Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Tipping

Okay it is that time of year for presents for everyone and gifts for the needy and tips for people who normally get paid for doing their job. As may be suspected, Howard, is not the most generous tipper, normally, and at Christmas time he becomes literally a manifestation of his idol Scrooge. I think 5% is an adequate tip for a waitress, waiter or pizza delivery person, I know they think that is good because they fight over who is going to wait on my table. So who out there does Christmas Tipping? There is always some newspaper or TV Article on Christmas Tipping and they must be aimed at 'city people' as I sure as hell don't have no doorman, dog walker or handyman. Our kids are no longer kids so thank God babysitters and school teachers aren't in the picture anymore. So we pretty much come down to Newspaper delivery people, Trash Collectors and the mailman. I don't think I even know their names, which makes me wonder if I should bother with them.

Delmar Police History Search

The Delmar Police force continues their search for information or items related to the police force. If you have photos articles, police badges or items pertaining to the Delmar Delaware or Delmar Maryland or the Railroad Police let Ed Ferro know and let him make copies. Ed can be contacted at

Delmar Ad - Doris Truitt

Friday, December 14, 2007

1940 AD - Rothskeller

Manokin Village

From the December 14, 1928 edition of The Salisbury Times


Indian names most of which are peculiar to the Eastern Shore are to be perpetrated in the suburban village being developed on the Spring Hill Road, west of the city proper, by Community Land development Company Incorporated.

The village, restricted to residential buildings, is to be known as Manokin, which, in the language of the original natives of this section, means “a fort”.

The property containing 110 acres has been subdivided into avenues and boulevards, the avenues running east and west and the latter intersecting, north and south.

Each thoroughfare bears the name of an Indian chief, a tribe, or a village.

To those who eventually occupy the 428 buildings sites, the Indian language will become familiar household words; Here are some; Nokomi, Pochonata, Minneola, Kenosha, Tuscola and Shawnee.

The names given the boulevards are perhaps more widely known to students of Indian lore and history. Chippewa, Manos, Seminole and powhattan boulevards completely dissect the village.

Manokin is one and a quarter miles from the courthouse, exactly the same distance from the building as is College Avenue.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ribbons of Love Gift Wrapping

While getting my hair cut over at Campbell's Barber Shop I saw an advertisement for Ribbons of Love Gift Wrapping. It is a Christmas gift wrapping service started by Ashely Campbell and Alyssa Minton. Check out their web page for prices and services.

Delmar Well Head Protection Program

The town of Delmar is currently working on a Well Head Protection Ordinance. The purpose of it, besides being mandated by Federal and State agencies, is to preserve the area around our wells so they will not become contaminated. Next Monday at the Joint Council Meeting I understand there will be a presentation on Well Head Protection Programs in Delaware by some one from Rural Water.

Since America has been in existence each town has made some attempt to protect their water system. Governor Gage of Jamestown Virginia in 1610 gave this proclamation to the residents: "There shall be no man or woman dare to wash any unclean linen, wash clothes,...nor rinse or make clean any kettle, pot, or pan, or any suchlike vessel within twenty feet of the old well or new pump. Nor shall anyone aforesaid within less than a quarter mile of the fort, dare to do the necessities of nature, since by these unmanly slothful, and loathsome immodesty's, the whole fort may be choked and poisoned. "

Delmar has three wells that it uses to pull ground-water from. If contamination occurs, it is very costly correct and it will remain contaminated for a long period of time. The continual selection of the location of the wells in Delmar always mystify me but perhaps the locations are as good as any other. The location of the two north wells (this well field has been used since 1911) are next to Delmar Grain on York Street and a few hundred feet east of the railroad tracks. The railroad is a problem with potential chemical spills from rail road accidents. In the past there has been chemical spills ranging from unloading chemicals to refueling the engine with the overflow of diesel fuel. There is a 40,000 gallon propane tank that sits a hundred feet from the wells and water tower. About 400 feet away was the storage tanks (gasoline and heating oil) for William Gordy Fuel Company. A couple of blocks away from the wells is a retired Delmarva Electric Power Transformers station that use to have signs up stating PCBs present. An old town dump was about a half mile from the North water well.

