The second meeting of the Doe Bridge Association was held on Sunday, 10 July, with five new members in attendance! Although the majority of original ‘members’ couldn’t be present, they are expected to be a part of the field trip in the fall. We wrapped up the 90-minute agenda in record time and spent the remaining 75-minutes reminiscing. There’s a lot to talk about when you haven’t seen each other in several years.
We decided on early November for our walkabout and now the task begins of pin-pointing the specific sites of interest, mapping out our route, determining what’s public or private, and gaining permission for access from the respective parties.
Although I speak of Doe Bridge, my actual interest is somewhat broader, and it lies in the old colonial road that began in coastal Delaware Bay and ran toward Millsboro. This is consistent with our forbearer’s arrival by water to these shores with colonization first along the coast followed by a progressive migration inland. Originating in Lewes, the route pressed into our vicinity along present-day Doc Frame road, crossed Cow Bridge Branch, somewhere in the vicinity of Doe Bridge Mill, passed over onto what is now part of Stockley Center, traversed various modern-day private properties, then emerged onto what is now Patriot’s Way, before finally passing the old stage inn at the corner of today’s Bark Mill Road.
Doe Bridge Mill figures into the lives of two of the newest members of our group, in that their grandfather is known to have been one of a succession of owner/operators of the mill. I visited the Delaware State Archives yesterday and although no new information was found, that which had been gathered 10-years ago (whew – where did the time go?) was validated and new leads were offered by the very helpful archivists.
It is now a matter of thoroughly dusting off all those old notes, investigating new leads, and being more diligent with regard to organizing and tagging the results. There is still information to be found, I have discovered, among available documents that only require a reread. For instance, here is an article about the mill from Aubrey Murray’s book, Remembering Millsboro’s Past, along with a photo that was supplied to him by Paul Hudson:
Hot weather is never my favorite and aside from the occasional relief to be enjoyed in the air-conditioned courthouse or archives, I’m looking forward to cooler weather and our field trip in November with even greater anticipation.