Saturday, May 03, 2008
COUPLE DIE AFTER EATING TOAD STOOLS
Laurel Couple Die After Young Child Picks "Mushrooms" Near Home
Toadstools picked as mushrooms by a young child brought death to both his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fanto Nero, farmer, living about five miles from Laurel.
Nero died two days, after his child brought the "mushrooms" in from one of the fields near his home. Mrs Nero was taken to Peninsula Hospital in Salisbury, dying from the poisonous plants this week.
Nine children survive the stricken parents, who operated their farm at Laurel for about ten years, growing strawberries and other truckcrops. None of the children ate the toadstools.
The eldest, Mary, is a junior in the Women's College, University of Delaware. Alfred, about 20 years old is employed in Wilmington and John, next in age, is a senior in Delmar High school. the other six children range in age from 5 to 17 years.
Friday, May 02, 2008
The Delmar Zoo
The Martha Washington Hotel in 1922 with Winder and Martha Culver standing by the gas pumps. Route 13 is in front of them
A few days ago Gary Horseman stopped by and asked me why I didn’t do something on the Delmar Zoo. Now, as I have said before, I didn’t move to Delmar until the late 1970’s and I had never heard about a Delmar Zoo. Well in looking into it and based on information from Gary Horseman and Buddy Perry here is what I found out.
In the 1920’s and up into the early 1940’s, on the corner of Pine Street and what was than Route 13 stood the Martha Washington Hotel. Now RT 13 was of course the major artery down the peninsula, so all the traffic went thru Delmar and by the Martha Washington Hotel. The Martha Washington Hotel was run by Louie and Virgie Culver and later, as with any family run business their daughter, Martha, helped out,. Besides renting out rooms, The Martha Washington was a General Store, restaurant, gas station and most important of all it had a zoo behind it. Now today this would be referred to as a classic roadside attraction, but back in the depression people made their living doing what they could and it was a business. Some of you may remember trips to Florida before the days of the interstate and flashy theme parks, where you would stop at a gas station/restaurant and they would have a collection of animals caged in the back you could see for a quarter. Well this is that type of a zoo but you didn’t have to go to Florida, it was right here in Delmar.
Louie Culver and his family were enterprising people. The menagerie had a bear, a monkey, ponies, geese, Billy goats, foxes, squirrels and other indigenous animals. You paid a price to see the animals and you could buy pet food to feed the animals. You could also pay to ride the ponies. The photos (from Buddy Perry) below show some of the animals. Now we have all seen goats, foxes and ponies but what is interesting is the background of the photos. You can see RT13 and how lightly traveled it was. The photo with the fox shows it was tethered right along side RT13. You can see Mr. Culver also had the Dixie Barbecue and what appears to be a mobile sandwich wagon on an early truck. The man was busy.
Just before Christmas in 1942 the Martha Washington Hotel caught on fire and was destroyed. It ended the zoo and the rest of the operation. Virgie Culver died about 1946 and Louie Culver died about 1954.
One story Buddy Perry told me was his grandfather, Louie, once sold gas at eight gallons for a dollar. He had cars lined up from his station to the Old Maryland School (where the Catholic Church is now).
As an interesting side note, the town of Delmar Delaware acquired the cage the bear was kept in. The cage was stored in a garage the Delaware policeman used on First Street. The Policeman used the bear cage as a holding cell for prisoners he picked up.
the Fox by RT13
The Monkey Cage with Mr. Culver in it with monkey
The Gas Pumps
The Billy Goat with Barbecue Pit In Back
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The Cat At Dover - 1876
"The Cat At Dover- The Whippings at Dover on Saturday were only two in number and Sheriff Cooper had an easy time of it. The unfortunates were George Manlove and John Allen, both of who had been convicted of larceny - the former of twenty cents worth of coal and the latter of $19 worth of lumber. Each received twenty lashes."
International Workers Labor Day, Loyalty Day, and May Day
The extent to which Maydays encompassed everyone in the schools can be shown from these articles about Mayday in Delmar Maryland.
1949 THREE QUEENS REIGN IN MAY DAY EXERCISES
With the sunshine and breeze just right, the May Day program was held Tuesday of this week at 2 P. M.
