Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Clay Valley History Talk Series

I'm excited to announce here for the first time a new series of history-related events that I'm
personally really looking forward to -- The Red Clay Valley History Talk Series. The series is the brainchild of (among others) Tom Gears, who was looking for a way to promote and to educate people about the history of the area, especially the Red Clay Valley. After some intense negotiations (ok, I don't know how intense it was, but it does make it sound more dramatic, doesn't it?), the series of lectures was set up for three nights over the winter -- January 5, February 2, and March 2.

The talks will be held on Monday nights, beginning at 7:00 PM, at the new Wilmington & Western headquarters on Railroad Avenue in Marshallton. The subject of the first talk will be the New Castle County Workhouse at Greenbank, presented by Tom Gears, Raymond Harrington, and William Salerno. It should be a fascinating talk about a piece of history that I know many people still remember (only from the outside, I'm sure). Here is the "official" press release about the series:
A new series of talks focusing on the history of the Red Clay Valley will kick off on January 5, 2015. The talks will take place in the conference room at the Wilmington & Western Railroad headquarters, 1601 Railroad Ave., Wilmington, DE 19808. Thomas Gears, Raymond Harrington, and William Salerno will present the first talk, the New Castle County Workhouse at Greenbank at 7pm on January 5th. Next will be a talk on Mt. Cuba given by Elizabeth Fite from the Mt. Cuba Center on February 2nd. Scott Palmer, local historian and blogger who writes the popular Mill Creek Hundred Blog will present the History of Wooddale as the final talk on March 2nd. The series is an educational and community outreach project of Historic Red Clay Valley Inc.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I'll be doing the final talk? Here's a link to the Facebook page set up for the series. I'll be putting up short reminder posts before each presentation, but feel free to check it out in the mean time. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Sons of Simon Cranston -- Part I

The Cranston-Klair House
In a recent post, we were introduced to Marcus Hook native and long-time Stanton area resident Simon Cranston. Even if Simon himself is not a well-known, household name in the area, his last name is. And although you can easily trace the reason for the family's success back to its patriarch, the more direct reason that the name lives on has more to do with the sons and grandsons of the old shipwright/farmer. During his lifetime, Simon Cranston became well-off enough financially that he was able to purchase several properties in and around the Stanton-Marshallton area, and at least one a bit further afield*.

While some of these properties were certainly money-making tenant farms, at least a few were purchased specifically to set up his sons in their own lives. And as was common in the area at the time, both his sons and daughters started those new lives with spouses from other land-owning families -- in several cases, from the same families.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Life and Blogging Update

For what it's worth, I wanted to take a moment and explain the recent lack of activity on my part here on the blog. About a week and a half ago the MCHHB family grew by 6lbs 15oz. (see unbelievably cute photo to right). Since that time, I've been pretty much offline (although almost always awake). Life is beginning to return to whatever will pass for normal for the near future, so my blogging will slowly, if somewhat sporadically for now, pick up. I do have a few things I want to get to, and I have a post that was nearly finished before "the incident". I'm now in the process of attempting to catch up on what I've missed, so to anyone who has commented or emailed me recently, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience -- we've still got lots of good stuff to get to!