Saturday, February 18, 2012

North To Alaska April 7, 1898

William T. Hearn and William R. Bacon left the Salisbury - Delmar area January 31, 1898 for the Goldfields of the Klondike. They were two of about 100,000 people who went north in seach of gold, only about 4,000 would find gold. Moving from the Klondike they went to Alaska in search of gold and a paying job. They wrote a number of letters home to family and friends that were published in the Salisbury Advertiser. Over the next week or so I will post some of their letters home.

From W. T. Hearn to the Editors of the Salisbury Advertiser

Sheep Camp, April 7, 1898

Thinking possibly you would like to have a correct report of the snow slide which occurred two and a half miles above here and one half mile below the foot of the summit, Sunday morning, about ten o’clock, April 3rd, and as I was an eyewitness shortly after it occurred, I will write you a few lines. The exact number that have been taken out at present is fifty two dead and several that are still living and are getting along OK. There is one lady among the dead.

The men had gone up to pack their goods on the summit, but as it was to stormy to work, they were returning, but quite a number of them were camped up there in a very dangerous place, even the Indians will not camp up that far. A blinding snow storm had come up, and those that were not tented up there were all together trying to find their way to Sheep Camp.

The Masons, Odd Fellows, and Knights of Pythias who were on the trail held a meeting and it was resolved that they would have the body of any brothers who were among the victims embalmed and sent home. All work was stopped on the trail Monday and Tuesday until the bodies could be found. The number may reach seventy five or even one hundred, as it will be almost impossible to find them all before next summer when the snow melts.

The rush on the pass is pretty well over now; a short time ago it was estimated that there were 10,000 tons of freight along the trail from Dyea to the summit. We are getting along nicely and enjoying camping life. Wish all “The Boys” were with us.
Wm T. Hearn

Delmar School Board Election - 2012

If you intend to run for the open seat on the Delmar School Board you have to file by March 2, 2012 - 4:30 PM. The Date of the Election is Tuesday, May 08, 2012.

To date two people have filed for the one 5-year position, they are;

Gregory A.Cathell 12228 Coachmen Ln., Delmar DE. 19940 Date Filed 01/06/12

Thomas K. Elliott 14784 Arvey Rd., Laurel DE. 19956 Date Filed 02/13/12

Friday, February 17, 2012

North To Alaska March 26, 1898

North To Alaska March 26, 1898

William T. Hearn and William R. Bacon left the Salisbury - Delmar area January 31, 1898 for the Goldfields of the Klondike. They were two of about 100,000 people who went north in seach of gold, only about 4,000 would find gold. Moving from the Klondike they went to Alaska in search of gold and a paying job. They wrote a number of letters home to family and friends that were published in the Salisbury Advertiser. Over the next week or so I will post some of their letters home.

From W. R. Bacon to B. F. Kennerly

Sheep Camp, March 26, 1898

Only a few moments before dark and I will try and let you know how things are.

The man that has money here is O.K. and may really take things easy, but it takes cash. The ordinary mortals like Will and I get it far from easy. We are now about 17 miles from Dyea, at the last timber before the famous summit is reached. We had about ten miles of fairly good sledding after leaving Dyea. The trail is level but badly broken up. A man can carry over that part on his sled about two hundred lbs but has to pull it off about every mile and pack it across stream on his back.

We got here a little late, the ice was broken, had we been about three weeks sooner we might have made the ten miles in two days. We then are at Canyon City at the entrance to the Canyon, here the grade is very steep and a man can take only 100 lbs on his sled, or at most 150. That is two miles long when we again strike level ground, generally level but very hilly and holey, about 3 or 4 miles to Sheep Camp. Here we have quite a city, larger than Salisbury by far, but about nine tenths of the dwelling are tents . Have a little town of log houses, etc., where most of the business is done. From sheep camp to the scales is the worst part of the whole trail, some say, worst than going up the summit. There are three or four very steep hills that a man has got to pack his goods up, or, rope them up, get a party of six or eight and about 500 feet of rope and a pulley, put a sleight at each end of the rope and pull the one up the hill, that pulls the loaded one up; unload the upper one and load the lower one and repeat, either or any way you may take it, it is hard work.

