Saturday, December 23, 2017


distributed after the program.


Savoonga was established many year ago as a raindeer herding village on St. Lawrence
Island in the Bering Sea. In 1967 it was a thriving community of 300 persons who have
returned to the sea for their food.

Usually, the annually Christmas celebration is never missed by everyone in the village
and the first celebration takes place a day before Christmas, held in the Presbyterian
Church . The kindergarten to junior classes put in the scene, which is the birth of Christ.
All are in costumes pretending to show the scene as in ancient times.

On Christmas Day, the Mariner's have their program. This group consists of the village
young couple's which show the scene again in a more meaningful presentation.

Both programs have the village people exchanging gifts to their loved ones and friends
at the church where they are
After the final close of the last program, when the village people are returning home,
Yuletide Christmas singing takes place between every home n the village.

Warm clothing is worn as usually it is very cold out in the open around the village.

Warm up refreshments are served at the church afterwords for those who take part in the
caroling at the church.

So that's the way Christmas is held every year here in the village of Savoonga.

Source of this abstract was found in the December 23, 1967, Fairbanks Daily News-
Miner, Fairbaks, Alaska, by New-Miner Correspondent John Waghiui.


Friday, December 22, 2017



Eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon , writes a letter to the Sun newspaper in New York
asking whether Santa Claus exist in 1897.

The Sun's editor, Francis Church, wrote a editorial titled “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa
Claus” . This is it below, read it and believe.

“ Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. He exists as certain as love and generosity and
devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty
and joy. Alas, how dreary the world would be if there were no Santa Claus. It would be
as dreary as if there were no Virginia’s. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry,
no romance to make tolerable this existence and we should have no enjoyment except
sense and sight.

The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished”.

Source: Ron MacArthur, Cape Gazette, Friday, December 22, 2017.

Abstract: Harrison H. December 22, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


TEXAS 1835


December 9, 1835 the newly created Texan Army, under the leadership of Benjamin Rush
Milam, takes possession of the city of San Antonio in the war for independence from

Benjamin Rush Milam was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, 1788, and became a citizen soldier
of newly independent Mexico and was one of many American's who immigrated to the
Mexican State of Mexico. These immigrants found that the Mexican Government both welcomed and  feared a growing number of Americans and they were treated with
uneven fairness.

In 1835 Santa Ana had overthrown the Mexican Republic and established himself the
Mexican dictator, Milam, renounced his Mexican citizenship and joined the rag-tag
army of the new formed Republic of Texas.

After the Texas Army had captured Goliad, Milam was sent into the southwest on a mission
of reconnaissance and was part of the planned attack of San Antonio only to learn that the generals had postponed the attack for the winter. Knowing that Santa Ana's troops were
already on their way to Texas to suppress the rebellion, Milam knew such a hesitation
would end the revolution, he made a impassioned 'call' for volunteers to follow “Ole Ben
Milam into San Antonio”.

Three hundred men did volunteer and made attack on San Antioio at dawn, December 5th
and by the 7th the Mexican 's defending force were badly beaten and surrendered the city.

Benjamin Rush Milam was not there to witness the results of his leadership. He was killed
instantly by a snipers bullet on December 7th. If Milam had survived he might have well
been among the doomed defenders of the Alamo, wiped out by Santa Ana's troops in March.

Source: A&E Networks, History This Day 9 December 2017.

Abstract December 9, 2017 Harrison H.   

Sunday, December 10, 2017



Doctor Joseph Addison Robinson Vansant, Jr., died Saturday, March 13, 1980, in the
Martin County Memorial Hospital, Stuart, Florida. He had a stroke at his home near Jensen
Beach. His funeral service was Saturday, March 22, 1980, at Epworth Methodist Church,
Rehoboth Beach, and he is buried in All Saints Episcopal Cemetery, Indian River.

Doctor Vansant was born 1901 in Philadelphia to Joseph Addison Robinson Vansant, Sr.,
and Agnes McMasters Vansant. His father was an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

He was educated in Philadelphia schools, Haverford College, earned a master at Univ. of
Pennsylvania and a doctorate at Columbia University.

He came to Rehoboth Beach Special School District in 1945 as the superintendent. In 1967
he was named the Educator of the Year by the Sussex County Teachers Association.

Prior to Rehoboth he was assistant superintendent of Mount Pleasant High School for one year,
also held administrative post at Tuckerton and Camden, New Jersey. He taught English at the
Friends School in Philadelphia for 11 years.

Has been president of The Private School Teachers Association of Philadelphia, president of
Chief Local School Officers, president of the Rehoboth Sportsman Club and the Rehoboth

In 1924 he married Edna M. Helms in Philadelphia o survives him. He also has a son Donald
in Bridgewater, N. J., daughter, Jamet Rapkin of Cleveland. He was predeceased by a son

Monday, October 9, 2017



Golden tilefish, aka great northern tilefish or blue tilefish, scientific name is
Lopholatilus chamaeoeonticeps.

The golden tilefish is low in fat, has a sweet flavor like lobster or crab. They size between
5 and 10 pounds.

Tilefish fishery is between Virginia and Maine, the majority caught in southern New England
and mid Atlantic waters. They are caught on longline gear.

The stock is not overfished nor is overfishing occuring.

A record golden tilefish was caught this past August, weighing 46 pounds, 8 ounces and took
20 minutes to bring in. It was 47 inches long with a girth of 29 inches.

This golden tilefish, a deepwater offfshore species, was hooked at a depth of 530 feet on
5 ounce chartreuse and a silver butterfly jig.

