Saturday, September 15, 2007

Camp Meetings - Carey's Camp

Camp meetings have been a unique tradition on Delmarva for over two hundred years. It is still a tradition, but on a more limited scale today. At one time there was a Camp Meeting in every town on Delmarva. Rehoboth Beach, Delmar, Laurel, Seaford, Bridgeville all had Camp Meetings. People would come, set up tents, built a tabernacle of brush and branches and stay for a week or two. I have often thought it gave people an excuse to have a little pleasure under the umbrella of being religious. Most of the sites have disappeared and I have no ideal where they were.

Camp meetings time was more than a religious gathering it was a social event. The camps came at a time without automobiles, television or computers and people made their own amusements. The main reason for camp meeting time was of course religion but courting rituals went on, horses were raced, people talked politics, there was a whole lot of gossip, and occasionally out of sight they drank a little liquor.


Carey’s Camp is perhaps the best known camp meeting, simply because it is near and still active. Carey's camp is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and its first camp meeting was in 1888. Since it is one of the few active camp meeting places left on Delmarva I am sure many of you have been to it. I drove by a couple of days ago and took some pictures that are posted below. It is of course closed until next camp meeting time.

The physical camp has 47 cabins that circle the tabernacle structure. It has its camp at the end of July thru the first part of August. This certainly is the hottest part of the summer on Delmarva. Maybe the ideal was to make you think you were close to hell and would convert more easily. With no air conditioning, certainly sweat figures heavily in the camp meeting. While one group may be in the tabernacle listening to the sermon or singing, another group, usually younger, is in constant motion walking around the camp circle kicking up dust to settle on your sweat covered sinner of a body. It has been years since I have been to a Carey’s Camp meeting. I think the last time I was there the
Dixie Melody Boys
sang, I notice on the agenda for this past session they also sang.

Before the permanent tabernacle they had brush shelters. A covering of brush and branches would be supported by poles and the sides were open. Each year it had to reconstructed. The tabernacle floor was and is covered in sawdust and wood shavings each year.

The original tents have been replaced by cabins or cottages. There are 47 of them.

When the camp was first held people had to bring their own supplies, so live chickens, fresh produce and cows for milk all shared the space with the people.

Backside of Cabins showing ventilation.

Delaware Pride Festival and Delmarva Bike Week

After Labor day when school has started up and some of the tourist have gone home I have always enjoyed going to the beach. Well just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Delaware Pride (a gay event) and Delmarva Bike Week happens I guess it will be a few more days before I return to beach.

For those who may not know, today is Delaware Pride festival in Rehoboth Beach. It is a gay event. The Gay community has been around Rehoboth since the 1940's. In spite of the rain I am sure Poodle Beach and Indecision Point will be active today.

For those who may be driving and are blind there are a multitude of bikes on the roads as this is Delmarva Bike Week in Ocean City.

Now tell me those two events don't go together.

Independence Day in Central America

September 15th must be the most frequently occuring Independence Day. In our Hemisphere the following Central America countries celebrate Independence Day today; Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Tomorrow, Mexico celebrates "El Grito" Mexican Independence Day on September 16th. Bells will ring in all the plaza all over Mexico. September is "Mes de la Patria" - The month of our nation.

Burning of the "Amphitrite"

Sept 15, 1875 The Daily Gazette



In August 1874, the monitor Amphitrite was sent to the yard of the Harlan & Hollingworth Company in this City (Wilmington) to be broken up. The Amphitrite was built in one of the New England States during the late war, and was what is known as a “wooden monitor” the hull being built of wood, though heavily plated with iron.

After the arrival of the vessel at the H & H Co’s yard, the turrets, engines and boilers were removed, and the hull stripped of it's iron coating.

The government authorities then decided to burn the hull in order to preserve for other use the great amount of brass bolts, braces and valuable iron workings which it contained. Three clerks were sent on to have this decision carried into effect, and on last Saturday the work begun, under the superintendence of Capt. Kelley, of this city.

On that day the remains of the vessel were towed across the Delaware river to the Jersey shore, a short distance above Pennsgrove. It has since been hauled high upon the beach so as to get it out of the track of passing vessels, and to prevent the bolts and bars from being lost in the water when they drop from the burning wood. The hull was thoroughly saturated with coal oil, fifty or sixty barrels being used, and filled with shavings and sawdust.

The match will be applied sometime today, or this evening. At first the conflagration will be very large, and visible for miles around. It will be more than two weeks before the smoldering embers will be entirely consumed.

A new monitor is being built at the H & H Co.’s yard to replace the one to be burned on which the turrets, engine, boilers and some of the plating of the old monitor Amphitrite will be used.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Staples has always been a convenient and cheap place for me to make copies. They have several self service copiers there and charge 7 cents for a black and white copy. I could race in and be back out in five minutes or so depending on how slow the cashier was. I went in yesterday only to find the self serve copy machines have a credit card hookup on them so you have to use a credit card or go buy a credit card to use on the machine. Far to complicated for me. My copy charges are usually under a dollar, I can't imagine using a credit card for that. So so long Staples, I am sure the absent of my 70 or 80 cent copy bill won't hurt you but you also won't have me browsing the store before I go out for any impulse buying.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Maryland Election

I understand no one filed to run against Mayor Niblett for the Mayor position but there are five people running for the two commissioners slots. Luther Hitchens and Joan tisinger both filed to run for their current position, plus Marla Hodgins, Chris Pittas and Reginald Lizotte have filed to run for those two positions. There will be an election September 25th. Not very far away is it?

