MCH History Forum

This is an open thread, so feel free to post anything relating to the history of Mill Creek Hundred or to any aspect of this blog. This page can be used for comments, questions, suggestions, or reminiscences about anything relating to the area -- within the normal scope of this site or more recent. From what I've found, if you have a question about something or think it's interesting, so does someone else! And as always, if you have something you'd rather just share with or ask me directly, you can email me, too.

133 comments:

  1. OK, I'm going to kick this off with a question for our, um, more "veteran" area residents. This comes from the creator of oldwilmington.net. He asked on his site:

    "During the 1950s, I was a member of Boy Scout Troop #65 in Elsmere. Every once in a while the troop would meet at the Elsmere Presbyterian Church (the sponsor) and we would drive out to a place near the old Workhouse Farms where the fathers would drop us off. We then would hike into a woods and set up camp near a creek or stream. We called it Camp Burkey (sp). Does anyone know of such a place back then??"

    It was not Camp Mattahoon behind Arundel, and I'm not aware of anything else. I doubt it was Camp Wright near Graves Rd. Bearing in mind that the "Workhouse Farm" was what is now Delcastle Rec and Golf Course, anyone have any idea what this might have been?

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    1. It was Camp Mattahoon for the Boysclubs of Wilmington,Delaware and was behind Arundel! I know this is True ! I went to camp there 12 times at a two week trip which is 24 weeks !!!

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  2. I grew up in Sherwood 2. The only creek close to the area runs through the prison farm and Arundel. Arundel was run by a guy I later worked with's grand father. He shot me in the ass with rock salt for playing in the fields. I doubt camping on the property was a good idea.

    Looking at Google Earth, it must have been in the Millcreek/ Stoney Batter area. Are any of the Riblett's readers? They would know.

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    1. Larry T,
      Also grew up in Sherwood Park 2. The creek I think you are referring to ran thru Camp Mattahoon which was a Boy Scouts camp on the otherside of Arundel from Sherwood 3 or you may be referring to the creek that seperated Sherwood 2 from Sherwood 1 with St John's church in between and crossed under Milltown Rd and along the side of Limestone Gardens. The creek in the Arundel/Camp Matahoon area went under Limestone Rd and along the North side of Limestone Acres.

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    2. If this is Mark, Broozers Bro email me

      jimfarren_pls@msn.com

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    3. D Swift

      I grew up in SP II, camp Matahoon was a Wilmington BOYS CLUB of AMERICA camp till they built Arundel and that kinda killed the place. My brother and I were also campers there back on the 60's. I went to Dickinsin HS and met Stanly whose uncle MIKE was the caretaker and lived there year round. The camp is still there but most of the buildings are in ruin now!

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    4. I have no knowledge thereof, but always thought Camp Mattahoon was a BSA (Boy Scouts of America) camp.

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    5. I just sent a note that I thought Camp Mattahoon was a BSA camp, and I've since been told that the original poster was correct, it was a Boys Club camp. Sorry for my mistake.

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  3. Speaking of Riblett Lane, I understand there used to be an airfield on the property. Does anybody know when it existed? I assume it was a private airfield for use by a member of the family who was an aviation hobbyist.

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    1. I grew up in Brookdale Farms from 1965 till today. I remember as a kid, one of the Riblett's had a plane and would fly it around. This was probably in the late 60's. My brother delivered papers on Riblett Lane. I don't know where the plane was kept or where the airstrip was.
      Mark J. 1/20/12

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    2. The Riblett with the plane recently passed away about a month or two ago. The obituary was in the News Journal and mentioned his association with planes.

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    3. Hi, I stumbled across your post and I think I may know where the airfield/strip might be. One time about 8 years ago I was at Mckean high school with some friends and a friend wanted to show us something cool in the woods. He took us behind the football stadium and into a trail up into the woods. After walking about 500 feet through the woods we came to a large clearing. it was really weird, no trees at all, just a long strip of clearing in the middle of the woods. There were dirtbike trails and dirt jumps from other kids back there, and then if you continue through the woods a little more it takes you to some nice big private houses, im not sure what street it was but it might be Riblett Ln. Hopefully this helps! You should go check it out

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    4. I tried searching the News Journal Obits, but found nothing. One of the sons, Richard Riblett was a Pilot in the ARNG with me in '63-'64. His Parents lived there.

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    5. I am a descendant of Samuel Barker who died in 1720 in New Castle County. Sometime ago, I received what appears to be a census for Mill Creek Hundred, but there is no date..only page no. 85 at bottom of page. I wish to verify this source and would appreciate any assistance. Please email at dorothygrimsley@bellsouth.net. Thanks

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    6. Rich Riblett depilot55@gmail.comJuly 16, 2015 at 9:17 PM

      In 1946 my Dad, Harry Ribett Sr., bought 20 acres of the 200+ acres that became Riblett Lane. It was part of the old Crossan farms. He bought this land from George and Helen Houchin. George had been a WWll PBY pilot and could have landed a small plane on his 200 acres prior to 1946. My older twin brothers, David and Harry Jr.(airfoil guru), landed a Piper Cub in our "front field" a few times. There never was an airport on Riblett Lane. They would come in low over what is now Highland West (then a corn or soybean field) and plop the cub on 300 feet of hard braking and then taxi to our front yard at 500 Riblett Lane.To my knowledge they were the only pilots to ever land at Riblett Lane. My Dad's chief flight instructor, Bill Deputy, told me many years later that the "twins" were thrill seekers and did lots of dangerous stuff despite his good instructions. I assume my dad put a stop to the "Riblett Airfield"..... they did listen to him most of the time.. This was in the late 40's they were 20 years old and "having fun" with the 6 or 8 planes from which to pick at the flight school at New Castle Airport. At 6 years old I sure loved seeing that cub land and takeoff. By the way don't try this in a cub without lots of practice!

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    7. Thanks, Rich, for the information!! I guess we can't get any more of an authoritative answer than that. I really appreciate you sharing this history with us. Sounds like you have a very interesting family.

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  4. Here's one for anyone who grew up in Stanton in the 1960's. Looking for any information on the old Eastburn's store on Main Street, before Eastburn turned it into a flower and garden store in the mid 1970's. It is now a Bank Shots pool hall. It had the best candy counter around back then. The building looks like it was just once someones house, as their is a fireplace in it. Mr. Eastburn who ran it lived in the house right next to it. Any information about it would be appreciated.