There is quite a town at the scales where by-the-way, wood is two cents a pound, so they say, and its here where you go over the summit. It is about half a mile to the top, at an angle of fully 45 degrees if not more. There is a constant stream of people going over all the while. They have steps cut in the snow and a rope stretched up to steady themselves by, also little places cut out so a man may rest. Fifty pounds is a fair load for the ordinary mortal. Some of the Indian packers take as high as 150 pounds but they have been at the business for quite a while.
In coming down they just sit down on the snow and let her come. The only danger is wearing out pants and on warm days they get wet through on that end. They also have this rope system on the summit at the place where they slide down. They load a sled and get lots of people to ride down on the light sled which weight being more than the load of goods, naturally carries it up.

There are two tramways running, possibly three. The one that was advertised to run in connection with a railroad from Dyea has never run a day nor is there any railroad either. One of the tramways is in the bucket system carrying the goods in buckets. The others are sleds pulled up the side of the mountain. There is a gradual descent on the other side of nearly seven miles before getting to the timber line, and is a grand sight to look at seven miles and see nothing but snow.

The Canadian officials collect duty on the summit but they do not enforce the thousand pounds racket or ask any questions until you get to Tagish Lake about forty miles below. There a man has got have 1000 pounds of staple articles of food, besides luxuries such as tea, coffee, etc. The duty on food is very reasonable, on clothing and hardware it is about 25 to 35 per cent, on firearms 50 per cent, tobacco very high to. We are expecting to pay a duty of $75 or $85 on our outfit, if not more. We don’t give the goods in at actual costs, cut it a little. Everything takes money here and we can’t leave in a hurry. Common bread at 25 cents per loaf and very common it is too; Flour $7 per 100 pounds or $14 a barrel: oranges two for 25 cents , and so on, but you won’t wonder when you see that it costs about three and half cents to get anything here from the outside world and about two cents a pound more at the scales.

We are enjoying this life even if it is hard work and could give you all some points on bread making and cooking in general. The thermometer goes to zero at night but gets very warm in the day time. I have got to cut some wood to get supper so will close with regards to all.

W. E. German Ad - July 1897

Thursday, February 16, 2012

North To Alaska March 22, 1898

William T. Hearn and William R. Bacon left the Salisbury - Delmar area January 31, 1898 for the Goldfields of the Klondike. They were two of about 100,000 people who went north in seach of gold, only about 4,000 would find gold. Moving from the Klondike they went to Alaska in search of gold and a paying job. They wrote a number of letters home to family and friends that were published in the Salisbury Advertiser. Over the next week or so I will post some of their letters home.

W T Hearn To his sister
Dyea, Alaska March 22, 1898

I wrote you a card about ten days ago and told you I would be here long enough for you to write to me and I think you will have time to write to me again after you receive this letter. I said there were about two thousand tons of provisions on the trail ahead of us. Well I had not seen but one end of the trail then, but have since seen a little more and asked some reliable people about the amount of provisions that are on the trail to Dyea to the summit, and they tell me that there is at least ten thousand tons piled along the pass; it is almost a distant of twenty miles.

It is perfectly safe to leave anything lying out anywhere, for it is almost sure death to steal anything. There were two men that tried it, one of them they caught and stripped down to his waist and tied him to a tree and beat him until he was nearly dead; the other shot himself to keep from going to the same post. We are by no means lonely for there are about fifteen thousand people camped along the trail, some camps are two to three miles long.

I have been working in my shirt sleeves every day. I saw one man with only a summer undershirt and his sleeves up over his elbows, so you see it is not very cold here now, but it has been cold judging from the thickness of the ice, and is pretty cold yet on the summit.

