Interview with Thomas Dunlop, 1984 April 30 [audio](part 1)

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  • Coming to the Brandywine; Explosions at Hagley; Villages and neighbors near the powder yards; Belonging to the Hagley Community House; Learning a trade
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Black Gates; Blakeley's tavern; Breck's Lane; Chicken Alley; DuPont Experimental Station; Education; Explosions; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Hagley Yard; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Hodgson Bros. woolen mill; Immigration; Neighbors; Rising Sun Lane; School; Scotland; Tile; Trades; Welding; YMCA
    Transcript: Johnson: I'm Dorothy Johnson. Today is April 30, 1984, and I'm interviewing Thomas Dunlop at 3 Beverly Place in Wilmington.

    Dunlop: That's right.

    Johnson: Mr. Dunlop, you were telling me where you were born.

    Dunlop: Well, I was born in Scotland in 1905 and I came to Wilmington -- before I came to Wilmington out on the banks of the Brandywine -- April 1, 1913. I moved into the place that they called the old stable --Alfred I.'s old stable. That was remodeled for a tile factory and then it was turned around and put into a home. People by the name of McCarthy was the first ones moved in there and we moved in on the other side, the Dunlops. We moved around, not too much, but that was the first.

    Johnson: Do you remember the name of the street?

    Dunlop: Breck’ s Lane. The number was 188 Breck’ s Lane. Let me see -- As far as going back to the powder, I remember when the "31" blew up, it was the packing house. And I was a young boy, helping pick up the pieces of the bodies and the bones out of the tree .And then, in 19 -- I think it was 1915 -- the rolling mill blew up and a man by the name of Cunningham --it was on a Sunday -- and he was found the next day with a sandwich in his mouth, with rocks all over him. I remember that. And I remember all the oldtimers that used to live there, all along Breck’ s Lane there, all on Main Street and most of them on Walker's Bank. And that's about it as far as I can recall. But, I do know they had four saloons out there and one of them was Lawless. That was up there near Kennett Pike. The other one was Pat Daugherty's down on Main Street. And the other one was Jeff Blakely on Rising Sun Lane, and the other at the top of Rising Sun Lane was Connellys.

    Johnson: That would be 1913, in around there?

    Dunlop: That was around 1915. Of course, they told me that you had an interview with James Cammack. I recall James Csmmack, when all this was happening, he was in the service. You had an interview with him, they told me. I moved away from there in 1951 -- that's when I moved away from there.

    Johnson: Then you lived there for a really long time.

    Dunlop: Yes. I worked for W. W. Laird for eight years and I knew Chicken Alley pretty well. And Black Gates. The old-timers -- the real old-timers I knew were Pat Casey, the Matthewsons. I recall everybody that lived from the top of Breck’ s Lane all the way to the bottom.

    Johnson: The Matthewsons lived right on Breck’ s Lane, right?

    Dunlop: Yeah, they lived on Breck’ s Lane. But, what I was going to say and forgot to say -- when that 31 was killed, a boy named Eddie Thompson was a bugler in the Boy Scouts. And another thing, we used to belong to the Hagley Community House, which was associated with the YMCA. And we had basketball, a library and everything there. It was just like the YMCA. Some of the things that we had -- I want you to read something here. I guess you would like to get a copy of this. This is worth reading. And that's all true facts. This guy has passed away. That is something worth reading. And that's all true there.

    Johnson: May I take this along with me?

    Dunlop: As long as I get it back. That's a picture of Hodgson's Woolen Mill. And that's a picture of the old covered bridge. And that's a picture of some of the old-timers here.

    Johnson: Do you know all the names?

    Dunlop: Yes. Some of them. There's only a few of them. There's Jeff Blakeley watering his –

    Johnson: Oh, isn't that a great picture. And was that his tavern then? Is that his tavern right there?

    Dunlop: That's it. The house is still there next to New Bridge. There used to be three stores out there and the people at Squirrel Run, they all moved out. Big Tom had a store out there. There's the original old-time first basketball team out there.

    Johnson: Are you in that picture?

    Dunlop: Oh, no. They're way older than I am.

    Johnson: Do you have the dates of these pictures?

    Dunlop: I don't know about the dates, but they've got to be back before 1915. Around in there.

    Johnson: Now, did you know any of these?

    Dunlop: I knew them all. I knew everyone of them.

    Johnson: Were any of them related to you?

    Dunlop: No. No relation.

    Johnson: Now, when you first came, did you come to live with somebody who was working in the powder?

    Dunlop: No. My mother -- we moved up to 190 Breck’ s Lane where my mother took in boarders. She took in boarders there.

    Johnson: I see. Well, how did your mother decide to come here?

    Dunlop: The way it happened in the old days -- it ain't like today. My father worked over there for two years before we went over. And he had enough money to bring us over and guarantee us a place to live. And then when we moved to New York. And from New York we went to Philadelphia and from Philadelphia we went to 1612 West 5th Street, and then out here to the stable that used to be a tile factory.

    Johnson: And how did you come out here? Why did you decide to?

    Dunlop: Well, daddy was working for the tile factory. He was a plasterer by trade. Cornish man. Done fancy work. He worked for McCauleys for a while in later years. One time he worked for du Ponts in cyanide. Didn't do him no good, so he left. Everybody that worked on the Brandywine all had a chance to go to the DuPont Experimental Station. They were all very fortunate. All the young fellows. I went to Alexis I. du Pont School --the old one. Mr. Yeager was Principal. Miss McLaughlin took care of first grade. Miss ___________ Baker and Miss Jacobs.

    Johnson: We were wondering about teachers.

    Dunlop: I got a pretty good memory on that.

    Johnson: Did you know a Miss Hershey there?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: Somebody mentioned a Miss Hershey and a Miss Beecher.

    Dunlop: Well, I knew Miss Cheney. I went to school with her. She became a school teacher. And they used to live in Free Park. There's so much -- see, what I've been doing since I got that call -- I've been checking up. But, I could sit here and talk to you for an hour or better.

    Johnson: Well, I'd appreciate it if you would.

    Dunlop: That's pretty hard to do.

    Johnson: They've talked to Miss Cheney. They have her interview. I think she was one of the first people they interviewed.

    Dunlop: Yes, she would know me. Because I got out of school. I wasn't very bright. I got out of school after two years in the sixth grade. But, I wanted to learn a trade.

    Johnson: Where did you go to learn your trade?

    Dunlop: I went there back in 1919. ___________________________ for three years down at Bethlehem Steel near the Harlan Plant. And I served three years there. And then I started travelling around. Acetylene welder, electric welder, and burner.

    Johnson: When you worked there, did you commute or did you just stay there and come home?

    Dunlop: Well, I went to work there and back to Breck’ s Lane every time to my mother's place. I wasn't married then. I got married in 1924. I'll be 79 in May and she will be 79 in September. We're very fortunate to make it this long.

    Mrs. Dunlop: We raised all our children out there. They all graduated from Alexis I. du Pont. Three children. One of our boys was born at 190 Breck’ s Lane. The oldest boy.

    Johnson: Do you remember what doctor you had at the time?

    Dunlop: Dr. Spear.

    Johnson: And did he come to the house?