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    1. Joe Eastburn and his son Don established the store in a very small building gradually adding on to what it is today. They had the best Christmas inventory in the area complete with Santa in a sleigh! After Joe's and later Don's death, Don's cousin Ronny established his flower shop. Thanks for the memories.....

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    2. I grew up in that store. Uncle Joe started it and Don took it over. One year I was an elf and helped Santa. A lot of family members worked there on and off through the years. Anybody remember skating on the pond?

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  5. Re: the Riblett Airfield -- I've looked at some old aerial pics of the area and I can't find anything that looks like it was an airstrip, but the idea is plausible. There's a Harry Riblett who is (was?) an inventor/designer of airfoils who is apparently fairly influential. Makes sense he would have some sort of small strip to maybe test his designs.

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  6. Scott-

    The Riblett Airfield may have been nothing more than a clear pasture. I have friends that live on Riblet Lane and he is in the aerospace maintenance industry. Next time I see him, I'll ask him what he knows about Harry Riblett.

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    1. Harry Riblett is my Dad. He is a published author and consultant on airfoil design. He and his brothers are pilots by hobby. I can remember my Uncle Richie landing helicopters on the back fields, behind the houses. Dad built two airplanes at home--one a Cub replica and one a Starduster Too biplane. Dad's work now is trying to make airplanes safer by incorporating softer slower stall characteristics. He does all of his work pro bono, saying if it saves one life, it's been worthwhile.

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  7. Wow. I just picked up at the library a copy of Joseph R. Lake, Jr.'s "Hockessin: A Pictorial History". Too much information! Trying to figure out how to get some posts out of it. If you've not seen this book and have any questions about Hockessin history or any old houses, let me know. This is a wonderful book, and I think I'll have to try to get my own copy if I can.

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  8. Happy Birthday everybody!

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  9. This probably will be of interest to no one but me, but I was looking at a new DelDOT archaeology report yesterday, and in the list of references (no, don't ask why I was looking there) it listed two different posts from The Mill Creek Hundred History Blog. I'm not sure what this says about their reports, but it's nice to know someone's reading.

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    1. Actually DelDot reports contain a lot of information abut structures, who owned land and good genealogy clues.

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  10. That report has some interesting land records in it, but I think they confused two different locations on Mill Creek. And yes, your work is important.

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  11. Way to go Scott!.... It should make you feel good when someone uses the information you worked hard on!

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  12. On the off chance that anyone reading is a member of the Wilmington and Western Railroad, I have an article in the recent issue of The Lantern (the rr's newsletter). You won't learn too much new, it's basically a re-edited version of the Delaware Iron Works (Wooddale) post from last year. Just made a few changes to adapt it for the railroad. Still, it's fun to see my name in print (granted, that may be more fun for me than for you...)

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  13. I grew up on Hercules Rd. between Newport Gap Pike and Lancaster Pike. Our property adjoined a large woods that I believe was owned by Hercules. At one end, near Newport Gap Pike (near the Home for the Blind)there was a creek, with a bridge (the bridge collapsed around 1970).
    There was a woman who lived there alone in a small house, Miz Bailey, according to my older brother who remembers her, who must have died in the 50's. A local friend dug up some 19th century medicine bottles near where the house stood.
    I remember, sometime in the 60's, that some boys found the remnants of an old carriage house in the woods, and made a clubhouse there. Hercules made them tear it down.
    From the way that the trees grew and the bridge, and gravel on the ground, there was apparently a road there once in the part nearest Newport Gap Pike.
    Looking at Google Earth, it seems as the woods have disappeared....
    Who was this Miz Bailey? What was there once?
    There were (perhaps still are) two 19th century houses on Hercules road. One, right on Hercules Rd. originally belonged to the Hayes family (the younger Mr. Hayes built a home where Hayes Court is now, and the old house was bought by a large family in the 60's)and the other, off the road a bit (towards Westminster) belonged to a family named Merz (Murz?). The latter had a barn as well. I remember that there was an inscription in cement that said 1911.
    Anyone know anything else about this area?
    M.S.

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  14. M.S. -- Interesting stories, thanks. I was going to put a quick comment on here to tell you what I found about Miss Bailey, but then I kept finding more. So instead, if you don't mind waiting a few days, I'm going to do a short post about her and her family, which do go back a good ways in the area. It's a great link to know she was still there fairly late (she died in 1953).

    The Hayes family will have to wait, but I did find them, they've been there quite a while, and seemed to be a family of butchers. I have no proof, but being so close, I wonder if they might have ever supplied the hotels at Brandywine Springs? Might never know.

    As for the house nearer Westminster, if you mean the one near Constance Drive, I believe that was the one called Sugar Loaf Farm. Once a Mendenhall property, and later a Mitchell. It will definitely be a post topic sometime.

    Thanks for the info, and feel free to share anything else you remember about the area.

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  15. Miss Bailey was my grandmother, Ethel Stotsenburg Hulett Jackson's second cousin. She lived alone on the family farm where she was born after her parents died. I remember visiting her as a child when we would visit the Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Cemetery which was nearby. You can find my photos and information about her and other family members on Ancestry.com and on Findagrave.com under Margaret Mabel Bailey. She was basically a recluse who refused to sell her land or modernize her house.

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  16. My great grandfather, Josiah Garrett Hulett (1839-1919), was the schoolmaster at the (one room ?) Oak Hall School which according to family records was on Lancaster Pike near the Masonic Home. I have a photo of the school and a school bell that Josiah rang to call the children into the building and a gavel that he used at his desk. Does anybody know anything about this school? You can find Josiah on Findagrave.com and Ancestry.com.

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  17. GiannaD, The Oak Hill School was actually just outside of Mill Creek Hundred in Christiana Hundred. There is some info at these 2 links.
    http://www.deldot.gov/archaeology/de48/pdf/ph1-2/1992-93_2.pdf
    http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/92001141.pdf
    DonnaP

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  18. Thank you for the information on the Oak Hill School.

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  19. And thank you, GiannaD, for sharing this information about your family. One of the things I strive to do with this site is to put a more personal face on the history of the area. Information and pictures like you've been able to gather are what makes that possible. Thank you.

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  20. I just put up the Morgan Farm post, which I had been working on. While doing that one, though, I came across REALLY cool stuff for the next three posts -- all info that you won't find anywhere else, at least not pieced together like this. Keep checking in over the next week or so, because one of them, I daresay, actually has a significant historic revelation.

