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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Few More Added Odds and Ends

The Dennison House
This is not so much a coherent post (if you'll give me the benefit of the doubt that most of them are) as it is a showcase for a few unrelated items that I've recently added to older posts. None of them quite justify their own separate posts, but all of them are interesting enough to be saved from falling through the cracks. So far only one item has even been mentioned in a comment, while another has been posted over on the blog's Facebook page. Let's start with that one, because it's the coolest photograph of the group.

The picture, seen to the right, is of the Samuel Dennison House on Limestone Road. It comes to us courtesy of Jim Derickson, whose father Jim, Sr. was the last owner of the Derickson Farm along McKennans Church Road. Jim's mother was the former Mildred Dennison, daughter of Frank and Mary Dennison. She grew up in the home that now houses office space for the Summit Retirement Community. Mildred's brothers, Frank, Jr. and Howard, were the last of the Dennisons to work the farm. I don't know the exact date of the photo, but my guess is that it could be from the late 1800's. The aerial photo below is much later, having been taken in the 1950's. It shows the Dennison Farm, sitting on both sides of Limestone Road running up to the north.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Lost (?) Pilling Houses of Kiamensi

Was this one of the Pilling Houses?
This was just going to be a reply to a new comment in an old post, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it needs more. This is mostly questions without answers at this point, but there's enough new information that there's a hope that it might lead to more someday. The comment in question came from Dave C. and was posted on a story I wrote about Powell Ford. Dave shared with us an interesting newspaper article he found, which originally appeared in the September 2, 1910 edition of the Wilmington Every Evening. I'll repost the article in its entirety in a moment, but first a refresher on the people involved.

Englishman Thomas Pilling (1836-1905) was, along with his brother John, one of the founders of the Kiamensi Woolen Company in 1864. The Kiamensi Woolen Mill sat on the northwest corner of Kiamensi Road and Red Clay Creek, just south of Marshallton. The company eventually owned more or less all the land between the B&O (now CSX) tracks and Kiamensi Road, from Stanton Road to just east of the creek. They also owned a good amount of land south of Kiamensi Road, too. Just how much, we'll get to shortly.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Zachariah Derickson House -- The Derickson Farm Through the 19th Century and Beyond

The Derickson House in the 1950's
In the last post, we took a look at the early history of the land surrounding the Zachariah Derickson House, and the families who owned it. We saw that the land goes back to a 17th Century land grant called Wedgebury, which ended up in the Robinson family. The land around Milltown was subsequently broken up, then, after some intermediate transactions, Samuel Montgomery purchased about 200 acres in 1766. The heirs of his son William ultimately sold what was remaining to their sister Martha and her husband, Zachariah Derickson.

Derickson was originally from Christiana Hundred, hailing from the area we now know as Prices Corner. Before leaving, Zachariah even sold a two acre lot to David Price, the man whose name is still evident today in such places as shopping center signs and bowling alley names. The evidence seems to indicate that Zachariah and Martha moved to the house on McKennans Church Road in 1842. Even today, 174 years after Zachariah's purchase and 250 years after their ancestor Samuel Montgomery first bought the land, the Derickson family still owns a small part of that original tract. In between, though, it's passed through numerous generations of Dericksons.