Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - 2009

It was a good Halloween night, no rain, and it was warm. We had 82 creatures of the night visit us and they were mostly young children. I think last year it was 77

The Yarosh Portrait

Part of a current Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery exhibit is a portrait of Rick Yarosh. The painting is one of the 100 faces of war exhibit currently going on. Yarosh is 27 years old. In 2006 he was in the Army in Iraq when a bomb caused damage to his body. His portrait and others will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC from October 23, 2009 through August 22, 2010.

I have always found the National Portrait Gallery to be more snotty than other Smithsonian museums. They always seem to be looking for some way to make your visit difficult. I may well make the effort to go there again to see this exhibit.

Beside portraits of Presidents and other Americans I think the two most standout memories of their art collection is the Richard Nixon Portrait (it has a paint brush hair stuck in it - the man could never get the respect he deserved) and the collection of nude female marble sculptures with breasts that have been blacken by the hands of school boys who copped a feel on the way by when they take that mandatory field trip to the Gallery.

A Saturday Walk

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Morning Walk

A few images of Delmar on the morning walk

The trash continues to pile up at the 'Nero' apartments.

The town keeps fighting those leaves

Delmar Police Abandoned Vehicles Auction

Safety Tips From The Delmar Police Department

Some Good ideas sent to me by the Delmar Police department;

Halloween Safety Tips


• Carry a flashlight
• Walk, don't run.
• Stay on Sidewalks
• Obey traffic signals
• Stay in familiar neighborhoods
• Don't cut across yards or driveways.
• Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
• Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
• Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume)
• Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
• Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
• (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
• Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
• Approach only houses that are lit.
• Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.


• Make your child eat dinner before setting out.
• Children should carry quarters so they can call home.
• Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
• If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark.
• If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
• Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home.
• You should know where they're going.
• Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
• Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.


• Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
• Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently bitting a trick-or-treater.
• Battery powered jack o'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
• If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
• Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
• Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
• Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.

Reprinted with permission from The Children’s Safety Zone

Thursday, October 29, 2009

William H. Hastings Wounded - 1952

Jacob Bros - 1947

Terra Nullius of Maryland and Delaware

I went to the John Lyon presentation on “Exploring Delmarva Lands” last night. An interesting talk from a well versed man. John Lyon has spent a number of years looking at land patents (the first deed to a piece of land) in “Old Somerset” County. Old Somerset County prior to the revolutionary war included two thirds of Sussex County so the original land patents (deeds) for most of western Sussex County are located in Maryland. He briefly went into using the on-line system of Maryland where land patents are located.

During the question and answer period he mentioned unclaimed land (Terra nullius) he had found during his patent research. Now you may think all the land in Maryland and Delaware has been accounted for and someone holds a deed to all property but that is not so. Over the years as the land was recorded due to irregular shapes of the plots of land there are a few acres here and there that was never deeded to anyone. I thought this subject of Terra Nullius or Unclaimed land (Free Land) might make an interesting post.

Land possession in colonial Maryland and Delaware developed by way of warrants and patents. Delaware and Maryland are part of twenty states referred to as State land states. Those states retained the right to dispose of land within their borders (all unclaimed land is State land). The remaining thirty states are federal land states. When the United States was established, the state land states retained title to all public land within their boundaries. However, all of their land claims outside their boundaries were ceded to the United States government. As new territories were purchased or ceded to the federal government, title to all vacant lands in these territories was vested in it. These new territories became the public domain, and the federal government controlled the distribution of these lands.

Initially as the first settlers reached our area and took the land away from the Indians the King of England using the Penn and Calvert families granted land to settlers by way of a Grant. The settler would submit an Application to the Governor. This would described the conditions of the property, provided proof of prior vacancy, assessed quality or rate of the land, its intended use, improvements underway, provided the date of initial or intended inhabitance, contained copy of published intention to patent.

The Governor would issue a warrant. The Warrant (Certificate or Order) authorizes a survey to be made. It does not always specify the exact location of the land. As an example the person might receive a warrant for 1,200 acres of land. It may not specify where that 1,200 acres would be. The person had to find 1,200 acres and that land could have been in one block or it could be several pieces of land situated around other deed land that totaled 1,200 acres. With the warrant he could do a survey of the land.

The Survey (Plat, Survey Certificate) was the actual laying off of the land. In a statement prepared by the county surveyor, the name of the person having the survey made is given as well as the type of warrant authorizing the survey. Any assignments that have already occurred are also mentioned. The county is recorded as well as the closest watercourse, in most instances. Surveys, like warrants, can be traded, sold, or reassigned, so it is imperative the researcher study both sides of the document to determine if a transfer was made after the Survey and before the Grant was issued. In state land states, land was described using metes and bounds, a method of surveying property which made use of natural physical and topographic features (e.g. trees, creeks, rivers, and swamps) in conjunction with measurements and artificially designated objects or places. By comparison, land in federal land states was divided using the public land survey system, which created grids of townships and ranges that were then subdivided into smaller sections.