The court occupied the stage before a lovely background formed of spring flowers.
Since there is no senior class this year due to the initiation of the twelve year system, there was no May Queen. The May Queens and their escorts from the three previous May Days reigned.
They were as follows Queen of 1946, Rosemary Stanley escorted by Jack Nichols; Queen of 1947, Norma Maddox, whose escort in 1947 was Ernest Nichols. He could not be present. Queen of 1948 was Jo Ann Cannon. Her escort was Charles Sinagra. Being in the Army he could not be present.
The princesses and their escorts were: Shirley Booth and Raymond Kellam, from grade eleven; Helen Luckso and Joshua Hearn, Grade Ten; Norma Perry and John Lowe, Grade Nine; Ruth Minner and Donald Robertson, Grade Eight.
The whole program was under the efficient direction of Mrs. Willis Parker.
The theme was “May Day in Dixie.” There were music and dances typical of each southern state.
The entire student body participated in costumes befitting the characters they represented.
The May Pole was surmounted by a large basket of tulips. Tulips also decorated the upper part of the Pole. There were twenty-four streamers in six pastel shades. Since the may pole dance was a Dutch Dance, the twenty-four dancers were in Dutch costumes.
The general announcer was Mary Belle Mitchell. Scott Bruce was announcer for the First Grade.
The program in full follows;
I. Vocal Duet, Sentimental Journey, by Peggy Spicer and Nelson Smith.
II. Strawberry scene, Eastern Shore of Maryland, by First Grade; Soloists, Sun, Bryan Cordrey; Rain, Paul Rimmer; Butterfly, Sandra Perry;
III. Chesapeake Bay, Grade Ten and Eleven.
IV. Virginia Reel – Virginia Grade Nine;
V. Paul Jones, West Virginia, Grade Eight;
VI. Vocal Duet, Kentucky, Tap Dance, Camptown Races, Tap Dance, Swanee River, Ina Ray Calloway and Lilly Brittingham;
VII. The Old Brass wagon, Tennessee, Fourth Grade;
VII. May Pole Dance, North Carolina, Fifth Grade;
IX. Tap Dance, Carolina Moon, South Carolina, Ina Ray Calloway;
X. Dance of the Peaches, Georgia, Second Grade,
XI. Paw-Paw-Patch, Florida, Third Grade, Turn, Cinnamon, turn;
XII. Way Down South, Alabama, Grade Five, Oh Susanna, Soloists, Richard Morris, Edwin Hedges and Jerry Collins;
XIII. Cotton Pickers, Mississippi, First Grade Boys;
XIV. Bridge of Avignon, Louisiana, second Grade,
XV. Deep in the Heart of Texas, Brown eyed Mary, Texas, Grade Six and Seven;
XVI. Missouri Waltz, Missouri, Bernice Elliott, Evelyn Layfield, Lulu Mitchell and Peggy Spicer;
XVII. Chorus I wish I was in Dixie, Court, Actors and Audience.
Photo From Jack Dashper - 1949 May Day Queens Delmar Maryland School
Photo From Jack Dashper - 1949 May Day Queens Delmar Maryland School
1950 STUDENTS PLAN MAY DAY ACTIVITIES
The student body of our school participated in casting ballots for the Royal Court. The names of all 1st grade girls were presented for Queen and her attendants. Those winning were Queen, Patsy Collins; King, Bruce Ruark; attendants to Queen, Carolyn Kenny, Georgia Mae Mears, Barbara Parsons, Jo Ann Mariner, Virginia Brittingham, Virginia Neil, Linda Elizabeth Elliott and Helene Baker; attendants to the King, Skippy Ammons, Robert Rogers, Albert Gibson, Joe Morris, William Chew, Harold Gully, Billy Bolen and Benjamin Harte.
The King of Springtime and the Queen of May along with their attendants will rule over the May Day activities which will be presented at the school at 1:00 P.M. Friday May 5.
1950 MARYLAND STUDENTS TO HOLD MUSICAL FESTIVAL
“Maytime in Maryland” the celebration of the Maryland School May Music Festival will be held on the school lawn on Friday, May 5, 1950 at 1:00 P.M. The King of Springtime will crown the Queen of May, Patsy Collins, of the first grade and all the rest of the school will bring a salutation in music to the royal court.
