Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Tom Luffman Project

A Storm Drain over on East and 6th street that is used for grass growing.

Delmar Becomes Delmar

The Town of Delmar was founded in October 1859 with the extension of the Delaware Railroad to the southern boundary of Delaware. The Transpeninsular Line was responsible for the founding of this unique bi-state town because the Charter of the Delaware Railroad Company permitted only the building of a railroad within the State of Delaware and the charter of the corresponding railroad company in Maryland permitted only the laying of railroad track within the State of Maryland. Thus, in 1859, the two respective railroads met and the Town of Delmar was born. The name of Delmar was derived for this railroad center from the states whose line it straddles - DELaware and MARyland.

The Delaware Public Archives says it was December 20th 1859 that Delmar was founded so lets just say in the last quarter of 1859 Delmar Became Delmar.

Even In 1932

Above from the Laurel State Register 1932 - an ad for Vinol a Patent Medicine.

In the 1930s the boyish look of the 1920s was slowly receding in popularity. Again was the return of femininity. It was during the 1930s that the movie star image was very much envied and copied by women who were physically fit to model Hollywood-style clothing.

A 1930 ad display for Vinol a patent medicine described as The Delicious Cod liver and iron Tonic which contains no oil. Vinol was described as the wine of cod liver , since besides cod liver it contained wine maybe the idea was if you drank enough you didn't care about being flat chested. Prohibition would end in 1933. In the 1930's it sold for $1.30 a bottle ($21.83 in 2011 dollars). But look at the Vinol bottle below

Does it not remind you of

a Mateus bottle of wine that delightful rose wine of Portugal, 11% alc. by volume

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Delmar Union Store

In the building, where Milanos and 2nd Chance Thrift Store are today, was the Delmar Union Store. The Building monument marker says 1932.

Union Stores were General Merchandise stores (groceries, notions, dry goods etc) and most towns had a store called the Union Store. In Laurel Benny Hitch had the "Union store" over on Central and 4th until 1917 when it was sold to S. P Russell who ran it as the Union store. I have no idea if Union stores were a cooperative, or the name was just used much as Five and Dime was used in the 1940's or dollar store are used today (Five and Dime to dollar stores shows the value of our money). There was a retail cooperative called the New England Protective Union, which was established in 1849. It was a cooperative movement which provided city markets for rural produce in exchange for goods to stock local stores. It died out some time after the civil war but perhaps the name stayed around for general use.

A Delmar Union store has been in existence since before 1892 as the building that housed it burnt in the 1892 fire. In 1932 the Delmar union store had a stockholder meetings and S.N. Culver was elected President, J. G. W. Perdue vice president, Wm Ellis was treasurer, L. H. Hearne was manager, Mrs. F. E. Nuvar was ass't Manger. A dividend of $12 was declared.

The brick building shows on the Fire Insurance map of 1920 so the 1932 monument marker may have indicate other things then the construction of the building.

By the 1940's I think this building housed the Delmar Economy Store and a restaurant, perhaps Austin's Restaurant.

Louise Culver in an interview said this about the Delmar Union store;
"Delmar Union store was where the Railroad cafe is now. My how I remember Miss Hattie Parker, they use to have one of those little ladders that you could roll down, well she was a little tiny short woman, that is Pat Hearne aunt, she'd roll that right down and get the stuff. I'd go in there and she would let me ride on it."

Opens Tonight - Rt13 North of Delmar

Open every Friday and Saturday in October including September 30th and going through October 30th and 31st. Doors open at 7:30 PM every night and cost is $13.00. However, if you bring a non-perishable food item, we take $2.00 off (limit 1 discount, per person, per can). Proceeds will again benefit the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Sussex, and the Delmar Fire Department. Food items will help Cat Country's "Feed A Friend" Food Drive.

A Look At Two Sidewalks

There are two sidewalks in our area that I have walked and which have aroused my curiosity. One sidewalk goes south from Laurel on Bi-State Boulevard and ends about at an old filling station. The other goes north from Delmar on Bi-State Boulevard and ends in Trigiaville. Both are State Maintained sidewalks which in itself is interesting.

In doing some research I believe both sidewalks date back to 1931 for Laurel and 1932 for Delmar. If a reader out there has different knowledge I would be interested in hearing about it. For eighty year old sidewalks they have held up well. They do have substantially larger aggregate in the cement so maybe that helps. Also since the state cuts and trims around these sidewalks about once a year (maybe)they usually are covered in dirt and grass so maybe that helps preserve them.

Laurel Sidewalk today

The building of the Laurel sidewalk was contracted out to Hickman Short of Bethany Beach in 1931 and finished in 1932 by the State Highway Department (what is today DelDot.) The sidewalk was to be 4,150 feet long and it runs along the East side of Bi-State Boulevard (in 1932 referred to as State Highway US Rt13)from the old Laurel Town Limits to which was in 1932 - the Ward Filling Station. The estimated cost was $4,370.