Metes and bounds require the measuring and direction to be given. As an example;

"Beginning at a red oak tree on the Bank of Broad Creek, at a point where the highway from A. to B. crosses said creek (see point marked C. on Diagram 1); thence 40 degrees North of West 100 rods to a large stump; then 10 degrees North of West 90 rods; thence 15 degrees West of North 80 rods to an oak tree (see Witness Tree on Diagram 1); then due East 150 rods to the highway; thence following the course of the highway 50 rods due North; then 5 degrees North of East 90 rods; thence 45 degrees of South 60 rods; thence 10 degrees North of East 200 rods to the Broad creek; thence following the course of the creek Southwesterly to the place of beginning”

Once the survey was complete he could apply for a patent for the land. The issuance of the Governor’s Patent (Grant or first Deed to the land) finalized the land patenting process. This document states the name of the land recipient as well as the other assignees involved in the patent. Also included is the date of survey, the type of warrant used, the metes and bounds description, the date of grant issuance and the governor's signature. The original record (grant) is entered in the County Land Grant Book. Sales of the property then become a county responsibility and are known as "deeds".

Well you can see how boring this becomes and to sit at a table armed with a protractor, pencil and paper and a 1750 survey of land trying to draw the land layout of an old ancestor, using the metes and bounds method of land measurement and description will put your mind to sleep.

The point being, with metes and bounds, the land is not laid off in nice squares or rectangles. Their irregular shapes allow for small pieces of land to go unrecorded. When you research all the land patents and put them side by side unclaimed land will appear. These pieces of land are usually located in isolated places such as swamps or mountains where neighbors would not be greatly concerned who owned the land.

The last un-patented piece of land I remember reading about was several acres in Maryland, west of Baltimore about 20 years ago. As my recall of that event goes; the person making application for the land had three or four requirements to fulfill in order to make application. Since the application process was set up in the 1700’s as I recall he had to appear at the county court house with a description of the land, a fire arm to defend the land, an axe to clear the land and a couple other items I can’t recall. This was of course prior to 9/11 so he appeared to the courthouse with a loaded musket. Since the state owned all unclaimed land they charged him for it and it would have been cheaper to have brought the land by the normal way.

On a smaller scale the problem with the LeCates property in Delmar (the old run down building on the corner of State and pennsylvania) is the deed does not match the property and there is some 15 feet or so that no one seems to own. The State of Delaware issue a statement that they had no interest in the land (again any unclaimed land is State land) so this allowed the land to go to court for a quit claim deed to it.

Our current Delmar Delaware Mayor is one of a long series of John Outtens that date back to the 1600’s. A distant relative of his Obed Outten encounter typical Sussex County land problems when he received a warrant from the State of Maryland for land that was around Seaford, Delaware, then later Delaware said the land was part of Delaware and declared it "vacant land" making him reapply for a warrant from Delaware, the end result was he lost most of his land.

From the Obed Outten website;

This was evidently a part of the same piece of ground that Obed Outten had purchased in 1753, called Outten's Discovery, and he had probably lived on it forty years, from November 15, 1753, to November 19, 1793, but he had only a Maryland title to it until the latter date, when he applied to the State of Delaware for a warrant to take up vacant land. It is clearly stated in the deed that he lived on the land at the time he received a Delaware warrant, and it was called vacant land. That is land that was unclaimed by Delaware title. In his Maryland deed, the land was known as Outten's Discovery, but in the deed that he received from the State of Delaware, it was called Partnership.

Partnership was surveyed at once by Robert Shankland, Surveyor of the County, and the date of the survey is the same as the date of the purchase, November 19, 1793. But forsooth, when the survey was completed it was found that out of all the 570 acres that Obed Outten had once owned, there was left only 114 acres unclaimed. And as a plot of the survey was required, the following is the diagram that is on the survey.

Well there you have a long rambling story of Warrants, Patents and the problem of land ownership in Sussex county. So get out there and find your piece of unclaimed land.

Halloween In Delmar

The Town of Delmar has designated Saturday, October 31st, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM as Halloween or "Trick or Treat" night for children 12 and under. There will be no mischief night in the town limits.

The Key Club at Delmar Middle/Senior High School will sponsor "Trick or Treat Night at the school on Saturday October 31 from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Hydrant Flushing Tomorrow Night

On Friday, October 30th starting at about 9 PM the Town of Delmar will do hydrant flushing. You may notice a slight decrease in pressure or discolored water for a short period of time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A few Comments from the Morning Walk

I saw over at the 'Nero' Apartments the landlords still haven't empty that dumpster.

The Delmar Police impound lot has a number of special cars that could be yours - cheap

November 7th is the date for the auction of cars, bicycles and other stuff the police have collected.