Mrs. Sturgis’ room will present singers and dancers from every section of our country to perform for the Queen while from the realm of literature Mrs. James’ room will give the story of the Billy Goats Three in song.
Playtime in Maytime will be the third grade presentation. Rhythmic plays, drill, and singing games will show how Maryland boys and girls welcome the spring by playing with their kites, marbles and dolls. Climaxing this gaiety will be a picnicking number by the fifth and second grades.
From Mexico, a seventh grade chorus will salute the court and Sandra Kessel will do a Mexican solo dance to the strains of La Golondrina. Our own folk dances, “Dive for the oyster,” “Divide the Ring”, and the “Virginia Reel”, will be danced by boys and girls of grade five, six, and seven.
The final number will be the winding of the Maypole by girls of the first and second grades. The public is invited.
The May Pole Dancers are girls from the 1st and 2nd grades: Chlorina Carey, Louise Wootten, Yvonne Lowe, Rachel Shockley, Carol White, Sandra Perry, Becky Burdette, Virginia Riley, Mary walker, Jean Powell, Janie Sullivan, Sandra Riley, Jerry Adkins, Gayle Annonio, Rosalie Parsons and Barbara Hudson.
The Indian Dancers are Billy Truitt, Donald O’Neill, Wayne Layfield, Donald Baker, Donald Smart, Earl Huntington, Riley Brittingham, Jerry Moore and Rollie Morris.
Jack Dashper is one of the people holding the Queens robe. Delmar Maryland School
The Second May Day is International Workers Labor Day. It occurs on the First of May. It is a day that stems from American Labor Unions fighting for a shorter work day in the 1880’s. Labor movements all over the world use this day for protest speeches, marches and strikes. Doing the Cold War the Communist embraced this day and no doubt for that reason Loyalty day was created and the decline of the school May Day started. If you were in the military and stationed overseas on the first of May in the 1950’s and 1960’s you were usually restricted to base that day. This was due to the parades and the potential for crashes with the Communist. I can remember being in Japan in 1965 and being restricted to base because a small band of Communist marchers were coming thru our area.
1965 Photo I took of the Japanese March in the Rain on Okino Erabu Shima
The Third May Day is called Loyalty Day. It is traditionally celebrated on May 1 and was originated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and became a national event in 1950. The initial idea for loyalty Day was to counter the May Day (International Workers Labor Day) celebrations of the Communist. I think it was what killed the School May Day – towns were too small to support both a May Day and a Loyalty Day. Some schools changed over to having Loyalty days but they just weren’t the same. This up coming Saturday the Delmar VFW is having their Loyalty Day at the VFW. It is a picnic and the VFW is supplying the food. Stop by, bring your family. It should be a good event. In the past Delmar has had large parades with floats bands, etc. for Loyalty Day. In my opinion Loyalty Day is a day that just never took off.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A Tree In State Street Park Comes Down
Wayne Barrall Photo
1937 Ad Esslinger's Beer
32nd Annual Day In The Park
This year will be the 32nd annual "Delmarva Day In The Park" put on by the Greater Delmar Chamber of Commerce. The "Day in the Park" event is another outcome of the Bi-Centennial celebration that occurred in 1976. As I have said before the Bi-Centennial made a marked impression on Delmar giving it the pavilion in State Street Park and the Caboose.
"Day In the Park" will happen on June 7, 2008 at State Street Park in Delmar. It sounds early to be announcing an event that will not happen for another month but in case vendors are interested I will give some information on it. First, the festival is the Chamber of Commerce only fund raising event. They use the profit from this event to sponsor the Christmas Parade, Carnival of Lights and the Citizen of The Year event. The festival includes; food, crafts, game booths, train rides, fire engine rides, bake sales, live entertainment and music. So if you are interested in having a booth at "Day In The Park" you will need an application that can be obtained by writing The Greater Delmar Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 416, Delmar DE 19940 ATTN: Day In The Park.
