Friday, June 27, 2008

There is no escape

I went to Seaford today and knew there would be construction work on RT13 so I took old Rt13. Laurel is tore all up doing street work on old RT13 and Blades is laying some kind of pipe, blocking the road thru Blades. There is just no escaping the road construction.

Bottle and Cork

Two items from This Day in Delaware History:

Today in 1937, Harry Shaud and his wife Ginger bought Jack's Store, or Jack's Cafe at the end of Dewey Beach for $7,500 and renamed it the Bottle and Cork.

Today in 1996, Governor Carper's Wilmington scheduling secretary Anne Marie Fahey disappeared and was never seen again.

compiled by historian Roger Martin, from the Delaware Public Archives

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Route 13 and Delmar

With the current road work being done on US Route 13 and the frustration it seems to be causing everyone I figure a post on Route 13 and Delmar is in order. US Route 13 has been around since 1926. It was part of the highway system created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1925. Prior to this system highways had names and the names changed with each state you were in, so uniform numbers and a US Highway Shield design was put in place. Since Route 13 is an odd numbered highway the numbering system says it will run North – South. Even number highways run East – West. US Route 13 starts, or ends depending on which way you are going, at Morrisville, PA, a northeastern suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and goes south to just north of Fayetteville, NC, a total of 517 miles.

US Route 13 originally entered Delmar, Delaware from the north on what today is called Bi-State Boulevard. Back in the early 1900’s it was called Third Street. As you made your way south and hit the Delaware/ Maryland State line at State street, you would have to make a left as there was no continuing street on the Maryland side of town. After the left you would drive a short distance on State Street to 4th street and make a right on fourth. Continuing on Fourth you weaved your way along until you reached the County Road or sometime known as Delmar road or simply US Route 13. This would lead you to Leonard Mill and on down to Salisbury. This turn at Bi-state Boulevard and State street and the route to the county road was referred to as the famous Delmar “S” curve. There was much confusion at the time as to who should stop at the State Street/BiState Boulevard connection. Did people on State Street have the right of way or did the people on RT13 have the right of way? It was finally decided that people on RT13 had the right of way and people driving on State Street had to stop for the traffic on Rt 13.

In the summer of 1950 the Delmar Road/US Route 13 on the Maryland side of town was widen, straighten and the “S” curve was removed by extending a new road from State street, opposite Bistate Boulevard, to Chestnut street. It improved the flow of traffic thru Delmar. The US Route 13 traffic however would be removed entirely from Delmar because at the time this was happening a new dual highway was being built east of town and it would become US Route 13.

At noon on October 15, 1954 officials from both Maryland and Delaware cut two sets of ribbons, in ceremonies held at the State line on the new US Route 13 (Ocean Highway) . The state of Maryland had paved 6 miles of dual road from Leonard Mill Pond to Delmar. The State of Delaware had paved a dual highway from Wilmington to Delmar, with the exception of a 10 mile stretch between Harrington and Greenwood. So that is why a lot of traffic stop driving thru the Town of Delmar and the stores, gas stations, and restaurants on Bistate Boulevard went out of business.

So why are these speakers on ribbon cutting day in raincoats and holding on to their hats. In just a few hours the full force of Hurricane Hazel will hit Delmarva and the wind and rain shown here were just the opening blows at noon that day. It seems appropriate that a natural disaster would be on the same day that the opening of a State constructed highway would start the decline of Delmar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Blog

Well we have another "near" Delmar blogger, Paul the weather man, has started his own blog called What a Smell? He has been at it about ten days and his stuff looks good. He also has an impressive profile so we can expect more good stuff from him.

Night Class

From the Salisbury Times Oct 1954


DELMAR- Between 7 and 8 p.m. Monday there will be registration at the Delmar High School for the evening classes in typing, shorthand or bookkeeping.

It is not certain that all three subjects will be offered. It will depend upon the nature of the requests at the time of registration.

The Garden

Our little garden is doing well this year. I was putting out birdseed this morning or as our cats like to refer to it; "putting out bait." One is under the chair, no doubt thinking he blends in with his surroundings. When bread goes stale I will throw it out for the birds and surprisingly they will take it over to the birdbath and dip it in the water to soften it. Makes a mess of the water in the birdbath.

Delmar Planning and Zoning Meeting

The Delmar Planning and Zoning Meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night at 7 P.M. at town hall. Either the agenda has not been updated or the link is incorrect as the June P & Z agenda will take you to an August 16 2007 Annexation meeting. If it is corrected go here for information (agenda info is at the bottom of the list.)

