|Marshallton Colored School, 1920|
We have now turned around and are going up Jackson Avenue. As we get to the end of Jackson Avenue and we pass the house where Anna Mae and her husband lived, she begins into a story about Herb Thornet and his floral shop. From Jackson Avenue we make a left onto Chalet Drive. Anna Mae is telling of 6-8 large glass greenhouses filled with flowers that Mr. Thornet was growing for his floral shop. Mr. Thornet’s house is still standing at the end of Chalet Drive. As children, they would walk up to the greenhouses and go through and smell all the wonderful flowers.
We make our way back down to Greenbank Road, and before we get to the bridge we pull over and sit a while as Anna Mae remembers with astonishing detail this area in the twenties. On our left is the red brick building that was once the American Store. Across the street there is an opening and she tells of how there was once a barbershop there. She describes it as a small building about the size of a garage -- enough room for two chairs and a small sink (about the size of a kitchen or bathroom sink) in the middle. In front of the two chairs are big mirrors on the wall. She was so excited to tell of how her Mother would send her down to get her hair cut short to show off a nice wave at the top of her red hair.
Next to the red brick building stood another building. Back in 1927 Mr. Hubert (the store owner), Mr. Stubbles, and a few other men were sitting around a table at Mr. Hubert’s store. One of the men said, "Let's start a fire company." As the story was told, Mr. Stubbles then reached into his pocket, pulled out a one dollar bill, set it on the table and said, "Here is the first dollar." They then probably decided to have an official meeting, which was held in the social room of the Marshallton Methodist Church, and on January 6, 1927 the Mill Creek Fire Company was first officially organized. Mr. Hubert lent out land behind his store for the fire company, and this would be their home for the next two years. There was just enough room in the building for one fire engine. The fire company held dinners where they would walk down the streets and ask people to donate food for the dinner. They had to move the fire truck into the street in order to fit all the people of the community for the dinners and bingo nights. As the Mill Creek Fire Company grew, it was moved to the building next to the red brick building. It was one building with an interior wall dividing the building in half. As you went in the building, to the right was the fire hall and to the left was the post office (after it had moved from Mr. Mullen’s house).
Every Saturday night the fire hall would hold square dances. This is where Anna Mae would meet her future husband. This is a fantastic and romantic story by the way. However, we will have to read about it when the book comes out.
I hope this painted a picture of what Marshallton was like in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I would invite, encourage and ask anyone who has any further information about what the area was like, or what I may have missed to please share your stories here on the blog. If you have any pictures please email us. A huge thank you to Anna Mae for sharing her memories of Marshallton.