|Nurses' Home on the move, 1941. From the|
collection of James and Anita Brady
The first case has to do with the picture above, which was sent to me a while back by James Brady III. It was taken from one of his grandmother's photo albums, but at first neither he nor I knew anything more than was readily obvious. It's from 1941, of a house being moved, and has something to do with the Edgewood Sanatorium. The only thing I could add at first was that Edgewood was the "Colored" facility, for African-Americans with tuberculosis. It was located not far from Brandywine, on the bend in Hercules Road, at the top of the hill.
I've recently come across some information that changes my perception of Edgewood, so until I can nail everything down we'll eschew delving into a full history of the facility for now and come back to it in a later post. For our purposes in this post, it's enough to know that at the time it was a decent, but still a segregated, "separate but unequal" facility. And certainly by the late 1930's, in a Northern state like Delaware (well, at least New Castle County was a Northern state), places like this were being called into question. In fact, even this article from 1947 still refers to it as a "Jim Crow" institution. Finally, in 1941, the facility on Hercules Road was closed and a new Edgewood building was erected on the same grounds as the Brandywine Sanatorium. Although better than the original facility built in 1915, it was even this new sanatorium that the 1947 article referred to.
|Edgewood Sanatorium on Hercules Road|
"These buildings are to be moved to Brandywine Sanatorium within the near future." When I saw the picture of the house, I was fairly sure that the moving building was the Nurses' Home. When I saw that line, I was sure. The valuations appear to have been done in early 1941, judging by the snow on the ground. The new Edgewood was built by then, but not yet opened, and can be seen below. I think it stood towards the north side of the property, beside a now-unused parking lot. It appears to have been demolished sometime between 1997 and 2002.
|The "new" (1941) Edgewood Sanatorium|
In looking at the photographs, I don't think there's any doubt that the house on the move was the Nurses' Home. It originally stood just behind the main Edgewood building, on its north side. The aerial photos below should help place it. Hercules Road can be seen in both pictures. The only unknowns now are 1) Where exactly on the Brandywine grounds was it placed? and 2) When was it torn down? If I find answers to either of these questions, I'll be sure to let you know.
|Edgewood from the rear, Nurses' Home in upper left|
|Edgewood from the side, Nurses' Home at the top|
Now on to the second not-as-much-of-a-mystery house. A few years back I did a post about the Bailey Family, which eventually came to live in the area right along Newport Gap Pike where Emily Bissell is now. My research on the topic all began with a simple question from a reader about stories of an old woman named "Miz Bailey", who lived in an old house in the woods up into the 1950's. I figured out who she was, and even thought I had identified her house in an old aerial photograph. Then I saw the picture below, and knew I hadn't been, well, exactly right.
|Old Stone Farm House|
|Brandywine Sanatorium in foreground, Old Stone House near top middle|
Of course, if this house is listed as it is in the valuations, it means it was owned by the sanatorium, which means it wasn't the home of old Miss Bailey. (Unless they continued to let her live there, but the story states she refused to sell her home, so I don't think that was the case.) So if she didn't live there, then where did she live? My best guess can be better seen in a close view.
|Is Margaret Bailey's house on the right?|