We are at work moving our goods, we are going to move our tent up to Sheep Camp today, fourteen miles from here. After we get them all there we will be done work until we get ready to start on our long journey. One can draw his goods on sleds to the foot of the summit, that is if he comes before the snow and ice break up, then he takes it on his back and carries it up the summit, a distant of two thousand feet, and pile it up there, but one must put a flag with his name on it, that is if he wants to find it again for it snows almost all the time up there and is soon covered with snow. One party of ten had just finished carrying their outfit up when a man came up and said: “ You have piled your goods exactly over mine” and his was down five feet under the snow and he said there was another man’s pile exactly under them, but down twenty feet. Now how is the first man going to get to his pile? There are lots of people that get discouraged and sell out after they get here and once go up on the summit. It takes one hour to go up and two minutes to come down. It is no trouble to come down after you get up; you simply sit down and give yourself a little start and down you go. And it is not so hart to go up; there are steps cut in the snow and a rope running to the top to hold on to, and there is continuous string all the way up. As soon as one man takes his foot up another man has his in its place.

I am getting along real nicely cooking, we have been buying baker’s bread but it is now twenty five cents per loaf, and we are making our own bread. The first time I tried to cook dried fruit I had everything full I could find, after it begin to cook; I put it in our smallest kettle at first, but soon had to change it to a larger one and pretty soon I had both full and our beans are the same way. I hope everything we have got will swell up that way.

I haven’t had a cough or the least bit of cold since I left home. When we move our camp the first thing we do is to make it as comfortable as possible.

A large number of the dogs that were brought out here from the United States have turned out to be a failure, they don’t like to work. I can see dead dogs lying around here most anywhere.

You don’t see many Negroes out here but when you do see one I tell you he feels his importance, but he can’t walk over anyone.

I knew that Mr. John Nelson wanted to come out here real bad but I did not think he was coming, but I see a lot of goods marked “John Nelson.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bye, Bye Birdie March 1 to 3rd

Bye, Bye Birdie will be performed by the Delmar High School Musical Production: March 1-2-3, 2012 at 7 pm cost $10

First State Heritage Park Commemorates Women’s History Month

At March First Saturdays in the First State

DOVER (Feb. 15, 2012) – On Saturday, March 3, the First State Heritage Park’s monthly First Saturdays in the First State programming gives special attention to women’s history. This focus on women is highlighted at 1 p.m. in The Old State House with an historical theater event –“The War of the Roses – Delaware and the Battle for Women’s Suffrage” – designed to recreate the spirit of the public rallies held in the 1920s during the battle for women’s suffrage. The nineteenth amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote had just been approved by Congress and ratified by a number of states. Would Delaware join in ratifying? The debate over women’s rights descended upon Delaware with a vengeance. In the spring of 1920, Dover was the site of its own historic “war of the roses,” so called because no one – men, women, legislators, or average citizens – could avoid taking sides on this important issue, proclaiming their pro or con opinion with a simple flower worn on their lapel. This theatrical event transports the audience back to 1920 to hear the energetic arguments and speeches that might have been made by pro-suffragists and anti-suffragists alike. Prior to the performance, the John Bell House on The Green will serve as Suffrage Headquarters, where visitors can help the historical characters prepare for the rally.

Women are the subject of other First Saturday activities as well, including a lecture on Amelia Earhart at the Delaware Public Archives; tours at the Johnson Victrola Museum and the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries; and the Women of The Green walking tour.

Regular First Saturday activities include tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city – The Old State House and Legislative Hall. Tours of the Governor’s residence at Woodburn and Hall House will also be available. Exhibits are also on display at the Johnson Victrola Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and the Biggs Museum of American Art, which also features its monthly “Biggs Kids” program. Until further notice, the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room at the Delaware Public Archives will not be open to researchers on the first Saturday of the month. Instead, the facility will be open to researchers on the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Admission to all park sites is free. Centrally located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Duke of York Street. For more information about The First State Heritage Park programs, the public may call 302-739-9194 or visit


9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

War of The Roses – Pre-Rally Suffrage Headquarters

John Bell House on The Green

Help out at Suffrage Headquarters before the War of the Roses! Everyone can help the suffragists prepare for their upcoming rally by making campaign buttons, signs and flowers. Hear the stories of the struggle for women’s right to vote!