The catch was weighed and recorded at Hook'm & Cook'm in Rehoboth Beach.

Source: Delmarvanow Report, Delaware Coast Press, 4 October 2017,, and
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. Abstract 10/09/2017 Harrison H.

Sunday, October 8, 2017




Samuel Willard, born in Concord, Massachusetts, January 31, 1640, died 12 September 1707,
deemed to be the last puritan.
On two two accounts this would not be true. First Puritanism surrounds noncomformist ministers who remained in the Church of England in order to purify it. Second, the ministers who left the
Church of England were called Pilgrims. It would be better to call Mr. Willard a reformed
Preacher of the Gospel.

Willard graduated Harvard in 1659 where he studied divinity. After graduation he was ordained a
minister in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1664, served until 1676 when he was chased away by Indians
during the King Phillips War. He then went to the Old south Church in Boston and became the
second most important preacher in the New England Calvinistic Church of the day, following
Increase Mather (1639-1723) . He wass known as a man of profound notions, will say what he will,
and prove what he says, acording to John Dutton, book seller.

Samuel Willard strenuously opposed Salem wichcraft trials and influenced public opinion against
them. The trials were halted in 1692 influenced by Wllard's promotions.

When Increase Mather retired from the presidency of Harvard , Willardm the vice president, took
over the job from 1701 to 1707.

Willards preachng centered on the doctrine of the covenant of redemption. In his preaching he
opposed Antinominaism and opposed both Baptist and Quaker theology.

Samuel Willard was the son of a military and political leader, Major Simon Willard and his wife
Mary Sharpe who came to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634 from England. In 1635 they and the Rev. Peter Bulkley, established the village of Concord.

Samuel Willard married on 8 August 1664, Abigail Sherman, of Watertown, and became a freeman in 1670 with full citizenship privileges.

Abstract Ocotober 8, 2017, Harrison, of Wikipedia, A Puritan's Mind, Fire & Ice, Puritan and
Reformed Writings.

Saturday, October 7, 2017



Many who make Rehoboth Beach their summer home seem eager to return for the mid winter
festivities. Such as the cotillion dance at the fire hall all decorated with greenery and ballons with a
carnival touch.

There was Ann Fulton down from Park Avenue in black velvet, Jane Hardesty of Dover in
pastel net and our local lass, Kitty Toppin with Danny Conant. From Brandywine Hills were the J. Edward Schells, and, the Henry Winchesters with daughter Jane.

Jack McManus, club president, entertain a few between the halves, and, ran out of sandwiches.
However, everyone including Mag and Earl Poole, Covington and Sal Townsend, reported heaps of

The Wilbur S. Corkrans, were host to a few friends at the 17th century “Homestead”. Nancy
McCabe had Mary Emma Ryan, Sunray Farms, Newark, Ginnie Vinton, of St. Georges for the
“hop”. Doris and Carlton Moore joined a group of friends to greet the New Year. Bob Hinkley, and his sister, Mrs McCeny Werlich, from Washington were around also.

In Washington's North West Wardman Park, the Wallace Chiswell's, had a really nice party at their far away home in mid December. .

Major and Mrs Dick Bond were down from Wilmington and among the two hundred other
guest were those of the summer colony, Major Kemp Slaughter, Gladys Hinkley Werlich, the
John Lewis Smiths, Judge and Mrs. Swing, the Brides, the Darbys and the the Lloyd's.

Source: New Delawarean Magazine , 1941.

Friday, October 6, 2017




Favorite movie pictures playing at 1940 Christmas time.

Jack Benny and Fred allen in “Love Thy Neighbor” , Melvyn Douglas and Rosaland

Russell in “This Thing Called Love”. Louis Hayward and joan Bennett in “The Son
of Monte Cristo”, and a return by request of “Gone With The Wind”.

Pat O'Brien and Constance Bennett in “Escape To Glory”. Franchot Tone and Peggy

Morgan in “Trail of the Vigilanties”, John Barrymore and Virginia Bruce in “Invisable

Woman”, Abbott and Costello and Andrews Sisters in “Buck Privates”. Caesar Romero

and Virginia Bruce in “Tall, Dark And Handsome”, Robert Young, Virginia Gilmore,

and Randolf Scott in “Western Union” , Alice Fays and Don Ameche , “Road To Rio”.

The latter two are both in Techniclor.

1941 CUBA


First chosen is an article under “Where Shall We Wander” about Cuba, since it has been in

the news of late, here in 2017.

Cuba is foreign. Havana is foreign. Uncle Sam, just across Florida Strait, will never make
the Island, American.

The Cuban's like us, imitate us, but a Cuban remains a Cuban. The first you might notice

is Avendia Antonio Maceo, surfside, known as Malecon, named for a Cuban soldier. To picnic
follow the Little Almendares River inland, you discover The Tropical Gardens, Rio Cristal and

The Springs of Vento. Rio Cristal, fifteen miles inland, is owned by Enrique Berenguer, inkeeper.

He is a flamboyant intitution in himself and roars his delight at seeing you. Across the river are

The Springs of Vento, reached by a swaying iron plank bridge, the planks salvaged from the raising

The Maine from Havana harbor. There are hundreds of springs of Vento, limestone and magnesia

bubbling up eighty million gallons of spring water per day for Havana's use. An engineer of Cuba,

Don Francisco de Albear y Lara, harnessed these springs in 1859.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017




A dog story of a black lab that was adopted by a young single man, six months new in town.