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  21. I just wanted to say that the Lower Red Clay Valley blog has had some really cool old pictures of Marshallton in the last month or so (and some newer ones, too). If you like old pics (especially if you know the Marshallton area), check it out.

    And no, I'm not getting a kickback for this -- I just like the pictures. :)

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  22. Regarding Eastburn's Farm Market, it was owned and operated for 20 years by Joe Eastburn, husband of Mabel. He had four brothers who all lived in the Stanton-Newport area, so there was no shortage of Eastburns! I believe his son and daughter ran it after he passed away. Besides candy, there was a cooler that held a variety of ice-cold sodas. But if money was tight, Naylor's Esso Station at the corner of Telegraph Road had a soda machine that held 7 oz Cokes for only a nickel.

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  23. Hi guys. I took a trip up along Pike Creek last week looking for GGGrandpop Sam'l Taylor's farm. Saw a boarded up farmhouse and barn on the east side, just south of a bunch of stone ruins very near the road (Part of the Eastburn Lime complex?), and a half-mile south of Paper Mill Rd. From the Beers map (1868), I think this might be the "S. Taylor" location.
    Beers also had a reference to a "Taylor Hrs." property between the head of Paper Mill Rd. and the village of Northstar. 'Taylor heirs', possibly?
    Anybody familiar with Sam//Harriet, and their kids Rob't, Sam, Wm, Aaron, and Elizabeth? GGrandpa Wm moved to Kennett and ran a farm and a plumbing/stove shop.
    The James Taylors (woolen mills) were from England and no close relatives.
    Desperately trying to find Samuel's (1819-1905) lineage prior, their residences, businesses, etc. Thanx for any help you may have, Scott.
    Unca Billy (Taylor), Oxford, PA n3tr at arrl.net

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  24. Unca Billy -- Yeesh, that is tough. I spent a litle time doing probably some of the same research you did, and i got nothing but guesses. I found some info on Samuel, including a listing for his death, but no father's name. I see he ended up living with his son Aaron in Newport, and is buried at St. James Episcopal there. One of the censuses states he and his parents were all born in DE. If (big if) they were from MCH, in 1810 there was Alexander, Crispin, John, and William Taylor. 1820 had Abraham, Crispin, James, John, Levi, and William. His father may be one of those, but no idea which. If they were Episcopal, probably would have attended St. James near Stanton. Might be a place to check out.

    As for houses, What you probably saw from the road, if it was kind of in the middle of the golf course, I think was "the next house down". It's what's shown as E(gebert) Klair on the 1868 map. The S Taylor was just north. If you look at a map, it seems it was right about where Yellow Pine Ct is now. Later on, it looks like he (or Samuel Jr) also owned the house across the road, J Woods in 1868. In 1893, west side house is AI Taylor (Aaron?).

    IN 1849, the eastern house is listed as J Woodward, so Samuel may not have bought it yet. My guess is the the family home (ie, his father's) was the one to the north, the Taylor's Hrs. one. 1849 map shows it as S. Taylor. Later, looks like it was sold to the Mitchells. The only other clue is that if this one was Samuel's father's house, then it probably means either he or Samuel's mother died shortly before 1868. Interesting family, and if I ever see anything more, I'll pass it on.

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  25. Unca Billy, I have been doing research on my Eastburn family for many years. I have your Samuel Taylor in my data base, along with his wife and 3 of his children, Aaron K., Robert M. and Elizabeth A. Son Aaron Klair Taylor married Mary P. Eastburn, d/o of Joseph Eastburn (1802-1882) and Susan Pennock (1816-1877). Robert Metz Taylor married Francina Way Pyle and Elizabeth A. Taylor married Jacob Francis Rubencame. Samuel(of Delaware) and Harriet(of Southwark, in Phila.) were married in Phila. on 8 DEC 1846 by Rev. Geo. Higgins, as reported in the Delaware Gazette on 22 DEC 1846. If you do not have and are interested in these other descendents, I would be happy to give you what I have. Sometimes it helps to contact other descendents, if you can find them and see if they have turned up anything. Sorry, I don’t know who Samuel’s parents were. You can contact Scott P., owner of this blog for my email address. Donna P.

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  26. Don't know if it is an relation but I have an obituary in a Stanton scrapbook for a John S. Taylor (age 48)who was a pioneer automobile salesman in Wilmington and worked together with R. Robert Banks until 1916 who was credited for building the first successful gas car in Delaware at his wagon shop in Stanton. Mr Taylor last lived near Marshallton and had no children. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Robert Taylor od Stanton, was survived by wife Helen, 3 brothers (Samuel of Paterson NJ, Robert of NYC, and Harry of Vineyard Haven, MA). Also had 2 sisters (Mrs William Garvine and Sarah Thomas both of Stanton). Unfortunately the year of death was not noted.KC.

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  27. Unca Billy, I've done some searching. The obit that KC quoted is for a son of Robert M. and Francina (Pyle) Taylor. The sister Sarah Thomas was married to Sherman D. Thomas who(relating to a recent post here) was a street car motorman of Stanton. I have found the middle initial, "H" used for a lot of the descendents of Samuel Taylor and Harriet Metz. I now know the "H" stands for Howard. There was a Samuel Taylor and Ann Howard given a license to marry in Kent Co., DE on 27 JUL 1815. I think this is probably you next generation back. Donna P.

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  28. Sorry it took so long to get this last post (Robinson-Highfield House) out. It was just one of those that seemed to drag on as I tried to dig deeper into it.

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  29. My great grandfather, Nicola Fidanza came to Wilm. from Italy in the late 1800's and he was a builder of Lil Italy in Wilmington. He built many homes on Union St. and also owned a very large home in the 600 Block of Scott St. (which now is apartments). He gave land for St. Anthony Catholic Church 9th & DuPont St., also the land for St. Francis Hospital as well at the land for the Old Neighborhood house on 8th and Lincoln St..He acted as the Italian Mayor of the new arrivals from Italy that could not speak any English. He was the translator for him and was a well respected man. There are many articles written of him in the book of "Italian Imagrant to Wilmington," as well as many pictures of his family and life. This should be of interest to you as he is a part of Wilmington, of the Italian section. Unforturantely he had to change his name to Nicola Fidance because of the bankers of Wilmington would not loan him money to build the homes. So in order to get the loans which came rolling in as he built many home in Little Italy because his applied name on the loam was American not Italian. The banker friend told him to do this, because the presidents and board of the bank did not like Italians. His great grandson is still living today in Newark Delaware with a great abundance of information of his grandfather. Though he only use the name Fidance for banking purpose only, all other times he use his given Birth name Nicola Fidanza.