10 a.m., Noon and 3 p.m.

Letters to My Mother
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries

Guided interpretations of the current exhibition, The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories, explores women’s role during America’s bloodiest conflict. See and hear compelling, insightful letters written by soldiers to their families in Delaware during the Civil War.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tours of the Governor’s House

At Woodburn – The Governor’s House

Enjoy guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house, as well as a self-guided tour of the gardens.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)

Walking Tour: Women of The Green

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green

Many women were innkeepers, political leaders and social figures throughout the history of The Green. Learn about the lives and contributions of these often forgotten figures.

10:30 a.m.

What Really Happened to Amelia Earhart?
Delaware Public Archives

Richard E. Gillespie, Executive Director of TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) explores one of the most baffling mysteries of the 20th century – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, arguably the most famous woman aviator of all time.

1:00 p.m.

The War of the Roses – Delaware’s Battle for Women’s Suffrage

Old State House on The Green

Join us for this exciting living history debate that will transport you back to the dramatic days of the women’s suffrage movement. Participants are encouraged to show their support and let their voices be heard on this important issue!


9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

1. The First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries

121 Duke of York Street

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs presents two exhibits:

USS Delaware: An American Battleship. The story of the USS Delaware (1909-1924), told through objects, photographs, and ceremonial silver.

The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories

This exhibit recognizes the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Through the state’s collection of objects, portraits, and documents, personal experiences of the brutal journey through the War of the Rebellion are revealed.

· Guided Tours of Legislative Hall - Delaware’s Capitol

Legislative Hall has been the seat of Delaware’s General Assembly, the supreme lawmaking body in the state, since 1933. Tour the House and Senate Chambers as you learn about the legislature and Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

· Victor’s Queens

Johnson Victrola Museum

Some of the Victor Records Company’s earliest and most successful recording artists were female singers. Hear the timeless music of these pioneers in the music field.

2 – 3 p.m.

Biggs Kids – The Loockerman Portrait

Biggs Museum of American Art

Discover the history of this 18th-century portrait and create your own portraits! Ages 5-10. Reservations required; call (302) 674-2111.

The First State Heritage Park at Dover is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.

The park is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector

Storm of ’62” to be commemorated by DNREC workshop

DOVER (Feb. 15, 2012) – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will sponsor a workshop Saturday, March 7 commemorating the “Storm of ’62” on the 50th anniversary of the event that wreaked havoc along the state’s coast and rated as one of the most destructive storms in Delaware’s recorded history.

“Delaware Coastal Vulnerability and Sustainability – 1962 to 2062” will take place at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Lectures pertaining to the storm and its aftermath – including how it influences many of today’s environmental and economic decisions – will be presented throughout the day, and “The Storm of ’62 – Delaware’s Shared Response,” a 55-minute film produced by DNREC, will be screened. Co-sponsoring the workshop with DNREC are the Delaware Sea Grant Program and the City of Rehoboth Beach.

Lecture topics include coastal vulnerability, coastal development and economy, meteorological predictions (including sea level rise), flooding and inundation, and coastal sustainability entailing beach management and flood-resistant development practices, the latter presented by Tony Pratt, administrator of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section, and Michael Powell, also of the section.

Exhibits featuring 1960s photographs and memorabilia from the storm from coastal communities and historical societies also will be on display throughout the day. Hazard mitigation and storm preparedness information will be available from the DEMA, FEMA, and other preparedness and response organizations.

All workshop activities are free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. To register, please compete and submit the online registration form, or contact Michelle Scorziello at 302-645‐4346. Attendees are asked to provide their own lunch if they plan to stay for the “Storm of ‘62” film, which will be shown at 2:30 p.m.