    Dunlop: That's right, he come to the house. He started at the bottom of Breck’ s Lane for people by the name of Whittiers who lived there. And the second house was Dr. Spear's office. Next door to him was Daughertys. And next door to that was Granny -- old Granny they called her. I don't know her name. She was old. That's where that Thompson boy lived -- Granny's --that was blew up in '31. And then the next house was --I was trying to think -- the later part was DeKnight. And then the next house was -- next door –

    Mrs. Dunlop – Fultons.

    Dunlop: No. No. Craig was the name. And then the Cannons and then Fultons. And the old original one there was the next house -- Miss Gallagher. She taught piano lessons. And then the next house up was where we lived after we moved there -- 190 Breck’ s Lane. Who owns it now? One of the Laird twins owns it now. And next to them was Matthewsons. And next to them was Granny Andrews. And then next to them -- they moved the old toll gate down and made a house out of it. And then the next house was Maxwells. The next house was Andrews. And the next house was the Camm0ck boys. And the next house was Harneys and the next house was Fosters. Then came Martins. Pat Casey was the end house -- old Pat Casey. He was -- oh, at that time, he must have been 90 years old when I was a little tacker.

    Johnson: And that was at the top of the hill?

    Dunlop: The top of the hill. Then came the toll gate and then they moved it down. Matthewsons opened up the gas station there. But, I remember the first police force we had. We had Cap. McGargle. He was out of Pennsylvania. And there was Joe ____________ and Cole. That’ s getting way back.

    Johnson: Is this a picture of Mrs. Maxwell? Is she the one who lived on Breck’ s Lane?

    Dunlop: I can't recollect it. If I looked over this book for a few minutes, I might be able -- What Daugherty – Do you remember what Daugherty gave you an interview?

    Johnson: No. I haven't read all the interviews and that's one I haven't read. I know they do have a Daugherty. There's a John here and a Phillip.
  • Neighbors from Breck's Lane; Childhood games; Working for Hallock du Pont; Explosions; Hagley Community House
    Keywords: Baldo family; Baseball; Basketball; Breck's Lane; Chauffeurs; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Explosions; Games; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Hunt the Hare; Races; Walker's Bank
    Transcript: Dunlop: Bill Buchanan -- I knew him. He's passed away. Catherine Cheney. John Daugherty, I knew him. Jean O'Farrow. Perry Farrow. Walt Flannagan, I knew them. Sam Hackendorn. Joe Haley. .____________. Frank ___________-- I knew him. But, down on the Main Street they had -- they used to have a man named Joe Valentine and they used to have a horse and they used to race all the time with Father Scott's horse. And the buggies.

    Johnson: Did they race down Breck's Lane?

    Dunlop: Oh yeah. They'd go about five miles and they were always arguing who was the best horse. All the way.

    Johnson: And you say all the way, was it all around –

    Dunlop: Oh, my God, up to Montchanin and everywhere.

    Johnson: Was Father Scott associated with St. Joseph's?

    Dunlop: Yes. Now, I remember one time when I was little, there was an ice wagon coming down past St. Joseph's Church. Father Scott went out and grabbed four of us. So, he flammed three of our rear ends, and he grabbed me and one little boy said, "You can't hit him. He's a Presbyterian." He said, "Yes, I can." He said, "I was a Presbyterian, too, at one time, but I turned to Priesthood." I'll never forget that.

    Johnson: Did he make a habit of disciplining boys?

    Dunlop: Yes. He was a nice man.

    Johnson: You talked about the toll gates. Were they toll gates for the road?

    Dunlop: Yes. Out on the Kennett Pike.

    Johnson: And where did they move them to?

    Dunlop: I don't know what they done with the gates, but they moved the gate house down on Breck's Lane between Brown's house and Maxwell's house.

    Johnson: And then they made a little house out of it?

    Dunlop: Yeah. Made a house. People by the name of Bairds lived there.

    Johnson: It must have been pretty small for a house.

    Dunlop: Well, I think they done a little remodeling.

    Johnson: Do you remember some of the games you played as a boy?

    Dunlop: Some of the games. Oh, well, we used to play Hunt the Hare.

    Johnson: How did you play that?

    Dunlop: Well, we'd choose sides. And we -- maybe started after church and all. But, we'd start about one o'clock in the afternoon. Somebody would get a five-minute start and then they used to have to find us. Called Hunt the Hare, but sometimes we didn't get back until five o'clock at night.

    Johnson: How many would you be likely to have on a side?

    Dunlop: Sometimes we had 10 on each side. It was nice. They were nice people we were brought up with. All kind of religion and you never heard nothing about it. And the police weren't allowed to come over the water line. The City police. They didn't allow them. Most of them were in the City and they would not come out to get you because nobody would give their names. It was a close-knit family.

    Johnson: Did they ever have a reason to come out and get you?

    Dunlop: No. Well, sometimes. You know, a young fellow gets in trouble with the police.

    Johnson: When you say Hunt the Hare. What would the boundaries be? Could you go into the powder yards?

    Dunlop: As far as you could go.

    Johnson: You could go into the powder yards? And play.

    Dunlop: No. We never went there. We always went towards the city. We -- I worked at Hallock du Pont's. I was a chauffeur for Hallock du Pont until 1928 to 1932.

    Johnson: But you never worked in the powder yards?

    Dunlop: No. I never worked there. But, I practically knew them all.

    Johnson: You said when you were a boy, when they had the explosions, you had to go in there and help them.

    Dunlop: We didn't have to. Just curiosity we went and helped out.

    Johnson: That must have been pretty gruesome.

    Dunlop: Well, you know when you're a child, you don't mind it.

    Johnson: Did you go in with any direction or did you just –

    Dunlop: No, they didn't bother us. There was too much excitement. People crying and everything. But, if I'm not mistaken, that 31 was killed a few days before Halloween because he was expecting to blow the bugle. He was a bugle boy.

    Johnson: This was Thompson -- he was killed?

    Dunlop: Yes. I don't know how old he was. He was pretty young. I guess he had to be old enough. Fourteen then was when you could go to work. I had an awful time straightening my papers out because -- to get a job --to get a trade. I was learning my trade. I guess I started when I was about 15 years old. They had a boxing team and all down at the Hagley.

    Johnson: How old did you have to be to go to the Hagley Community House?

    Dunlop: Well, when you read that piece there, that'll really rock you because that's the true word that was ever told. Five cents was the dues from the juniors up. Charlie Baldo lived at Walker's Banks. And he moved from there. He worked for DuPont. He retired and he passed away. But, I would give you a suggestion. If you could find out -- His father's name was Aloysis Rowe. But, I think his name is James Rowe and I know he has a book out about the powder mills and I think it costs $24.00. He researched.

    Johnson: Did you play basketball? Would you be old enough?

    Dunlop: Oh, yes. I played basketball with the ____________ Mount Vernon 4th Team. They had all teams. They had the first team, the second team, the third team and the fourth team. And I played with Mt. Salem Church in the Church League and we won that for Mt. Salem. We won that two years straight. And we played some pretty good fellows like Cliff Garvine –

    Johnson: Do you remember what year you started basketball?

    Dunlop: Well, it had to be -- I took you to the games when we were married, didn't I?

    Mrs. Dunlop: Yes.

    Dunlop: It had to be between -- I'd say 1919 and 1924, '25. I played baseball until I was 31.

    Johnson: Did you play baseball with the professionals?

    Dunlop: Semi-pro. I played with the Hagley team. Called Hagley. Les Madison was the manager.

    Johnson: And when did you start with them?

    Dunlop: By golly. You're pinning me now pretty close.