“They told me his name was “Reggie” as I was looking at him lying in his pen at the shelter
which was clean and the people really friendly. The town was a small college town, very friendly
too. People waved when you went by on the street.

But there was something missing, so I thought of a dog, someone to talk to. He had been advertised
on local TV and the shelter had received many call, but, said the staff, they just did not look like
Lab people, whatever that meant. I guess they thought I did. So I took him home, with his 'things',
a dog pad, bag of toys, which was loaded with brand new yellow tennis balls, dishes and a sealed
letter from his previous owner. Reggie and I did not hit it off the first two weeks, his 'things' and
the letter got tossed in with my other unpacked boxes, that is except the bag of yellow tennis balls.
Reggie wound not go anywhere unless he had two yellow tennis balls in his mouth. I intended to supply him with new toys once settled in, which did not look like was going to happen.
Riggie knew all of the commands, sit, stay, come, heel and follow them, grudgingly, after they were
repeated three or four times. I probably was too stern to him and he resented it. I think he 'hid; my cell phone. The day came I was supposed to return him to the shelter, but, I had found his 'things' and tossed the pad to him, he responded with a wagging tail, but that was it, he did not come to me when I
offered him a sweet treat, but lay down, back to, discontented. That was when I picked up the sealed 'letter' that I had totally forgotten too. So I read it out loud for both of us, and told Reggie to lets see
what your former owner has to say, if he has any advice.

To whoever gets my dog is goes; I am not happy your reading this letter that the shelter
staff was told to be opened only by Reggies new owner. Taking the Lab to the shelter was my last ride with him , and he knew something a different than our other rides. So let me tell you about my Lab with hopes you and he can 'bond'.

First he loves yellow tennis balls, more the merrier, he hordes them , and usually has two in his
mouth , and tried to get a third one in too. This he has not yet done. He knows the obvious ones,
and, a few other hand signals. I trained 'Reggie' with small bits of hot dogs. Nothing opens his ears like hot dogs. His feeding schedule is 7 am and 6 in the evening. Regular store bought stuff. He has
his shots from the 9th Street Clinic. He hates the vet.

Give him time, I was not married, it was just him and me. Everywhere I went, he went. Loved the
back seat of the car. Just sat there, looking, did nor bark. So please take his for a ride now and then.


His name is not Reggie. I do not know why but when I left him at the shelter, I told them his name wa Reggie. Why I do not know. I could not bear to give them his real name. I know he is smart and will
get used to it and respond. Leaving him was too final.


Tank is his name real name. Tank, because that is what I drive for the Army. The shelter
people were instructed to keep Reggie until they heard from me or my company commander, my parents are gone, I have no one to leave him with. My only request of the Army was to let the shelter
knowm in case of 'the event' as I was deployed to Iraq. By luck and the grace of God, my colonel
is a 'dog' man too and has told me he would do it personally. If you are reading this, he made good
his word. Tank was my family for six years, the same time I was U. S. Army.

Good luck with Tank, give him a good home, and if you dont mind, an extra kiss good night.
Thank you, signed Paul Mallory.

Everyone in town had heard of Paul Mallory. Local kid, killed in action, in Iraq, the owner
of a Silver Star, earned when he gave his life to save three fellow soldiers. I folded the letter, put it back in the envelope, and leaned forward, elbows on the knees, looked at the Lab and whispered
“Hey Tank”. The Labs head whipped up, eyes bright, ears cocked. “C'mere boy” and he was on his feet. In front of me, looking for the name he had not heard in months. 'Tank” I whispered and his tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time his ears lowered, eyes softened and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I hugged him and said
“ Its me and you now Tank, your old pal gave you to me” Tank licked my cheeks.
“So whatsay we play some ball” Tank tore away into the next room, and came back to me, with
three yellow tennis balls in his mouth.

Source: Zimbra, August 16, 2009: Abstract, October 5, 2017. Harrison H.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

1983 dead fish ashore Cape Henlopen


Rehoboth Beach Friday 8 July 1983:
Bathers avoided the waters of Delaware's ressort area Thursday, as thousands of dead
fish washed ashore. Swimming was banned by officials for fear of shark feeding on the
dead menhaden.

At Lewes Beach, the main beach lifeguard, Bob Gatchel, closed his beach to swimmers,
just ot prevent a risk to anything.

At Cape Henlopen State Park , crews used tractors with frontend loaders and 20 ton trucks
to haul off the rotting fish but did not ban swimming.

The dead mamhaden were spotted Wednesday over an eight mile streach of water just north
of Cape Henlopen to south of Rehoboth Beach.

A State Park Official , Charles Lesser, said the next high tide during the night will bring in more fish to the south and it will be rather aromatic in the morning.

A fishing accident was the cause of the dead fish, the Zapata Haynie Corporation , of
Reedsville, Virginia , fishing off Cape Henlopen, loading manhaden into a trawler, one and one
half miles off shore, lost fish when a large net split. The fish company notified the state and
offered to pay for the clean up.

The Delaware legislature has just this Wednesday approved a bill which will prohibit
manhaden fishing to within three mile of the shore. Menhaden are used to profuce fisg meal and oil.

Source: Newport News Daily Press , Friday July 8, 1983, Newport News , Virginia.

Thursday, September 28, 2017



June 29, 1945 Wilmington Morning News, Wilmington, Delaware.

Lewes Delaware

Next Monday night the first of a series of weekly dances are to be held at the Lewes USO
Club, sponsored by the new Lewes USO Councel The dances are to be held every Monday during
the summer between 8 and 11 pm.

