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Brandywine Hundred History  

News Articles:


Watch the video from the 2/23/08 event on Delaware Digital Video Factory's site. DVDs of both the Feb & May events are available for purchase from DDVF (1709 Concord Pike) for $5 each.

Other Information:

County Administration Resident Curatorship 1/17/12 presentation

The History of the Original Forwood School


Brandywine Hundred History Expo
Saturday, May 17, 2008
10am to 2pm
Brandywine HS Cafeteria
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Subject: Wilmington - Some Where In Time

Some interesting photos from the Delaware Historical Society website -      Enjoy!



Blue Ball, Concord Pike, Wilmington , 1930

We use the name Blue Ball today but many don’t remember its origin. About 1800 the Blue Ball tavern was built on the Concord Pike a toll road that was privately operated until 1911. The tavern keeper put out a large blue ball suspended on a pole to alert the stage coach drivers that passengers were at the tavern, waiting to board.




Arden, Delaware, swimmers, c. 1910

Known as the Experimental Village , Arden was formed in 1900 on a 162-acre farm along Grubb Road . Frank Stevens and Will Price of Philadelphia sought to establish a settlement dedicated to the utopian ideals of Henry George, a late-19th-century proponent of the Single Tax Theory. The village attracted many artists and artisans, and by 1908 there were 50 year-round homes. Shown here: children enjoy swimming.




Arden, gardeners, c. 1910

Known as the “ Experimental Village ,” Arden was formed in 1900 on a 162 acre farm along Grubb Road . Frank Stevens and Will Price of Philadelphia sought to establish a settlement dedicated to the utopian ideals of Henry George, a late nineteenth-century proponent of the Single Tax Theory. The village attracted many artists and artisans and by 1908 there were fifty year-round homes. In the next seven years, that number would double. Above a family works in the garden near their home.




Pine Street Park , Wilmington , Delaware , 1949

Kids stand ankle deep in cooling water under the sprinklers in Pine Street Park , at Fourth and Pine streets. Their bikes stand almost artistically against the fence in the background



Wilmington Farmer's Market, 1910s

Farmers and hucksters began selling their goods and produce on King Street in Wilmington in the 19th century. This view was retouched by the photographer who removed a tree from the curb at the center of the image and repainted the awning behind the man who stands left of center. Even so, it tells the visual story of what the market looked like 100 years ago.




Wilmington Flower Market, 1950s

Edward Cohen of Madison Street in Wilmington photographed this view of the Flower Market. Rockford Park was not the original setting for the Market, it was held at Cool Spring Park from 1921-1950, and at Brandywine Park 1950 and 1951 before it moved to its current home in Rockford Park in 1952. For more than 75 years The Flower Market has raised money to support local children’s charities. It has become a beloved annual tradition for generations of New Castle County families.



Ice Skating on the Brandywine River , Wilmington , Delaware , 1914

The race and river near Van Buren Street are both frozen over, allowing skaters outdoor recreation at one of the city’s most popular parks, Brandywine Park . At this time, the Brandywine Zoo had not yet opened.



The Boardwalk of Bethany Beach is shown here on a hot and quiet day in the 1940s.



Wawaset Park, 1916

Today Wawaset Park is known as an upscale city neighborhood. Before it was developed in 1919 as a residential neighborhood largely for DuPont Company employees and their families, it was a park. Here an automobile speeds around the track. The park grounds hosted the Delaware State Fair until the fair moved to Elsmere in 1917.



Market Street, Wilmington , Delaware , 1967

Lubitsh and Bungarz Studio in Wilmington photographed this view looking north on Market Street from the 300 block. Ready Kilowatt stands atop the Delmarva Power and Light Building . Also visible are signs for the Rialto Theater, Wilmington Dry Goods, Berger Brothers and Goldenbergs, all have since disappeared from Market Street .




Ringling Brothers Circus Parade, Wilmington , Delaware , 1917

When circus performers, workers and animals got off the train in Wilmington at the Pennsylvania Railroad station, they paraded their way through town to the circus grounds at Thirtieth Street . Here the parade is seen traveling along Fourth Street . A great way to advertise their upcoming shows, plenty of spectators gathered along the route to welcome the spectacle.



Movies Stars, Wilmington , 1930s

Movie stars rode into town on the Warner Brothers “ 42nd Street Special” The train was used for public appearances to promote studio movies. This is most likely the B&O station where many whistle stops occurred over the years. Others who whistle-stopped here during this era included Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.


