for Longest Time For a Dog to Lick One’s Face. She made it 13 minutes and 44 seconds.  See it here;

(It's the last one in the article)

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Delmar In 1891

Duel to the Death
Wilmington (Del), Sept. 11 - Delmar which is on the southern border of Delaware touching the Maryland boundary, was the scene of a terrible duel to the death between two young men last night.  The principals were Frederick Williams, aged 22 years, of Laurel, and Thomas Wells, aged 26, a farmer, living at Whitesville, six miles east of Laurel.  One used a pruning knife and the other a pistol.  Both are in a critical condition.

From The San Francisco Call - Calif. Sept 12, 1891


Trivia Information

The following article is from

The most misused Social Security Number of all time was 078-05-1120.

In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree Company in Lockport, New York, decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. A sample card, used for display purposes, was inserted in each wallet. Company Vice President and Treasurer Douglas Patterson thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual Social Security Number of his secretary, Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher.

The wallet was sold by Woolworth stores and other department stores all over the country. Even though the card was only half the size of a real card, was printed all in red, and had the word “specimen” written across the face, many purchasers of the wallet adopted the SSN as their own. In the peak year of 1943, 5,755 people were using Hilda’s number. The Social Security Administration acted to eliminate the problem by voiding the number and publicizing that it was incorrect to use it. Mrs. Whitcher was given a new number. However, the number continued to be used for many years. In all, over 40,000 people reported this as their SSN. As late as 1977, 12 people were still found to be using the SSN “issued by Woolworth.”

Mrs. Whitcher recalled coming back from lunch one day to find her fellow workers teasing her about her new-found fame. They were singing the refrain from a popular song of the day: “Here comes the million-dollar baby from the five and ten cent store.”

Although the snafu gave her a measure of fame, it was mostly a nuisance. The FBI even showed up at her door to ask her about the widespread use of her number. In later years she observed: “They started using the number. They thought it was their own. I can’t understand how people can be so stupid. I can’t understand that.”

The New York wallet manufacturer was not the only one to cause confusion about Social Security numbers. More than a dozen similar cases have occurred over the years — usually when someone publishes a facsimile of an SSN using a made-up number. (The Whitcher case is far and away the worst involving a real SSN and an actual person.)

One embarrassing episode was the fault of the Social Security Board itself. In 1940 the Board published a pamphlet explaining the new program and showing a facsimile of a card on the cover. The card in the illustration used a made-up number of 219-09-9999. Sure enough, in 1962 a woman presented herself to the Provo, Utah, Social Security office, complaining that her new employer was refusing to accept her old Social Security number — 219-09-9999. When it was explained that this could not possibly be her number, she whipped out her copy of the 1940 pamphlet to prove that yes, indeed, it was her number!

Above is Hilda Whitcher holding her social security card.

And for a little more social security trivia

From the Baltimore City paper by Brennen Jensen posted 7/4/2001


How did 40,000 people come to impersonate Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher? Why was Otto von Bismarck--the "Iron Chancellor"--an inspiration for President Franklin Roosevelt? Don't have a clue? Well, the answers can be found in Woodlawn, home of the Social Security Administration's History Room.

Baltimore is home to a number of niche museums--quirky repositories celebrating everything from light bulbs to dentistry equipment to circus sideshows. However, though little heralded, since 1963 it has also hosted a museum dedicated to the federal program dubbed "the largest bookkeeping operation in the history of the world." (Stifle that yawn. The place is fascinating. Really.)

Housed on the first floor of the main building within the sprawling Social Security Administration (SSA) campus, the museum is open to the public, albeit by appointment only. (Thanks to the Oklahoma City bombing, it's a little difficult to go blithely traipsing into federal buildings these days.) The place is run by SSA historian Larry DeWitt, who's happy to show folks around; about 1,000 people a year take the tour. First stop is The Pen, which DeWitt calls his "most prized possession." It's the writing instrument Roosevelt used to sign the Social Security Act into law in 1935. Next is a display chronicling the roots of the Social Security concept. It's here that a photo of a bewhiskered, spiked-helmet-clad Bismarck makes an appearance. Seems the German chancellor pioneered the concept of state pensions back in 1884. (Some 34 other countries had launched similar plans by the time the United States got around to it.)