The music will be furnished by the Fort Miles Sandunairs of Corporal Stanley Ross.
Mrs. William T. Atkins, council chairman, heads the hostesses, young girls from Lewes,
Rehoboth, and other nearby towns.

Salvation Army director, Captain John Wilson , a USO overseeer, will transfer to other
duties after this weeks dance.

The Lewes Beach summer colony is steadily growing as out of town visitors and Lewes
town folk move to their summer cottages for the summer. July Fourth is ecpected to have a
record crowd.

The Lewes Yacht Club will hold their second summer party for club members and guest.
A buffet supper will be served , arranged by Mrs William Teal, president of the club auxiliary with
her committee, Mrs Tony Potter, Mrs William D. Collings and Miss Marjorie Virden.

The Ralph Rust's, former owners of “Trade Winds”, of Lewes Beach, now of West Palm Beach, will visit the middle of July. Mr. Rust, is former Lieutenant Colonel of Governor Bacons staff and the head of State Salvage Commission. Mrs Rust is former Mary Messick, daughter of
Dr. Messick, Rehoboth physician.

The Lewes Beach summer cottage of Charles Melson of Longwood is occupied by Mr. and
Mrs. Robert Woodside family and Miss Gertrude Collins of Pittman, New Jersey.

Lt. Commander G. Herbert Orton, Delaware River Pilot, Mrs Orton, and their two children
have closed their Pilot Town Road home and moved to their cottage on the beach.

Mr. and Mrs. Curt Roney of Wilmington, and their daughter, Joan, have arrived and will spend the summer with Mrs Roney's mother, Mrs. Steve Pierce, on Beebe Avenue.

Dr. Richard C. Beebe and Mrs Beebe, and daughter, Mrs. Ed Moore, spent Wednesday at College Park, Maryland to attend the graduation of Violet Beebe , the younges daughter. Viole t will return to Lewes to spend her summer vacation.

The Molloy C. Vaughn family, and children Louise and William, of Dixie Del Farms, have moved to Rehoboth for the summer.

Lt. Commander and Mrs Teal, Sr. of Beebe Avenue have their daughter, Mrs. Mitchel Miller,
of Philadelphia visiting with them.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Haveerbeck of Wilmington, daughter Mary Jo, are guest of Mrs.
James Prettyman, Mulberry Street, Mrs Haverback's mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander F. Arthur, have returned to Homestead, Florida, after a visit with
Mrs Arthur's parents, theAtkins on Fourth Street.

Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson have their daughter , Mrs. Jack Warren, of Newark, school teacher,
home for the summer vacation.

Mrs Campbell Bowser, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, is visiting her mother Mrs John C. Burton,
on Washington Avenue.

Mrs George Downs has received word of the safe arrival of the daughter, Lt. Edith Downs
at Luzan. Philippines, of the Army Nurse Corps. Lt. Downs was recently stationed at Camp
Stoneman in Californioa .

Commander and Mrs Rodney Evans have visited on Lewes Beach, Lt. Commander and Mrs. Donald Evans. Commander Evans has been assigned new duties in Panama after serving in Miami the past winter. He was at Lewes with a Navy unit at he first of the war.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017




1717 - 1718

Stede Bonnet, born 1688, to a wealthy English family of Bridgetown, Barbados, a plantation owner, a former British Army major, married in 1709 to Mary Allamby. Because of “some discomfortsof married life “ he left the safe life ashore to become a pirate, privateering being a popular ocupation for those so inclined. The summer of 1717 he bought a sailing vessel, named it “Revenge”
hired a crew of cutthroats, raised the black flag and sailed the eastern coast of America, althought he had no expreience as a ships captain. From the pirate haven of Bahamas he sailed to the mouth of the
Chesapeake Bay, capturing several ships off the Delmarva coast. Sometime, while in the Cape Hatteras waters he fell in with Edward Teach, known as “Blackbeard”. At the mouth of the
Delaware Bay in 1718 Bonnet took the sloop Francis in command of Captain Peter Manwearing
without a fight. Unloading the cargo of molasses and rum, barrels of beef, butter, all the while
having Captain Manwearing as a guest treating him politely. Manwearing later gave damaging
testimoney against Bonnet during his last trial for piracy. Bonnet , in a Charles Town, South Carolina
court was found giuilty of “Piracy” and later hung by the neck until dead, 10 December 1718.

Delaware Diary, Michael Morgan, Delaware Coast Press. March 19 2009

Monday, September 18, 2017




During the 18th century , European ship captains, with ther vessels loaded with European
merchandise, visited the African coast and traded for for slaves which were stuffed aboard the
ships that then set sail for America, a long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Once there the slaves were traded for lumber, tobacco, grains, moleasses and other produce which were returned to theEuropean countries. This practice became known as the “Triangular Trade” . The middle leg of
this triangle brought the slaves to America and became known as the infamous “Middel Passage”. A
term that was known to be a journey of unbearable human suffering. Any voyage across the Atlantic
faced enormous hazzards, sailing ships were at the mercy of the winds and delays were deadly for
the crowded slaves.

Few records were kept of the “Middle Passage” and artifacts of the wreckage of the “Henrietta
Marie”, off the coast of Key West on it's final leg of the trip, have provided significant information of conditions aboard a slave ship. Recovered were shackles used to prevent a slaves escape. The slave
was sent to mid decks, placed like cargo on shelves very close together. Weather permitting the slaves were moved to the open decks but chained togther to prevent any attempt to take over the ship.