The location of the south well is at the corner of Pennsylvia Avenue and Foskey Lane and again it sets next to the railroad tracks. It is also close to a rail switching track where railcars are loaded and staged for points north or south. The land, before the well and water tower was developed, was the site of the Blue Hen Canning Company and later the Hungarian Pickle Company. When the Pickle Plant was torn down I have been told the brine in the 6,000 gallon pickle vats were dumped on the ground. There was also a propane tank company (Pyrofax Gas Co.) in existence a few hundred feet from the tower and well.

How long it takes for contaminates to sink into the ground down to the level of our wells varies considerably depending on rainfall, ground saturation, and type of ground, I have been told that what ever was dumped on the ground surface 30 years ago is now reaching the level of our 143 feet deep north well. So we should now be drinking our environmental sins from the 1970s.

Come on out Monday night and listen to the presentation it should be interesting and one way or another it is going to effect you.

The Coliseum at Delmar

South of Delmar, about where the current IBEW Union building is today, stood The Coliseum. The Coliseum was the largest dance hall on the Eastern Shore from 1936 until 1942 when it burnt. The road we now call Bi State Boulevard was than called the Delmar Road and it went from the overhead bridge in Salisbury into Delmar. It was a popular strip for beer joints, night clubs, dance halls and tourist cabins. The most popular was the Coliseum. It started life known as the Chatterbox Night club and was later converted to the Coliseum Roller Rink. It seem to have been built by a Thomas Philips and was later owned by a Mr. Harvey M. Ruble. Mr. Ruble also owned the Pier Ballroom in Ocean City.

The Coliseum had roller skating, square dances, banquets, amateur boxing, big band orchestras and 24 hour walkathons, anything to make a buck. On a Friday night in July of 1940 it held an amateur boxing match that drew over 700 fight fans to it. I think the real draw was they had Jack Dempsey as the referee and Red Burman, a protege of Dempsey, was in the audience. Some of the Bands and singers of the era at the Coliseum were the Larry Clinton band, Will Osborne and his Slide orchestra, Rudy Vallee, and Don Bestor. The 24 hour walkathons seem to have been the equivalent of a 24 hour dance marathon and were described as controversial in the newspaper, apparently because of the large crowd that they drew.

When it burnt at the end of November 1942 a Mrs Annie Jackson, 82, died in the fire. She is believed to be the mother of Mrs. Ruble and lived at the Coliseum. The flames were reported to be 150 feet high and the smoke could be seen in downtown Salisbury. Winds whipped the fire around sitting fire to the surrounding bushes and grass in the area. A photo from the Salisbury Times December 2nd 1942 edition is shown below of the remains of the building.

The owner Harvey M. Ruble died in Tucson Arizona in September of 1951. He had gone to Tucson for his health several years before. He was buried in Parkesburg West Virginia.

I was able to find information on the Coliseum from a few newspapers, but mostly from Jane Brown, Joseph Long and Gary Horseman.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Possum Possum

Every so often we end up with a possum or some other woodland creature living in our garage or under the shed. This time it was another possum. You would think with a dog and a couple of cats they would keep these creatures away but the dog is old and can barely hobble around and the cats, with anything as big as they are, have a live and let live outlook. Delmar has an animal Control Officer in the person of Robert Kenney. If you have these animal problems you can call the Town police at 410-896-3132 and they will send Bob Kenney by for stray dogs, cats, possums, goats, deer, etc. He left a live animal trap set here and in about five hours the possum was in the trap. He was a young one so fricassee possum would have been a waste of time. I guess Bob Kenney found a place for him to go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Delmar Planning and Zoning December