The Depression, with its shuttered factories and bread lines, kick-started the movement here. Or, as exhibit signage puts it: proposals for dramatic social and economic change spread like weeds from the soil of the nation's discontent. This can be translated to mean that a number of wild-eyed demagogues came to the fore to capture millions of followers. Perhaps the most colorful of the demagogues were the pugnacious populist Sen. Huey "Kingfish" Long (father of "Louisiana politics," if you know what I mean and I'll bet you do) and firebrand Father Charles Coughlin, who used the airwaves to promote nationalized banking and anti-Semitism (earning him the title "the father of hate radio"). Champions of "the common man," these and other radicals didn't just want to tax the rich--they wanted to soak 'em good. (Long famously said no American should be allowed to have more than 1 million bucks, but promised each citizen a home, a car, and a radio.) The exhibit includes a video clip of Ina Ray Hutton and Her All-Girl Orchestra performing Long's theme song, "Every Man a King."

"We don't have these types of guys around anymore," DeWitt remarks.

Of course, calmer heads prevailed, and Social Security went from concept to signed law in just 14 months. Oddly enough, according to records, the first Social Security card was issued to John David Sweeney Jr., a wealthy Republican who hadn't voted for FDR. A Cleveland streetcar motorman, who retired the day after the system went into effect, is listed as the first to receive a Social Security check--for a whopping 17 cents.

The museum explains how the SSA came to be orphaned from the rest of the federal bureaucracy and placed here in Baltimore. When SSA was forming in the 1930s, no office buildings in Washington had floors strong enough to hold the gazillions of filing cabinets needed. So the SSA moved into Baltimore's rugged Candler Building (which still looms over the Inner Harbor). The move was supposed to be temporary, but as the agency bloomed--and its payroll swelled--local politicos scrambled to make sure it never left. Operations moved to Woodlawn in 1960.

One of the most recent items on display is SSA's first personal computer, a 256k IBM PC bought in 1983 from a Towson computer store. It has two, count 'em, two floppy drives, but no hard drive. The price tag: $9,600.

Oh, and what of Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher? She was a secretary for a New York wallet manufacturer that, in 1938, started including a faux Social Security card in its wallets for demonstration purposes. In what, in hindsight, can be seen as a corporate blunder, company brass elected to use Whitcher's actual number--078-05-1120--on the phony card. The card was the wrong size, the wrong color, and had the word specimen emblazoned on it. No matter. Over the next 34 years, some 40,000 wallet-buyers claimed Whitcher's digits as their own. The hapless secretary, subsequently given a new number, said of the debacle, "I can't understand how people can be so stupid."

For a virtual tour of the SSA History Room and/or information about going there in person, visit


Monday, November 10, 2014


Delmar Delaware November Commissioner Meeting 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014


Thanksgiving/Fall Decorations

I don't often think of Thanksgiving/Fall decorations in a church but I thought this picture of St. Thomas Anglican Church in Vancouver BC Canada pulled off the fall/thanksgiving decoration effect quite well with this mass display of gourds and vegetables.  The Church mouse should be happy.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


Delmar Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade



1937 C. C. C. Dance Invitation

In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps were formed to give unemployed, unmarried men from relief families a job.  In addition to a job there was social events such as this dance in 1937 put on by Co 1295 of Camp MC 54 (Mosquito Control) which was 8 miles north east of Magnolia.  Delaware was the last state in the union to get CC Camps, it first one was not form until 1933.   About 11 camps were in Delaware and they employed an average of 400 men.  Not all camps were made up of young men, some World War One veterans were employed and their company number usually had a "V" after it.


Trivia Information

One of the more difficult task for a genealogist is that of reading and deciphering handwriting in old documents. Besides the fact that some handwriting is almost impossible to read, there were letters and letter forms used in “the olden days” that are no longer commonly used, if used at all.
Coupled with that problem is the lack of standardized spelling until close to the 20th century.

