A Common Interest In Our Local History

image-mike-dixonMike Dixon, local history writer and historian, of Cecil County, Maryland, has made a career of sharing a common interest in our local history with everyone within his reach. With a focus on the Mid-Atlantic, he has worked to encourage public interest for over three decades, appearing on TV, on The Today Show and Maryland Public Television, and has been featured in National Geographic, Southern Living, Chesapeake Life, and other publications. An adjunct professor with graduate degrees in history and behavioral science, Mike is also a visiting scholar for several organizations.

Read moreA Common Interest In Our Local History

Give A Little History For Christmas

image-christmas-treeJust in case you have someone on your shopping list who’s hard to buy for, and just in case they happen to be interested in local history, and just in case you’re passing through town, I’ve found some things at the store that might fit under that someone’s Christmas tree.

There’s a little picker (rummager is more like it) in me, I guess, and I just couldn’t help looking behind and under things the other day…

And, hidden under a table, out of sight, were some boxes of books about life in and around Millsboro, by Aubrey Murray.

Read moreGive A Little History For Christmas

The Corner Door Listed As Historic Property

My phone rang the morning of September 19th: The “old store with the door in the corner”, my mother’s shop, Carey’s Paint & Frame Shop, was officially recognized as a historic property.

DivHistCulAff2The great news came from my mentor at the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs, Madeline Dunn. Our year-long project on the application to the National Park Service had paid off. With a lot of help from the staffs at Delaware Public Archives and Sussex County Courthouse, we assembled the necessary documentation.

Problems with my eyesight had

Read moreThe Corner Door Listed As Historic Property

The Rude Awakening of Jimmy O’Neal

On occasion I come across some unique gems tucked away in our local history, and during a recent chat with Donald Ward, one such story was told to me that came to him from Joe Ben Hudson.  Mr. Hudson, some readers may recall, lived to be one of our oldest citizens, going home to be with the Lord at the young age of 108. He bore witness to many of the historical facts we can only read about today.

Every town has its characters, and Millsboro has had its share. Some of us could name quite a few in a brief conversation, but I’ll go farther back in time, beyond the living memory of any reader here. In the mid-1800s, there lived a man by the name of Jimmy O’Neal, whose reputation for the consumption of alcohol was the stuff of legends. He was the town drunk. Jimmy could drink almost anything, and he would it seemed, even at peril to his own life.

Round about the year 1851, during the winter of ’51, folks in Millsborough were rounding up firewood and coal for the night.  It was a bitter wind that blew across town, made even more so as the last tinges of heavenly warmth disappeared with the setting sun. Even though it was Saturday, no one lingered on Main Street, as was the custom. Coal stoves were being stoked, ashes were stirred in fireplaces, and wood stoves were reloaded, all over town. People were settling in for another long, cold winter night.

Read moreThe Rude Awakening of Jimmy O’Neal

Remembering The March Storm of ’62

It’s been fifty years since the March Storm of ’62 left its permanent impression upon our peninsula, our psyche, and our photo albums. Here are a few shots that I managed to gather with my humble Kodak Brownie right after the storm.  I only just found them this week while looking for something else.

remains-of-indian-river-yacht-club
All That’s Left Of Indian River Yacht Club

Read moreRemembering The March Storm of ’62

Doe Bridge Association Meeting

The Doe Bridge Association met on Sunday, March 4th, and welcomed a new face, George Allen Adkins. Dan Parsons, Sussex County Historic Preservation Planner, was also in attendance. He is interested in helping us and will call later in the week, to arrange a visit to both sites.

A gallery of photos from the Atwood Timmons 1955-1980 collection was presented and those images from Millsboro’s past brought back lots of memories for everyone. These will be put up on the website very soon, with access also provided to enable copies or prints to be made. This feature will, of course, extend to all future additions to the photo gallery.

Image-Main Street-Millsboro-Looking South-1958
Main Street, Millsboro, Looking South, 1958

Read moreDoe Bridge Association Meeting

Doe Bridge – History Meets Destiny – Part 5 of 5

Everyone who has accompanied me to the area is immediately struck with the natural beauty and serenity of the Doe Bridge Nature Preserve and the Doe Bridge Mill historical area.

But what about the Millsboro East Bypass?

Won’t the Doe Bridge Nature Preserve and the Doe Bridge Mill areas be affected?

Can these environmentally-sensitive and historically significant areas coexist alongside a highway bypass?

proposed-bypass-near-doe-bridge
Proposed Bypass Route Near Doe Bridge

If the last plans regarding the Millsboro East Red-Blue Bypass remain valid, the

Read moreDoe Bridge – History Meets Destiny – Part 5 of 5

Doe Bridge – History Meets Destiny – Part 4 of 5

A cemetery is all that remains of an old church near Doe Bridge outside of Millsboro. But members of a local history group may have found more clues.

doe-bridge-association-at-cemetery-near-doe-bridge
Searching for evidence

On December 4, 2011, during a planned walkabout by our Doe Bridge Association group, one member probed the ground outside of the little cemetery. Thus he found what may be the foundation of the Old Indian River Presbyterian Church, along two divergent lines that connected in a right angle,

Read moreDoe Bridge – History Meets Destiny – Part 4 of 5