Disease and ailments often spread . Yellow fever, malaria, small pox, dysentery, and as many a half the cargo died.

Source: Michael Morgan Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast Press,

1915 Wild Cat, Last Milton Built Vessel.

The 1915 Wild Cat
A Working Vessel

The 1915 launching of the Milton built “Wild Cat” was in far too many ways, different.
The ship did not have the graceful finely shaped hull of other Milton built scooners, sloops, which
slid into the Broadkill in past years. The gasoline engine powered ship was launched with no band to play music nor were there a cheering throng of citizens, no community celebration.

However, when the modest fishing vessel slipped into the Broadkill, there began a unique
career. The 60 foot Wild Cat could not compare with the five mast schooners that were 150 feet in
length, with sail. She had the noisey gasoline engine to power her. Her owner used her for fishing
for the first two years and in 1917 the Wild Cat was purchased by the navy and used as a a patrol
boat for WWI service.

Following the war the Wild Cat was transferred to the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey , and
was loaded aboard a freighter for the trip to Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal, then was sent
to the northwest to map the Alaska coast. A. M. Simemsted who served on the Wild Cat in Alaska gave this account; “ The crew quarters were very small, four bunks, two high, with mess table between, there were four portholes in the crew quarters, which needed to be closed much of the time.
Simemsted told that the food was of the finest. In addition to the staple things, there were salmon,
halibut, crab, clams, teal, mallard and trout. “

The survey crew was made to go ashore and climb the coastal mountains to place their survey
tragets and bench marks which in the deep snow was much difficult.

Wild Cat was in service until 1941 when she was hauled out of the Alaskan waters at King
Cove and stripped of everything of value, the hull remained on shore until 1949 when it was bought
for $1 to become a finging boat again, that proved to be too costly and she was abandoned , the last
Milton Broadkill vessel, not worth the single dollar her owner had paid for her.

Ssource: Michael Morgan's Delaware Diary, Coast Press, 2 August 2007.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


JANUARY 8 1777

Captain: William Peery ; 1st Lt. Hugh King ; 2nd Lt. John Sheldon ; Ensign ; John Hazzard.

Sergeants; Robert Hood, Emmanual Russell, James Vent, Robert Prettyman.

Corporals; John Vent, John Dutton, Joseph Darby.

Drummer: Richard Hilford.

Privates : Thomas Bosteidge, John Clampitt, Abreham Conwell, James Coulter, Thomas Coulter

William Coulter, Elephaz Dazey, Sam Dodd, Zael Hall, Thomas Harris, William Hazzard,

Archibale Hopkins, John Hopkins, William Hopkins, John King, Spencer Lacey, Mosses

Marriner, Constant Marriner, James McNeill, Alexander Mellivain, Shepard Mellivane, Clark

Nottingham, Jacob Knottingham, Oliver Pride, Aaron Snowden, David Stephenson, Robert

Stephenson, John Tam, Thomas West, Sam Wiltbank and John Young.

Source: March 31, 2001




The census taker just got home and is talking to his wife;

“ I sure am glad to be home, that I am, what a day. Another day like today and I am jst going to sit here at the kitchen table and fill out these forms from last years memories and be done with it.

Put these socks next to the stove to dry out, please.

Went yonder this morrning and everyone from house 451 to 486 was gone. A big shindig
down that away, I guess. The folks in house 441 were helpful and told me who they all is.

Do you reckon you could go over the writin on this here page. It got a litt;e smeared in the raim. The folks down in the holler was suspicious of a census, and they had a point. What is the
difference who we is and where we is, are the Washington people going to come visit us? They
finally gave me their last name and first initial and I think they was playing with me about the
other people of the household. Saw a lot of winkin going on.

Next I went up the river and tried to get done afore it came on a downpour, but the ole man Jenkins cur dog run me off. Luckly a man down the road knew Jenkins was nigh on sixty and was livin there with his woman with five youngens of his first wife and a passel from the second. We gave them all good Christian names.

I tell you, I ruther fight the British than mess with that feller on the ridge, he got his shot gun as sone as he seen me acomin, so I went t'other direction. Had Jones tell me about him but he don't know his first name, they call him “Squirrel” , and nobody around here claims him as any relationship.

Then I got to Smiths. Hoss was in a fit, his wife was havin a baby right there in the kitchen and he could not tell me how many kids he had, but, Miz Hart helped me straightten that household out.

He had had a young un every year for the past ten, so we are close.

Next census time I an nowhere to be found, farmin is easier, and there are others here that can
cipher this mess.

Pass me another tater, will you? “

SOURCE: Sunday Afternoon Rocking; Jean Dalrymple, : abstract :