    Johnson: Well, how did they pick people? Did you have to try out? For the team?

    Dunlop: Well, we played ball. They knew what we could do.

    Johnson: When you were a child, did you play ball, too?

    Dunlop: Well, I played everything from seven years up. Went out the crick there at Breck's Lane or whatever you called it. There was all sports out there.

    Johnson: Where did they play baseball?

    Dunlop: They played it up at Alexis I. School in the schoolyard and then they had a field. I just can't think of that. They had a baseball field up on the other side of the Free Park, going towards the end of the trolley line. The trolley line went all the way up to Montchanin Road at one time.

    Johnson: Now, Les Matthewson talked about having lawn fete when they wanted to raise money in order to play baseball. Did that mean they were raising money for bats and balls?

    Dunlop: No. That was just for baseball.

    Johnson: Well, what did they have to buy?

    Dunlop: Suits and everything.

    Johnson: Oh, you bought suits?

    Dunlop: Yeah. We had suits. That -- a boy -- he's passed away. He used to work for Belin du Pont. His name was Joe Haley. That's the old man's son, I guess. I guess Joe was about four years younger than I was. He used to manage the team -- not in my time, but after I got out. You have to reminisce these things. You just got to go in a room and get your mind set.

    Johnson: It's hard to remember dates of things you've been through, isn't it?

    Dunlop: Oh, my never thought of dates.

    Johnson: Do you remember playing marbles as a child?

    Dunlop: No, I never played marbles. Some of them did. Basketball and baseball was mine.

    Johnson: I guess they didn't have any high school teams the way they do now.

  • Chopping wood; Working for members of the du Pont family; Childhood home and siblings; New Year's and cooking; Italian families from Squirrel Run
    Keywords: Beer; Chores; Cooking; Deindustrilization; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Homes; Italian Americans; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Mushrooms; New Year's celebrations; Saloons; Siblings; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Stoves; Taverns; Wilmington, Del.; Wood; Work
    Transcript: Dunlop: No. We never had a chance to come home. We had work to do when we got home. We never could go -- you know --like they do. Stay after school. I had wood to chop six days a week and wasn't allowed to chop only enough for Sunday. Wasn't allowed to chop on Sunday. We had wood fires.

    Johnson: Where did you chop the wood?

    Dunlop: Chopped the wood home. We used to get stuff from the old trees and the old wood from boxes and everything. And Hallock du Pont's home is built on the old – called the sawdust place. That's where the dump was for all DuPont's stuff. And he bought that and built his own home there. I think that home was built in 1935. The longer I sit and think the more I can think of.

    Johnson: Now, if you wanted to cut down a tree –

    Dunlop: Well, we never cut down a tree. They were all fallen.

    Johnson: Where could you find them -- on the property?

    Dunlop: Yeah. We had plenty of woods. Breck's Lane was all woods back in there. W. W. Laird owned that. In fact, W. W. Laird did own -- I don't know about now --because he got some money problems. I think his sister bought them. But he owns all of Breck's Lane. And he's still living. He used to live up to Black Gates, called Chicken Alley. How old is Chick, now? He's about 60 – -

    Mrs. Dunlop: He's about five years younger than you.

    Dunlop: I worked for him for eight years -— assistant superintendent. As soon as my trade would get a little low, I'd leave it -- construction work. But, the State of Wilmington -- not the State -- but Wilmington is gone now because there used to be plenty of places for jobs. There was Bethlehem Steel. And there was American Car and Foundry. Jackson's Shops. Dravo. Had about 10. Pusey and Jones. I worked at all them places. Folded up. There's nothing. I've been retired since 1970.

    Johnson: You were talking about cutting wood for the stove. Do you remember anything about your mother's stove? Did she just have one big stove in the kitchen?

    Dunlop: Yeah. We had one in the kitchen and we had what they called a log box in the living room. And that kept us.

    Johnson: Did you have another stove in the living room?

    Dunlop: The cook stove was in what we called the shed. It was the kitchen but it was called the shed. That was a six-or eight-lid -- you know, a big stove. But this one held logs 30 inches. It was a box type with sand in it. It would really throw the heat.

    Johnson: Did your house have a second floor?

    Dunlop: Yeah, we had a second floor.

    Johnson: Was there a stove upstairs?

    Dunlop: No. Not there. But there was when I lived on Barley Mill Lane -- when I lived over there. Because I worked at Hallock du Pont's and then the next year they put a whole new system in. It was tough. It was cold.

    Johnson: I was going to ask you, was it cold?

    Dunlop: It was pretty cold but it was healthy. I lived two or three places. I lived next to the St. Joseph's Sisters up there on Church Street, too, for a little while. See, rent was cheap.

    Johnson: Was this before you were married, or after?

    Dunlop: After I was married. I moved my wife out to Breck's Lane in 1924.

    Johnson: Well, when you moved there –

    Dunlop: I moved in with my mother and we had an apartment. We made an apartment.

    Johnson: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

    Dunlop: I got two brothers and one sister, all living.

    Johnson: And did you all feel you had enough room when you lived on Breck's Lane?

    Dunlop: We made room.

    Johnson: Would you have had two bedrooms upstairs?

    Dunlop: Three bedrooms. That was a big house up there. Three bedrooms. No, four bedrooms.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Six rooms downstairs. It was a big house.

    Johnson: You say your mother took in boarders?

    Dunlop: That was during the War. Round the clock. One time we had nine. One worked one shift. She fed them. And kept all their clothes.

    Johnson: That must have been hard work.

    Dunlop: Well, mother was a big woman. She was six foot. And I guess mom weighed 180. No fat on her. She was originally in the dairies from Scotland. That's all she knew. With her bare feet and strong as a mule. Never bothered her. She didn't like it in this country, though. But she stayed here until she passed away.

    Johnson: And what was your dad doing when she did that?

    Dunlop: He was a plasterer. Daddy was retired. No, he was still working. He didn't live long after mother.

    Mrs. Dunlop: He died first.

    Dunlop: First, and then mother. Daddy died first and then mother. Yeah.

    Johnson: How did he feel about her taking in boarders? Did he mind?

    Dunlop: No. Some days was different. They had to get a place to live, you know, to work in the powder. We had them from all over -- Baltimore, Washington.

    Johnson: Do you remember any of them?

    Dunlop: Yes. Fellow by the name of Johnny Rickman. I'd have to think back, but I know of about five of them. They were all good boarders.

    Johnson: Did a lot of them work in the powder factory?

    Dunlop: All of them worked there -- shift work.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about the food your mother made?

    Dunlop: Oh, yes. She made Scotch scones. She learned everything. She could make the shortbread. Mother used to make shortbread and sell it to all the du Ponts up there.

    Johnson: Would she sell it for special occasions?

    Dunlop: Well, yes. New Year's. It was called _____________ New Year's. And Mrs. Laird she used to buy a lot of them. She had special orders for it.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about New Year's parties?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: One of the ladies who came from Italy remembers New Year's parties where they would all dress up and go around the way they do for the Mummer's Parade. Do you remember anything like that?

    Dunlop: No, I don't remember anything like that.

    Johnson: She lived in Squirrel Run and it may have been –

    Dunlop: Well, all them people that lived in Squirrel Run went up to the mushroom business in Pennsylvania. Some of them moved in town. As I recollect, there was Perrone. And there was Bonafacinos. Pete Ricotti.

    Johnson: Her name was Pacey. Remember?