One letter or term that is often seen in old handwriting and continues today is the word or term “ye” as in “Ye Olde Tavern.” Quite often today this “ye” is used when an ambiance of colonial times is desired. Most pronounce the word as “yee.”
But this pronunciation is totally in error. It seems hard to fathom that the correct pronunciation is simple “the” — just as the word “the” is pronounced. Of course the first question is, “How on earth did they get ‘the’ out of ‘ye’?!?” Perhaps a bit of the history of the term will explain.

The letter form that became the “Y” was called a “thorn” and was probably derived from a rune, part of a runic alphabet used by Northern European or Germanic peoples until about the 1200s. It represented what is now our “th.” But when the printing press came into use, there was no sign or letter for the thorn, which resembles a lower-case “p” with the loop moved down to the middle of the vertical line.
The letter closest in appearance to the thorn was the “y,” which was often substituted for the thorn in printed material. Thus the “y” when used in this context was pronounced “th,” and when the letter e was added to it, the word became “the” in pronunciation.

Few people today even realize that the word is actually pronounced “the.”

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Election Day In Delaware

You know the slogan; "Get out there and vote", so go do it. 

The Delaware elections have some of the worst selections for candidates going this year.  I am sure once again the incumbents will be reelected as it seems to be a Delaware way.  I can't say any of the Delaware candidates;  State level, or county level are going to do anything for Delmar, as they all live in Northern Delaware or Laurel.  The same people who we have as Representative and Senator were part of the group that shut down the federal government because they couldn't do the job we sent then there to do, they are running again and in spite of not doing what they were send to Washington to do, will probably be reelected.

I will point out that altho Bob Venables has done a few things for Delmar, he has also used his weight and made veiled threats that if Delmar did not do his bidding there may be problems with bond money coming our way.

Sunday, November 02, 2014


Vote For Carl Anderton Jr


Monday Night Delmar Delaware Mayor and Council Meeting

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Eastern Shore Beer

Tony Russo, journalist, blogger, podcaster, resident of Delmar has a new book called "Eastern Shore Beer."   He will speak at the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society on November 19th at 7 PM about the history of beer and his book.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Foreign Crab Cakes - Just Say No

One Of my many gripes 

Almost any seafood package I pick up in a supermarket  I check to see where the seafood originated.  Most shrimp, fish, prepared seafood in supermarkets come from Asia or Mexico.  Usually I don't eat seafood from those areas.  The seafood is bad enough when it is prepared in this country God knows what they feed the farm raised seafood and what the processing plants are like outside the United States. 

This however is another issue I have, these crab cakes are made by Handy Seafood headquartered in Salisbury.  Since it is Handy you would think it is from local crab but no, like Phillips restaurant, these crab cakes are prepared in Indonesia.
From their website; Handy International is a family-owned company with over 100 years of quality seafood processing. Products include soft crabs, crab meat, crab cakes, crab specialty items, oysters and artisanal fish.

Now my mind is certainly failing me but as I recall Handy Seafood was owned at one time (1988) by Taiyo oil Company - a Japanese Oil company.  Then Terry Conway who use to work at Perdue farms and later Mash's ham in Baltimore entered the pictureSo I guess this is one of those things where if the words taken individually they are true but as a whole it is false.  Yes, it is family owned but not for a hundred years by the same family.   It is like that political TV commercial Senator Tom Carper gives for Sean Barney (running for Delaware treasurer) in which he says after 9/11 Sean joined the marines.   True Sean may have joined the Marines after 911 but I doubt 911 was the reason for him joining the marines.   Finally what in the hell are artisanal fish?

Long story short I didn't buy the crab cakes.



A photo from about three weeks ago.  Most of the Black walnuts seen here have decomposing husks at this time.  The Black walnut tree put out by my estimate about 2,000 nuts this fall.  From the middle of September to the middle of October my backyard is a hardhat area.  One of these little bundles falling from 20 to 30 feet in air hitting you will bring you to your knees and bring a tear to your eye.  I try to pick them up, less for harvesting purposes, and more to get them out of the walkways as you can twist your ankle stepping on them. 