Friday, September 15, 2017


The Molasses Disaster of January 15, 1919

by John Mason
Reprinted from Yankee Magazine (Dublin, New Hampshire: January 1965), pages 52-53 and 109-111.
As long as people work and live and play in the vicinity of North End Park in Boston, no winter will pass without someone recalling the catastrophe that took place there on January 15, 1919, just forty-six years ago.
The scene of this tragic accident was that low-lying section of Commercial Street between Copps Hill and the playground of North End Park.
Looking down from Copps Hill on that mild, winter afternoon, you saw first the tracks of the Boston elevated—and the old, old houses nearby. Across the street were the freight sheds of the Boston and Worcester and Eastern Massachusetts Railways, the paving division of the Public Works Department, the headquarters of Fire Boat 31, and the wharves with patrol boats and minesweepers moored alongside. In the background to the left, the Charlestown Navy Yard. Towering above the freight sheds was the big tank of the United States Alcohol Company—bulging with more than two million gallons of crude molasses.
In the Public Works Department, a dozen or more horses munched their oats and hay, as flocks of pigeons fluttered around to catch the stray kernels of grain that fell from the feed bags. Stretched out on the runningboard of a heavily laden express truck, "Peter," a pet tiger cat, slept in the unseasonably warm sunshine.
This was the fourth day that the mercury of the freight shed had been climbing. On the 12th of January it was only two degrees above zero. But, on the 13th, the temperature rose rapidly from sixteen degrees to forty; now, at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 15th, it was forty-three above zero, and so warm in the sun that office workers stood around in their shirtsleeves (talking about the weather). Even the freight handlers had doffed their overcoats, and sailors from the training ship Nantucket carried their heavy peajackets on their arms.
Mrs. Clougherty put her blankets out to air and smiled at little Maria Di Stasio gathering firewood under the freight cars. She waved to her neighbor, Mrs. O'Brien, planting her geraniums on a dingy window sill.
In the pumping station attached to the big molasses tank, Bill White turned the key in the lock and started uptown to meet his wife for lunch. He bumped into Eric Blair, driver for Wheeler's Express, and said, "Hello, Scotty. What are you doing around here at noontime? Thought you and the old nag always went to Charlestown for grub?"
The young Scotsman grinned, "It's a funny thing, Bill. This is the first time in three years I ever brought my lunch over here;" and he climbed up on the bulkhead and leaned back against the warm side of the big molasses tank—for the first and last time.
Inside the Boston and Worcester freight terminal, Percy Smerage, the foreman, was checking a pile of express to be shipped to Framingham and Worcester. Four freight cars were already loaded. The fifth stood half empty on the spur track that ran past the molasses tank.
Smerage had just told his assistant to finish loading the last car when a low, deep rumble shook the freight yard. Then the earth heaved under their feet and they heard a sound of ripping and tearing—snipping of steel bolts (like a machine gun)—followed by a booming roar as the bottom of the giant molasses tank split wide open and a geyser of yellowish-brown fluid spouted into the sky, followed by a tidal wave of molasses.
With a horrible, hissing, sucking sound, it splashed in a curving arc straight across the street, crushing everything and everybody in its path.
Less time than it takes to tell it, molasses had filled the five-foot loading pit, and was creeping over the threshold of the warehouse door. The four loaded freight cars were washed like chips down the track. The half-loaded car was caught on the foaming crest of the eight-foot wave and, with unbelievable force, hurled through the corrugated iron walls of the terminal.
The freight house shook and shivered as the molasses outside, now five feet deep, pushed against the building. Then the doors and windows caved in, and a rushing-roaring river of molasses rolled like molten lava into the freight shed, knocking over the booths where freight clerks were checking their lists.
Like madmen they fought the on-rushing tide, trying to swim in the sticky stuff that sucked them down. Tons of freight—shoes, potatoes—barrels and boxes—tumbled and splashed on the frothy-foaming mass, now so heavy the floors gave way, letting tons of the stuff into the cellar. Down there the workers died like rats in a trap. Some tried to dash up the stairs but they slipped and fell—and disappeared.
As the fifty-eight-foot-high tank split wide open, more molasses poured out under a pressure of two tons per square foot. Men, women, children and animals were caught, hurled into the air, or dashed against freight cars only to fall back and sink from sight in the slowly moving mass.
High above the scene of disaster, an elevated train crowded with passengers whizzed by the crumbling tank just as the molasses broke loose, tearing off the whole front of the Clougherty house and snapping off the steel supports of the "L" structure. That train had barely gone by when the trestle snapped and the tracks sagged almost to street level.
The roaring wall of death moved on. It struck the fire station, knocked it over on its side and pushed it toward the ocean until it fetched up on some pilings. One of the firemen was hurled through a partition. George Leahy, engineer of Fire Boat 31, was crushed to death under a billiard table.
In the Public Works Department, five men eating their noonday meal were smothered by the bubbling, boiling sludge that poured in upon them.
Up at fire headquarters, the first alarm came in at 12:40 p.m. As soon as Chief Peter McDonough learned the extent of the tragedy, he sounded a third alarm to get workers and rescue squads.
Ladders were placed over the wreckage and the firemen crawled out on them to pull the dead and dying from the molasses-drenched debris.
Amidst a mass of bedding and broken furniture, they found the body of Mrs. Clougherty—killed when her house collapsed. Nearby lay the body of "Peter."
Capt. Krake of Engine 7 was leading his men cautiously along the slippery wreckage under the elevated when he saw a mass of yellow hair floating on a dark brown pool of molasses. He took off his coat and plunged his arms to the elbows in the sweet sticky stream. It was Maria Di Stasio, the little girl who had been gathering firewood.
Over by the Public Works Building, more than a dozen horses lay floundering in the molasses. Under an overturned express wagon was the body of the driver.
Fifteen dead were found before the sun went down that night and six other bodies were recovered later. As for the injured, they were taken by cars and wagons and ambulances to the Haymarket Relief and other hospitals.
The next day the firemen tackled the mess with a lot of fire hoses, washing the molasses off the buildings and wreckage and down the gutters. When hit by the salt water, the molasses frothed up—all yellow and sudsy. It was weeks before the devastated area was cleaned up.
Of course, there was great controversy as to the cause of the tank's collapse. And there were about 125 lawsuits filed against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company.
The trial (or rather the hearings) was the longest in the history of Massachusetts Courts. Judge Hitchcock appointed Col. Hugh W. Ogden to act as Auditor and hear the evidence. It was six years before he made his special report.
There were so many lawyers involved, that there wasn't room enough in the courthouse to hold them all, so they consolidated and chose two to represent the claimants.
Never in New England did so many engineers, metallurgists and scientists parade onto the witness stand. Albert L. Colby, an authority on the amount of structural strain a steel tank could sustain before breaking, was on the witness stand three weeks—often giving testimony as late as ten o'clock in the evening.
Altogether, more than 3,000 witnesses were examined and nearly 45,000 pages of testimony and arguments were recorded. The defendants spent over $50,000 on expert witness fees, claiming the collapse was not due to a structural weakness but rather to a dynamite bomb.
When Auditor Ogden made his report, he found the defendants responsible for the disaster because the molasses tank, which was fifty-eight feet high and ninety feet across, was not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the 2,500,000 gallons it was designed to hold. In other words, the "factor of safety" was not high enough.
And so the owners of the tank paid in all nearly a million dollars in damages—and the great Molasses Case passed into history.
Thanks to Yankee Publishing for permission to reprint this article. You can return to the main molasses page, read the Smithsonian article, or visit some of my other pages through the yellow bar below. A book was published about the Boston molasses disaster in 2003, Dark Tide by Stephen Puleo. There are other articles about the Boston molasses disaster at Wikipedia and Ooze. Another unsual accident happened at Lake Peigneur, where an entire lake swirled down the drain into a salt mine, described in Wikipedia and