    Dunlop: Pacey. Yeah, Pacey worked for Experimental Station -- him and his son. His son was a glassblower and he married a Bonner -- lived down on Main Street – down at the crick. And Pete Kindbiter had a store there. And, Gregg had a store there. When you read that thing there, it's really worth reading. That's the reason I cut it out. It's wonderful.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about a hotel? Mrs. Pacey said her sister ran a hotel -- I think it was at the top of Rising Sun. Would you know anything about that?

    Dunlop: That's Conaway's Saloon.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about the saloons? What they were like?

    Dunlop: Well, you know, just regular saloons, that's all. No women were allowed in there. It was all men.

    Johnson: I've only interviewed women so far, so none of them have ever been in a saloon.

    Dunlop: There used to be some of them carried the can. Bucket of beer.

    Johnson: The women did that?

    Dunlop: Sure they did.

    Johnson: One of the people I interviewed was Martina Lawless. She's the second youngest of the Lawlesses.

    Dunlop: That's right, she had that place up near the Pike. That was the Lawless' saloon.

    Johnson: But she was so young. She said her father died when she was only eight, I think.

    Dunlop: I don't know whether he died or not. There's a Gus Lawless, used to sell cars. He worked for the Ford people. If you shoot forth some names and give me time to think, I can pretty near tell you where they've been or where they're at.
  • Other potential interviewees; Gatherings at Hagee's tavern; Swimming in the Brandywine Creek; Christmas gifts; Dunlop's furniture
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Christmas; Costs; Furniture; Gifts; Hagee's tavern; Inflation; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Money; Perrone family; Pranks; Prices; Swimming
    Transcript: Johnson: Well, they do want to know if you know anybody else who can tell us something about the early days.

    Dunlop: Well, it's pretty hard. You interviewed Cammock, they tell me. Jimmy Cammock. He never married. He come back from the service and he never married. The girl when he come back got married while he was over there. I know who married her, but that's neither here nor there. That's about the work. Of course, we had colored people moved up there afterwards, you know. Place called the cooper shop. Did you ever hear them say that?

    Johnson: Well, I heard that Matthewson's grandfather worked in the cooper shop. Then that became –

    Dunlop: What Matthewson were you interviewing?

    Johnson: S. L. whose nickname was Les.

    Dunlop: He's passed away.

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: You must mean some worked for Simp Dean.

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: That's right. His wife is still living and he married a Robinson. Used to have the band in Delaware. She still lives up in the Dean's estate.

    Johnson: Now, I wonder if you could tell me anything about other holidays, like Halloween. Do you remember?

    Dunlop: I don't remember nothing like that.

    Johnson: Did you go around dressed up and ask people for candy?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: And you never did those tricks? A lot of people tell about turning over outhouses.

    Dunlop: That's right. That's true. I seen one dumped with a person sitting in it one time.

    Johnson: Somebody was telling me about that.

    Dunlop: That's true.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Hagee's was one of the last places up there where people from out there used to gather. Up until she passed away.

    Dunlop: Well, that's later on.

    Mrs. Dunlop: But all the bunch that were left used to congregate out there. The younger generation.

    Dunlop: That man there -- the picture -- This fellow here. His sister. Where Hagee's is. Do you know where Hagee's is? Well, his sister used to run the post office -- Dorman. And that's his niece that had Hagee's. I don't know what you call them, but that's his niece, anyhow.

    Johnson: He's the third one on the first row.

    Dunlop: Right here. That's Simon Dorman. And this is Mamie Baird there. They lived on Main Street. And one thing about it, when they had a flood, it would come in all the bottom of the houses on that street. The bottom floor. They had to move all their stuff up.

    Johnson: The River would flow up?

    Dunlop: Yeah, the Brandywine would usually come up.

    Johnson: That must have been a mess.

    Dunlop: Oh, boy. But you're going to get a lot of ______________ Baldo. I wish I would talk to him because he was a wonderful guy. His sister is still living and one of his sons is still living. And his wife died about three months ago. His father lived over on Walker's Bank. He was a go-getter. And Pierre Ferraro lived there on Walker's Bank. And the Thompsons lived over there. It's hard going back that far. There's got to be something inside of you that keeps you up there. Some people move away, you know, but there's just something there. Anything I see about the crick --we call it the crick -- I always cut it out of the paper. Something like that.

    Johnson: Did you go swimming in the crick?

    Dunlop: Yes. We started over at Girlie. And then after you learned to swim, you went over to Minnie. That was across, and that was six feet deep. Girlie you could walk half way up the Brandywine.

    Johnson: Do you know why they called it Girlie and Minnie?

    Dunlop: Girlie? Well, that's where all the girls went to learn to swim.

    Johnson: And why did they call it Minnie?

    Dunlop: You got me there, but that was the name of it. I seen a fellow drown there one time -- one of the Perrone boys. He went down and come up the third time and nobody grabbed him and the fourth time he didn't come up.

    Johnson: How old was he?

    Dunlop: I don't know. I was only a kid then. I guess the Perrone boy was about 17, 18 years old.

    Johnson: Nobody noticed it. It seems like a safe place to swim in general.

    Dunlop: I don't know what happened. That's the first time I ever saw him in there.

    Johnson: Maybe he didn't know how to swim.

    Dunlop: I don't know. I was just coming down when they had him stretched out there. They got him right away. I don't know anybody remember getting water out of the lungs. I don't think they knew about that.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about learning to swim? Did you have a hard time?

    Dunlop: Well, I never was an expert at it. I pretty near drowned one time and was scared afterwards. I never was an expert. I almost drowned up in Pennsylvania after a storm. I took a sailor's jump and got stuck in the mud and couldn't get out of there. A buddy of mine came down -- named Joe Baird -- and he saw the bubbles I was blowing and he come down and get me loose. My sister is a good swimmer and both my brothers. My mother –

    Mrs. Dunlop: Richard is a good swimmer.

    Dunlop: Yes. All the boys were good swimmers.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Skated in the winter and swam in the summer.

    Dunlop: I can't recall anybody around my age could give you any more dope. I haven't been in touch with any of them. How old is Billy Montgomery? Well, Billy Montgomery --he lives on Breck's Lane yet. His grandfather lived there before him and now he lives there with his wife and family. That's Alfred I.'s house but as long as the family stays there, I think they only pay five dollars a year. That's in the will or something. He might be able to recall some of the things. He's a lot younger than I am.

    Mrs. Dunlop: He was in the Second World War. He's not too much older than our boys.

    Dunlop: Both my boys was in the service -- one in the Marines and the other in the Navy.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about Christmas?

    Dunlop: Yes, I remember my Christmas. I'll never forget. I got coal in my stocking.

    Johnson: That's all? What did you do?

    Dunlop: We never celebrated it.

    Johnson: Did you get presents for New Year's then?

    Dunlop: Yes, we got presents.

    Johnson: Would they be in the stocking?

    Dunlop: No stocking. We'd get them in a box. Very few. Money was a tight situation then. It was rough them days.

    Johnson: Now did you ever go to any of the parties that Alfred I. du Pont had in Breck's Mill?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: Some people remember getting presents.

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: This might have been before.

    Dunlop: W. W. Laird give out a lot of presents -- the father before him and his son who's still living. They were very good. They run parties. Chick Laird they called him and he was very good to the people.

    Johnson: Do you remember any presents you got?