Above the Ward Filling Station Today

The purpose of building the sidewalk was two fold with the first purpose to create jobs by way of the Emergency Employment Relief Work. The second purpose was to provide a safe and clean path for children to walk to school.

1932 photo of the finished sidewalk

In 1932 William B. Elliott of Delmar was given the contract to build a 3,000 foot sidewalk running North on the East side of Bi-State Boulevard from the old Delmar Town Limits. The estimated cost was $2,773. At the same time Old Line Construction of Chestertown Maryland was given a contract ($13,214) to pave streets on 8th Street and Lincoln. This was to facilitate the traffic, foot and vehicle, to get to the "new" Delmar School.

The sidewalk today

Again the purpose of the sidewalk was two fold - to create jobs and to create a safe clean path for children to walk to school. Today there is Holly Oak Park and Golden Meadows for people to walk from. In 1932 I don't know what was located out in this section. As I said it ends or begins at about Trigiaville.

Today parts of the old sidewalk disappears about York street and than reappear here and there.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RT54 Road Work

It looks like Rt54 is being repaved so yesterday I watched these two machines at work. Interesting, one machine scrapes up the old payment, grinds it up and dumps into a hopper on the second machine which seems to add a few additives and uses the same material to repave the road. Pretty clever.

DNREC Press Release

Conservation Districts to sponsor annual conservation poster contest

DOVER (Sept. 28, 2011) – The Kent, New Castle and Sussex Conservation Districts will be sponsoring a conservation poster contest during the next few weeks. The theme this year is “Forests for People: More Than You Can Imagine!” Posters will be judged in the following grade categories: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. First, second and third place winners in each category will receive a prize valued at $50, $25 and $15 respectively. Deadline for entries is Friday, Nov. 4, 2011.

The annual conservation poster contest provides kindergarten through 12th grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The contest follows the annual Stewardship theme which is sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts.

This year’s theme, “Forests for People: More Than You Can Imagine,” reminds us that we all have a connection to the trees in the forest. Forests play a critical role in providing clean water and healthy wildlife habitat, as well as jobs for our citizens and products that we use every day. Forests also offer us a place to take a peaceful walk or pitch a tent or hold a picnic. And they provide children with the perfect atmosphere to learn about the great outdoors.

For more information and educational resources about the theme, please visit

Each of the conservation districts will submit their first place posters in each category for judging at the state level. State level winners will then be submitted to the national contest. Last year, the winning Delaware poster for the 10-12 category went on to win first place in the 10-12 category in the national contest. In the event that an insufficient amount of posters are received, the county level contests will be eliminated and all posters will be judged at the state level.

The name of the student, teacher, school and student’s grade level must be written on the back of the poster. Posters must be hand-delivered or mailed flat in time to meet the deadline to the conservation district in the county in which the student resides.

Addresses for Delaware’s conservation district offices are as follows: New Castle Conservation District, 2430 Old County Road, Newark, DE 19702; Kent Conservation District, 800 Bay Road, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901; and Sussex Conservation District, 21315 Berlin Road, Unit 4, Georgetown, DE 19947.

For more information, please contact Michelle Jacobs at 302-739-9135 or email

The schooner Charming Mary - 1806

September 28-29, 1806 - The schooner Charming Mary sank north of Chincoteague, Virginia, during a hurricane

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sex in The Summer

Prior to the general use of air conditioning in the summer the temperature in the homes was the same temperature as outside, maybe hotter. Houses were built with the ideal to create air flow. One of the common house types in Delmar is the American Four Square which has two windows located in each corner of the house (in turn there is one room in each corner of the house) to help with air flow. Altho many houses had sleeping porches for air flow the high temperatures should indicate low sex activity for our great great grandparents.

Altho Spring is the time of year when love is in the air in the 1800s and early 1900's this was a farming society and everyone did physical work, so simple exhaustion from farming and farm house labor would also create low sex activity. To see if summer and sex activity correlated I looked at the 1900 census for the Village Of Delmar, Delaware for birth dates. At that time there was a population of about 427 and 104 homes.

number with Jan birthday month 23, Conception in May
number with Feb birthday month 49, Conception in June
number with Mar birthday month 46, Conception in July
number with Apr birthday month 22, Conception in August
number with May birthday month 42, Conception in September
number with Jun birthday month 38, Conception in October
number with Jul birthday month 24, Conception in November
number with Aug birthday month 42, Conception in December
number with Sep birthday month 30, Conception in January
number with Oct birthday month 38, Conception in February
number with Nov birthday month 41, Conception in March
number with Dec birthday month 32, Conception in April

So lets have a round of applause for our great great grandparents only in August do we see a decrease in conception for April children with the actual peak conception times being in June and July. This is of course is an unscientific method that just looked at one variable the birth month. Items not taken into consideration would be weather and temperature in birth year, the geographic location of birth (probably a high percentage were not born in our area) and any kind of accurate gestation period.