Deadline for having your application in is May 23rd. Booth Costs are 12'x12' $35, 12'x24' $50, 12'X36' $70, and a 12'X48' $90.00. You are responsible for providing your own table, chairs awning etc. There is a duplication rule on food vendors, yard sale items are not acceptable. It is a family event so choose your products with that in mind. Drink sales are not allowed. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed. Set up time is 8 A.M. to 10 A.M. the day of the event. See the application package for the actual rules, the above is just a brief description of some of them.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A Glimpse at the History of Delmar Manor
Delmar Manor is a development built in the 1950's in the East part of Delmar Delaware around Tenth street. It is one of three sections of Delmar Delaware that is referred to by name. The others are; Brooklyn (around 6 and 8th street) and Frogtown (the West side of Delmar). Only about 30 homes of the projected 112 homes were ever built.
Delmar Manor started out about 1949 with Delmar Manor Reality development acquiring a number of acres of land around Tenth and Grove street. At that time the land was out of the Town limits. The original land seems to have been owned by Mitchell H. German (of Brick Row fame) in the 1890's and was later sold to Joseph J Ellis. I am not someone who is good at following deed transfers at the courthouse. I attempted to research some of the land in Delmar Manor to find out the people who owned it in the past but simply was unable to follow the transfers. Delmar Manor, Inc had as President Liborio I. Villani and Helen Villani as Secretary. The Villani's seem to be connected with the Villani of Ocean City. The Plat of the development called for 112 lots. The Streets were named Hantwerker Drive, Ellis Parkway, Jones Terrace, Hope Avenue, Pleasant Avenue, Gay Avenue and Faith avenue. The flow pattern was greatly different from what exists to day.
In January 1951, with much fanfare, Ben Villani announced the creation of Delmar Manor. In part, the 112 homes were to provide housing for veterans and the expected influx of workers that would have jobs at the new Purina Mill. Delmar was looking at big times in 1951. At that time, Mr. Villani was predicting 75 homes would be completed by the end of 1951. In May of 1951 he was predicting all 112 homes would be completed by the end of 1951.
The typical house in Delmar Manor was the dream home of many Americans in the 1950's. It was a "rancher". I can still remember my mother talk about these type of ranch homes that were being built in the area and speaking dreamily about the Picture Window and the breezeway. In Delmar Manor in February of 1951 they were talking about homes between $5,000 and $6,500, FHA approved two to three bedroom. They were to have; Automatic Oil Heat, washing machine, electric range, paved driveway, city utilities, large picture window, and a tile bath. Lot size was a minimum of 65 by 120 feet.
The first model home was built in August of 1951. They sold it on opening day. I have tried to look for this house in Delmar Manor as a picture of it is in the ad at the top. It may be the house at 203 Hantwerker Drive or that house may just have the same floor plan.
At this point Delmar Manor had lower the down payment on the houses to $280 for veterans and $600 dollars for non veterans. They had 12 sold and had ordered all the material to build the 12 homes from Nuttle Lumber Company. A slight shift in the price occurred,the price now begun at $7,800 and were FHA approved. Of interest one of the homes built in 1954 (3 bedroom, 1 car garage, breezeway, concrete slab) is currently up for sale at $199,000. Using the inflation calculator $7,800 in 1951 is equivalent of $66,500 in 2007 so I guess the different between $199,00 and $66,500 is profit.
Delmar Manor had covenants attached to the deed. The usual things of no signs in the development, no oil wells, no mining operations, no garage over two cars, and no building to cost less than $7,500.
In December of 1951 the first crack in the bubble appeared in Delmar Manor with a Mechanic Lien being placed on the door of each of the 12 homes started. Nuttle Lumber at not been paid. In January of 1952 the veterans who had placed a down payment got warrants for Mr. Liborio I. Villani of Seaford. He could not be found. In January there was a Sheriff sale of Delmar Manor. Industrial Trust Company (Part of Wilmington Trust) paid $71,300 at the auction to protect their interest in Delmar Manor. In February Liborio's father Mr. Ignazio Villani repaid the veterans their down payment.