    Dunlop: Oh, my golly, I don't remember, but we got more presents for our children. It was more of a children's Christmas. It was a wonderful place to live. It's God's country. Of course, we didn't get much money in the powder, but I never worked there, but I know from talking with people. They do pretty good now, working for the DuPont Company. I got a son works there now. How many year's has he got?

    Mrs. Dunlop: Twenty-five.

    Dunlop: Twenty-five years. He works in the building. Times have changed. I'll show you something. This don't concern the powder works.

    Johnson: Were you born around the Brandywine area?

    Mrs. Dunlop: No, I came from Brandywine Village in town. I lived there all my life. Married him. Raised two children out there. It's a wonderful place to raise children. We had a good place on Breck's Lane. They tore it down after we left there.

    Dunlop: This is, Believe it or not, Ripley.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Oh, my, that's not concerning anything.

    Dunlop: No, but I just want to show you -- we're talking about prices. You read it.

    Johnson: Oh, the prices are so different.

    Dunlop: Now, you sitting on the couch.

    Johnson: Fifty dollars. A lamp for $1.50.

    Dunlop: There's the lamp, right there.

    Mrs. Dunlop: That's a clock made in Scotland. That's an antique. That clock belonged to his mother and father. It was a wedding present to his mother and father.

    Johnson: That's just beautiful.

    Dunlop: Yeah, we've had this upholstered twice.

    Johnson: They made things much better in those days. It's hard to believe. You furnished the whole living room for $96.

    Dunlop: I meant to give it to one of the sons, but he sold out.

    Johnson: Thank you for showing me.

    Dunlop: A lot of people wouldn't believe that.

    Johnson: That was a company in downtown Wilmington.

    Dunlop: Yeah, that's right, down on the east side. When you sit back and see what it is today. I learned my trade three years and the last year of my trade I got $12.00 a week. But the dollar went a little farther. If a lot of the old-timers came back they wouldn't believe it. And I don't know what we're going to do lately – senior citizens. Everybody is leaving the Blue Cross. It's terrific right now. I'm a great fisherman myself. Lot of saltwater fisher. That's a couple trophies up there.
  • Fishing; Taking care of animals; Playing music; Buying clothes and getting his first pair of long pants; Shopping
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Breakfast; Chickens; Chores; Clothes; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Fishing; Horse hair beds; Mouth organs; Music; Rabbits; Singing; Trout
    Transcript: Johnson: Where do you go fishing?

    Dunlop: Well, I've been fishing all over -- New York, Jersey, down at the inlet, Assateague Island. I've slowed up a lot. I went down last year -- down there for seven days and that seven days cost me more money than you can dream of. I got skin cancer of this ear. And I just got done the operation and it made it short. Radiation.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Sunburn.

    Dunlop: That's right. First time it ever happened.

    Johnson: Well, you have very fair skin.

    Dunlop: And, he's the best doctor in the country. He's Chinese: Dr. Kim. He made a good job. Just took the stitches out last Thursday. So, I suffered with it. Fooled around too long with family doctors. Had two specialists work on it.

    Johnson: When you were a child, did you go fishing around here?

    Dunlop: Yeah. Used to fish up to the powder yards. Oh, when I was a kid. They had bass up there and everything. And one time Halleck du Pont had trout. The gates broke down and they went upstream and there was trout in there for a couple years.

    Johnson: Where did they fish exactly on the Brandywine?

    Dunlop: I would say right at that dam right across from – you know where the gates is where you go through?

    Johnson: Well, there are a couple gates. The one by the –

    Dunlop: By the Brandywine. The lower gate. The next dam up on the right side. We used to go over to Walker's Banks. I fished there when the powder mills was running. And there was good fishing.

    Johnson: I think I talked to a man who fished there on his lunch hour.

    Dunlop: We used to use them grasshoppers that fly. They used to go crazy over them.

    Johnson: Now, when you were a child, you said one of your chores was chopping wood. Do you remember any other chores you had? If we could go through a day. Do you remember how it was when you first got up in the morning?

    Dunlop: Well, first got up in the morning –

    Johnson: Would your mother call you? Who woke up first?

    Dunlop: Well, I had most of my work to do when I came back. We had a big garden. I had to take the bugs off the potatoes. Clean the chicken coops, lights and everything. We raised wild ducks. Never had no time.

    Johnson: How did you manage to clean the coops? Did you have just soap and water?

    Dunlop: No, no. Just sweep them out and lime them, that's all.

    Johnson: And what about the potato bugs? Did you have to use insecticide?

    Dunlop: Yeah. Had coal oil in there and drop them right in the can.

    Johnson: If you had more potatoes and chickens than you needed, would you sell them?

    Dunlop: Daddy -- he specialized in selling rabbits. He had these big rabbits.

    Johnson: You raised rabbits, too?

    Dunlop: Yeah. There was always something to do.

    Mrs. Dunlop: They raised capon chickens, too.

    Dunlop: Yeah. Capons, too. We sold them.

    Johnson: Did you have to clean the chickens?

    Dunlop: No, he done that. He'd caponize them. He was good. He caponized all them. How I knew he was good -- Dr. Spackman came out there one time to try it and he killed the first six. So, he said to my daddy, "You take over."

    Johnson: Somebody told me they used the feathers to make beds. Do you remember anything like that?

    Dunlop: Feathers?

    Johnson: Chicken feathers to make a bed out of it?

    Dunlop: Yeah, they made beds.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Pillows, too.

    Dunlop: And they used horsehair back in the old days to make beds. I had one that Mrs. W. W. Laird gave me and we had it until we moved and then we gave it away to the colored folks. It was just as good as today. Little hard, though.

    Johnson: Would they put a spring underneath the mattress, then?

    Dunlop: I don't know. I never got inside to find out. I know horsehair was in there.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Solid. They used it on the slats -- you know, they had slats on the beds.

    Johnson: And just put it on the slats?

    Dunlop: Yes.

    Mrs. Dunlop: I can remember 60 years, anyway.

    Johnson: I wish I could tell you about a waterbed. Our son has a waterbed. It lost its water.

    Dunlop: Have you ever seen a waterbed?

    Johnson: No, I never did. But it sprung a leak so now he's got this wooden frame.

    Dunlop: We have a board on her side on account of her back. She's got a bad back.

    Johnson: Did you ever play a musical instrument when you were young?

    Dunlop: The Jew's harp. And I wasn't good at that. And a mouth organ and I wasn't good at that. When I was a little tacker, I used to sing at the Hagley House. That was run by Miss ______________ and Miss Bradford. But, that's all in that letter. You get a copy of that. That's really something worth reading.

    Johnson: Do you remember what you would have for breakfast on a typical morning?

    Dunlop: Burnt toast and eggs. My mother never bothered. She'll tell you today. I like burnt toast.

    Johnson: Did it burn because you had to make it?

    Dunlop: No, no. She made it. We didn't have no toaster. It was done on the oil stove. We had an oil stove them days. Set it on there and when it started smoking, it was done. Never hurt you, though. Burnt toast never hurt you.

    Johnson: If you had a lot of boarders, I guess your mother didn't have time – -

    Dunlop: Well, that was after the boarders got out. It was just the same whether the boarders had been there. She never had no time. We just ate what came along.

    Johnson: How about your birthdays? Did you celebrate birthdays?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: You didn't make cakes and things?

    Dunlop: No, it was just another day. Things wasn't like today. I've had more birthdays since I retired and since I've been married. The kids were good to me. My children are wonderful.