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    1. That's my great grandfather too! Who is this? :) This is Joanne

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    2. Small world. I am Nicola's grandson Anthony P. (Nacky) step daughter. I am meeting with a woman tomorrow to give her more info as there will be an Exhibit in Wilmington 505 Market St. from Dec-June with an abundance of information of Nicola Fidanza and others early arrivals. He arrived in Schenectady NY in 1882 from Italy and moved to Wilmington one year later as he could not make a decent living for his family. I am meeting with his grandson (my uncle) next week to gather more information for this up coming exhibit.

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    3. Does anyone remember Messina's Slaughter House & Butcher Shop at 7th and Lincoln St. My great grandfather Rosario Messina started that business there at the turn of the century, 1900's and stayed in the family for 3 generations until his grandson Anthony died, then they closed it. Many memories of those cows getting loose and running 7th Street and Lincoln.

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    4. Anthony Messina is my grandfather! I am trying to find some information of my mother's side of the family and all I know is his name. Any tips would greatly help! Ecook.de@gmail.com

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    5. Elizabeth -- was he born about 1927, son of Raymond and Angelina? If so, I see him in the 1930 Census. I says she was born in Delaware, so should be able to find some more info on her, at least. I'll look a little this afternoon and see if I can come up with anything. If you have any more specific questions, feel free to email me at mchhistory@verizon.net

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    6. Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I found the marriage certificate for Rosario Messina and Angela LaFascia from April 23, 1917. If you want, I can email it to you.

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  30. For anyone who might have noticed, sorry for the lack of blog activity recently. I was busy with other things this past week, but I should be able to get back to things next week. I have a bunch of topics I want to get to, and some great suggestions for more. Thanks for bearing with me.

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  31. Scott-

    Yet another home that has intrigued me is the beautiful stone house off of Old Lancaster Pike immediately south of the Gateway Apartment complex. Any idea if that is that an historical structure or a more modern building?

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    1. If it's a grey stone house with a partially rounded front, then yes, it is historic. It's the John Houghton, or Gateway, House. Short version: there's a small part in back that might be very old, dating to 1700's. Big part in front was built by Dr. Taylor S. Mitchell late 1890's. Later owned by St. John's Catholic Church. Neat looking house I'm sure I'll get to one day.

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  32. Hi Scott,
    I just came across your blog and have been completely absorbed for the last several days. Although I was raised in Fairfax, (Rt 202 not VA), I have lived in Limestone Gardens and now Woodcreek for the last 28 years since marrying a 1978 JDHS graduate, who grew up in Heritage Park. I am an avid runner and have traversed the entire area and am very familiar with the old houses, ruins, etc. Thanks for adding a lot of insight and background to many aspects of this unique area.

    After reviewing the maps, I have several additional questions for you. As you enter Limestone Hills off of Mermaid Stoney Batter, approximately 200 yards on the right is a stone barn that was renovated about 10 years ago that now houses a financial company. The date stone indicates J&S L which I am assuming is J Lindsay. Approximately 1/4 further up Middleton Road is the intersection with Longspur Drive. A left and down the hill is I believe the W. Brackin stone house and barn as indicated by the stone on the house (WEB 1804?). The locations do not seem to jive per the 1868 map. There is an entry for W. Torbett that is more in tune with the house and barn location especially because the map indicates an unofficial road that is currently the path that leads up to the Shops at Limestone.

    Could you possibly provide some thoughts.

    Thanks again for your time and dedication. It is much appreciated.

    Dave O.

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    1. Thanks, Dave, for writing, and I'm glad you like the blog. Secondly, you owe me an afternoon of my life back!!! (joking) At this point, I'd say I'm familiar with most of the historic houses in MCH, but certainly not all of them. As much as I've looked at this area, especially in the last week or two, I never noticed that that house was there! Thanks for pointing it out.

      You're right that the fancy barn on Middleton Road is the Joseph Lindsey Barn. It's included in the big MCH Ag Complex National Register entry. But dang if you're not right, down at the end of Longspur Dr there's an old house and a barn that looks like it's been converted into a home. It's definitely the W. Torbert house. From the datestone you mentioned, it seems to give the construction date, and probably William Bracken as the builder.

      I tried to find out anything about W. Torbert (Torbett on the 1868 map, but I'm certain that's wrong), but have come up lacking. Although I didn't recognize the name, I have actually mentioned him before. He sold the land for the Harmony School in 1845. Even though his name is on every map from 1849 to 1893, he doesn't appear in any census in MCH. The closest is a Peter Torbert in 1840.

      Since the later maps have W.W. Torbert, here's my best, quick guess -- it's William W. Torbert (1812-1883). He was the son of John Torbert, who moved from Kent County to Wilmington and co-founded the Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine. William would later be kind of a bigshot himself in banks. Maybe he started out as a farmer as a young man and held on to the property, or maybe he bought it and used it as a rental property. He did have a brother named Peter.

      Definitely need more research into it, since from aerial pics the house and barn look really cool. Thanks again for letting us know about it!

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    2. Oh my god! My parents have lived in Limestone Hills for 20 some years and I've never seen that house you speak of! Wow, thanks!

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    3. There's a surprisingly (at least to me) large number of houses like that -- old houses hidden back in the middle of new suburban developments. Like I said, I didn't know it was there either, until Dave pointed it out.

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    4. There is an old house of stone and some of it is cemented over on Forest Creek road in there also.

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    5. Aha! I see it! It's off the road to the south, next to Pump House Circle. It's almost hidden in the aerial pictures. That would be the one listed as "S. Springer" on the 1849 and 1868 maps. Thanks, I'll have to look into this one!

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    6. There is another old house on Village Drive in that same development.

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    7. There were 3 or 4 + old houses and barns on Stoney Batter Rd. All but one have been torn down. : ( I lived in the one on the hill just northwest of Mill Creek in the 1960s. The date stone on the barn said: H.B. AD 1803. Someone traced the deed back for me to a Henry Brackin who sold it in 1830, I assumed he was the H.B.