Delaware Surplus Equipment #02-12

The State of Delaware has three Modular Classrooms (20' X 40') on foundations available Free to State Agencies, Public School Districts, and Volunteer Fire Companies. After February 28, 2012 (10 workdays) leftover items suitable for reuse will be resold to agencies and to the general public.

Property Available for this Bulletin (#02-12)
• Modular Classrooms (3) 20’ x 40’ On a foundation
• For more information contact Mark Dufendach 302-697-2170

North To Alaska March 1, 1898

William T. Hearn and William R. Bacon left the Salisbury - Delmar area January 31, 1898 for the Goldfields of the Klondike. They were two of about 100,000 people who went north in seach of gold, only about 4,000 would find gold. Moving from the Klondike they went to Alaska in search of gold and a paying job. They wrote a number of letters home to family and friends that were published in the Salisbury Advertiser. Over the next week or so I will post some of their letters home.

Letter from W. T. Hearn To his sister

Dyea, Alaska March 1, 1898

The view coming from Seattle was something grand, mountainenous scenery nearly all the way. The Captain said it was the nicest trip he had made this year, no wind, clear and warm. The icebergs and glaciers were very pretty. We stopped at Victoria, Vancouver, Ft Wrangler, Juneau, Skagway, and Dyea and we saw many funny sights. We were on the water five days and five nights.

After we arrived here we set up our tent in a snow bank, but I am sure I was as warm as you were. It was the first time I slept on a $100.00 bed, I tell you it was something nice. We were in bed fourteen-hours the first night don’t you think we enjoyed it to sleep that long? There are about 200 tents here so we are not lonely. We have a nice carpet on the floor, as white as snow, but we are going to get a new one today, and have it made of green leaves, green you know is the style this spring.

We had a typical Klondike crowd on the boat; there were about 700 in all, and about 30 ladies, some wore the regular Klondike clothing built of corduroy, wearing bloomers and very short skirts, cap, etc. After the women start on their journey from here they dispose of their skirts altogether and wear bloomers or pants the same as men do and they can get along alright then.

When we were in Victoria we went to the Providential museum and saw all kinds of animals, birds, fish snakes and everything else that ever lived on the earth or in the waters of the sea., all kinds of skeletons, idols and gods of old times. It was night when we stopped at Vancouver and the only thing I saw there very funny was the tiny dog; it was ten months old and weighted 14 ounces , its body was three inches long and two inches high. In Juneau everything was comical, saw my first totem pole there it was in the Indian burial ground. Went to church there, to the Log Cabin Church, and heard a nice sermon, then went to the boat and went to bed.

While it is pretty county up here you need not be afraid of me making it my home for it is a pretty tough looking place to live. I haven’t seen any flowers blooming since I left Victoria. My whiskers are long enough to comb, wouldn’t you like to see me?

We are living like Kings up here, have a home of our own, and are as happy as a June bug the first day of June. The water is the nicest I every drank, just as clear as crystal running down out of the rocks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Klej Grange in 1897

From the Salisbury Advertiser May 1, 1897

The Klej Grange property, located in Worcester county, has been purchased by the German capitalists who have for some time been negotiating for the estate. The price to be paid is $20,000 and a deed will be executed immediately. The Klej Grange property contains about 5,000 acres. The new owners will erect a beet sugar beet factory and establish a colony of German farmers who will raise the beets in large quantities. the importance of this enterprise to the county was indicated in a letter published in THE ADVERTISER last week from the pen of a prominent citizen of Salisbury.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Susan!!

Well another year chalked up for our youngest daughter. Susan turns 24 today. Happy Birthday Susan!!!

It's A Crappy Day

This is the kind of snow that is just crap. Ice mostly, plus a wind, you wait and hope the sun will come out enough to melt it rather than get out there and shovel it.

I picked this photo up from the blog Side streets. I think I might make something like this for my mother so my brother and i won't have drive over and shovel her walkways. Exercise is good for old people.