    Johnson: Did your mother ever talk about any customs she brought over? The things she cooked?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: The antique clock. That clock she brought over.

    Dunlop: Yes. That was give to me. I was going to sell it there for a while, but nobody came around. It's an antique. You can tell it's antique because it's odd up there. That top comes off. It works. Nothing wrong with it only she don’ t like the noise. Well, when I moved up here two years ago this July, it started bothering when I was bringing it up in the car. Nothing wrong with it.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about the clothes you wore as a youngster?

    Dunlop: Yes, I do. I remember the first long pair of pants I got.

    Johnson: How old were you?

    Dunlop: Well, I was about 16. And I went out on Sunday and got caught in the rain at the Brandywine Zoo. And by the time I got home, they were shorts. Clean up to here.

    Johnson: Where did you buy those pants?

    Dunlop: I can't tell you that. I don't remember, but they surely shrunk up. You know, my mother was looking for the low dollar. And my father had to O.K. everything before she bought. And there was no charges, either. It was cash on the line.

    Johnson: Where did she go shopping? Did she go downtown Wilmington?

    Dunlop: Yeah. She used to go to -- what was the name -- on King Street. Faber. They used to have store there.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Tailormade clothes there.

    Dunlop: Yeah. Wilmington Dry Goods and places like that.

    Mrs. Dunlop: There wasn't any Wilmington Dry Goods when you were a child.

    Dunlop: I don't know where she got it.

    Johnson: Did she buy it for you or did you get to pick it out?

    Dunlop: She went and bought it. Took me in there and fitted me. Put it on and it looked all right. The goods wasn't too good, I'll tell you that.
  • Clothes and shoes; School lunches; Using the trolley to get around Wilmington; Becoming a United States Citizen; Celebrating the Fourth of July
    Keywords: Citizienship; Clothes; Fireworks; Fourth of July; Green Hill Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, Del.); Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Immigration; Lunch; Marmalade; Peoples Railway Company (Wilmington, Del.); School; Scotch Lodge; Shoes; Showers; Street-railroads; Sunday School
    Transcript: Johnson: What did you wear before you wore the long pants? What would you wear to school?

    Dunlop: Just them regular pants that came up to here.

    Johnson: Knickers?

    Dunlop: Never had no pants like they wear today. What do you call them -- the boys and girls wear today?

    Mrs. Dunlop: Dungarees.

    Johnson: Did your mother have a big closet that she kept your clothes in?

    Dunlop: My clothes? There wasn't that many. I didn't need a closet. I could put them in a corner.

    Johnson: What were your shoes like?

    Dunlop: We used bare feet most of the time. The only time we wore shoes was when we were going somewhere. Couldn't wait to get them off because they were tight and uncomfortable. We had callouses on our feet. Stumped toes.

    Johnson: Would you dress up for Sunday School?

    Dunlop: Yes.

    Johnson: Did you have to change when you got home?

    Dunlop: Yes. I got some Bibles in there from Miss Sterling for attendance for so many years.

    Johnson: Would that be the Miss Sterling whose father had the store?

    Dunlop: I couldn't tell you that. That was Greenhill Presbyterian Church. My sister still goes there. And that's where the Montgomery boy I told you on Breck's Lane to check up. I don't know how much he could tell you. That's the only one I can think of now.

    Johnson: Do you remember any stories you heard when you were a child? Did they tell stories about the people in the powder yards?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: Would you take your lunch to school?

    Dunlop: Yes. Most of the time we could run home because we lived right in back of the school.

    Johnson: Would you be likely to go home?

    Dunlop: No, most of the time we carried our lunch. Jelly sandwich.

    Johnson: Did your mother make jelly?

    Dunlop: Yes.

    Mrs. Dunlop: She made marmalade a lot. The old original marmalade.

    Johnson: Would she buy the oranges downtown?

    Dunlop: Yeah, buy the oranges. I guess lemons were in there, too. Yes, she'd make very good marmalade. And I wouldn't give you 10 cents for it now. A change of taste.

    Johnson: I think you like sweets less as you grow older. When you went to church, would the whole family go or just the children?

    Dunlop: No. Just the children. Daddy never went to church much. Mother did, but not daddy.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about weddings? When you were a child, did you see any weddings or how they were dressed?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: Or christenings?

    Dunlop: We had our child –

    Mrs. Dunlop: But, that was later.

    Dunlop: That's way later. In my young career, we never went to weddings or anything.

    Johnson: Did your father belong to any clubs or the Masons or the Odd Fellows?

    Dunlop: No. Oh, yes, the Scotch Lodge -- McGregor Lodge.

    Johnson: Was that downtown Wilmington?

    Dunlop: Yes, it was then. And my mother was Lady Macbeth for so many years.

    Johnson: Would she go to meetings downtown?

    Dunlop: Yes, and out of town, too. Philadelphia. New York. Baltimore. She travelled a lot.

    Johnson: And how would she go? Would she take the trolley downtown?

    Dunlop: Well, no, that was later on.

    Mrs. Dunlop: She'd go by trolley or train, wherever she was travelling.

    Dunlop: The trolleys stopped running. I forget when they stopped up there. The only trolley we had was up the top of Rising Sun Lane. Went around the loop. I just forget when the trolley went all the way up around Squirrel Run. I think that's got in it how much it cost -- that letter. It's really a nice piece.

    Johnson: Would your mother go by herself?

    Dunlop: Oh, no. She'd take some of the ladies with her. Sisters or some kind of name they had, I don't know.

    Johnson: Do you remember any of their names?

    Dunlop: Oh, my God.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Mrs. Morrison. She's dead. I can't remember any. Mrs. Reed. Tommy Reed's wife.

    Dunlop: Yes. Mrs. Thomas Reed.

    Johnson: Did your mother ever tell you anything about the meetings and what they did there?

    Dunlop: I used to belong to the men's, but I got out of it. It was just called Clan McGregor. They had what they called a Tartan that belongs to it. But, after I became a citizen, this is my country. I never followed up much on it.

    Johnson: When did you become a citizen?

    Dunlop: Well, you ain't going to believe this -- when I became a citizen. I became a citizen in 1941, September 15th, on account of a mistake.

    Johnson: What was the mistake?

    Dunlop: Well, the FBI come up on the job and told me I wasn't a citizen. And we checked up and we had phony papers, my dad and me. So, I had to go -- I got my first papers because I married an American and then I had to go to school again -- night school -- and had to go before the judge -- all aliens. And the first three ahead of me was three nuns. And then I was next and I passed. I got the boat I come over on and everything. Yeah, I became a citizen in 1941, September 15th. There ain't nothing I left over there.

    Johnson: Have you ever heard about any family over there?

    Dunlop: My brother has been over a couple of times. He was over not so long ago. They're 50 years behind us. See, most of them countries don't want to get out and get -- they just want to lay back.

    Johnson: Did they say why the papers were phony?

    Dunlop: No. They come and got me. Come around to the house first and told my wife. My wife told them where I was working. They said to send him in at seven o'clock at night, but they didn't wait. They come out on the job and got me. Got my father, too. He had to wait two years. Now, today, the foreigners -- they pay their way -- give them Social Security and everything. Then they wonder where the money goes. It's awful. That was the real McCoy them days. You had to be on the money and I just couldn't figure why or how they got us. I was never arrested. My father was never arrested.