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  33. Does anyone know where the Ebenezer Cemetery is or was in Mill Creek Hundred? One of my great grandparents' children, Frances Woodward died at 8 months of age and was buried there in 1891. The Woodwards lived in the Mermaid area.

    Ken Shelin

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    1. Ebenezer Methodist Church and cemetery are on the west side of Polly Drummond Hill Road, north of Linden Hill Rd and south of Paper Mill. Information about it can be found here.

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    2. Thanks Scott. I'll visit the cemetery next time I'm in Wilmington. I turned to you because I couldn't find a listing for an "Ebenezer Cemetery."

      Ken Shelin

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  34. Thanks Scott P. for all your hard work. My 7 year old son is an avid, young history buff, and is very interested in saving the Harmony school house. He circulated a petition to all his little friends in the area. I was thinking of sending it to Biden since he's from Delaware. I'll probobly use some of your info on it In the letter. Any suggestions on what else to do would be appreciated. The area really needs a public historical site!

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  35. A random question for Ken Shelin, next time you check in -- did your father work for a theater in 1940? If so, I ran across him in the 1940 census. Name just jumped out at me.

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    1. Yes, he worked at the Park Theatre on Union St. between 3rd and 4th. I was just a few months old at the time.

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    2. I assumed that was "Baby You" listed there. Funny how the name popped out at me. In case you don't have it and are interested, I saved the census page. Email me if you want it.

      On a whim I looked up the Park Theater, and there's a UD report about from 1999, presumably just before it was torn down. I remember the building being there, but didn't know it was an old theater. If anyone's interested, here's a link to the report.

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    3. Thanks Scott, but I have the census page too. I've seen the UD report on the Park Theatre. It was very popular with the families living in the Flats. My Mother worked there too. My Father's brother and sister also used to spend a lot of time at the theatre and would go to Kiger's (sp?) Drug Store at 4th & Union to get candy. That area was a very busy commercial area during the 40s and 50s and probably before. BTW, since your story on Fell's Spice Mill I have tracked Woodward descendents to as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin.

      Ken Shelin

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  36. Milford Crossroads intersection, in front of the Happy Harry's, okay, Walgreen's and across from the Shell is a little old house with guitars hanging from the porch. I have heard this is actually a log house, very old - anyone know about this home? An old friend of mine rented a house just down the road from this place and he was told by a long-time resident that this was true. I'm so curious!
    Monica

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    1. I assume you're talking about the one kind of stranded out there by itself on the corner. I don't recall ever hearing that this is a historic house but, as my wife will tell you, there's a lot I don't know. There have been cases where no one, not even the owners, knew that a log house was underneath until work was done.

      The outside of it looks consistant with what the county site says, which is 1940. However, A) I've found that to be very unreliable and B) I've found that to be very unreliable. There has been a house at this site back at least through the 1849 map. On the NCC Land Use site I found something else interesting -- there's an open demolition permit for the property. The permit was opened in August 2011, and extended in November. It also says there was a Historic Review with the status "Approved". I assume that means it was deemed not historic enough to halt demolition.

      On the other hand, it seems like it's still there, and the owner is running a business out of it, the Crossroads Guitar House. So either he hasn't gotten around to razing it, or the permit wasn't to demo the whole house. The garage in the back looks like it might be in bad shape.

      If anyone knows anything more, I'd love to hear.

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  37. Re: Eastburn's. I believe it was Don Eastburn who owned the store in the late 60s/early 70s. Perhaps he was a brother of Joe. I never knew Joe. Anyway, after Don retired, his sons Ron and Bob took over. Ronnie ran the flower shop, and Bob ran the garden center. Ronnie went into the flower business on his own later. Many of my brothers and friends (and I) hauled lots of peat moss and tomato plants to shoppers' cars on Saturday. It was a great place to work.

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    1. I, too, worked there (as did my brother). I think half of the Stanton boys worked for the Eastburns at one time or another. I can smell the peat moss now as I type this.

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  38. I just stumbled to your website after doing some "Googling" about 19th Century Hockessin. Do you know of a fire near (now) Graves Road that claimed the life of a man (militian), a woman and their male child sometime during the 1800's?

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    1. I can't recall coming across anything like this, but I'll keep my eyes open. I even did a quick search of graves of some of the families in the area, to see if I could run across three people who died at the same time. No luck, though. If I ever find something that could be this, I'll post it.

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    2. Thank you so much :)

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  39. Did everyone see the article in today's News-Journal about the rededication of the limestone marker for the Roseville community? Two interesting tidbits I got from the article: 1) Roseville was one of the first planned suburban development in NCC; and 2) it was named after the nearby and recently departed Roseville Mill.

    Here is a link to the article (I don't know how long it will last):

    http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120911/NEWS/309110042/Slab-discovery-highlights-past-old-neighborhood

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    1. Thanks, Bill. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading something about that mill somewhere.

      I have some questions about her characterizations of the early days of the development, though. I'm looking at the 1937 aerial shot of the area. It does look like the roads (Laurel, Maple and Rose) are layed out, but it doesn't really look like there are any houses. There's one thing between Maple and Laurel, and it may still be there as a house. I'm not sure, though, where those "few homes" are that got done before the Depression. By the 1954 shot, there are definitely houses there. Even if you go by the 1928 date, The Cedars still has it beat by over 25 years. Maybe this was one of the first ones planned in the Automobile Age. In any case, still a neat story. You can never go wrong with "Forgotten old thing dug out of the ground".

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  40. I just found your site and am amazed by the amount of interesting information you have gathered! I live in an old farmhouse across from the "new" St. Mark's UMC on Limestone Rd. The previous owner gave us a brief synopsis of the history of the property and detached barn. We were told that the original brick colonial was built in the 1790's and had gone to sheriff's sale shortly after. The family that lived there before them (Smith) was Saterthwaite and members of the family are buried in the Quaker cemetery behind St. Mark's. The stones date to the early 1800's. The cemetery is full of Duncans and Cranstons, to name a few. Do you have any information about this property?

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    1. Glad you like the site! I think I know what house you mean, but if I'm thinking of the right one, I never realized it was that old. The front makes it look more like late 1800's. Looks to be in the right place for Rueben Satterthwait's house on the maps, though. Now that I know what it is, I'll have to see what I can dig up (metaphorically speaking -- I know some of them are behind the Quaker Meeting House).

