Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Still on the Trail of the Stone Troughs

Those of you who have stuck around here a while know that I've developed a kind of fascination with the stone water troughs that I first ran across at Delcastle Golf Course, formerly Delcastle Farm. I can't quite explain why they interest me so much, outside of the basic fact that it's a mystery that I haven't solved yet. If you want to refresh your memory, the previous posts can be found here and here. After seeing the ones at Delcastle, I had the suspicion that there had to be more of them around. Then, sure enough, Tom Gears pointed out another one in Canby Park, and Ken Shelin recalled seeing one years ago in the Concord Pike/Naamans Road vicinity.

Those finds proved that the troughs at Delcastle were not unique, which made me even more sure that there had to be more out there. Well, we've got another one. Like the others, this one is located nowhere near Delcastle -- it's found in the yard of a house on Smith's Bridge Road near Granogue, in Chateau Country, northeastern Christiana Hundred. The house itself only dates to 1957, so the current owner (thanks for sending the pics!!!) believes that the trough was purchased and placed by the previous owner.

Looking at the trough and comparing it to the others, it's obvious that it is almost identical. The shape, the stone, the font of the date all look very much like the Delcastle troughs. The date is different (1904), but fits in with the others. For the record, we now have 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1908, and 1912. This new trough, however, does have one feature not exactly found on any of the others, and it can be seen in the picture of the other side, seen below.


On the reverse side of the trough are the overlapping letters M and S. If you'll recall, one of the Delcastle troughs had an M on it, but that one was more of a solid, typeface sort of letter, not the thin, handwritten look seen here. I find it hard to believe, though, that the appearance of another M is just a coincidence. The mystery deepens......


Edit 8/19/15:

Here's yet another one, as mentioned below in the comments. This one is in Hockessin.


11 comments:

  1. Scott, there is another one on School House Rd. in Hockessin. I don't recall the date.

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    1. Damn, Larry, if I had a prize to give, you'd win it. There sure is one there, and the date is 1906. Google Streetview is a fabulous tool. I'm going to update the post to reflect this one, too. Thanks, Larry!!!

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    2. No problem. I saw it a few while cutting through one day. I have been looking at 1965 - 1967 Caddy rag tops and 1960 - 1964 Willys FC 150' lately so either would be fine, you know, for the prize.

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    3. You know, with the tax liability that would impose on you, I just wouldn't want to do that to you. How about we settle on Personal Satisfaction and the Feds never have to know.

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  2. Rather have the car...

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  3. https://www.google.com/maps/@39.7841431,-75.6882802,3a,16.8y,281.58h,69.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgO-lrNhktRlVUohuXqWKgw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Zillow says the house behind it was built in 1933

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    1. Thanks. I had meant to add a shot of this one, but forgot about it until now. The date looks about right for the house, but what I think is more relevant is the fact that the owners seem to have other historical items in the yard. I'd like to get up there and ask them about it (and fill them in on the others), but I'm not sure when I'll have the chance.

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  4. i walked thru delcastle today,with falling leaves and renovations,the seems to be more of the structures visible.also ,further down the greenway trail,more of the old woolen mill appears to be emerging from the undergrowth.

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    1. Cool! I haven't been down there in a couple of years. I get back to it and look from time to time, but I still haven't come up with much about that mill. Mostly just names of owners through the years and a few mentions here and there. Seems to have pretty much faded away (at least for now).

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    2. I think anonymous above is mistaken about the old woolen mill. The only remains that can be seen from the greenway that I am aware of is the stone house, barn and wall that make up the Old Ball/ Dr. Harlan's Plumbstead Farm. With that being said, if there is something that I have missed, please let me know for I am super interested in the Old Woolen Mill that is noted on several of the maps. It seems to me to be closer to Mermaid Stoney Batter Rd.

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    3. the old woolen mill i referred to is on the west side of millcreek directly behind the northpoint developement.there isn't much left,just enough to stir your imagination.it's location is close to where the 1868 map has spring grove woolen mill

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