Moving Day At The Library

A photo taken a couple weeks ago when the moving trucks were at the library.


The Montauk Daisy

Mums are always great flowers for fall but I think this Montauk daisy I have is also a great fall blooming plant.  This one is about three foot tall.  Yes it is a perennial and I have had it about three years.


Grain Storage Bags At The Mill

So much grain is coming into the mill that they are using these grain storage bags on the ground at the Amick (Allen / Ralston Purina)  mill north of town.


New street lamps

They installed a couple more street light this past week in downtown Delmar


The Chris Mill's building October 2014

Well it at least looks better than the hole that was there.  Adds a lot of Class to downtown Delmar


Izzy's Busy Barber Shop Moves On

I see where the Storm Shelter Ministry has moved into the building which was occupied by Izzy's Busy Barber Shop


Trick or Treat In Delmar 2014

Last night I was visited by 127 of these little creatures.  The weather was good and most had an adult walking with them. 


Citizen Of The Year Dinner Tickets 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014


The Delmar Library Groundbreaking

I slipped up to the library this afternoon thinking the groundbreaking ceremony would be a ten minutes or so event but after seeing all the suits there I knew it was going to be a bit longer.
Beverly Wilson, President of the Delmar Library Commission lead the speeches and did introductions.
Delaware State House of Representative Timothy D. Dukes gave a little pray and talk.
Jeffrey Bullock, Delaware Secretary of State talked a while.  Frankly I didn't know Delaware had a Secretary of State, but he seems a pleasant person.
Delmar Delaware Mayor Michael Houilhan spoke also

Susan Upole, library director and Delmar Citizen of the year spoke.
 Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips spoke
Delaware Senator Robt L. Bob Venables spoke
Finally we walked thru the library (moving day is tomorrow) and outside for the groundbreaking.
and there they all are.


A Couple Monday Events

At 2 PM today the Delmar Public Library will have a groundbreaking event. 
At 7 Pm tonight the Delmar Maryland Commissioners will meet

Monday, October 06, 2014


The Wedding

This weekend my wife and I went to a wedding in Bel Air Maryland.  It was at the Liriodendron  a Palladian-styled mansion.  If we did not have a GPS in the vehicle we never would have found it. 
It is however a great spot for a wedding.  The string quartet is Two Rivers Chamber Music and their web page is:

The people being married were Jonathan Dickerson and Kristin Voegtline.  Jonathan is the son of a cousin of mine. 
and here we see him waiting for his bride.
and there is Kristin with her mother, Linda.

They discovered one another on a on-line computer dating service.  Behind them are paper crane garland or chains.  I didn't try to count them to see if there were the traditional 1,000 but because folding a crane takes time, patience and understanding (qualities considered vital in a marriage) 1,000 hand folded cranes are considered good luck.

Jonathan's mother Miyoko is Japanese and about ten of her family and friends from Japan and Hawaii flew in for the wedding so the Yagi family was well represented.

Kristin has her PhD and is a postdoctoral research fellow at John Hopkins Bloombergs School of Public Health so the number of goats and sheep Jonathan had too come up with for her was high. 

and to add to the enjoyment; an open bar, hor's d hoerves, DJ, and food.

Great crab balls and drinks

This is Miyoko, she is a wild woman on the dance floor
Kristin is from Wisconsin and I remembered from my trips to Wisconsin all the posters advertising church dinners featuring  Lutefisk and Swedish meatball suppers
Lutefisk is the culinary equivalent of muskrat on the Eastern Shore.  But certainly she would not serve that at her wedding?
still this is the bride and groom wearing cheesehead hats

But we were safe it turned into a very nice dinner catered by Laurrapin,

a restaurant in downtown Havre de Grace.

while eating, deer came out of the woods and grazed on the lawn.
During the mother son dance Jonathan's father made his one point which everyone immediately forgot.
It was a great wedding. 

Weddings are almost always happy events, In the novel  "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom, the wife ( Marguerite) leads Eddie (the main character) thru a Heaven of weddings receptions because the receptions were filled with love and happiness which was her idea of Heaven.

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