Bette Davis on board - 1939

Warner Brothers executives accompany actress Bette Davis on board a special train in 1939. Davis and many other celebrities traveled to Wilmington during the 1930s and 1940s to promote their movies.




State Trace Meet, 1949

C. Stewart, a young African-American sprinter won the 100 yard dash at the state track meet in 1949. The meet was held at Baynard Stadium in Wilmington , Delaware .





T. Coleman du Pont, late 1920s

Generally known as a partner in the DuPont company and as the man who spear-headed the effort to build Route 13, the DuPont Highway . T. Coleman personally donated approximately $6 million toward that effort. It is said that his eagerness for the north-south highway stemmed in part from his own frustration driving on roads. Here he is seen at his farm outside the city.



Road South of Wilmington , Delaware , 1918

When this photograph was taken on March 4, 1918, construction on U.S. Route 13, the DuPont Highway was underway. This image leaves no doubt as to the importance of that massive and costly undertaking. The modern highway would speed the delivery of farm products from Delaware ’s farmers to nearby markets, but it would also make every day travel safer and easier.


DuPont Highway, c. 1924

Taken to document the newly-completed DuPont Highway , this photo tells other stories too. Compared to our experience today, the road appears closed with so little traffic. The small signs near the base of the bridge read: “For your own safety fishing and crabbing is prohibited from this bridge.”



Rockford Water Tower, Wilmington , Delaware , 1899

Construction of the tower began in August, 1899 and took two years to complete. The foundation was built of Brandywine Granite gathered from within the park. Scaffolding is visible at the far right. After the foundation was laid, a 500,000 gallon, 6,000 pound steel water tank, built at nearby Edge Moor Iron Works was installed. The bottom diameter of the tower is fifty-seven feet.



Winterthur ( Delaware ), 1900s

This real photo postcard shows the home of Colonel H.A. duPont. His son, H.F. du Pont graduated from Harvard and began to manage their home in 1903. H.F. later inherited the house and set up the Winterthur Corporation, a non-profit educational entity. In 1951, Winterthur opened its doors as a museum and maintains its stature among the world’s finest museums of early American decorative art and furnishings.



Kruse Poole, Wilmington , Delaware 1930

Built as a public pool to serve the African-American community, it was located on the roof of 1325 Poplar Street and named for Edwina Kruse. The beloved educator was born in the West Indies and came to Delaware in 1870 to teach. In 1876 she became principal of Howard High School . She was also involved in social causes, especially the rights of African-American women.



Centerville, Delaware 1932

This photograph was taken to document an accident scene. Today, it documents the landscape of the settlement along Kennett Pike. When the railroads bypassed the town, it stopped growing. Neighboring du Pont family members paid for the widening and paving of the Kennett Pike. During the 1950s the small country stores were replaced by upscale stores, boutiques and restaurants.




Wilmington Dry Goods, 1940s

An interior view of a beloved store, Wilmington Dry Goods. Founded by J. M. Lazarus, every day began with the playing of the national anthem, this store was famous for low prices, great quantity and selection and was one of the first local stores to offer lay-away and a generous return policy. Bus loads of shoppers came from the surrounding countryside to shop at “The Dry.”



Brandywine River Scene, ca. 1908

C.P. M. Rumford photographed a young boy looking into the Brandywine River in this photograph that could easily be a painting. In the background are the Augustine and B&O railroad bridges. The Brandywine River runs through the heart of the Wilmington and has been central to the city’s life from the beginning. It is a frequent subject of artists and photographers because of its beauty.



Talleyville Fire Company, Wilmington , Delaware , 1929

Members of the volunteer company pose outside their building. The company formed in October 1928 and opened this company house one year later. Rumer Studio of Newark photographed this proud moment.



Bancroft Mills, Worker Housing, Wilmington , 1896

In the tradition of large companies of the time, The Bancroft and Sons Company built housing for its workers. Seen here under construction are houses on Rockford Road . More than one hundred years later, the homes, nearing completion in this image, are still considered desirable housing today.




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Latest News:
  Brandywine Hundred County Library is open with socially distancing safe door-to-door delivery takeout service
  Walker's Bank deemed unsafe, will be demolished
  Councilman announces details of redevelopment at former AstraZeneca site
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