      If you have anything else you might want to share, or if you want put heads together to see what we can come up with, feel free to email me (mchhistory@verizon.net). Thanks!!

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    2. The original 4 story colonial is in the center of all of the additions and porches. The original front door faced Main Street and I believe the previous owner told us that the property was originally an orchard. There were 2 sycamore trees planted on the property, and the previous owner believed they were planted as a bride and groom tree. (the owner of the adjacent property removed one of the trees 2 years ago) They also told us that the original owners had buried someone in the backyard, prior to the establishment of a church or cemetery. A previous owner may have been a smithy, as parts of the original stable and hay loft are incorporated into the garage. We found the original chimney and remains of the original fireplace used for cooking on the main floor. Pegged beams and outside the wall plumbing can be found throughout the oldest section of the house. The previous owners had don some research, but were not able to find any information prior to the sheriff sale at the turn of the century. any information you might have would be fascinating and much appreciated.

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    3. Fascinating information! Thanks for sharing with us. If I can come up with anything, I'll definitely let you know.

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  41. For what it's worth, I just wanted to say that for a variety of reasons I've been almost without internet access for the last week. I hope to be back up very soon to respond to a few comments and get my next post up. Sorry for the lull.

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  42. Hi Scott.
    Got a mystery for ya.
    It seems that Aaron Klair, Egbert Klair, Frederick Klair and Samuel Taylor were arrested for "participating in a mob at the house of James Mendenhall". They appeared before Esq. Silver and were bound over for $250.00 each.
    The reference is below:
    Date: Tuesday, December 18, 1855
    Paper: Delaware State Reporter (Dover, DE) Volume: VI Issue: 32 Page: 2
    I haven't been able to find any other reference to the mob action, nor to the results of the charge and the case.
    Thanx for all the wonderful work you do here.
    Unca Billy

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  43. Short answer -- I don't know anything more about it.

    Longer answer -- I do remember someone (maybe you) bringing this to my attention before. Sounds fascinating, and I'd love to learn more. What were they doing there? What exactly does "participating in a mob" mean? Were there others, or was it a four man mob (which would be a great band name, btw). Did anything more come of it?

    I don't have any more actual facts about it, so if you're looking for facts, then ... you just go somewhere else, mister (then let me know where you are). All I can do is contextualize the people a bit, then speculate.

    Egbert and Frederick were the 28 and 26 year old sons of the 52 year old Aaron. Presumably the Samuel Taylor was the 35 year old son, not the 56 year old father. If so, he was (or was soon to be) a neighbor of the Klairs over on what was recently the west edge of 3 Little bakers golf course. Mendenhall was the miller over on Mill Creek.

    Taylor's father owned land very near or adjacent to Mendenhall, and there seems to have been some marriages between the families. If this only involved the Klairs and Taylor, it could have been some sort of personal disagreement between them. Considering the time, though, a political argument is not out of the question. The political atmosphere today's got nothin' on then. Hopefully somebody will come across some more info about this some time. I'm really curious about it now

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  44. A heads-up to everyone, but especially Ken Shelin. On Ebay right now there are a bunch of late 19th Century cabinet cards (photos) featuring members of families in and around MCH. They include Woodward, Flinn, Lynam, Ball, Cranston, Gregg and a few others. Sadly, right now my "Buy Old Pictures" budget is actually known as the "Buy Food for My Family" budget, so I thought I'd pass it along if anyone was interested. Here is the link:
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_nkw=delaware&_sacat=0&_odkw=&item=310456284681&pt=Art_Photo_Images&_osacat=0&hash=item4848a2f609&_ssn=grannyspalapa

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  45. I wanted to say a few quick things about comments. First, if you've noticed problems with the recent comments widget (where they're listed in the right margin), I'm way more frustrated than you are. The old widget died late last year, so I put a different one on. It seems to work OK most of the time, but on my computer, at least, it occasionally seems to just lose its memory. It should show the last 5 comments, but randomly seems to reset. If anyone who knows about this sort of thing has any ideas, let me know.

    Also, in an attempt to combat the recent rise in spam comments, I've set it up so that comments on any post older than 30 days need to be moderated by me before posting. Blogger has a spam filter, so between the two this should catch most junk from showing up on the blog. I try to check a couple times a day, so if your comment doesn't show up right away I should get to it shortly. Your comments and input are what make this blog go, so I'm doing my best to make the best experience for everyone. Bear with me.

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  46. I am interested in the history of the name Faulkland and Faulkland Road. I know that for years Foulk Road in Brandywine Hundred was spelt Faulk. A group of original family names got together and petitioned the state highway department to make the spelling change from Faulk to Foulk. Twas done. Would Faulkland Road and Faulkland have any association with the William Foulk family who were resisdents and landowners of that area? To pronounce Foulk, Faulk, was easier.

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    1. Yes, they are absolutely related. There is some more information in the Fell Historic District post, and in the comments as well. Short version is that William Foulk, son of John and Sarah (Talley) Foulk moved from Brandywine Hundred in the 1790's and bought the mill along the Red Clay. The use of "Faulkland" to describe this area certainly came from William Foulk's name, although I'm not sure exactly when it came into use. I was not aware of the story behind "Foulk Road", but that's interesting. Thanks.

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  47. I don't know how big a deal this is to everyone who doesn't happen to be me, but I thought I'd pass it along. I've recently had a slight change of situation in my personal life, of a positive nature except for one thing -- I don't have nearly the kind of time to work on the blog as I used to. I'm certainly not giving it up. I enjoy doing it too much for that. But, posts will probably come a bit more infrequently now, at least for a while. I also might have to see if I can write shorter posts that I can get up quicker, but that's always been a challenge for me.

    This is probably also a good time to mention that I'm always open to guest posts, if anyone ever has something they feel they want to write about. I'd certainly help any way I can, like passing along whatever resources I know of that might help.

    Like I said, I don't know if this matters to anyone, but I thought I'd explain anyway.

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    1. Scott-

      Glad you checked in- it was unlike you to go so long between new posts.

      I've been kicking around some ideas for guest posts, but I always shied away as they could never meet your high standard of research and readability. Nevertheless, I'll try to piece something together and see if it passes muster.

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    2. That would be great. In fact just today someone I met last year sent me some real cool things that should turn into a couple posts before too long (geologically speaking). I'd certainly be more than happy to help any way I can, whether it's suggesting resources, editing, or just hearing ideas bounced around.