Well tonight the Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission had their meeting. Joe Dixon was unable to make it and Stan Benson left the commission tonight. As usual what I write is not the minutes of the meeting and the items are only what I am chosing to mention and is my own impression of what was said. If you want to know the whole story attend the meetings. Some of the items discussed tonight were;

James Rostocki of Chesapeake Bay Reserve, George Danneman of Wolf Block Real estate Law Practice, and Jennifer and Bruce from GreenStone Engineering gave a concept plan of the Chesapeake Bay Reserve. This is a little over 200 acres to the east of Stage Road in Delaware. The land has a petition for annexation pending an agreement for Sewerage. They plan to built 481 single dwelling homes on this land. The lots will be about 9,000 square feet. They will have about 30% open area in the development. Many of the homes will be 1100 to 1200 sq ft starter homes for the first time buyer. Carl Anderton asked about them including a soccer field or some kind of athletic field. Rostocki said they could put in several mini parks of a half acre and make a donation to a more central athletic field the town could own and maintain.

Doug Warner and Sarah Holland from Element Design gave a concept plan of Delmar Grove. Delmar Grove is 97 acres that is to the east of RT13 off Iron Hill road. The majority of the land is wetland so only 10 or so acres will be developed. They are looking at putting five buildings with 24 condominiums in each building - 120 units. They will be three story buildings. There will be 234 parking places. He said it may be possible to put an athletic field in the wetland area. The units would be a combination of rent, rent to own, and own. They are looking at affordable housing, starting as low as $120,000. Other projects they have done are the Tides at Rebohoth, Creekwood in Rehoboth and Five points in Lewis.

Christmas Lights

One of the many light displays on Spruce Street

Cemetery Decorations

Today was the day to go visit cemeteries and put out "Christmas" flowers. I drove my mother around Salisbury and Princess Anne to visit grave sites and she told me all the old tales and stories about each one, how they died, who they dated, what troubles and successes they had. I still have one more day to do for the ones around Laurel and than sometime in January the return trip to pick up the "Christmas" flowers.

I am old enough to have known some of the people buried around my relatives so today I saw the graves of a married couple, side by side, and I remember how much they use to fight and argue. He was big on saying "Make sure when I die I am not buried next to that bitch". So today, sure enough, his family buried them side by side. I think I could hear the ground rumbling when I walked past their grave - they are still arguing.

They say a person is never dead as long as someone remember them, so this Christmas remember someone and maybe even put a little decoration on their grave.

Old Monie Church

1940 Ad - Duffy Cabs

Four Items From the Delaware Public Archives

From This Day In Delaware History

1856 The ceremony for the opening of the Delaware Railroad in Seaford was subdued somewhat due to torrential rains and strong southwest winds.

1863 Annie Jump Cannon, later a nationally famous astronomer at Harvard, was born in Dover.

1925 A new stoplight was installed in Laurel. A red sign was for stop, blue was to go straight ahead or make a right turn, and yellow was for a left turn.

1944 The US Army, headquartered in Dover's Richardson Hotel, seized chicken trucks up and down the state in order to guarantee adequate food supplies for the armed forces and their wartime needs.

Today's facts were compiled by historian Roger Martin and brought to you by the Delaware Public Archives.

It is interesting that Laurel's love for traffic lights extend back to at least 1925.

And once the railroad pushed past Seaford in 1856 Delmar would be put on the map.

Annie Jump Cannon of Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me fame was of course a noted astonomer known for examining the spectra of stars.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa At The Fire House

Santa is at the fire hall in Delmar. He will be there Monday and Wednesday Night 6PM to 7:30PM and on Saturday have breakfast with Santa at the Fire Hall.