How to Cite This Page

Cite this page as:
John Mason, “Eric Postpischil’s Molasses Disaster Pages, Yankee Magazine Article,” Eric Postpischil's Domain, 27 August 2015, <> accessed 15 September 2017.
Path: Eric's Site / Informative / Molasses / Yankee Magazine


Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go: Washington

Thursday, September 14, 2017



55th Anniversary in 1930

The Philadelphia Maritime Ship Exchange enters it's 55th year of operation with the re-election

of S. W. Holten as president.

Organized in 1878 to furnish shipping intelligence and when incorporated in 1882 was one of

two such organizations in the United States. It established a chain of reporting stations of vessels on

the Delaware River & Bay which are located at Breakwater, Lewes, Reedy Island, New Castle and

Marcus Hook. The report includes the vessel name and time of arrival and is made public to the more

than one hundred members who are shipping managers, businessmen, insurance lawyers, etc.
On the way out the vessel name and country, its cargo and destination is reported and recorded.

James Kernan, the secretary since 1917 is the executive in charge of the exchange activities.

May 8, 1930 Wilmington Evening Journal , Wilmington, Delaware



Hipporcrates, around 400 BC made a 'tea' of the bark of a willow tree and used it to
ease pain of women during child birth. This tea works well and Greek doctors advised people with pain to 'chew' the bark of the willow tree. This discovery was lost in time.

2000 years later clergymen in London also discovered the the willow bark would 'ease' pain. What was the ingredient of the willow tree that reduced pain and fevers ? It was 1828
before chemists found “ salacin' in the bark and another decade before the French isolated and
synthesized 'salicylic acid' which became the drug “salicylates” .

A major obstacle, the 'acid' was upsetting to the stomach, the neutralizers did not help, but
people used the drug because it was effective.

French chemist Charles Frederick Gerhart, in 1853, experimented with salicylic acid by
adding acetyl choride to a sodium and acid combiation which helped cut down stomach irritation,
however, he felt there was not enough of a change and discontinued his research.

1899 Felix Hoffmann, a German chemists, picked up Gerhart's results whice he sightly
modified and used it to help his father cope with arthritis. He then showed his findings to some
backers, the Bayer Company.

Bayer, selling the drug as a powder, the new Aspirin was a instant success. Today more than 50 million tablets per day are used, the most used drug in the country.

Source: Theories & Discoveries; September 14 2017 abstract by Harrison H.

Thursday, September 7, 2017



An oyster, estimated by the ridges or water lines of it's shell, at least 85 year old was in

the possession of a New York City seafood dealer who told of it, thus:

“ It was dug in the Delaware Bay, three years ago. That oyster has intelligence, I had placed

it in a tank of salt water, and it opened and shut it self just like it was it was enjoying a bath.

One day it was brought out of the tank, laid on a work bench, so it could be studied with a

microscope, and there it lay, sort of dumb like, dreadfully.   As I stepped aside to wait on a customer,

the store tomcat walked up to the oyster and began slapping at it with his paws. Suddenly, this oyster

opened and caught the cats tail,  then closed.    The tom cat bounded off like a rocket, bumping the

bivalve along the stone street but the octogenarian clung to the cats trail.   I never saw the oyster nor

the tom cat again.”

Source: August 1885 issue of the Milford Chronicle, quoted by Mrs Miller, found in the History
of Sussex County, Sailing on the Delaware section, by Dick Carter, July 1976.




This day, September 7, 1813, the United States got a nickname, Uncle Sam,

Sam Wilson, a meat merchant of Troy, New York , age 47, who supplied beef in barrels to the United States Army during the War of 1812, had the barrels of beef stamped “U. S.” for shipment were referred to by soldiers as Uncle Sams grub. The local newspaper picked up on the story and “Uncle Sam” eventually gained widespread acceptance as a 'nickname' for the United States federal

A political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, in the late 1860's popularized the image of 'Uncle Sam' ,
giving his the white beard and the stars and stripes suit now associated with the character.