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  48. Looking for information on the Millrace that ran behind Grayling Court. It ran almost the length of the woods from Kiamanski Rd to behind where Shop-Rite was built.

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    1. John, check out the posts about the Stanton Mills. The millrace was first dug about 1772, running all the way down to the mill behind Stanton. On the other post I even have the parcel map showing that the section behind the park is still a separate parcel.

      http://mchhistory.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-stanton-mills-and-stanton-byrnes.html

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  49. Can anyone tell me anything about the old house located in the middle of Eastburn acres on Corner of Marta Drive and Lynch drive? I didn't see it on your map. Not sure if it's outside of the MCH area or not. Very cool, looks old, but pretty well taken care of. Hidden by lots of big trees. If you go to street level you can see it. The google earth GPS ccordinates are 39⁰ 42’24.86” N 75⁰ 40’46.89” W

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    1. I can't tell you a whole lot about it at the moment, except for some of the owners. It is actually on the maps. On the 1849 map, it's shown as S. Montgomery. That was Samuel, although his widowed mother Jane owned the land. By the 1868 map it's owned by E. Haman, which was Edmund Haman. He's there at least through the 1881 map. When I get a chance, I'll see if there's anything more I can find out about it.

      For anyone who doesn't know, the house is in the development more or less behind the Kirkwood Highway Library. It's one of those old houses stuck in the middle of a newer (well, 20th century at least) development that you'd never even know was there. I remember checking it out way back when I was first trying to find how many of the houses on the 1868 map where still there. As I recall, it did seem in good shape.

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  50. Thanks for the info Scott!!
    Joanne

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  51. Mark J. Does anybody know anything about the building at the end of Milltown Rd. behind the 7-11 at the Kirkwood Hwy? It looks like mid- century architecture. I heard at one time it was a magistrates court. I'm curious why there would be a commercial building there when, at the time it was built, there wasn't much of anything there, as far as I know.

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    1. Mark J. -- If you mean the 2 story cement block building directly behind, then the NCC ParcelView site gives 1960 as the build date. Looking at the old aerial photos, that's probably not far off. That section of Milltown Rd was not there in 1954, but it was in 1961 and there was something in that spot. Just bright white in the photo so it's hard to tell whether they were just building it or if it had just been built.

      Maybe someone who was actually in the area in the late 50's/early 60's (unlike myself) could recall when it was built, or when the end of Milltown Rd was diverted. No idea of what it was built for or used for.

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    2. Born in 68', live nearby. I recall an Armory of some sort or military training site.

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  52. Hi, just wondering if anyone has any information on local Native Americans in our area. More so any proof of findings or burial sites or anything like that. Obviously they lived in white clay creek state park, and a ton of remnants have been found. But I have been told that there was an old burial ground found in Deacons walk neighborhood in pike creek, and also I read somewhere on here that indian camp sites have been found in stanton and where brandywine springs park is. I have read about the history of the names, but would like to hear more stories!
    Also, if anyone knows anything about the history before the meeting house hill neighborhood I would love to hear. I know that old polly drummond hill road uses to run right through the neighborhood, and that it use to be mostly farmland, but would love to know more.

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  53. Sometime in mid 2000's, when planning to extend the new shopping center across from the bank of america/mbna building, they came across an old wooden structure in the woods, which used to be visible in the winter months. It turns out it was an old school house. There was an article in the news journal about this with pictures. I am not in Delaware anymore but would love to read about this if anyone has any links or pictures. Thanks.

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    1. When they expanded the road (Paper mill rd) it was very visable. Old red schoolhouse. A very nice old couple lived there, and kept horses. We used to go there to ride the horses by the hour. Directly accross from the old Louvier's entrence

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  54. I just moved to Marshallton after buying an older home on Stanton/Orchard Rd, I am trying to find anything about this home that was built in 1910, the online deeds only go to 1988, Could anyone offer any help?

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  55. http://www.whiteclayfriends.org/park_history.php
    Some of you may have seen this, but it has a few links to some really interesting information about the area.

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  56. Looking for information regarding Henry Mitchell (1774-1845) who owned the Fox Den Farm on Fox Den Road. He was born in Pennsylvania where he married Mary Roberts (1775-1845). They, along with six of their seven children, are buried at Old St. James Church. I cannot tie them to any other Mitchell in the area. Son James married Sarah Swain and continued to farm home place until his death. Daughters married Buckinghams, Dawsons, Palmers, Pearces, and Burgentines.
    Any information you may have is appreciated regarding Henry and his wife Mary.

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  57. chasfishn13@gmail.comAugust 31, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    Old Coach Road (why that name?) uphill from Pike Creek, large stone foundation back of park sign. J. Ward on 1868 map. any info?

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  58. My family moved into Parkwood off Duncan Road in 1959. I want to share a memory that I have from around 1962 or 1963 ( I was 5 or 6 years old). Every Sunday morning after church, my dad would drive to the old farmhouse that's now next to McKean High School on McKennans Church Road, to get fresh eggs. We would roll up the long driveway and pull in between the house and an adjacent out-building. There were shelves there with fresh eggs in boxes. The elderly woman who lived there would come out and give lollipops to me and my brothers as my dad paid her for the eggs. Most interesting to me was that occasionally the woman seemed to be absent but there was a little box where customers could put their money. My dad would help himself to whatever eggs he wanted, and he'd leave money in the box to pay for them. It says something about life in the area at that time that she felt she could leave both the eggs and the money unattended and trust passers-by to do the right thing.

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  59. The old Derrickson farm house on McKennan's Church Road, just north of the Milltown Shopping Center is for sale. There was an open house today; I couldn't attend but my wife did go see it. The realtor stated that the original house was a two room structure with a cooking shed out back and was built in the 1700's and the addition on the west wing of the building was added in the early 1900's. I suspect there was an earlier addition adding the second floor over the original building sometime in the 1800's. I will make sure to check it out if there is another open house.

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I did find a little info about the house, so maybe that will have to be a post sometime soon.

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  60. That old mill race started somewhere just south of the Kiamensi road bridge that crosses red clay creek, and ran thru woods behind grayling court, then down alongside old Pearsons hardware store, it then turned just as red clay creek does, and ran to area around where Walgreens currently resides. That makes it roughly probably about 1 to 1.5 miles long. It can be seen on the old map presented on this site. It has always intrigued me, as parts of it still exist in woods next to powell ford park, and also by old pearsons hardware store. A good history of it would be interesting stuff. It would have has to have been dug by steam shovels I would guess, or maybe picks and shovels, not sure how old it is. Would anyone know why a mill race would have to be this long?

