Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Scout House

At State Street park is a building called the Scout House. The building was built in 1953 by the Lions Club for the Boy Scouts and it has been used for that purpose every since. The building was literally built by the Lions Club as they would hold their meetings at the park and build it. The 1953 photo below from the Bi State Weekly shows them in action. It was a loving act of community involvement. I think it is remarkable as now days you would not think of building something your self (can't get enough people top commit to it), even homes built by Habitat for Humanity have their difficulty getting people. Ask Mayor Outten how hard it has been to get people to work on the "Doctor's/Heritage" Museum.

About a month after it was opened the first case of vandalism to it occurred and since then it and the attached bathrooms have been a constant target. It takes away a certain pride in the community when you go past a park that has a vandalize building and equipment or when you drive past the Lecates building (The derelict building at State and Pennsylvania) and look at how it stinks up what beautification has been done in Delmar. I think this is called the broken window philosophy, which is when you see a house with a broken window and you figure what the hell one more broken window doesn't matter so you break another window. Soon the whole town has broken windows. It is a similar thing with vandalism, you see one bit of vandalism and you figure a little more can't harm things anymore than what they are so you break something.

As has been said before by myself and other people; Public goods belong to every member of the community. None is excluded from its use. As such we have a vested interest in preserving and protecting our common property. Whatever the motivation for indulging in acts of vandalism, it imposes a tremendous burden on the taxpayers of this town. Taxpayers are the ones who have to come up with the additional money to repair the damage. It is grossly unfair to ask the taxpayers of this town to pay for acts of vandalism committed mostly by those who contribute least to the public finances. It will cost even more to install surveillance cameras around town.

Vandalism and the Lecates building also costs us in a much more powerful, but less tangible way. It costs us our pride. Vandalism is symbolic of a lack of pride in those who indulge in such acts. Evidently, vandals and the owner of the Lecates building have no pride, no sense of ownership. The lack of pride manifests itself in their desire to destroy or let their property collapse. A dilapidated society is not usually associated with positive images. No society can be proud of broken park equipment, derelict buildings, boarded-up windows or a school defaced with graffiti. When are they going to clean the sign at Delmar High School? Why should you clean up your property when the town of Delmar lets the LeCates building continue to remain in the shape it is? At what point will vandals set a fire in the building and like Cambridge destroy what has been cleaned up down town. Along the same lines is the town grudging pass at the annual spring clean up. If trash is in peoples yards they should have some way of disposing of it. Yet the town besides their attitude on spring cleanup, seem hell bent on not to help maintain some pride in the town by picking up the trash. I, myself, am not even going to bother with disposing of my larger trash this year in the spring cleanup, it just looks like it is going to end up being an argument as to what Public works will pick up and what they won't.

A Police Chief Blog

I found this interesting (Okay it may not be riveting, but it interesting) blog that the police chief in Lincoln, Nebraska does. It is called The Chief's Corner. He talks about crime and other topics in Lincoln. Interestingly he had a post on Beer Burglars - people who enter open garages at night and steal your beer. I am safe as there is no beer in my garage and my garage is so junked up you can't get in it. But I do know from the map given in the post the areas to hit for beer if I am ever in Lincoln, at night. As I have said before I wish the Delmar Police Force would be more open with information on what they do and cases they solve or don't solve. Since they are always asking for a raise as a resident I would like to know what they do and how successful they are to deserve a a raise. I think the more public information given about the police, in any town, is a benefit to them not a negative. Look at the issues that have been going on in Milton with their police. They are refusing to comment on why the town police chief and lieutenant were put on administrative leave and than reinstated. I know people rush to judgement when something negative is put out however I think the citizens of Milton should be made aware of what went on, not some private closed doors affair that happened. Who knows if some serious charge was raised by a citizen and there was not evidents to back it up a public announcement of it may bring forth people that the same thing happened too or would show how foolish the person that brought the charge was. As it is you have coffee shop chatter going on that does more harm to the faith in a police force than just owing up and telling the people what is going on, but government employees always think they are smarter than the people that pays their salary and maybe they are as they keep multiplying.