    Johnson: You have no idea what it could have been?

    Dunlop: No. We didn't bother. It ain't what you know, it's who you know today.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about the Fourth of July in this area? Did you ever go to a picnic?

    Dunlop: We used to follow the parades and shoot over the graves. They went around to all the: St. Joseph's graves, Presbyterian -- and we used to follow them as kids. Big deal them days.

    Johnson: Some of the people told about St. Joseph's having a big picnic on Keye's Hill. They'd have this every 4th of July. They'd have dancing there.

    Dunlop: I don't remember that.

    Johnson: What about fireworks? Did they shoot off fireworks?

    Dunlop: We used to see them go off later on at Irenee du Pont's up there. He used to have fireworks every year.

    Johnson: Do you remember where that house was? Was that near the upper yard?

    Dunlop: No, no. Up on Montchanin Road is his home today. That's later on. Not when I was a kid.

    Johnson: Did you shoot off fireworks, yourself?

    Dunlop: Yes. When I was a kid. But we never had any fireworks when I was a boy. The ones that had the money that day was Les' father and the ones that -- well, the kids got the throw-me-downs. We didn't have no money. We never got no money to get baseball gloves or nothing like that. Everything we got was somebody give it to us that had the money.

    Johnson: How about baseball bats -- where would you get those?

    Dunlop: Well, somebody would give them to us.

    Johnson: I think you pretty much told me about the social events at Breck's Mill. Another question -- did you ever take a shower there?

    Dunlop: Yes. Wonderful. They had showers there. Wonderful.

    Johnson: What made them wonderful?

    Dunlop: Well, it was something we didn't have. We used to --well it was something we got used to. Back them days, where were there any showers? We used to have a bathtub. Clean the rings out after you got done.
  • Pumping water to use at home; Doing the laundry; Getting groceries and other goods delivered; Getting a telephone in 1925; Buying things from catalogs; Sounds around Hagley; Training dogs in the area around Hagley
    Keywords: Bells; Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Copperheads; Deliveries; Gregg's store; Hunting dogs; Indoor plumbing; Larkin catalog; Laundry; Machines; Pumps; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Sears Roebuck catalog; Sounds; Telephones; Water; Whistles
    Transcript: Johnson: When you were little, did your mother have to fetch the water at the pump? And bring it in the house?

    Dunlop: Oh, yes. Cold water.

    Johnson: You'd have to heat it on the stove?

    Dunlop: Well, we'd have to use soap, and you never got a good wash until we had that place out there. It was the real McCoy. We had hot water. There was a lot of clean people around there after we got that.

    Johnson: Do you remember where the pump was when your mother had to get water?

    Dunlop: In the back yard. We had one in the kitchen on Breck's Lane. Sometimes the plunger would go dry, you'd have to save a bucket of water to start it.

    Johnson: Do you remember how your mother did the wash? Did she have tubs for washing?

    Dunlop: Just put them in the washtub, had it on and hang them outside.

    Johnson: When she put them outside, do you remember what the line was like?

    Dunlop: Regular rope.

    Johnson: Did she put it between two trees or did she have one of those pulleys?

    Dunlop: That's the way it mostly went, hooked on trees.

    Johnson: And what did you do in the wintertime if the wash was going to freeze? Would you have to put it in the kitchen?

    Dunlop: She'd bring it in and hang it around the stove in the kitchen.

    Johnson: Do you remember what the windows were like in the house? Did they have curtains or were they just plain shades?

    Dunlop: Did we have curtains up there? Yeah, we had curtains. See, she's a woman. She knows more about it. I didn’ t look for those things.

    Johnson: One of the persons who lived there around 1900 and they had no curtains and everybody who lived there 20 years later remembers having curtains. So, I guess some people didn't bother with curtains. Did you have those green shades to pull down?

    Dunlop: Yes.

    Johnson: Do you remember about grocery shopping? Did you get groceries from a local store?

    Dunlop: Yes, we had them delivered. Gregg's used to deliver our food and a man by the name of Harry Phillips, worked from Gregg, and he used to come around and deliver. And then we had stuff from -- The meat came from John Gilson. He would come around with his wagon.

    Johnson: Do you remember what that wagon was like? Did he have ice on the wagon?

    Dunlop: Never seen no ice on it.

    Mrs. Dunlop: He had ice. We dealt off him when we first got married.

    Dunlop: We dealt with him in 1924. Then we had Habey Chabey -- He used to deliver stuff -- a Jewish man. Then later on we dealt with Glandon's. They used to run it out.

    Johnson: Would you say they had good meat?

    Dunlop: Oh, yeah. Glandon's had the best of all. Never made much money. Making $90 a month and everything was so much down -- you paid them -- just like the old days. Had Stern, pay as you earn, and stuff like that.

    Johnson: Would they take orders beforehand?

    Dunlop: Call up. I had a phone. I think I had the second phone on Breck's Lane. Mr. Walker Madison, the old man, he had one, and I had one in 1925.

    Johnson: It must have been great to have a phone of your own.

    Dunlop: Well, a lot better than it is today because you've got headaches with them people today. I've got to go in next week and argue with them. I bought a phone and it cost $54.56 and they're still charging me $1.25 for a phone. That's been 18 months ago. I've been in touch with them once. No use talking over the phone. They give you the run-around. Get them in the corner in there and you can talk to them. But, you can't keep your cool because you've got two strikes on you.

    Johnson: Do you remember when electricity first came to Breck's Lane?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: What about running water?

    Dunlop: Don't know when running water came out, either. I guess some of the older folks know. What I call the more upper class had stuff like that. Walker Mathewson was -- he worked for the Cooper Shop. He was electrician for Alfred I. du Pont. He knew a lot about wiring because he was an electrician. He said he worked for the old cooper shop. I can't remember that.

    Johnson: Well, I think that was the grandfather. And the father would be the electrician.

    Mrs. Dunlop: That would be Les' grandfather, she means.

    Dunlop: Oh, yeah. And then his father -- he was electrician for Alfred I. du Pont.

    Johnson: Did your family rent or own their home?

    Mrs. Dunlop: You couldn't buy a home out there.

    Dunlop: You rented all them homes out there because that's a goldmine out there. That all belonged to du Ponts.

    Johnson: Where was the toilet located?

    Dunlop: In the backyard.

    Johnson: Right in back of the house?

    Dunlop: Oh, I'd say from about here to the end of the room. Ours was.

    Johnson: Not really too far, then?

    Dunlop: No. Then Sears Roebuck toilet paper wasn't bad. You didn't stay out there long in the wintertime. I moved her out there from a home where everything inside from the city and she come out there to no man's land. We still existed.

    Johnson: Did your mother ever buy anything from the Sears-Roebuck catalog?

    Dunlop: Never looked at the pages -- too cold.

    Mrs. Dunlop: She bought some, yes.

    Johnson: Did she ever get any other catalogs that you would know about?

    Dunlop: No.

    Johnson: Did you ever hear of Larkin? You bought things from a Larkin catalogue?

    Dunlop: Yes.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Yes, I sold Larkin stuff one time.

    Johnson: Do you remember any sounds from your childhood? Bells ringing?

    Dunlop: Bells ringing?

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: Well, yeah, St. Joseph's, ringing from twelve o'clock, and six o'clock. St. Joseph's bells.

    Johnson: Now, did the powder yard have a bell too, to call people to work, or would that have been earlier?