See R. Clyde White "The Human Pairing Season in America"
and Birth Month and Maturation Rates

Halloween In Delmar - 2011

At the joint council the following was decided for Halloween;

There will only be one night of "Trick or Treat" and that night will be Oct 31st Monday between 6PM and 8 PM. There will be an age limit of twelve years old or under. There will be no "Mischief Night."

Pennsylvania Railroad Shops, Delmar De - 1930?

Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society Meeting Tonight

On Wednesday night (September 28th) at the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society (LDGS) library we will have Louis (Andy) Nunez speak. The talk is free, join us at 7 PM for an interesting night. The library is located at 116-1 North Division Street (across from the court house), Salisbury Maryland. Mr Nunez is the author of a number of books and he will speak on The Value Of Research.

Nightmare's Haunted House in Delmar, DE Opens Sept 30th

Nightmare's Haunted House in Delmar, DE; the longest, multi-level haunt on the Eastern Shore will open September 30th. They will be open every Friday and Saturday in October including September 30th and going through October 30th and 31st. Doors open at 7:30 PM every night and cost is $13.00. However, if you bring a non-perishable food item, we take $2.00 off (limit 1 discount, per person, per can). Proceeds will again benefit the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Sussex, and the Delmar Fire Department. Food items will help Cat Country's "Feed A Friend" Food Drive.

All their info is still visible via their website ( or via their Facebook page ( and you tube

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Election Results For Delmar Maryland Primary

The Election Supervisors gave their results tonight
For Mayor
Carl Anderton 115 votes Moves To General Election
Luther Hitchens 69 votes moves to general election
Nicole McGuire 37 votes out of the race

For Commissioner
Mike Gibb 85 votes moves to general election
Jim Henderson 85 votes moves to general election
Stephanie Ring 78 votes moves to general election
Bunky Luffman 76 votes moves to general election
Pam Schell 45 votes out of the race
Cory Shaffer 29 votes out of the race
Tom McGuire 20 votes out of the race

I heard that 129 people vote out of 1500 registered voters

The September Delmar Joint Council Meeting - 2011

The September 2011 Delmar Joint Councils meeting was held last night at 7:00PM. Last night's missing members were Delaware Councilman Woody Payne and Maryland Commissioner Jim Henderson. My usual disclaimer is I am not part of the council and what I write is my personal views, not the minutes, of the meetings. It is also just the parts I want to comment on or write about. If you want to know the real stories go to the meeting or buy a newspaper. The meeting was over with by 7:45.

Some items discussed;

The parking ordinance has been rewritten and is awaiting comments from the councils. A completed version will be discussed in the Police Commission on October 10th and hopefully a "good' version will be presented at the October 24th Joint Council meeting for a first reading.

They are going to transform the present town hall into this (above) for a police department. The town hopes to move to the "new" town hall on October 10th.

They are proceeding with the school zone hidden speed traps.

Chris Mills has now said he will go to settlement on the LeCates Building next week (I have heard that one before).

A Halloween Proclamation was read.

Even with the meeting having a delayed start due to Carl Anderton being outside of the Town Hall building campaigning it was still over with by 7:45. In part this was due to the Woodcreek development public and Lloyd Unsell not being there.

The only public that was there, besides myself, the reporter from the Laurel Star and Susan Upole were the candidates for office in the Maryland Election. Is it true that Delmar spelled backward is Apathy?

Luther Hitchens and Carl Anderton are running for Mayor

Tom McGuire (Commissioner candidate) Pam Schell (Commissioner Candidate) and Nicole McGuire (Mayor Candidate)

Mike Gibb (Commissioner Candidate) Tom (Bunky) Luffman (Commissioner Candidate)

some candidates and the council members stayed after the meeting to move and stack the chairs so the election tables could be set up in the meeting room for the election tomorrow

Monday, September 26, 2011

Election Selections - 2011

Tomorrow is the primary election for Delmar Maryland in which two out of three candidates for Mayor will be selected and four out of seven candidates for Commissioner will be selected to go to the General election on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Now I live on the Delaware side of town so I really don't have a dog in this fight however let me give you my opinion of some of the candidates.

First for various reasons I will not comment on the Mayoral candidates.

With seven people running for Commissioner I can give some comments on most of them.