1952 ad Tingle Drug Store

Norman Farlow - 1935

From the Milford Chronicle April 5, 1935
Delmar News-

Norman Farlow of Delmar, charged with stealing a crate of eggs from Elsie E. Thomas, was imprisoned for one year.

Friday, April 04, 2008

1985 ad Empress Doll Boutique

Community Yardsale Reminder

Again as a reminder, Delmar will have it's community yard sale April 19th at State Street Park. The Concerned Citizens are selling booth space at $20.00 pre-registration and $25.00 the day of the yard sale. The profits will be donated to the Little League which I think is having their parade and opening day that day. Contact Sharon Ledvadnuk at 302-846-9574.

1949 Ad

Civilian Conservation Corps

On April 5 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps was created by executive order 6101. It allowed a number of people who were unemployed and probably would not be employed to hold a job. It allowed all unmarried, unemployed male citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 to be eligible to apply for work as junior enrollees, with the stipulation that a substantial portion (between $22 to $25) of each man's basic $30 monthly allowance would be sent home to his dependent family. In 1935, when the age bracket for junior enrollees had been increased to between 17 and 28, pay for unskilled workers was $40, with $55 for skilled labor. In 1935, enrollment was just under 506,000 men, an increase of 115% over the previous six-month enrollment period. Additional men and women (of any age) employed in administration or advisory capacities swelled the ranks to a total of 565,000 persons in the CCC work force in 1935.

In addition to their cash stipend for the five-day workweek, the young men received three full meals a day, lodging, clothes, footwear, inoculations and other medical and dental care, and, at their option, vocational, academic, or recreational instruction.

Many of the large-scale projects, nationally, involved the protection or reforestation of woodlands, including a major push to control forest fires. To this end 138,000 miles of roads and truck trails were built, 3,116 lookout towers or stations were erected, and 89,000 miles of telephone lines laid. Numerous tree nurseries were started and production increased more than 100% on established nurseries, due to CCC labor inputs. About 2.5 billion trees and 814,000 acres of grazing land were replanted, including the planting of shelterbelts on farmland. Insect and fungal control measures were applied on millions of acres of forest, saving hundreds of millions of dollars of timber nationally. These efforts earned the CCC participants the offhand nickname of "Roosevelt's Tree Army."

In Sussex County Delaware there were camps at Lewes, Slaughter Beach, Redden, and Georgetown. In Eastern Sussex county most of the work was aimed at mosquito control. In Western Sussex County they worked in the forest, clearing trails building fire towers etc. They also did a lot of work with the mill dams in the area. Trap Pond was washed out and the CCC rebuilt it. A write up of Jack Lewis, Delaware artist, experience is located here and for more information on the CCC click here

In my limited travels I can not think of many state parks I have visited across the US that has not had at least one CCC project built in it.

My father and his brother were in a CCC camp located in the forest northwest of Snow Hill. I think most people who were in it, view it as a positive experience.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Wreck of the "Cavalier"

On April 2, 1933 The express train of the Pennsylvania Railroad, "the Cavalier", was making a run from Cape Charles to New York with 125 people on board when, at 50 mph, it derailed in Wyoming Delaware. The wreck killed The Engineer, Christian A. Burkhard of Wilmington, by scalding and fracturing his skull. It also killed E. L. Poulson from Delmar, Maryland, who was a fireman in the locomotive. He was pinned under the locomotive and only part of his body was found. Thirteen passengers were injured. The wreck was part of a criminal act as a switch had been opened on the track. Altho a manhunt was made I do not think the criminals were ever found.

Among the passengers were 39 members of the Boston Red Sox baseball team going to a game in Jersey City, N. J. on Sunday.

Edward L. Poulson at 46 years of age was buried on Tuesday, April 4th at the Methodist Protestant Cemetery. He had a wife and daughters. They lived on East Street.

The West Tot Lot Revisited

The West Tot Lot in Delmar Delaware has had it ups and downs. There has been some periods of time that it has looked liked the hind end of hard times. In a previous post , that happens to be just about two years ago, I spoke of the poor shape it was in.