    Dunlop: I don't remember they had a whistle when I was a kid. DuPont Experimental had a whistle.

    Johnson: Do you remember if the mill machinery made a lot of noise?

    Dunlop: No, well, yeah, I mean up: the rolling mills and all made a lot of noise.

    Johnson: So you would be conscious of that noise when you were at home?

    Dunlop: No, not that close where we lived. No, people: well most of that was, far as I can remember, most of that would be up Squirrel Run would be the closest, there was never, you know: Free Park would be another one. Did you ever heard of Free Park?

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: That's up where the church is, you know that church up there.

    Johnson: Christ Church?

    Dunlop: Christ Church, yeah, that's where the millionaires get married and go. And that's a nice church, they're nice people up there.

    Johnson: Do you remember going up there when you were a child, did you ever go there to visit people?

    Dunlop: No, I got older, I went up there. I was there: I went up there, maybe when I was fifteen years old, you know, something like that, not when I was young. I mostly remember the powder mill when I was from seven on - about seven until I was about fifteen, maybe, I remember them.

    Johnson: Is there anything about them that you remember that - anything that sticks in your mind about being there?

    Dunlop: No: no, I used to hunt up there years ago, in 1928 with my coon dog, all through there. Never used to get any of them because they would hole up in the rocks. We used to train them and years ago, I don't know about now, but 1928 and '29, '30, there was copperhead snakes all through that place. And you know how you can tell a copperhead? It smells like cucumbers, you could smell them, I used to train them in the summertime, you know, and I quit it out because there was a lot of them up there.

    Johnson: Would they kill a dog?

    Dunlop: The water moccasins was a lot up there.

    Johnson: Now, when did the powder yards stop operating? By this time was the powder yards closed to...

    Dunlop: Oh my, they had stopped, I just forget when they had stopped. Oh yeah, before that because Hallock's du Pont's home was built there in 1935: no wait a minute, I'm all wrong on that. I went to work for him in '28, I'm wrong on about that. I was trying to think and I'm wrong about that when they built that home, because I went with him in'28 and the home was built - maybe it was '25, 1925.'Cause there was a name for that - there was a name for that place where that home was built, but I just can't recall it now. I know it was a dump anyhow, that's where they dumped all the scrap and sawdust and everything else up there, but there was a name for it. Steward and Donohue built it, I knew that. I give you the wrong date on that tape when I think of it.

    Johnson: Did you hear, they're going to have an archaeological excavation up on the museum property, they want to see if they can dig up anything there - sounds like they ought to be digging at that house that was the dump.
  • Throwing away trash; Real estate around Hagley; Gardens
    Keywords: Compost; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Gardens; Potatoes; Railroads; Trash; Tunnels
    Transcript: Dunlop: Well she just passed away, didn't she? Is she still living, Miss Appleton?

    Johnson: I don't know.

    Dunlop: You see, he's married - Hallock du Pont was married twice. Yeah, Hallock du Pont was married twice.

    Johnson: Do you remember anything about throwing the trash away when you were a youngster - how did you get rid of the trash then?

    Dunlop: Oh, we had what they call a: where we burn it, you know, we had a can out there and burned it.

    Johnson: They didn't collect it the way they do today?

    Dunlop: No, not as far as I can remember. We buried a lot of stuff, old tin cans and stuff.

    Mrs. Dunlop: His father always had a compost, you know.

    Dunlop: Yeah, well, the slop and all was in the compost – planting tomatoes and stuff like that.

    Mrs. Dunlop: W. K. and the Lairds had a dumping place back of: by the railroad tracks.

    Dunlop: Yeah, back of W. K. du Pont's: they had a big hole back there …

    Mrs. Dunlop: They had a big place back there, they used to collect all the trash and take back there.

    Dunlop: Yeah, they covered that over. I'll tell you another guy might help you out, he owns a lot of ground out there now. He owns there where that Jeff Blakley's place, and he owns the Reading Station there - his name is Rowe, he's a brother to that Aloysius Rowe, and he lives up around Fairfax somewhere. You didn't get him?

    Johnson: It seems that they do know a Rowe, I don't have his name here.

    Mrs. Dunlop: Dickie Rowe used to be our iceman.

    Dunlop: Yeah, he used to be an iceman but he's pretty well fixed now, he's got a lot of money, owns a lot of property. But he - one of the du Ponts tried to buy that and he wouldn't sell it to them. That's where the tunnel is, there's a tunnel over there, the Reading Railroad goes - she put that up to stop the smoke from coming up there.

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: Did you know that?

    Johnson: Somebody told me that. One of the people had these pictures and it really makes one long picture. I think these were done around 1919 and you can see the tunnel on there. See this is the park where the statue would be in Rockford Park. And then this is Tower Hill School just being built and you can see the railroad in there.

    Dunlop: Well this is down the bottom of Rising Sun Lane.

    Johnson: Yes. See it really - she just has it mounted out and...

    Dunlop: Oh, I see, you’ ve gotta stretch it out. That's beautiful.

    Johnson: There it is - is this the tunnel you mean?

    Dunlop: That's it, that's it.

    Johnson: And I think now we are beginning to see the Breck's Lane houses - oh no, this would be Main Street houses.

    Dunlop: Main Street, yeah.

    Johnson: And do you remember the trolley line being in Main Street?

    Dunlop: Yeah. This is upside-down, I can see that. Now there's Hudson's Mill right there.

    Johnson: Well now, wouldn't this be Hudson's Mill and this would be Breck's Mill?

    Dunlop: That's the old Breck's Lane Mill isn't it?

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: Yeah, that's Breck's Lane there.

    Johnson: This is the covered bridge.

    Dunlop: Yeah, now these are old pictures, ain't they?

    Johnson: Yes.

    Dunlop: Did you get copies off them other ones?

    Johnson: Yes. This is a copy of the one that ________________ had.

    Dunlop: Will you be able: some kind of copy for them men there, or is that impossible: I showed you: Jeff Blakley?

    Johnson: I think they could copy it on their Xerox machine, I'll ask them. It would be really nice if we could have a copy, if you don't mind my taking it: I would bring it back. Do you remember what this house would have been up here, this is Breck's Mill. It's a little hard to see on that picture.

    Dunlop: I don't know whose house that is.

    Johnson: I should have asked you what they grew: what vegetables did your father grow in his garden?

    Dunlop: Everything: tomatoes, potatoes, Early Rose Potatoes, and Irish Cobbler Potatoes.

    Johnson: Now where did he get all the seeds for this- the different kinds of potatoes?

    Dunlop: Used to buy them - far as I can remember, he used to buy them at Thompsons, down on French Street, that's as far as I can remember. That's wonderful.

    Johnson: And do you remember anything about what the potatoes were like - what were the different kinds like?

    Dunlop: No - well they were different colors, the Early Rose was a pinkish potato and the Irish Cobbler was just a plain potato.

    Johnson: Did they get ripe at different times, or get ready to eat at different times?

    Dunlop: Well, just depends on how you cut the eyes, too, you gotta know how to cut them. I used to know, but I can't remember. I don't know whether leave two eyes or three eyes.

    Johnson: Did they grow pretty well in this soil?

    Dunlop: Well, see, you make a trench on them and then you cover them over, and they come up like a bush and bloom, and then when the bloom die off, that's about when they're ready.

    Johnson: Did you grow spinach and things like that: green vegetables?

    Dunlop: Yeah, rhubarb...