The Good Old Boys

I was shocked today to read in the Daily Times that some people think the new Somerset County Warden may have gotten the job not on merit but because he was one of the "good old boys". To think that something like that could occur on Delmarva. Of course I was shocked to when it was announced Liberace was homosexual - who would have thought? I am sure Trimper Amusements in Worcester County received the tax break on merit alone. I won't even talk about the crap that goes on in Wicomico County. In the News Journal they are reporting that Sherry Freebury and Tom Gordon were only given a small fine for their alleged criminal use of New Castle County resources. Of course nothing happened to Ruth Fallis for stealing a million dollars. Could those people too be part of the "good old boys" network? Is Sussex and Kent Counties the only fairly run counties on Delmarva?

Praise In The Park, Delmar Delaware

William Walker, Filibuster and President

William Walker was born in Nashville Tennessee on May 8 in 1824, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a MD at the age of 19; He was a doctor, lawyer, writer, adventurer, and President of Nicaragua. He was dead at 36, shot by a Honduran firing squad on September 12, 1860. He is buried in the Cementerio Viejo in the coastal town of Trujillo.

William Walker
was a filibuster, (from the Spanish word filibustero meaning pirate). Filibusters were irregular military adventures who lead unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to create revolution. Obviously America has used these people in that capacity for a long time as it continues to do so today.

When he was only 29 years of age, Walker and a small army sailed into Baja California and Walker declared himself president of Lower California. After a brief reign Walker was forced out and surrendered to U.S. authorities on the grounds of violation to U.S. neutrality laws.

Three years later in 1856 Walker took over Nicaragua with a force of 58 men (His force was referred to as “The Immortals") and had himself elected President. His goal in Nicaragua was the constructing of a trans-isthmus canal there. He wanted to create a sea-route across Nicaragua that could be used by Easterners transporting gold from California, and saw Nicaragua’s San Juan River as the ideal base for this.

By 1857 he had upset the political power sufficiently in the area to have the Costa Rica army attacked his band of men and forced him out of the county. A great Costa Rica story is how on April 11th, 1857, Walker’s forces had barricaded themselves into a farmhouse from which they refused to leave or be dislodged. According to popular legend, Juan Santa Maria, a lowly drummer-boy from Alajuela, ran up and torched the roof of the house, dying in a hail of bullets, but forcing Walker’s retreat and ensuring Costa Rica’s victory. Juan Santa Maria is now recognized as a national hero, the victory is celebrated every year and Costa Rica’s International Airport is named after the boy.

With his forces defeated he was rescued by the US Navy. He was taken to New York City where he was greeted as hero. He attempted to take over Nicaragua once again in 1857 only to be defeated and imprisoned. He spent three years in jail and on his release tried to capture a Honduran custom house. This eventually was the cause of the firing squad that ended his life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Little Courtesies

Sometime manufacturers and packaging people forget and make their product very difficult to open. I recently unpacked a Hewlett Packard (HP) printer and saw the multiple strips of tape they had on the printer were folded on one end so it was easier to grasp and remove. Clever and thoughtful ideal.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Longwood Garden's Model Trains Garden

Longwood gardens has a nice model train display. There are some photos posted below of it. It had about six men fussing around the setup, I guess they were afraid someone would touch it.

I think these model trains are refered to as G-scale size.

I read, I think in the News Journal, this display was created by Paul Busse.

On the way home I encountered rain south of Dover. Not enough to wet a board. Naturally none in Delmar

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Delmarva Antique Bottle Club Show

I went to the Delmarva Antique Bottle Show this morning.

I arrived about 10 AM and already the parking lot had a large number of cars in it. Inside there were more people than I wanted to see.

Bottles, Bottles , Bottles plus jugs etc. The prices surprised me. Five years ago you could have purchased a decent bottle for $10, now the same bottle is going for $35. What was a reasonable hobby is now pricing itself out of the market. Oh well if you go digging I guess your finds are still free.

A milk jug from Hollybrook Milk company

A Salisbury liquor jug

I am interested in Maryland Rye Whiskey bottles. It amazes me how many distilleries there were. Delaware, in 1875, had over 130 peach distilleries, yet you rarely fine a bottle from them.

When I was growing up my family lived in rented houses. Sometimes I think we moved every 6 months. One place we lived at in the 1950's had a large junk pile in the back that was filled with cone top beer cans. Notice the price on this one, if I only had the vision to save some of them (my mother would have killed me for keeping beer cans).


I thought the cicadas had their fling back in 2004 and were now back in the ground for another 17 years, but my mother's yard has these pupal casing (like above) scattered all across her yard, plus the small holes where they come out of the ground.

Sunflowers in Delmar