Well that has changed. New equipment has been put in, a fresh coat of paint has been applied and a good thick layer of wood shaving is down to soften those hard landings. It really look nice, particularly if you remember it from last year.

The tot lots, both the East and West one, are rarely used and I don't know why. Maybe kids don't play as much as 20 years ago, or their parents work and don't have time to take them to the playground. Actually when you figure the usage time to the cost and vandalism of the playground you wonder if there wouldn't be a better use of the money, but Tot playgrounds are expected in parks.

Prior to becoming a tot lot the land had an empty house Mayor Hantweker bought in the 1950's and torn down with the ideal it would become a playground. Behind it was the Railroad offices and storage sheds for the repair yard that was here. What is today a church along side of the playground use to be a nightclub. A couple of lots to the west of it was a Delmarva Electric transformer yard (Try not to think PCB's).

Peninsula Pacemaker

A look back at a give-a-way magazine from the 1970's and 1980's. Peninsula Pacemaker was put out by Thomas W. Kinsy, Jr in Seaford, Delaware. It started in 1971 and continued on in to the late 1980's or perhaps into the early 1990's. It was typical of "free" magazines in that it was mostly advertising with some recipes and write ups of tourist attractions on the Del Mar Va Peninsula thrown in. I always enjoyed thumbing thru it.

1953 Ad Bryan and Brittingham's

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Arbor day in Maryland

Arbor Day is one of those strange observed days that is frequently state related. In Maryland it is the first Wednesday of April (Today), in Delaware it is the last Friday of April. As a day to celebrate it does not seem to be embraced as much as when I went to elementary school. Now I went to school in Salisbury, Maryland as I was considered a child and not capable of making the decision to move to Delaware, but the entire school on Arbor Day had a mandatory planting of a tree in which the whole school would take part. Now days I don't think they do that, but they don't pray in school anymore either. So for the Maryland readers happy Arbor Day.

The Fountain

The fountain in State Street Park was placed in the park by the Delmar Moose Lodge as a permanent memory to James R. McLernon, a loyal Moose member. It was dedicated at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 25th, 1952 with all the pomp Delmar could muster.

An array of speakers spoke, the high school band was there, and all the Boy Scouts in Delmar were at the dedication. For a permanent memory to James McLernon something when wrong, as I don't know of anyone who remembers him or the reason for the fountain in State Street Park. This poor fountain is hit constantly by vandals. I think the water has been turned off to it due to vandalism. As you can see the drinking part of the fountain has long since been smashed and removed.

It is both a shame that vandalism still continues and the reason for the fountain has been forgotten, but now you know the reason for the fountain.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Delmar Delaware Wants You

Delmar Delaware is looking for a few good citizens to serve on some of it's Boards. These are non-paying positions. Two citizens are needed for The Board of Adjustments and Two Citizens are needed for the Board of Assessments. As I had posted earlier it has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Delmar for ten years on the Utility Commission but I feel it selfish of me not to allow another citizen the opportunity to serve, so the utility commission position can also be considered open.

This is a good opportunity for someone to get their feet wet in town government without committing to a tremendous amount of time. Normally these Boards meet on an "as needed" schedule.

Contact the Town Manager, Sara Bynum King, if you are interested.

Polio in 1952

From a 1952 Bi-State weekly Article


50,000 Cases Reported

Reports from public health officials indicate that 1952 will go down in history as the worst polio year in the history of this nation. There have been about 4,000 more cases of polio this year than there were during the comparable period of 1949, which was, until now, the worst polio year.

The Medical director of the polio foundation, Dr. Hart E. Van Riper, estimates that during the year 1952 there will be a total of about 50,000 cases. His estimate is based on the fact that polio epidemics die down at about the same rate they build up.

Weekly increases have been confined to the five states: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. In other states, a decrease occurred. In the nation as a whole, it is probably true that the peak has been reached. In any event, the number of cases this year has been so high that public support is needed more than before.

Citizens in Sussex County and in the nation will undoubtedly rally this year in their support of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and other organizations that are trying to save the lives of polio victims.