Christmas Lights

600 block of East Jewell Street

Sunday, December 09, 2007

William and Mary, another politically correct college

Another politically correct event happened this week when William and Mary College removed the two feathers in their logo. The college had a ruling from the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2006 that deemed the athletic logo with feathers impermissibly “hostile and abusive,” the College announced it would begin the process of developing a new logo. A committee of alumni, faculty, staff and students helped develop an updated logo (they removed the two feathers from the logo, if it had been one group less in the decision to do so they wouldn't have been able to do it) for the College, which was unveiled Dec. 6. What a group of wimps.

This has left a number of college store now selling obsolete merchandise

Next the Wildcat Anti-Defamation League will be in Delmar saying our logo is offensive, hostile and abusive to wildcats

Grotto vs Grottino - Boycott Grottos

This problem between Grotto Piza and Grottino Pizza is silly. Here there is a big Rehoboth Beach chain,Grotto,(that sells mediocre pizza) trying to tell some one shop pizza owner that they can not use the name Grottino. They have said they will haul him into federal court if he continues using the name. Grotto - Grottino I don't think I would confuse the two names and I am just an ignorant ass eastern Shoreman. It is like threatening a pizza place if they have the word "Italian" in it. But I do know Grotto makes mediocre pizza and their Seaford location has had a number of shootings in the parking lot. I doubt I would go to either one since I don't like the pizza or atmosphere at Grottos and Grottino is in New Castle.

So what is Grotto's doing about Jimmy's Grotto Pizza and Filippi's Pizza Grotto and Moma N Papa's Pizza Grotto. I guess Grottos figure they run the state of Delaware and can get away with pushing their way around, another reason to boycott their pizza chain.

The Week After the 1892 Fire

From the Salisbury Advertiser Sept 3, 1892


New Houses and Business going up in Delmar and other Homes to follow

This fire swept town today presents a better appearance than it did a week ago. The braver victims of the fire who are able have cleared away the debris and begun work in earnest. T. A. Vessey has contracted with the Tolberts, of Laurel to erect on the old site a handsome three story Hotel at a cost of $6000. They begin work Wednesday. W. L. Sirman has an architect in Wilmington preparing him a plan for a new residence and no doubt his house will be the finest structure ever erected in Delmar. Wm. M. Mason has the foundation of a very pretty cottage building laid on his lot, the work being done by Mr. Lewis of Salisbury. The Delmar Union Store Co. has erected a temporary building and is already doing business and this is true of B. B. Freeny and W. B. Elliot. Levin Hastings is putting up the largest store in Delmar – 50 x 150 ft – this building includes store for him self, post-office, drug store and barber shop. The firm of Elliott and Ellis has by mutual consent dissolved partnership. F. G. Elliott continues the business and has erected a temporary building in which a stock of hardware was placed Wednesday. Cooper & Wilson also opened quarters in a building of M. H. German’s Wednesday. They will build a large brick building in the future. Those preparing to build are; Michael Elliott, W. B. Sirman, M. M. Hill, Harry Renninger, J. F. Clarke, Phillip Hearn, W. S. Marvil, B. B. Gordy, Jas. Venables and Smiley Parker.

The young man, Wm. Adkins, who was so badly crushed a week ago at the coal bin, is still lingering with little hope of recovery.

Mrs. Walter Stephens, who was so badly frightened by the fire, died on Saturday last. Her baby, which was only three weeks old, died Wednesday. The case is one which calls for the sympathy of all. It is really sad. Mrs. Stephens was sick in bed at the time the fire occurred and seeing that her house hold effects would be destroyed, she rose from bed and attempted to save them by removing them to a place of safety. Lifting an organ and the extreme fright were too great a strain and she died from the effects.

Papering the walls and ceiling has much improved the interior of the Missionary Baptist church here. Last Sunday morning Rev. Mr. Howe, the pastor, preached a deeply interesting sermon, taking for his text, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that loves God,” In the course of his sermon the reverend gentleman made a local application of the text to the recent destruction of Delmar, and its present condition. His words had an electrical effect upon many who had lost their all in the recent fire and gave them renewed hope. Rev. Mr. Corkran of the M. E. church preached in the evening…

St Stephens