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”.

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