1952 Ad Delmar Raceway

Monday, March 31, 2008

March Delmar Joint Council

The March Delmar Joint Council Meeting for Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland took place tonight. Among the members missing were Delaware Councilpeople Lonnie Figgs and Mary Lee Pase and Maryland Commissioner Carrie Williams.

As I have said before; what I write is not the minutes of the meetings, it is just my interpretation of what took place and what I am interested in posting. If you want to know the real story go to the meeting.

The approval of the minutes for last month was tabled until next month because Vice Mayor Houlihan felt certain wording he had proposed for the Tidewater Utility Agreement should be in the minutes verbatim.

The Maryland side of town had their Constant Yield Public Hearing. The Delmar Maryland side of town wants to retain the same tax rate as last year in spite of the fact additional revenue over the prior year is to be produced. The few public comments from Maryland residents that attended did not oppose this tax increase so the council carried on.

Norma and Ernest Pegelow of 601 E. Walnut complained about dog control.

In the Police Report it was mentioned there was a drug arrest out at Delmar Crossings.

When the Delmar revitalization report was given it was said that neither representative of the town council for the two sides of town had attended last months meeting. The Heritage day festival is going to be held in connection with the School homecoming parade and homecoming weekend events. They are doing away with a Vice Chairperson and making Mr. Mitchell the committee historian.

In the Public Works report, they said the attachment on the Street sweeper to clean sewers was working well. The roof on the pump building at the south water tower needs replacing. More play equipment has been added to the West Delmar Tot playground.

Several presentations by developers were given as Conception plans;
Andrew Collins gave a presentation for a 9,950 sq ft retail store to be built north of the McDonalds at Delmar Commons. The building is to be split into three stores with the larger one to be possibly a mattress store. The store exterior will blend with the buildings at Delmar Commons.

The Bank of Delmarva gave a presentation on building a new branch bank south of Rite Aid drugstore. The lobby of the old Bank of Delmarva will be closed after this branch is built and the intown building will be used for back office work. The branch bank will be similar in style to the Beaglin Park Drive branch bank and may blend with the exterior of Rite Aid.

There was a request for a portable Hot Dog Cart to be operated in town, mostly the business would operate in the parking lot at the Laundry mat and Drug store.

Councilperson Diane Buckley commented on the size of the Town Newsletter and requested it be printed in a larger size print so normal people can read it. She also commented there was an ice cream truck that came thru her section of town after dark selling ice cream and she thought it should not be allowed as kids should not be running around after dark. A comment was made that this ice cream truck was not licensed in Delmar.

From Town Manager Sara Bynum King she said the repaving contract for Jewell Street was too be advertised on April 4th and bid opening was too be April 28th. No mention of Maryland streets but no one from the Maryland side of town asked about repaving their streets. If you don't ask, you don't get.

Questions and comments I asked; A resident earlier in the evening had asked why something was not done about the old building on the corner of State and Pennsylvania. Maryland Mayor Niblett told him it was because the building was under contract. I accused Mayor Niblett of blowing the guy off as there is a current owner of the property - contract or not - and the town should go after that owner to fix the building up. I also complained about the annual trash pickup. when I first came to Delmar they would pick up up large trash items (sofa, refrigerators, TV etc) once a month. A few years back they switched to doing so once a year. Now they want for you to phone in and let them know if you have any trash to be picked up on this annual day and they have given a long list of things they won't pickup. Obviously they want to do away with this completely. A little less service we get from the town each year for the money we pay. Yet the number of town employees we pay for keep increasing.

March Delmar Utility Meeting

Very little happened at the March Utility Meeting. Mary Lee Pase, Utility Commission Member and Councilperson, didn't attend because she is in the hospital. There are still negotiations going on about the cost of the adapters on the fire hydrants at Heron Pond. As is typical of the developments in Delmar the paper work and the building extends over several years. In this case Heron Pond had signed a public works agreement prior to approval of new standards for Delmar, so there is confusion as to who will pay for the adapters that will go on the fire hydrants in the Heron Pond Development.