1965 Houlihan Bros Auto Sales Ad

Salisbury Community Band Concert

The Salisbury Community Band will begin their concert season by playing at Bethany Beach Bandstand, this coming Saturday at 7:30. They will play at the park in Salisbury this coming Sunday evening at 7:30, so get your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets out and come on out and listen to them. I guess you will be reading more about this band in my blog as my daughter is playing with them this summer. As we know it is a very small town feeling to attend one of their performances in the Salisbury park. Beside band practice one of her outings with the band, last Saturday, consisted of going to the Salisbury park with the other band members and raked the sticks and leaves up around the bandstand and sitting areas so they would be clean for this week's performance. If I could only get her to do that around our yard. The band is directed by Dr. Charles F. Smith, Jr.

Before mass media entered every one's lives almost every town on Delmarva had a marching band. Delmar, in the early 1900's, had at least two community bands. One was called the Railroad Marching Band and I assume it was made up of railroad people. The other was just the Delmar Marching band. Both were made up predominately of Adults - the school band being a third band and separate band entirely. Now we are to the point where the Salisbury Community Band is made up of members in a 30 mile radius of Salisbury.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beech Nut Gum Ad - 1942

Delmar Auction Block - 1944

From the State Register June 20, 1944


The Delmar Auction Block will open for competitive buying next Monday, June 26, handling all farm produce. The block which has recently been completed is owned and will be operated by The Delmar Farmers co-Op, Auction Market Inc. It is located at Walnut and Railroad Avenue.

The Tug John R. Williams - 1942

From "This Day in Delaware History", Today in 1942, the tug John R. Williams hit an enemy mine laid by U-373, 7 miles off Rehoboth and sank.

compiled by historian Roger Martin, Delaware Public Archives.

Read more on about the John R. Williams

and more on Wreck sites here

Monday, June 23, 2008

Culver Men's Store - 1953

Delmar Delaware Re-assessment

Like all of Delmar, Delaware I received my re-assessment letter last week. Let me say I approve of the ideal of the re-assessment. The last one was done back in 1989 and 19 years is too long for property revaluation. However it is like sticker shock when you receive the re-assessment. Mine went from $46,100 to $152,300 or up 200%. Now as someone who has no plans to sell his house (not there are any buyers out there anyway) the valuation is immaterial, but, I certainly want to know how they determined that amount. I called DelVal at 302-846-2664 for an appointment to discuss the valuation and at 10:30 today I meant with them and discussed it. What I found is they have a list of 80 properties that sold in Delmar Delaware since 2005. What they could not say was which properties they used to determine the value of my property. We looked at several that could be used to determine my house and I would say that they must have used the higher selling prices instead of the average. Now that valuation isn't that far off, not being an experienced person in this area, my gut feel would be maybe it is overvalued by $10,000. I don't know if I will appeal it at a formal hearing after all $40 a year is $40 that is better in my pocket than the town's. It would be nice if they had said; these are the five houses we used to compare your property and it works out to $45,000 for land, $45,000 for the house, $5,000 for the garage and we threw in another $57,300 because you are within a block of the railroad tracks and two blocks from the Delmar Fire Dept siren alarm and within a half mile of the Delmar Racetrack - all items that increase the selling price when you go to sell your home.

To look at your property assessment or anyone else's property in Delmar, Delaware go here Enter the owner's name in the last name block or if you are just nosey enter an "a" in the owner's name block and it will bring up almost all the property. It has the option of doing it by street name also.

Deeper Potholes

Back in March the laundrymat on State and First Street ran a new water line resulting in another street cut in First Street. As time has passed the street cut has turned into a pot hole and it is situated so as you turn from State Street into First Street there is a good chance you will hit it. Today's photos shows the pothole with rainwater in it, hiding it's true depth which is somewhere between 8 inches and 5 feet.

Sussex County Council Meeting Tomorrow

The Sussex County Council will meet tomorrow at 10 A.M. Their agenda is here. Among the items listed are grant money requests from both Delmar Senior High School and Sussex Central High School for Kyle Dykes to participate in the People to People Sports Ambassador Program.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Matt Waldman

One of the neighbor children received an award for outstanding volunteer work. Matthew Waldman, 14 years old and son of Dave and Sue Waldman, has been requesting he receive gifts to the Humane Society of Wicomico County instead of gifts for himself on his birthdays. He has been doing this for the last four years. Between that and volunteering with the Salvation Army and church he received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Congratulations Matt!!