In March of 1952 there were new players in Delmar Manor. Wilmington Trust, by way of Industrial Trust, committed to finishing the 12 homes and were looking for buyers for these homes. A new Corporation called Delmar Housing Inc was formed. The main people in the company were William S. and Charles Marvel of Delmar and Robert Rogers and Simeon Bowman of Salisbury. In May of 1952 work resumed on the 12 homes.
It becomes confused at this point who really owned the undeveloped land. Regardless at some point Houlihan Real Estate Company brought a large portion of the undeveloped land. They created another subdivision called Fox Run from the old Delmar Manor land.
I am under the impression in 1951 Delmar Manor was annexed into the Town of Delmar. However due to a disagreement between Mayor Hantweker and the Villani's he dis-annexed it. In 1987 it was re-annexed into the Town of Delmar.
Delmar Manor has had an interesting history, I can only hope for better for Fox Run.
Bonanza Fire Alarm
This morning one of the several vacant buildings we have in Delmar caught on fire, or at least generated a fire alarm. At 6:30 this morning I went to see the fire trucks at Bonanza Restaurant. A number of fire companies were in the parking lot, Laurel and Gumboro etc beside the Delmar Fire Dept. They have left State street open so you can travel on it, if you are going that way this morning. Back in October it closed but the outside lights remained on. Last week the lights were off for a few days and than a couple of days ago they were back on. Maybe it was an electrical fire as the roof leaked. Looked like fireman were on the roof and a there was a hole in the roof with them shooting water into it.
8:30 AM UPDATE PHOTOS
Monday, April 28, 2008
Delmar Joint Council Meeting - April
The Town Newsletter is in the process of being written. If you have anything to put in the Town newsletter contact townhall by May 9th. We were assured this newsletter would be on regular size paper with print you can read, unlike the previous versions that were designed for elves.
Joy Slabaugh was sworn in as a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee for the Delaware side of town. After swearing in she was handled a stack of papers to read before the next Planning and Zoning meeting.
Various resolutions were passed; Authorizing members of the council to sign agreements with the EPA for money; the budget was passed - you can go to Town Hall to review it if you want to; an affiliate agreement was made with Delaware Department of Economic Opporunity so money can be applied to improving the down town district (what is that old saying about if you eat the King's salt - you have to give allegiance to the King) .
Jim Wolfe came before the council to talk about a 24 to 28 unit apartment house he wants to built behind the Holiday Inn Express. It would face on Bi-State Blvd. Mayor Niblett gave initial approval to it. It would have to be annexed in.
Above looking over the plans
Mike Angelo and Maria Andaya from the State of Delaware gave a presentation on the improvements planned for down town. As I said it comes with attachments.
Commissioner Carrie Williams of the Parks and Rec Committee said she had received a bid of $400 to power wash the pavilion and equipment and equipment in State Street Park.
Public Works complained about picking up trash on the annual cleanup day - To much stuff, not properly stacked, people didn't call in they just put their trash out. As I have said before the town doesn't want to keep the town clean as they don't want to pick up trash, nor enforce building ordinances on the Lecates building. Next year I will be surprised if we have an annual cleanup day.
Public Works is looking for a general laborer and part time mechanic, altho I don't see the position listed on the town website.
Doug Marshall came before the council to ask for a variance on the property discussed at the P & Z meeting. The property is in an R2 district which requires 9,000 sq ft to build on. The council gave him an R1 zoning for the property that allows 7,000 sq ft. No input from the neighbors was required.
Bill Mervine of Prestige Homes above, again came before the council about Lot #3 Bynum Lane. I have expressed my opinion on this matter before and it has not changed. The Mayor is saying the lot only has 4,300 sq ft on it and it is in a R1 zone which call for 7,000 sq ft. Strange there was no problem with Doug Marshall zoning request. It is to the point where the Mayor and Council look down at their paperwork when they talk to him as they are obviously embarrassed about the questions they are raising. Mr Mervine said the town lawyer had said the lot size issue would be grandfathered in. The Mayor said he thought the Town Lawyer had a conflict of interest and they would have to get another lawyer to ask for an opinion if is grandfathered in. Does this ever sound like they are jacking the guy around? Bill Mervine is keeping his temper better than I would.