The Name Game

I don't know if I have mentioned on the blog Mostly Cajun he does a weekly piece called The Name Game. The one this week was typical. First, let me say I agree with his comments on names, the names children are labeled with today are ridiculous. Second, let me say if you did "The Name Game" around here you would be hunted down and beat to death so he scores even more points with me for having balls enough to do it.


Remember if you change your inkjet cartridge turn the old used one in to the Delmar Library as they get $4.00 for it.

1952 ad May Haverty Majorette School

Sunday, March 30, 2008

An advantage of the Weak dollar

I am not someone that believes a weak dollar in comparison to other world currencies does American any good, however I was reading this article that puts a different spin on it. In the article it talks about Brazilian immigrants in America (USA) returning to Brazil due to the falling dollar, lack of work, and a tougher climate on immigrants. Now they eyeing going to Europe where the Eurodollar is strong.

Water Shortage?

After last year's lack of rain and current lower water table do we really have a water shortage? It is irritating to me for our State and County governments to yell about a water shortage and drought conditions and still they issue building permits and irrigation well permits. If we truly have a shortage wouldn't you stop new drainage of water from the aquifers? If Well permits are still being issued why would the individual be told he or she can not water their lawn? I can see it coming again this year, all this crap from the State of Delaware, which in turn will be forced down to the County, and the Town of Delmar about water conservation. I have contacted DNREC and asked about about the potential for wells to go dry in Sussex County and they assure me there is plenty of water in Sussex County. Yet, they will be the ones the water warning will come from. In no way do I want to sound like we should waste water but if the warning of water shortages come out then it is time to put the blame where it should go - new homes - new developments - irrigation wells. I for one, as a member of the Delmar Utility Commission, will, if there is screaming about a water shortage from the State, look at putting a moratorium on new home hookups to the Delmar water system.


The Rosemary in the garden has small pale blue blossoms on it.

1951 Delmar Raceway Season Opens

From the March 23, 1951 Bi-State Weekly


The 1951 racing season will officially begin for the Delmar Raceway this Sunday afternoon with racing sanctioned by the National American Stock Car Racing Association for the first time in the career of the track.

Ed Otto, promoter of 10 other tracks, has leased the track for three years from George Bower, owner, who operated it last year.

An additional grandstand has been erected at the track this week which will give a total seating capacity of 3,000.

Sunday's racing program will include a 7-race program: 3 six-lap 8-lap consolation for non-qualified and a featured 20-lap event.

Time trials will be run off this Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. At future races no time trials will be held and all cars will be lined up by the point system. Line-up will be the reverse-field start, fastest cars in the rear.

The first race of the day is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Pvt. Robt S. Beach 1951

From the March 30, 1951 Bi-State Weekly


Private Robert Smiley Beach, son of Joe I. Beach of Delmar, Delaware, has recently completed a 14-week training cycle in infantry methods with Company A, 28th Infantry of the famed 8th Infantry Division at Fort Jackson, S. C.

Prior to his induction into the Army last December, Private Beach was employed by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Seaford, Delaware.

During his 14 weeks of Infantry branch traing Private Beach fired all infantry weapons, engaged in practical squad and platoon problems, and underwent intensive physical training in preparation for duty as a service type replacement.

1951 Ad

1951 Wages

From 1951 B-State Weekly


For the past several days pickets from the local carpenters and laborers union have formed a picket line across the entrance to the construction site where the Ralston-Purina Company has begun construction operations

Men of both unions are wearing placards proclaiming the job unfair to their respective locals.

According to a picket man from each trade union the construction company is hiring non-union carpenters and laborers.

The carpenters union is No. 2012 A. F. of L. with headquaters in Seaford, Del. The carpenters union scale is $2.30 per hour, they said.

A picket for the laborers union is from local 847 with headquarters at Georgetown, Del. Their present scale he said is $1.10 per hour , but it is expected to be raised to $1.35 within a short time.

Note: allowing for inflation $2.30 would be $19.61 in today's money and $1.10 would be $9.38 in today's money