Nast, German born, also was credited with creating the image of Santa Claus, the Domocratic
Donkey, the Republican Elephant.

Probably the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg
which verision Uncle Sam is in a tall top hat and blue jacket, pointing his finger straight ahead at the viewer, no matter where the viewer is standing.

September of 1961, The U. S. Congress, recognized Sam Wilson of Troy, as the progenitor
of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam. Dam wilson died in 1854 at 88 years and is buried by his
wife, Betsey Mann, in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy New York , which calls itself “ The Home of Uncle Sam”

Source: day in history.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017



On this day in 1915 a prototype 'tank' nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line
in England and was far from an overnight success. Weighing 14 tons it got stuck in trenches and
moved about, crawing over rough terrain at two miles per hour.

The British had developed the tank in response to trench warfare of WWI . A British Army
colonel named Ernest Swinton and the secretary of the Committee of Defense, William Hopkey,
urged the idea of an armored vehicle equipped with conveyor belt like tracks over its wheels which would traverse difficult territory. Winston Churchill, British Navy Minister, was friendly to the
concept of a “ land boat” and set up a secret committee to produce the new vehicle. Since the body
of this vehicle resembled a water tank, the name 'tank' stuck.

'Little Willey' was unveiled September 1915 but had poor preformance, too slow, unable to cross a trench and quickly overheated. The second prototype “Big Willey” was produced and in 1916 was ready for battle. That battle was First Battle of the Somme near Courcelette, France on September 15 that year.

Known as the Mark 1. it was hot, noisy, unwieldy and subject to breakdowns on the field, nevertheless, it was a 'tank' and its potential was realized. Improvements were made and November 1917, at the Battle of Cambrai, 400 of the newer Mark IV's proved successful, capturing 8000 German troops and 100 big guns.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017



Schellenger - Hickman house at 213-215 Second Street.

This house had the first indoor bath and first gas lights in Lewes. The house was sold in
1830 by William Shankland and his wife to Thomas Carpenter. Mrs Schellenger, Carpenter heir,
was wife of Henry F. Schellenger , who sold the prpoperty in 1888 to Harbeson Hickman, onr of
the wealthiest men in Sussex, the father of Virginia Lee Hickman Mustard, wife of L. W. Mustard.

John and Chartles Schellenger are listed as members of the elite Lewes Club, organized May 1899.

Source of above found in Volume II, November 1999, Lewes Historical Society Journal.


From the Delaware Pilot , Lewes newspaper, 26 January 1901 reprinted in Volume III,
November 2000. Journal of Lewes Historocal Society:

Pilot T. B. Schellenger who brought the ice covered “Weehawken” from the sea to the Port
of Philadelphia weighs 154 pounds, but whe he stepped on the “Weehawkens” bridge he tipped the scales at 187. The additionl 33 pounds being distributed between a brest protector, two suits of long underclothing, two pair of socks, two flannel shirts, a pair of lightweight trowsers, a pair of heavy
trowsers, a woolen scarf, lightweight top coat, a storm 'ulster', ( a long loose heavy overcoat), a pair of shoes, a pair of sea boots, a oil skin, head scarf , bearskin cap, fur gloves, two pair suspenders,
a trunk strap and four pounds of ice. Pilot Schellenger got to the bridge by climbing the swinging rope ladder up the side of the ship.


Pilot Schellenger was of the promiment Schellenger Family of Cape May, New Jersey, who some of whose members eventually claimed Lewes as their residence. Thomas was the eldest son of John and Mary Davis Schellenger who had six childern, born 1837 in Cape May. The family was said to have relocated to a farm in Sussex County where Thomas grew up and in early manhood choose
the seas as his worked. He served his apprenticeship aboard the Pilot boat “John G. Willdin” of Cape May. In 1859 he receeived a second class license from the Board of Port Wardens of Philadelphia and two year later took his first class license from the same board. He forsook piloting at this time ut remained on the sea. Iin an interview in a 1919 Philadelphia newspaper, two years proir his death at age 84, he told of the hiatus in piloting as his desire to sail o the blue water.

He made Philadelphia his home port as he sailed between Boston and New Orleans. The final
straw of this part of his maritime career came when a slow moving banana freighter between port
Philadelphia and Jamacia, with its scorpions and tarantulas proved too much for him. He returned to
local waters in 1882, was granted first class pilots license from Delaware's Board of Wardens and made his residence in Lewes. He was an active pilot until age 82.

Perhaps this mariner was more adventurous while on the blue water that he let be known. One of Schellenger's cronies told of Tom Bull Schellenger who beame a blockcade runner down south during the Civil War.

During his 36 year residence in Lewes as an adult he was active in political, fraternal, religious,
and municipal endeavours, was a elder of the Lewes Presbyterian Church, the Lewes Board of
Education member, and for a year in 1913 was town mayor.

His first marriage was to Ann Amelia Croft in 1860 and she died 16 year later with out any children. A second marriage to Mary Cloak produced four children. The youngest, Amelia, was born after 1896 and a graduate of Lewes High School in the class of 1915.

The Schellenger family lived on the corner of Monroe nd King Street ( 439 Kings Highway)
whice he purchased in 1893 for $1900 . This property was deeded to Joseph Metcalf in 1916 which gives supposition that this was the time he left Lewes to return to Cape May where his death is
recorded on May 19, 1921.

Upon occasion he has been quoted “ I have never been sea sick, but, sick of the sea”.