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    1. I find it fascinating, too, that you can find traces of the race back in the woods. It looks like just a drainage ditch or maybe a natural culvert, but it was most definitely dug by hand. It dates to about 1772, and was covered in the post about the Stanton mills. You can find it here: http://mchhistory.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-stanton-mills-and-stanton-byrnes.html

      As for the length, it usually has to do with the topography of the area and the power that the mill requires. This is certainly one of the longer ones in the region. There's another long one coming into Stanton in the Telegraph Road area. Since Stanton is further south and below the fall line, the land is flatening out there as compared to further north in MCH. That may explain the longer races.

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  61. Good stuff Scott, if it was built in 1772, that means it was built by hand, as steamshovel was not invented untill sometime around 1830. The exact course of it would be really interesting, as a lot of it has been obliterated by development over the years, but surprisingly a lot of it still remains.

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  62. Does anyone have any information about the old stone house at 5305 New Linden Hill Rd? It's pretty much at the corner of New Linden Hill Rd and Skyline Dr., and the driveway is actually on Skyline Dr. It was on the market until just recently. I was able to tour it last weekend and found it very interesting. The real estate agent is calling it the W.H. Mitchell home. It appears the oldest part of the house dates back to the 1680s. I saw a hand-dug well in the basement as well as some stone steps which had lead upstairs, but were since sealed off. There was also a fireplace in the basement, which I thought was strange. I know there were Mitchells in the area but haven't seen anything about this specific house on-line.

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  63. Ray W
    I lived in Heritage Park all but three years since 1968. I spent a large amount of my time in the early seventies at Carousal Park. At this time it was abandoned and over grown. There used to be a large abandoned house on the hill that we spent a lot of time in as kids. I understand this belonged to the DuPont family. I looked on some different web sites but could not find any history on this house. Does any body have a information on this house. Rumor has it that DuPont owned this whole park and the son burnt the house pretty bad than DuPont donated it to New Castle. County

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    1. Very interesting, Ray. I'm not familiar with this one, but I'm looking at a few things trying to figure out where it was. Looking at the aerial photos my best guess is at the end of the road that comes in off of Limestone and goes around to the stables? It comes in straight, then curves around to the left. It looks like there might have been something there straight ahead (might be some picnic tables now in an opening in the end of the wooded area at the top of the hill (Big B if there are any old JDHS CC runners out there)). Is that where it was?

      If so, none of the old maps show anything there, so I don't know how old the house might have been. The only thing on the 19th C. maps was a house at the bottom of the hill, just across the creek about where the footbridge is. Just below the smaller pond.

      I'm curious about this now. Anyone else know anything about this??? Thanks Ray!

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  64. I remember where the house was, we referred to it as the Du Pont mansion. We used to explore it as kids.

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  65. I agree Great site! Thanks for all your efforts.

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  66. According to some genealogy research, some of my relatives lived in Stanton in the 1800's. Alphonso C. Kirk was a "toll gate keeper" according to the 1880 census. His wife, Mira died in Stanton in 1884. They were Quakers.
    Do you have any other information on where they may have lived and at what toll gate he worked?
    Thank you,
    Proud native Delawarean!

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    1. According to the 1868, 1881, and 1893 maps, there was a toll house on the NW corner of Stanton Road and the Wilmington & Christiana Turnpike (modern Rt 4), probably about where Stanton Liquors is now. I don't know of another one in the area, so that's likely where he was.

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  67. I have begun the process of requesting that the Delaware Public Archives Historic Marker Program place a marker at the site of Fell's Spice Mill at Red Clay Creek and Faulkland Road noting that it was the site of one of the early water-powered mills in Mill Creek Hundred that created significant industrial activity in early Delaware; because it was the home of Oliver Evans revolutionary automated flour mill before it was a spice mill; and because it was the site of the leading spice mill in the nation for 50 years. Curiously, in spite of my extensively research and knowledge of what went on at the site, the connection of 3 generations of my family to the spice mill and in spite of the obvious historic nature of the site which I have described in a written proposal to the Delaware Public Archives, I cannot make the request because I don't live in Delaware. I don't get it!

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    1. I think that's a great idea!! If there's anything I can do to help ( if you need a Delaware surrogate), let me know.

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    2. Scott, thanks for the offer of help. The owner of the property on which the mill was located has signed on and we're waiting for Rep. Gerald Brady to respond to our request for help. Ken Shelin

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  68. Does anyone know where the Faulkland Milling Co. mill was located and what it produced? It was a frame building built over a mill race to the rear of the building. The Fell's had a second mill near the spice mill - could this have been it? Ken Shelin

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  69. I'm a college student at West Virginia University Institute of Technology and I'm writing an essay on my ancestors and their immigration story. I've found papers of my great (lots of greats..) grandfather, James Boggs owning land at Mill Creek Hundred. Along with land in White Clay Creek. The date recorded of the purchase is 17th, November 1726. I noticed there isn't much information on this site around this time. Just thought that I'd add what I've found. If there is someone who is interested in this information, you can contact me if you would like. My email is madison.stone13@gmail.com

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  70. I'm attempting to discover if MCH was once considered part of Kennett, Chester, PA. According to Fairfax, VA Quaker records, John BROWN with wife Mary {TATE] and 5 children were received from Kennett in 1762. A note in the record states, "This family is listed as "of New Castle County, then a part of PA, but in 1776 became a county of Delaware." In searching for my family history, others have John's birth as MCH, New Castle, DE. So I'm trying to figure it out. Thanks for any assistance!

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    1. My guess is that there's two things going on here. Number one, yes, Delaware was officially the Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania until 1776, when it broke of to become a separate state. The Kennett reference sounds like it's talking specifically about the Quaker Meeting. The Hockessin Meeting was around then, but the Mill Creek one wasn't. Maybe, although they lived in DE, they belonged to the Kennett Meeting because it was closer.

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    2. Thanks Scott! I wondered about there being both the Quaker meeting houses as well as territorial changes. And also thought that maybe they lived closer to Kennett than Hockessin or even Newark. Such fun to think of them being in the same areas where I lived 1960 - 1970!

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  71. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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