A good title and drug inspection comes with each vehicle.

Like a number of streets in Delmar there was flooding on York Street. Most of the flooding is due to autumn leaves clogging the storm drains.

I spotted Delmar's old garbage truck on Jewell Street

Cory and Phil are doing that impossible job of trying to rake and shovel up the leaves that are blocking the storm drains

I walked pass Golden Meadows that last week had six car break-ins. Go for the old people - they go to bed early and will never hear you messing with their vehicles.

I walked pass Eastern Shore Systems which back at the beginning of the month had an attempted armed robbery. The town is beginning to become like Delmar Maryland.

Jasmine Michael - Walking without a Flashlight

There was an article in the news Journal today about Jasmine Michael. MS Michael cooked up a story that she had been robbed in hopes of someone paying her train fare back to Philadelphia. She was arrested about 3 AM by the Delaware State police for falsely reporting an incident and not carrying a flashlight while walking on the roadway - WTF - not carrying a flashlight? She was sent to Baylor Women's Correctional Institution in lieu of $1,050 bail. Now of all the bad ass crime you hear about and how quickly they get out of jail here is someone arrested, in part, for not carrying a flashlight. This shows the state of Delaware and most other states has so many laws on the book that if they want to find something to charge you with, they can and will. We don't need more laws we need to get rid of the junk ones and concentrate on the real crime ones. I am not defending Jasmine Michael, as reporting a false crime is a waste the tax payers dollars, but to even include something like not carrying a flashlight just sounds stupid. Again it is that circle of bureaucracy stupidity, the police are just enforcing the law (no doubt selectively), the lawmakers passed. They will say correctly it is not their fault, the law makers will just say well it is up to the police and a stupid law remains on the book for someone in the future, who will not or can not fight a ridiculous charge to go to jail.

Mica Axle Grease Ad - 1900

Frank Calio Gives a Nod to Delmar Schools

Over at Frank Calio's Blog he gives a nod of approval to The Delmar School System and the improvements it has made since he was in school.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

John Lyon To Speak At LDGS Meeting

Tomorrow,Wednesday, October 28 The Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society will present John Lyon as the speaker for it's October meeting. The meeting will be held at the Nabb Research Center Conference Room at 7 P.M. John Lyon is a well known historian who has developed an extensive data base of all the original land grants (patents) made from 1662 to present in the original (Old) Somerset County, Maryland. This region now includes the present areas of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, and almost half of Sussex County, Delaware.

His presentation will be called "Exploring Delmarva Lands." Using, finding and getting the most out of Maryland Land records. So if you had ancestor who was rich enough to have a land patent or may have been mentioned in a land patent this is a talk for you.

It's Free

Delmar Police Press Release


Incident: Drug Arrest

Location: Gordy Tiger Mart, Delmar, MD

Date: October 26, 2009

Suspect/Arrested: Brandon Givens, B/M, 23 Y.O.A., Salisbury, MD

On 10-26-2009 Officers of the Delmar Police Department received information that Brandon Givens would be delivering a quantity of Heroin to the Delmar area. Officers located Givens at the Gordy Tiger Mart on Connelly Mill Road and Ocean Highway. Givens was observed discarding a candy wrapper on the ground. Officers recovered the candy wrapper and found it to contain 40 bags of suspected heroin. Further investigation revealed that Givens had just sold a quantity of Oxycodone pills to a subject in the area. Givens was arrested and arraigned before a District Court Commissioner where he was held on $150.000.00 bond.

Charges: Brandon Givens
Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin
Distribution of Schedule II narcotic
Possession of Heroin
Possession of Oxycodone

The Gordy Park Restrooms

In my walk this morning I went by the restrooms at Gordy Park. Yes, they were open mainly because it looks like there are no locks to close them.

Both bathrooms had their locks removed or broken. You will noticed the walls has had crab apples thrown them against creating splattered marks that will take the efforts of three men and a fat boy to remove those marks. Now I don't know if the door locks were broken because some one wanted to use the bathroom or vandalism. The splatter marks however is just vandalism.

One of the broken door locks.

And a peek inside

An ample supply of crab apples are on the ground to be thrown against walls, cars or people.

There is a crab apple tree next to the bathroom. I am sure it is nice looking in the spring but it provides too much temptation in the fall and I would say cut it down.

Maybe the answer is to have the police concentrate on this area thru out the evening and run people out of the park after dark.

There is an expression 'It’s always easy to throw baboon shit through the fan when someone else has to clean it up' and I am an armchair observer not the town police, but I keep hearing more complains about their lack of visibility in town. Maybe if you were to see them out walking around a neighborhood and speaking to people instead of cruising by in their police car, there would be less complains. I think most of the parks are auto accessible so the police could at least ride around the parks.

I guess I could walk out at night and check to see where the police are, but I usually am half asleep in my recliner, with my shotgun across my lap, waiting for a break-in.