Commissioner Carl Anderton listening to the Bill Mervine discussion.
Town managers Sara Bynum-King said the Jewell street bids were opened and Dixie Construction was apparently the low bidder at $153 thousand. This includes paving and utility work.
The Lot at 106 E. Elizabeth
Jeff Marshal came before the council to ask about buying the lot at 106 E. Elizabeth. The town had removed a house that was there some years ago at a cost of $6,000. the gentleman said the lot had been empty for 12 years, not bringing in tax money and requiring someone to cut the grass. He would offer $3,000 for the lot and make it part of his property that was next door to it. The Town said they would think about it.
Percey Elliott said the VFW was having a Loyality day picnic at the VFW and the public was invited at 1 PM.
Chris Mills, above, the person who has a contract to buy the LeCates building spoke to the council about the difficulty he is having obtaining a clear deed to the property. It would seem the building does not match the deed description and the land behind the building belongs to no one, thusly it is the property of the state. To sum it up it seems Percy Elliott is the hold up for the building not being purchased and repaired.
Delmar Utility Commission April Meeting
The two main items discussed tonight were Vernon Esham reimbursement request and Tahira and Ghulam Murtaza request for a reduction in water charges at their Laundromat.
Vernon Esham, the developer for an 18 home subdivision called Amber Ridge - East of Stage Road, came before the commission to request a reimbursement for the costs of a pump station he put in at Amber Ridge. When Mr Esham was developing the utilities for Amber Ridge the town required him to put in a pump station. The pump station cost him $275,523 to install. It is his opinion that the pump station, altho required for his development, could handle an additional 102 housing units. He would like the town to allow him to charge anyone hooking into our utility system using "his" pump station an amount that would allow him to recover 85% of the $275,523 cost he incurred. The town engineers are saying he could not have put in a smaller pump station for his development and the fact the pump station can handle more is incidental to the argument. The only costs the engineers feel should be recovered for the pumps station is the costs involved in putting in a deeper wet well the town requested. What I don't understand is why Mr Esham, an experienced developer, has nothing in writing that the town would agree to reimbursement him before he built the the pump station. It is my feeling that this is just a developer making an attempt to recover costs on the pump station after he was allowed to hook into the system. Never less the town said it would take his request under consideration.
Lou Massey of Eastern Wash and Ghulam Murtaza and Tahira Murtaza of Delmar Laundry came before the commission and requested a reduction in the charge for water. As you may recall in a previous post I had showed where the laundry had to replace a water service line with a larger line. Without going into the ins and outs of the situation the Laundrymat charge for water dramatically increased. It is less related to water usage and more to rate structure. A number of businesses are charged based on an Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) rate as opposed to their actual usage. This is due to the potential impact a business may have on the Utility system facilities - ig; they may change the hours of operations causing more water and sewer usage than the system had planned for their usage. To sum it up, a reduction of EDU's was given with an understanding we would look at the situation after two more billing cycles were completed.
Philip S. Breyer - 1950
PHILIP S. BREYER NAMED TOWN COP
Philip S. Breyer, age 31, has been named by the Mayor and Council of Delmar, Delaware, to the position of Town Cop. Mr. Breyer succeeds George E. Hearn, who resigned this week due to failing health.
Mr. Breyer is a veteran of World War II having served 6 years in the U. S. Army. One year of this time was spent as a member of the Military Police.
He is married to the former Miss Thelma Carmine, whose home is near Delmar on the Maryland side. They have three children.
He was born at Greenlane, Pa.
Mr. Breyer's only statement was "I'm glad to receive this appointment and will do my utmost to preserve law and order in Delmar."
Cop Hearn, who is nearing his 75th birthday, has been the local police man for the past 30 years. He will still hold the position of Constable for Sussex County.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Stop Signs - 1938
Notice To Owners and Operators of Motor Vehicles
Stop Signs are being installed at all Delmar Street intersections with the Delaware State Highway, U. S. Route No. 13. The State Laws require strict observance of these signs.
We solicit the cooperation of the Public.
Mayor and Council, Delmar, Del.
Wm. S. Melson, Town Clerk
Delmar, Delaware April 27, 1938