Might as well start with Tom McGuire as he is the best known one running for office. Tom has a large number of negatives against him; insensitive, out spoken, usually the object of blogger attacks, is running a negative campaign, could use a course in English, has not served on any commission or board however I think he is one of the best candidates for Commissioner. Why you ask, it is because Tom does not sit at home waiting for people to call him with problems or issues in the town. He is constantly in contact with everyone in town and by this I do not mean just the old section of Delmar but he is in contact with people in all the newer developments. He attends more joint council meetings than some Delaware councilmen. He knows more about what is going on in this town than any other candidate. So decide if you want someone that attends meetings and you never see after that or do you want someone who attends the meetings but also is constantly seeking people out and asking them their opinion on the town.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr; again has a couple of negatives and many more positives. The negatives; the constant rumor that he is a minion for an evil Salisbury blogger and as such will be that person's puppet on the Delmar Commission so he can expand his evil empire. His perception of what he says in public meetings tend to differ from what other people perceive he said. The positives; of the candidates he knows the most about infrastructure and Delmar Maryland needs infrastructure. He is on and has been on commissions to act for the town and school so he has some experience in how town government works. You can also consider the experience on those commissions as paying his dues for an elected office - a definite plus as he is not trying to run without experience. He has been endorsed by Muir Boda (vice chairman of the Maryland Libertarian Party.) He attends the joint council meetings and from what I have read from Mike Gibb and Him, they write "more better English" than the other candidates.

Pamela K. Schell, the only negative I can think of is she only started attending council meetings about six months ago but considering I have never seen some of the other candidates at the meetings at all, it isn't that much of a negative. The positives; she too is in touch with a range of people and she has made contacts, by way of the library, with a segment of people the other candidates have not. She is known to many people in Delmar. I hate to say it but I think being female might be a plus for her as the Commissioners need to have a wider range of views on the commission than what is current.

Michael Gibb; On the negative side, he hasn't attended joint council meetings and he has not served on any of the commissions or boards. The positive side he presents himself well. In the times I have spoken to him he seems to have researched the subjects he addresses.

James Alan Henderson, an excellent person. He has well represented Delmar in his postion as a current commissioners. Altho I hear he is one of the people Woodcreek is backing in this election and he lives in Woodcreek I think in the ways he has voted as a commissioner he has been fair and will put Delmar ahead of the development he lives in. His biggest negative is his health problems and the nagging question will those health problem change his outlook and commitment to the commissioner position.

Mary Stephanie Ring; I have seen her at one or two Joint Council meetings and she is the Woodcreek voters selection other than that I know nothing about her.

Cory Shaffer; Mr. Shaffer was nice enough to answer that rather lengthy number of questions I asked the candidates and that is about all I know about him. I have not seen him at the joint council meetings.

So if I was voting for four people in the Commissioner election in Delmar Maryland those four would be;
Pamela K. Schell
Tom McGuire
Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr
Michael Gibb

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sweetened Condensed Milk In Coffee

While drinking my coffee this morning I happen to think about how rarely today you see people drinking coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk. Today I drink my coffee black but when I was growing up my parents and most people of my parents age used Sweetened Condensed Milk in their coffee. Not being very sophisticated the simple can of Eagle brand Sweetened Condensed Milk came out of the refrigerator onto the table and was used directly out of the can. If you went to a diner and had a cup of coffee you would have to ask for it. As I recall you could buy a round can hole punch that would fit the top of a condensed or evaporated milk can and it would punch two round holes in the top of the can and it could stay on the can when not in use as a sort of lid. I assume people of that age used it more than today because of the lack of refrigeration when they were growing up and due to sugar rationing in World War Two. It still makes a good cup of coffee if you like that sweetness. It is an easily stored item and can be transported anywhere, condensed milk, has sugar, or the non sugar version - evaporated milk is good for camping.

Okay, now a little food history, because I'm nerdy like that: Gail Borden, Jr. in 1853 was inspired by the vacuum pan he had seen being used by Shakers to condense fruit juice and he used this process to reduce milk without scorching or curdling it. Adding sugar to it to prevent bacteria he canned it making condensed milk. Along came the American Civil War and the U.S. government ordered huge amounts of condensed milk it as a field ration for Union soldiers during the American Civil War.

Soldiers returning home from the Civil War soon spread the word. By the late 1860s, condensed milk was a major product. In 1899, E. B. Stuart opened the first Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (later known as the Carnation Milk Products Company - the brand is now owned by Nestlé ) plant in Kent, Washington. In 1885 evaporated milk was developed. Condensed milk contains sugar, which acts as a preservative and without that sugar, evaporated milk was prone to spoilage. Until John B. Meyenberg invented a new way to heat the cans evenly, sterilizing the contents. Evaporated milk has about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk