Interview with James Gamble, 1981 April 24 [audio](part 1)

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  • Genealogy and family occupations
    Keywords: Genealogy; Irish immigrants
    Transcript: Tremaine: What is your name?

    Gamble: James Elmer Gamble. Pete.

    Tremaine: Your address?

    Gamble: 15 Dallas Avenue, Claymont.

    Tremaine: Age? Do you mind telling your age?

    Gamble: Not now. It don't make any difference. I'm too old. I'm 80...78.

    Tremaine: Where were you born?

    Gamble: Henry Clay, Delaware.

    Tremaine: Where have you lived besides Henry Clay?

    Gamble: Well, I lived down on 17th Street. What they call 40 Acres and Highlands. That's where I lived most of all my life. I lived on Lincoln Street for a while before I...we were both small. The three of us. Then we moved back up to 17th Street. Then my father...My mother died when we were small. My brother was three and I was about eight. Between seven or eight. Then we moved back up on 17th Street because my uncle who had the quarry there and the houses was a relative of my mother's. Not the uncle but his wife. She was a Connely. The Connelys lived there, and they had a lot of contracting work for DuPont. Done a lot of hauling, built a lot of walls. These big walls, they hauled all that in. They had also the coal company, Connely's Coal Company, which later was three different companies in one.

    Tremaine: All that stone came from that quarry.

    Gamble: No. Different quarries. A lot of it, as I understand, came in by boat. Big pieces. Like you see at the station down in Wilmington? And they hauled a lot of that in.

    Tremaine: Whereabouts did the boat come in?

    Gamble: Well I imagine it came in on the Christiana. This was before my time. That's where I thought it came in. That would be the closest place. The Christiana's not far from there. Then a lot of it was made right here. I don't think my uncle had any big stone like that. It's granite. Brandywine granite. Come from around here.

    Tremaine: What was your father's name?

    Gamble: James Gamble.

    Tremaine: And where was he born?

    Gamble: Well, to explain it the way I get it, it's where Hallock du Pont's house is. When I was small, there was two places up there, two houses. And Hordee's lived in one and my grandmother Gamble lived in the other.

    Tremaine: And what was his occupation?

    Gamble: He was a carpenter there.

    Tremaine: And where was his father born?

    Gamble: His father was born in Ireland.

    Tremaine: And do you know his occupation?

    Gamble: Well he was boss painter here. My great grandfather.

    Tremaine: He came over here?

    Gamble: Yeah. That's Gamble.

    Tremaine: And your grandmother?

    Gamble: They came here on their honeymoon. They came here and got married in New York. At her sister's and her husband.

    Tremaine: What brought them to America?

    Gamble: Well I don't know.

    Tremaine: Well why did they come settle here on the Brandywine?

    Gamble: That's another one I could never answer, except that a lot of people from Ireland and England and Scotland come here. And that's what mostly lived up around the Brandywine from British possessions.

    Tremaine: What was your mother's name.

    Gamble: Gosh. Uh ...

    Mary Evelyn Gamble: Mattie.

    Gamble: Mattie. I get it mixed up.

    Tremaine: And what was her maiden name?

    Gamble: Frizell. Mattie Frizell.

    Tremaine: And where was she born?

    Gamble: She was born on the Brandywine. Right down the hill from where I was born.

    Tremaine: And did she work at all?

    Gamble: No. I don't think she did.

    Tremaine: And her father?

    Gamble: Her father was Sam Frizell. He built the mills. Stone work.

    Tremaine: And her grandmother?

    Gamble: Her grandmother?

    Tremaine: Uh huh.

    Gamble: I don't know what her grandmother's name is. I'd like to know that. Because her grandfather...her father's name was Connely. The man who heads all this stone work, coal yards, and haul all DuPont's coal there. And his name was Connely. And she had two other sisters as far as I know.
  • Local grocery stores, including his uncle Sam Frizell's store; St. Joseph's Fourth of July picnic and the Italians playing bocce
    Keywords: Blakely's tavern; Boccie (Game); Delivery of goods; Fires; Fourth of July celebrations; Frizell, Samuel; Grocery trade; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Social life and customs; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Working class families; St. Joseph's-on-the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Greenville, Del.); Tom Catalina
    Transcript: Tremaine: Now you say your grandfather was Frizell. And that's how you pronounce it Frizell. Do you remember the store at all?

    Gamble: I remember two stores.

    Tremaine: Two stores. All right.

    Gamble: I remember the drugstore Uncle George kept.

    Tremaine: Uncle George?

    Gamble: Uncle George Frizell. And that was in the Odd Fellows building. Next to where that tavern is there. You know where that tavern is coming down? Boners kept the tavern years ago. I don't think it was a tavern. Then the other store was right across from Hagley...what they called the Community House, the Hagley Mill. That little place. Lloyds lived over here and it came in around like that. On the corner going up to the Yard. It set right back in there, and that's where Uncle Sam had the grocery store right there.

    Tremaine: Uncle Sam...

    Gamble: Frizell.

    Tremaine: Did you ever go in the grocery store?

    Gamble: I think I was in it once or twice. I'm not sure. I know I was in there. Twice. And my sister was in there, I don't know why, when the thing caught fire. She got out. My Uncle Sam wasn't married. My sister was only about eight years old. No, I was eight. She's about three or four years older than I was.

    Tremaine: Now about what year was that?

    Gamble: Well, I remember I was born in 1903. I think that was about...well I was about eight years old.

    Tremaine: That would make it 1911.

    Gamble: It was before 1911.

    Tremaine: Had they had a fire there before that?

    Gamble: I don't think so. I'm not sure.

    Tremaine: But this is the one that destroyed the grocery store?

    Gamble: Yes. In later years he had a...See he had like a...I guess you would call him hunchbacked. The way I understand it from either measles or diphtheria. He was short. He had a horse and wagon. It was a red wagon. He bought all his pies and bread and stuff from in town. I'm not sure...He served all up around these people. He had to go to Rockland one day, and the next day he would come down through town and stopped at our house when we were small. You got six loaves of bread for a quarter.

    Tremaine: Six loaves!

    Gamble: Six loaves. You ask anybody who lived along the crick or up in Squirrel Run or up around Chicken Alley up that way.

    Tremaine: Did he deliver something else besides bread?

    Gamble: No. Just bread and pies. Pies, cakes and bread because I used to get the pies off the wagon [laughs].

    Tremaine: You mean you used to snitch them off the wagon?

    Gamble: Yeah. I did. [laughter]

    Gamble: He took me with him several times up through there.

    Tremaine: Did you drive the horse?

    Gamble: Yeah. Yeah. In fact I took...Me and another fellow took care of the stable when we were kids.

    Tremaine: Did you get paid for that?

    Gamble: Yeah. 25 cents.

    Tremaine: A week?

    Gamble: Yeah. We only did it one day. He cleaned the others. It's right there coming down Rising Sun Lane.

    Tremaine: The stable is still there

    Gamble: Yeah. But I think they turned it into a house. It's in the back. Back where the tavern...do you know where the tavern used to be?

    Tremaine: Well you describe...

    Gamble: As you're coming down Rising Sun Hill, it's on the left. It's where you make the turn and go under the bridge. Right before you make the turn was the tavern. And then the driveway was in between that and the other place there was the railroad station. New Bridge Station was right there. Still there, the station. But that's where he kept the horse and buggy. In fact, he lived with Blakely's, see. Jeff Blakely was a big, heavy man. He had a tavern. And I think...I can't think of his wife's name. I remember him because on the Fourth of July, we went up to Squirrel Run. That's where my grandmother lived.

    Tremaine: And what was your grandmother's name?

    Gamble: Gamble. And he used to have a reunion...And three or four of her boys lived in New York, and they all come on down for a reunion every Fourth of July. Then up on the hill, back where I say Hallock's house is, back where my father was born, and the next one is where Hordees lived. They had a picnic. St. Joseph's church had a picnic every year. That was a great thing for us kids. We'd go up to the picnic. And they had ice cream. And they had a dance hall. They'd put the boards down and they had a fiddler and a couple more string bands. They used to...play the music and do the square dances. We used to spend it up there until one of my uncles used to come up and get us, take us down to dinner. And you had a good time. And when that was over, when I used to go up there, the Italians used to play bocce up there. You ever hear of bocce?

    Tremaine: Yeah.

    Gamble: They used to play bocce up there. And we used to go up and sit and watch them. In the daytime, us kids, we'd get out and block the bocce. [laughs]

    Tremaine: Did they ever go down and play by the store? Did you ever see them playing by the store, the men?

    Gamble: Down there or in Squirrel Run?

    Tremaine: Down by Frizell's Store .

    Gamble: Not...they might have.

    Tremaine: But you didn't see them?

    Gamble: No. No I don't think I ever remember playing ball, or bocce, down there. But I guess it was the same gang if they played down there because they had plenty room from the store back in there and play bocce. At the...I can't remember...But we used to have a time. It's near a store to my grandmother's, was Tom Catalina. He had a store about a square and a half down from Squirrel Run.

    Tremaine: What did he sell in his store?

    Gamble: It was a grocery store. Mostly his biggest sale was coal oil.

    Tremaine: Coal oil.

    Gamble: Yeah. They all used coal oil for their lamps up there. Then there was one further up in Squirrel Run, but I can't think of who had that store. But I do know there was a store in the Powder Yard.

    Tremaine: There was?

    Gamble: Yeah. And it was run by Sterling. He hired the men for DuPont. Had the grocery store and also had a supply store for the workmen who want to buy stuff like that instead of going to town. I remember that. And had another uncle had a store right below where the tavern is now. Well, between that and...the Oddfellows Building. His name was Cavanaugh. They're cousins of mine.

    Tremaine: Oh, they are?

    Gamble: Yeah. She was a...someone said the Connely's. I don't know whether she was one of the daughters. Bob was around my age. And they had the drug...I mean the grocery store there. And the post office. They used to have the big coal oil bins outside. They had to pump it to get the coal oil out.

    Tremaine: Now where did the bins get filled from?

    Gamble: Where what?

    Tremaine: How did the bins get filled? You pumped it out of the bins, but how did it get into the bins?

    Gamble: Well they had a truck come up there. They had a place they used to turn it. Turn it like this and it would run over and run into that. They'd close that off. Then they had a one that set down in...a can...a big bin. They used to turn to get a quart or a gallon.

    Tremaine: Do you remember how much it cost? A quart or a gallon.

    Gamble: Oh I don't think...I used to get it for grandma. I don't think it was over 10 cents anyway. That was a lot of money.
  • Mary Ayres' and Harry Gregg's stores; men playing tricks on each other; trains in the area; other mills on the Brandywine and collecting sawdust at one of them for horse bedding
    Keywords: Grocery trade; Honey; Mills and mill-work; Railroad trains; saw mills; Tricks; Wood waste
    Transcript: Gamble: I liked growing up there. I spent most of my life on the crick. I worked for the DuPont Company for 39 years at the Experimental Station. But clear up to the time I got married, I used to take walks up along the Creek. Grandmom...till my sister got married. See now, Grandmother and Grandfather died...they raised my sister Francis Gamble. Coming down the crick was another little store, coming down Rising Sun Lane. And the lady that kept house for us after my mother died, an elderly, real elderly lady, she used to keep that store. It was like a little notions store.

    Tremaine: What was her name?

    Gamble: Mary Jane Ayres. I remember. Down the bottom of the hill, Rising Sun Lane, where you make the turn was another store. That was a grocery store. We used to get all our stuff off a him, Mr. Gregg. Harry Gregg was his name. And he finally moved down right off of 17th Street. I think it was Greenhill Avenue. I'm not sure. That's where he lived there. He had quite a family. Mr. Gregg came to my grandmother and grandfather on their 50th wedding anniversary. And they were great friends, because my uncle kept a drugstore, and he knew everybody on the crick clear out to the country. A lot of them used to come into town, farmers, with their horse and buggy. They used to deliver stuff in town to the market and stop up at Uncle George's drugstore and pick the stuff up at night going out to home. Some of the tricks they used to play on each other. That was the way it was out there. We lived...my grandmother lived in Squirrel Run. All the one people used to collect there on Sunday, the family. And they'd have dinner Sunday. And go from there...my father, my brother and myself...go walk from there down and up Rising Sun Hill to where my grandmother lived. We'd have supper there. Then we'd get on the trolley car for a nickel and ride home down 17th Street. That was every Sunday night. There's a lot of places up there along the crick...

    Tremaine: You were speaking of some of the tricks they pulled on each other?

    Gamble: Say what?

    Tremaine: The tricks.

    Gamble: Oh. The tricks. [laughs] Some of them were pretty bad. They would go honey hunting up there.

    Tremaine: Honey?

    Gamble: Yeah. They get a fellow that knows nothing about it, see. You'd ask this fellow, "You like honey? We'll take you where you can get honey." Then they'd take him out to Squirrel Run or around there. Or up towards Talleyville. And there'd be three of them. And one would go up a tree and the other fellow that was supposed to want the honey, he would stand down, and another fellow standing on the ground with a bag. Then drop the beehive down into that. The other had a fellow on the [distance?] there said, "Watch it. The farmer here, he's liable to come after you and shoot you with his shotgun." So the fellow up the tree come down, and they shoot the gun. "Oh, the farmer's coming." They'd have another fellow around there was the sheriff. And they'd have him arrested. Poor fellow. Take him down to this place, the tavern. That was Scoop Dorman was the old fellow with the glass eye - maybe you've seen his picture up there. They'd have a court. They'd ask him who he knows,after a while. And he'd say someone like...in my days...Frank Toner, who lived on the crick across from my grandmother. He'd go up and say, I'll vouch for him. [laughs] That poor fellow was scared to death. And after a while maybe...cause he worked up the Station too...most of the fellows, later than my time. He'd go around and say "Well, I'll get everything fixed up for you." And they had other things they used to do. My uncle used to get them in the drug store.

    Tremaine: What did he do there?

    Gamble: Well, an old farmer would come in there. His father-in-law kept the tavern. Toy's Tavern. I don't know whether you've seen it or not. It's still there on the crick. In fact I think they fixed that all up. He'd go over and get drunk, half drunk. Uncle George would say, "I'll fill your stuff for you. So they'd give him everything he wanted. Before he went out, I don't know what it was, somebody said it was valerian. He had a tooth out in the front, and he'd spit that on him. And...it had an awful odor to it. By the time he got home, he'd be half drunk and stinking like a polecat. [laughs] Next week he come down there hunting my Uncle George. Uncle George wouldn't be there. He'd stop in the tavern and ask the man where my Uncle George was. "I don't know. I think he took a day off." I don't know whether he ever caught up with him or not. Oh they used to play a lot of tricks along there. People used to ride the trains for 25 cents from all the way up to Montchanin, come down through the Yards. That's the way my father got back and forth to work.

    Tremaine: The train went right through the Yard?

    Gamble: No. Came down outside the Yard.

    Tremaine: Up on the hill.

    Gamble: Yeah. Well there's a bridge there. Do you see where the bridge is there. Down...I used to many a time walk that bridge...

    Tremaine: Now, you're speaking of trolleys?

    Gamble: Trolley bridge.

    Tremaine: Or train.

    Gamble: Trains. See, the train run clear down to Bancroft. That's the only way Bancroft got served. That way. They would come into Westover Hills and then sidetrack from Westover Hills. See that's the way they'd come into town. The train run around there and into Front Street in Wilmington. That's the only way I know it came in. They could come into town, but I don't know, by the coal yards through Bancroft. This run through Bancroft, too.

    Tremaine: Were you in the Yards at all?

    Gamble: The Yards? The powder yards? Yeah, I worked up there.

    Tremaine: What did you do up there?

    Gamble: I worked on a place where...it's up in the middle of the Yard now. I don't know whether that was a carpenter shop years ago. They show pictures in there now, I think. Well we worked on the buildings at that time. See I was a metal worker. I worked at the Experimental Station. And then I left there, got laid off. Then went back. And learned a trade, because you couldn't find a job then. It was hard for people to get a job. So friends of mine had a metal business, and they asked me whether I wanted to go to work. I said yeah. So I was single, and I went to work.

    Tremaine: Do you remember the old machine shop?

    Gamble: Up where the...the one up in the middle of the Yard?

    Tremaine: Yes. Not the one near the gate, but the one ...

    Gamble: Yeah. That's they used as a carpenter shop was right up near there.

    Tremaine: Is that what you worked in?

    Gamble: No. I worked down the Experimental Station. But when I worked outside, when I got a job outside, that's when I worked in the Yards and where Hudson's Mill used to be. That's the building you go up and walk around to. The Hodgins had that. Then my cousins, they had the mill, see, lower down. It was a barley mill. They had a mill there. Then there was other people had mills up there too. There was Clarkson...no...not Clarkson...Carlin. Carlin's Mill. It was a carpenter-woodworking mill in there. I think they're all dead now.

    Tremaine: Where was this mill?

    Gamble: On the other side of the crick. See, there's things on the other side. And I worked up in there on all those homes that Mrs. Copeland owned. And I fixed them all up for her. I mean all those different things. She was a smart lady. She was an engineer, too. Very nice lady. And then Barlow's Mill was coming down towards the bridge. But there were a lot of things they used to play on people up there. Doughertys lived right there too, coming down Rising Sun Lane. Two sisters, I think they were both seamstresses, worked for the du Pont family. My sister and Jenny Dougherty is what we called her. Her right .. marriage...single...Mrs. Dougherty. I can't think of her husband's name. Anyway, they weren't living together, and the sisters raised her. Bradley was her name. Jenny Bradley. She was a nice girl. Her and my sister went to school together up at Alfred I...Alexis I. We used to have a good time up there. They used to have a big place where they made the lumber. Made boxes and stuff for up in the Yard. This was during the war. Right after the first World War. We were only kids. We used to take a wheelbarrow and take two bags and wheel that right up to this place. And they'd have all this sawdust. They'd shoot it out and have a great big pile of it. We used to put it in the bags, take it down, and we'd give my uncle. And he used it for bedding down for the horses. Along with the straw. It helped fill it out then, in those days. But we got a quarter for that, too.

    Tremaine: Did you get an allowance too?

    Gamble: An allowance? No. Didn't get no allowance. My father had it pretty tough. Raising two boys alone in them times. Paying for a housekeeper, and some of them didn't stay very long. They're hard to get.
  • Swimming in Brandywine Creek; his house and other neighborhood houses, outbuildings, and garden; taking the trolley to Brandywine Springs Park on free days
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Brandywine Springs Park; Breck's Lane; Freemasons; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Working class families; Neighborhoods; Outhouses; Porches; Street-railroads; Swimming; Vegetable gardening; Wooden-frame houses
    Transcript: Tremaine: When you played, did you go swimming in the creek?

    Gamble: In the crick? Yes, indeed. You had a rope put up a tree. Bring it down. You get a hold of that rope, and yo go out and you swing and drop off of it. We were all up the creek clear up to Squirrel Run. And up there at Squirrel Run, I don't know if you hear much about that, they used to have a trolley car run all up there to the end of the line. The houses sit over here and they're high. They come down the road and then across. That's where the garden...everybody had their garden in there. Alongside of the garden, if you had to go to the toilet, that's where the toilets were. And they were all along there with the houses. [laughs] Trolley car come up this way. They couldn't see much, but whey they were coming down [laughs] everybody could see if you had the doors open. [laughs] Whole rows of them. That was a great time. People used to kid about it. And the old trolley car used to bounce up and down. My father, he used to play up towards Rockland...or up towards the end of the line. There was a ball field there. The kids had a ball team. He was telling us they had a good team. No matter who you were, if you were a good player, you played on the team. Then they moved that picnic...the picnic they used to have up at Squirrel Run they moved that out to the end of the trolley line. That's where they'd have it, in the field out there. But they had a good rainstorm and everybody got flooded out. I don't think they had it up there anymore. Everybody up the crick in those days, if you were sick, we had about two doctors. Dr. Joe Chandler from Centerville and Dr. Farmer in town. If you were sick, this lady who's here would take care of this lady here. That's the way they did it in those days. They were all good neighbors.

    Tremaine: Do you remember your house at all? Could you describe the house?

    Gamble: Well, it was a regular, two-story frame house. It came up steps for about, oh I guess, eight foot. It was set up high. One thing I can remember, when I was a kid they used to have the porch fenced in so I wouldn't fall out. Down the road, down Rising Sun Road, in the back was a schoolhouse back there. That's where my mother went to school. After that, I think the Masonic Order, the way I hear it the Masonic Order rented the place. Once, it must have been a Saturday, had to be a Saturday cause all the men have off, I seen these men all coming up the road. They all had high hats on, white aprons. I said to my mother "Mom, come on out here. There's a big circus coming through town." That was years ago. I didn't know what they were. I knew some of them just because they were out here on the crick.

    Tremaine: When you...did you have a front porch?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. We had a front porch. Up high. Just like the ones down on - some of them are still down on Breck's Lane. See how they sit up high?

    Tremaine: Did you use the front porch? Did your father sit out there?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. He sat in the rocking chair outs there. I can just remember that, because we moved. I don't know how many years it was.

    Tremaine: Did you have a back porch?

    Gamble: I think we did. The ground was higher in the back than it was in the front, and we had a shed there. I remember that. The people lived next door, their names were Buchanan. He drove the horses for one of the DuPonts. I don't know what they call 'em. Then there's houses further up, but from where we lived to my grandfather's house...Elizabeth Craig was her name that lives there now. Have you met her?

    Tremaine: No. But there are others who are doing this too.

    Gamble: Elizabeth Craig's lives there. That was where my grandfather lived. And that was some house. And across the street was the tavern, and then Dougherty's house. And I don't know who lived in the little house. Then a little further down there was several people lived there. Toners lived on the corner. And that's where you go into the Yard, back in their place. My great grandfather Connely had a regular farm...it looked just like a regular farmhouse. And Mrs. Copeland kept it for a long time before she tore it down where George McCarllin lives now.

    Tremaine: Did you have a back yard?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: A garden?

    Gamble: Yeah. Pop used to have a garden.

    Tremaine: What did you grow in the garden?

    Gamble: Well regular tomatoes and - didn't have corn - mostly vegetables. You didn't have much time because in those days they worked ten, twelve hours. They were working ten hours a day when I was growing up.

    Tremaine: Was your outhouse beyond your garden?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. Most all of them were. Even when we moved into the city they had an awful lot of them.

    Tremaine: Did you have chickens?

    Gamble: No, we didn't. My grandmother did. As I say, when I was small I used to...that house where you turn to go down into the Yard, you turn and you go on down to go right in there. There's a house right there. When I was a boy, I used to go over there in the morning to get eggs from the lady that kept them. She give me a duck egg. Every once in a while they had ducks. She gave me that free. Take it over to grandmom. I don't know whether she paid for it. But they didn't cost much then.

    Tremaine: Did you have a grape arbor?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. We had bricks up at grandma...up at grandpop's. And the grape arbor come out of the side and down and then they had the bricks. And that was my brother's and my job, to pull all the weeds out from between the bricks. We got lO cents for that.

    Tremaine: I think you earned quite a bit of money.

    Gamble: That's all we had to do. Then we'd save that up and then used to have a free day at Brandywine Springs Park. And we'd get the free trolley car. We had to ride two trolley cars from grandpop's...two...three trolley cars. One came down Delaware Avenue into town. The other came on Woodlawn Avenue all the way to Sixth Street. Then you get off at Sixth Street and get the Springs car all the way out to Brandywine Springs. That was a pretty long time ago.

    Tremaine: You spent all your money there?

    Gamble: Well you'd get so many free rides.

    Tremaine: Oh it was free day?

    Gamble: Free day for the kids. We'd save up, then we'd skip a week. Then we'd get an extra quarter. [laughs]

    Tremaine: Oh, they had a free day every week, then?

    Gamble: Yeah. It was nice out there.

    Tremaine: You mentioned a shed in back of your house. A shed. What was kept in the shed?

    Gamble: Well...I think with ours it was the washing machine if they had one. I don't know whether we had one or not. Grandma had one. It was a brown one...well both my grandmothers...and you poured the water in and then the kids used to get there and that was their job.

    Tremaine: Back and forth.

    Gamble: Washing. [laughs] I used to do that.

    Tremaine: You took your dirty things up there and she would do them for you?

    Gamble: Yeah. Put them up on the line. I think they have a picture of my grandmother up there at Squirrel Run. And my cousin Barlow. Howard Barlow was up there for a while. He died. They had that mill that was Walker's Mill before that.
  • Irish trunks; discussing an 1850 map of Hagley site; delivering prescriptions to DuPont clubhouse; swimming and skating on Brandywine Creek
    Keywords: "Chickee Chew"; "Depression Beach"; Bicycles; Delivery of goods; Emigration and immigration; Skating; Swimming; Trunks (Luggage); Wounds and injuries
    Transcript: Tremaine: Do you remember anything about a...have you ever heard of an Irish trunk?

    Gamble: An Irish what?

    Tremaine: Trunk.

    Gamble: Trunk? Yeah, grandma had one. We had one in the cellar that my mother had. It was about that high.

    Tremaine: How high is that?

    Gamble: I'd say about 12 or 18 inches.

    Tremaine: And what did it look like?

    Gamble: Well it was thin wood. And then it had...some of them were solid wood. And then it had paper over it and two straps that come over here.

    Tremaine: Toward the front?

    Gamble: Yeah. And a lock on it. We had one in the cellar. We lost ours because they had a flood in home when we were small, and the flood filled up in there. So high up. We lived on Union Street then. Right off of 17th. It would fill up so high, and all that stuff we had in there was lost. Even the bible was lost. My uncle's stuff.

    Tremaine: I was going...I had a picture here I wanted to see if you could identify.

    Gamble: We had a friend of ours. McCanlan [McKanna?]. Louis McCanlan lived a couple doors below my grandmother. And they had one that one of them brought back from Ireland...my grandparents...And he had a little picture on the inside of that. And it was...he's crazy for antiques. He steamed that off the inside of that and took it off. Then he framed it. Now what he did with it...his name was Frizell, the druggist son.

    Tremaine: Does he still live in...

    Gamble: He lives up in Lancaster. He and his wife I think have an antique business up there. They had their drugstore I think in later years in Atlantic City. Uncle George. He had all their boys raised in Atlantic City. They weren't raised much on the crick. He even come to our house. They used to have these bamboo...what you call them...knick knacks.

    Tremaine: What did you call it?

    Gamble: Knick knacks. They just set them on that. You know they got rid of all those after a while. Down the cellar. But I think he took them all up to Lancaster with him. We don't know. I wouldn't swear to it.

    Tremaine: I don't think I explained before that they are opening an exhibit on Labor Day hopefully. Called the Workers' World. This is one reason we're trying to interview a lot of people. If we can say, seven out of eight people said this is the way it was...They're trying to make it authentic. Also, they're hoping to borrow things for the exhibit that were actually in the yards, whether it be a spoon or an Irish trunk or photograph. Photographs they do copy. They don't keep those.

    Gamble: My grandmother had a lot of that. She bought it down Barlows. I don't know what Howard did with it, but he was up in the yard for a while.

    Tremaine: This is an 1850 map showing...here's the Office, the Brandywine, the Millwright Shop.

    Gamble: The office up on the hill, that's where the two...oh, she worked at the Station when I did...two sisters. Sykes.

    Tremaine: Sykes?

    Gamble: Sykes. Then across from that...Sykes...there was a building there. And the superintendent of the mill lived in it. And my father, when he was a boy, he lived with him the because he was burnt down in the powder. After a few years...I would think that...he died. And his widow and daughter, they went back to New York. They thought a lot of my father.

    Tremaine: How did he get burned?

    Gamble: In this powder.

    Tremaine: A flash fire?

    Gamble: I guess it was a flash fire. Pop never told us how it was. He lived there with them. And that's where the fire was. Now where's the office here?

    Tremaine: Now this is on the other side.

    Gamble: This is the crick side?

    Tremaine: And this is the Yard side.

    Gamble: They were up here. Yeah.

    Tremaine: Here's the first house. Here's the upper yard. Here's Hagley Yard.

    Gamble: That's down here. No, it was up in here.

    Tremaine: Up near...

    Gamble: Right across from the office

    Tremaine: The first house?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: Over toward Chicken Alley?

    Gamble: No. Chicken Alley's across the bridge on the other side.

    Tremaine: Oh, you mean down this way towards the upper yard?

    Gamble: Chicken Alley's over here.

    Tremaine: I should have a bigger one of these.

    Gamble: It's the last house down was theirs. It was outside of the big house that they did over. When I was a young fellow that house...it stood there right along the road. Right along the road here. But they didn't use it, and they did it over. When I worked for Capo's drugstore on Delaware Avenue and DuPont. During the war up here, First World War, they had the Guards stationed in the clubhouse there. Us kids we used to ride the bicycle to take out prescriptions in those days. That's the only way they could get people to get them. I rode the bicycle from Delaware Avenue and DuPont, if you know where that is, all the way up at nighttime after ten o'clock at night. That's the time they closed. No, they closed at nine. That was during the war. I rode a bicycle all the way up there at night. Took the prescription up there. Well, they had this fence, see. Where the fence is by the clubhouse. And the walls were all down. I was scared to death anyway. I went in the side, and the head guard took the prescription. I think he gave me a dollar [audio repeated] for the fellow that was sick. Then I had to go all the way back down. That was around, oh I guess about 11 or 12 o'clock at night when I got there. Then I had to go home. But I lived close to it. Union Street. So that's where I took that. But I was only a boy. But I liked it up there. Day or night. I went all through there. They used to have good times, the boys up there. Played a lot of jokes and everything. Go swimming. You'd swim for a half hour and it would take you two hours to chew your clothes apart. Used to wet 'em. Tie knots in them and wet them. Your clothes. See, you didn't use bathing suits in them day. [laughs] Then they'd holler back at you "Chickee Chew!"

    Tremaine: What was that?

    Gamble: Chickee Chew. You had to chew the clothes apart.

    Tremaine: Oh.

    Gamble: We really got them chewed.

    Tremaine: Did you go ice skating in the winter then, too?

    Gamble: Yeah. There was good skating on the crick. Yeah. The first pair of skates I had had double runners on them.

    Tremaine: Did anyone ever fall in through the ice?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. See I worked the Experimental Station. When I worked there, a lot of people came there. They would skate. A few of 'em would fall in. Our building then was right along the crick where you cross the bridge. That's where it was the deepest, too. That's where they'd skate. Then there's, down here in the crick, across from the Experimental Station. There was a race in there and all run into the Experimental Station. And also there was a dam that they had run over. But during the depression, we used to call that Depression Beach. Everybody went swimming. That's below...that's the park. Right below where the park land is.
  • Louise Crowninshield renovations to Eleutherian Mills house and ruined garden; Wagoner's Row and Pancake Run
    Keywords: Barley Mill; Breck's Mill; Crowninshield garden; Crowninshield, Louise du Pont, 1877-1958; Violin; Wagoner's Row
    Transcript: Tremaine: Here's Walker's Bank. Henry Clay on that side. The Henry Clay Factory. And the Sunday School.

    Gamble: Up at the old...

    Tremaine: Mmmm hmmm

    Gamble: Oh, everybody went to Sunday school up there. That's when the teachers were the du Ponts. My father, well he went to Greenhill Church. You know where that it? He went there. Mt. Salem. Did you interview any of the Beacoms? Lot of Beacoms out there. They had a blacksmith shop up there. They were up in here somewhere. Across from all them stores up there now. There weren't stores then. There was a feed mill up there along the railroad station. I used to walk all the way up there. Billie Hunter kept a store in Rockland...er...not in Rockland but the end of the line where you go up into Carpenters and up toward Mrs. Crowninshield's. I worked on Mrs. Crowninshields when she did it over. All them stones like I got out front here, them big ones. She built a wall; had Stewart [Dunahoe?] to built a wall for her all around there. Then she put dynamite in it. And blowed the wall up. And that's where...I don't know whether they still call it "the ruins of Pompeii." That's where that is.

    Tremaine: And that's how she did it?

    Gamble: That's how she did it. Yeah. Bought all the streets...all of Front Street in Wilmington.

    Gamble: They came from Front Street?

    Tremaine: Yeah. Front Street, or I think it was Front Street at that time. Front Street in Wilmington had cobblestones. Well quite a few streets had cobblestones, but I think they came from Front Street in Wilmington. It was one of the first streets done over.

    Tremaine: That was when they were paving Front Street?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: She lived most of the time in New York. She was a nice lady. I don't even remember when I was working out there on the house. I don't think it was her or it might have been somebody else. But off in here where Christ Church is, my father used to...my grandfather used to work around here in the yard and around on the homes and all, had men with him doing the painting. He used to carry...well from Squirrel Run, up and across and over all them farmhouses and those things that DuPonts owned. He carried his dinner over there on Saturdays when he worked.

    Gamble: Oh, they were fed? The Company fed them?

    Gamble: No. No.

    Tremaine: Oh. He would take the food?

    Gamble: Yeah. Not as I know of.

    Tremaine: But he would take the food over ...

    Gamble: Yeah. My father's...my grandfather's lunch. Some of the places up there... [Background conversation.]

    Tremaine: Wagoner's Row. [pointing to a map] Way up here.

    Gamble: Wagoner's?

    Tremaine: Row.

    Gamble: Wagoner's Row. Yeah. It's still there. Joneses used to live in the stone house. That stone house was owned by Alfred I du Pont when Jones lived in there. We used to call him Fiddler Jones. He played the fiddle.

    Tremaine: All the time?

    Gamble: Well...he had a brother, he gave lessons. His name was, well, Jones. Both of them gave lessons on playing the fiddle...violin.

    Tremaine: Do you remember Miss Mary's field?

    Gamble: Hah?

    Tremaine: Field.

    Gamble: Friel?

    Tremaine: Field.

    Gamble: Miss Mary's field. That's up...uh. Is that where the electric company's got a building in there? Towards Miss Mary's field?

    Tremaine: Well I was wondering if you remember?

    Gamble: Is that where it is? I heard of it. I might remember.

    Tremaine: But you don't remember playing there or going through it?

    Gamble: I might of. I went through all them fields up there. St. Joseph's on down. The schoolhouse...they tore the schoolhouse down, you know. My father didn't like that. He couldn't do anything about it. That's where he went to school. I often felt...that's where pop used to go to school. Right there.

    Tremaine: Do you remember Pancake Run? It was a little stream.

    Gamble: From the Brandywine?

    Tremaine: It came into the Brandywine. This is Squirrel Run...

    Gamble: Barley Mill Road. It's down Barley Mill Road?

    Tremaine: Between Squirrel Run and Barley Mill Lane.

    Gamble: And it comes in right in here?

    Tremaine: Mmmm.

    Gamble: Where's the Mill? Where's Barley Mill? It comes right down in here. Well it comes right straight across where Uncle George had his grocery store. Oh I think I do. That was where Lloyd's house is. That's the last house down around here.

    Tremaine: Down by the Brandywine?

    Gamble: Yeah. It must be right in there. I think I remember. Yeah. Because the other houses that come down through here sit up high. All of them.

    Tremaine: Opposite Holly Island?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: Did you ever swim out there?

    Gamble: No. I don't think we went up quite that far. Where's the gates? Not the black gates here.

    Tremaine: No. That would be down here. Here's Breck's Mill way down here. There's Barley Mill.
  • Process of making and testing tracer bullets during World War I, explosions, and other experience with the powder yards
    Keywords: Bullets; Defense industries; Explosions; Gunpowder industry; Hydraulic presses; Incendiary weapons; Industrial accidents; Manufacturing processes; Military supplies; World War (1914-1918)
    Transcript: Tremaine: Did your father have to wear certain clothes when he went to work?

    Gamble: Not where he worked. He never worked for DuPont's.

    Tremaine: He wasn't in the yards at all?

    Gamble: No.

    Tremaine: He worked for the railroad first. He was a Bridge and Signal inspector on the B& amp; O Railroad.

    Gamble: And that's where he got burned with the powder?

    Tremaine: Who? This wasn't. Well that was Mr...oh the man who got burnt with the powder was the head of the powder plant. No it wasn't. It wasn't one of the du Ponts. It was...I can't think of his name...Crowninshield. Oh, I do know it too. He worked in...he had charge of the powder when my father was going to school. And he come there after school and take care of the...I can't think of the...take care of the manager or whatever they call him. He thought a lot of my father because he was with him for quite a few years when he was going to school.

    Tremaine: When you went back and worked there? After the war you worked there, correct?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: In the shop?

    Gamble: No not then...well yeah. I worked in the shop. The metal shop, yes.

    Tremaine: What did they have in the the metal shop? What type of machinery?

    Gamble: Well they had what they call the brake, a set of rolls, folder, for soldering they had the soldering irons and gas. They had nearly everything that they had, that a metal shop has. Not like it is today. Today it's all machinery. I means you don't...you used to do all this by hand. Well today, it's all done by machine. You just push it in there, put on the electricity, and it comes right straight through. When I worked up at the yard...see I worked in Wilmington for 10 years during the Depression. I learned my trade when I was there for ten years. Before that, I worked in the chemical end of the experimental station. When I was a boy, I worked up there. I was about 15 or 16. We made what they call tracer bullets. They were used in World War I. A man by the name of Harley T. Peck came here from New England. Remington, I think it was. And he made this charge that they put in the bullets - bullet head it was. Made a little, like about that big, and it was all shaped to sit the bullet right in there.

    Tremaine: A little box affair?

    Gamble: It was a heavy piece of steel about that high.

    Tremaine: About three or four inches high.

    Gamble: And about ah...the first one held four. And you put these four...and they were shaped like the head of a bullet. You sit them in there. Then you mixed up a charge of powder. It was a magnesium powder is what it was. You mix that up. There was a machine that run like that.

    Tremaine: Round?

    Gamble: And that mixed it. You mixed it for a certain...it had other ingredients in it. And that, you run that for a certain length of time and shut it off. And you weighed the charge out on an analytical balance. You used to put so many grains of that in there, and then they had a little special funnel that you put that in. You put it in and you pack it down. And after that there was things about three inches long. And the head was a little bit bigger. And you drop that in there. Then you took that piece and set it underneath a hydraulic press.

    Tremaine: This is the whole thing?

    Gamble: Yeah. There was a top for it and a bottom. The top fit down right into that. And then you put 1500 pounds of pressure on it. Maybe more. And you work that. After that you took it off and took it out. Then you took and you had to crimp the top and set that, and it had to go through - they had a gauge - and it had to go through that gauge. Then after that you had the bullet. You sent the bullet up to the ballistic department, and they'd load it. And they had a crimper. They put that in there and crimped it down. See that's up at the Station there, and that crimped it down. Then after that was down it was a loaded bullet. And we took them down to the State rifle range down in Newark. And the National Guard was there at that time. And you check those bullets. And you put them in a Brownie or a Lewis machine gun. And when they're in there, they had big targets down along the crick - down along the Delaware. And you raised them targets. You took the gun, and you shot the gun maybe ten...they had a regular army there too along with the others. And you shot that there, and it would give you the target range. Where it hit it had circles. Big circles. Great big, it was 10-foot high. Used to hook them up along there on the bottom. And they'd shoot those. And that would give you the target range. How it was. And if one didn't hit there - we knew how many went in - we'd go up on the bank on the opposite side, and dig out the ones we saw. We had to bring them back. They were shot, but we had to bring them back. See if they could find out what was wrong with them. So that's what we did.

    Tremaine: And this was to pass government inspection?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. Yeah. They used them. They were tracer bullets. That's where the tracer bullets was made up here. And if you get down along the Brandywine, by the head gates. And you got a good shovel and can swim, you'll find a hundred of them down there or more. Cause the ones that was rejected was just thrown overboard then. That's where they were.

    Tremaine: Did you boys ever play...you weren't a boy then...did you ever take any of the powder and set it off?

    Tremaine: No. I wouldn't fool with it that way. Down where I worked at that time they made smokeless powder. I didn't have anything to do with that. They had the big mills-rolling mills. Powder, the way I understand it, smokeless is worse, but black powder, mostly when they'd blow up, they'd blow up once in a while. They had to drive a wedge in underneath that. They had a wooden wedge, you know. You've seen it up in the yard. But that was all right. But if there was any powder there...didn't get it all cleaned in there, why, when they pull that wedge out, then that thing drops - that big wheel drops. When it drops, that's when the explosion is. Now this stuff that I worked with, there was only a very few of us until the war was going then they were using it and they had two gangs of men working. I was too young. I couldn't work there. So I was timekeeper and that stuff. I'd look up stuff, different kind of stuff that they'd needed for working that. But that's what I was always afraid of. I don't know whether anybody told you, but you didn't know when a Mill was going up, but you felt it afterwards.

    Tremaine: Before the noise?

    Gamble: No. No noise. Everything was just perfectly still. Now that's the way I felt it. And I felt quite a few of them up in the Yard. The powder yard went up...I don't know how many boys were killed. A lot of them were my age. But I didn't work in the powder yard. I worked down there. Lot of them were my age. They're buried up at St. Joseph's or down at Greenhill. They were but boys. Twenty some or thirty some. Some of em were men, young men. And did they ever tell you about the piece of railroad tie went up right through a tree up there? I looked for it, but I can't find it. But I seen it in up there years ago.

    Tremaine: They just left it there?

    Gamble: Yeah. But I don't know where it is now.

    Tremaine: Whereabouts was it?

    Gamble: It was about half way up in the Yard. But that wasn't from that. That was from one...I guess...up in the... They had a lot of explosions up there. But you just feel it after the explosion...after the noise...the stillness. I don't know whether anyone ever told you that or not? That's my experience with, but I never worked right up in there. I was right across at New [Cross?] up on the hill on the Experimental Station side. At that time the golf course was there, and then I was up at my grandmother's when the single went up. Maybe the man that run the mill. See he mostly sometimes runs two mills. Just turn it on, you know. But I felt it a couple times afterwards. I think it's funny, but I never told much about up there.

    Lot of stuff just comes to you when you're up there. Then after that they started making the phosphorous bullet. Well, phosphorous was too bad. It would burn you. I had to work with it under oil till we gave that up. We had to take down and dig them out. But we did the others. I [went out and ?] go back a second time during the Second World War. I worked there a few years and then I worked on quite a few jobs, small jobs for the government. Making stuff that they wanted. They'd make it, and you'd have to go down and report in at nighttime. Sign in with the government job. It was interesting. A lot of different kind of people you worked with, too. Some you could trust, some you can't trust. Some you think is honest. DuPont Company knew just what was what.
  • House interior; neighbors on Rising Sun Lane; Halloween, stolen pumpkins, and neighborhood mischief
    Keywords: Furniture; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Social life and customs; Neighborhoods; Neighbors; Pumpkin; Rising Sun Lane; Stoves, Oil; Theft; Tricks
    Transcript: Tremaine: When you were growing up...

    Gamble: Huh?

    Tremaine: When you were young, did you start school while you lived there, or did you start school when you got into Union Street?

    Gamble: Oh, I started school when I lived up on Rising Sun Lane. No. I didn't live on Rising Sun Lane. I had a year of kindergarten and school, I think. A year or two years. One kindergarten, one school. But I think I just started, went to Kindergarten up at...when I lived on Rising Sun Lane. I'm not sure of that. But I know I started school at 13 school on Union Street right down the street. 17th and Union, that's where I started school. I went to school there. Then I went to 28 school. Then I quit. Uncle Sam says we got to work.

    Tremaine: We never did describe the inside of the house. We got the front porch and the back porch.

    Gamble: Well, the only thing I know is they had what they called the parlor. It had a stove in there.

    Tremaine: What type of stove?

    Gamble: A big, well, you use it for chunk coal or use it for coal stove. And I can't tell you much more about that room. Then the dining Room. And the kitchen had the big stove. I never did it there, but my grandmother used to shine the stove.

    Tremaine: Oh really?

    Gamble: Yeah. I used to have to shine it. Get a little cloth and shine it all up. Shine the nickel all up on it. A great big stove. We had that one too at home on 17th Street. One of them stoves. Sometimes you had to take a bath in front of it [laughs].

    Tremaine: Do you remember taking baths?

    Gamble: Yeah. In a great big tub. We had a bathroom.

    Tremaine: Down on 17th Street?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Tremaine: You didn't have one up here?

    Gamble: No. No I was too small. I don't know what we had, I think outside...like my boys or grandchildren. One of them big tubs you fill up with water.

    Tremaine: Were there rooms up stairs?

    Gamble: No.

    Tremaine: No rooms? It was one floor?

    Gamble: Yeah. What?

    Tremaine: The house?

    Gamble: Oh no. It was two stories.

    Tremaine: Two stories.

    Gamble: I think it had three bedrooms to it up there. And the man who kept the tavern across the street, his name was Jimmy Dugan. I remember when I was small up there, I don't know how old I was, he had a daughter same age as me. When I was three or four or five. We used to play together. He wouldn't let her home a lot, because he had the tavern. So I went over one Christmas morning, knocked on the door and hollered "Jimmy, let me in." It was at the tavern door. He stuck his head out the side window and hollered, "Pete, around the back door is Christmas."

    Tremaine: Then everyone slept upstairs?

    Gamble: Yeah. And my grandmom's house was built like it. It had three rooms up on the second floor, bedrooms. And upstairs they had a great big room, and I used to stay up there. Get in that old down quilt and go way down. They had two big beds up there--three bedrooms. They had nice furniture, grandmom did. My sister, see, when she and my sister broke it up, her and I, we sent it out to Talleyville on the farm. Put it in the barn until she got married. Barn burnt down and burned all the furniture. Pine and everything in those days. Yeah, it used to be nice up there. I like it.

    Tremaine: Do you go back often?

    Gamble: Huh?

    Tremaine: Do you go back and visit?

    Gamble: We go back up there, but they won't let us go up and see Squirrel Run. Can't you get up through there?

    Tremaine: Well, I guess not.

    Gamble: See, Squirrel Run is where the trolley cars used to run. That yellow house is there. You go on up through there. And the crick runs right down all along that there. Big Tom Catalina was his name. He kept a grocery store. Very few people around today, I guess, remember about Squirrel Run. Lot of people...Chicken Alley, Wagoner's Row...couple other places up there too. Chicken Alley. Over on the other side, over at Walker's Banks.

    Tremaine: You had big celebrations on the Fourth of July?

    Gamble: Oh. Up at Squirrel Run. Yeah.

    Tremaine: Did you have anything on Christmas? Did you have big celebrations?

    Gamble: Well, only at home. You know how a family does. They have a big Christmas dinner. My grandmother Frizell - people up there used to call them Frizell, too. Yeah, we used to go up there. Quite a-bit there. All came home except Uncle George. Now he has a son that my grandmother raised, and he went to work back in Philadelphia. And then when my mother died, he went up there...my grandfather was crippled. I mean, he had rheumatism. And he used to sit there...you notice that house going down Rising Sun Lane...in a chair. And look right up on the hill. And he'd look up on that hill, and you'd go out, "Grandpop, what are you lookin' at?" "I'm looking at that Indian up there on the hill." "Indian! Ain't no Indian!" "Dammit, don't tell me. I know there's an Indian up there. Someday I'm going up and get him." It was a tree. Well, after you sit and look at it a while, it looks like an Indian on horseback. [laughs]

    Then those people up around there. Gallaghers used to live back in there, they're nice people. Toners lived on this side, Gallaghers lived in back. Caseys. One of the boys just died. He worked with DuPont's. Caseys. That was a big family. I used to go back up there anyway, cause I'd play with the boys. Mrs. Casey used to make a loaf of bread up there. It was that big. Great big loaf of bread. She'd put butter on it. Yeah. I don't think there's any of the boys...I'll tell you someone. Abby. Abby Casey. Did you interview her? I seen her name on there. She was the oldest sister of the Caseys up there. She worked for the DuPont Company. She knows...

    Tremaine: And she lived...

    Gamble: Right in back. On that new street they're cutting down through there now. Mt. Vernon Avenue. She was born up there. She's a little older than my sister. This boy...he was...this was Jerry Casey, Dan the other one...there was about four of them. And two or three girls. Their father was a great big Irishman. Nice man. Born on the crick. There's a couple of families of Caseys up there. Once in a while I bump into somebody. Going to something, and somebody's there. I don't see many...some way out here in Pennsylvania and Delaware. This is half way [where she lives?]...I never get the time. Went up there on a Sunday it was. About four kids. You took the trolley. Ten cents to go up on the trolley car. Then up around Montchanin. Farm up there. We went out there. And we stole, each one of us stole a pumpkin out of the field. Then we run from that field...I don't know which which farmer had it...from that field all the way down to the end of the car line. And the conductor - they only had the conductor on that thing - lift the box. He says, "This fellow is with one of them. You put your pumpkin in here." He said, "Somebody's liable to steal it" He, like a fool, put it in there. When we got down home we had to [give?] ten cents to come back again, the guy wouldn't give him the thing. He said, "You say anything about me, I'll have you arrested." [laughs] He wouldn't give it.

    Tremaine: Oh. Speaking of pumpkins, what about Halloween? Did you pull tricks then?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. Scoop Dorman was sitting in the store he had. The fellow over here...he was a barber, Jackie Lloyd. I think Jackie worked up there after he retired. He was the barber. The barbershop down...that's the only place he worked. And I think three or four more...were telling about when he was a kid what he did. Pullover shanties and things like that. Nobody said a word. And it was right going towards Rising Sun Lane. Used to be one sitting there. Cause a lot of people used the trolley car. They had it right near that pole. And he went in. These fellas, they had the rope. They roped him. Pulled it over. Oh yeah. They used to pull all kinds of tricks you could think of. Jackie Lloyd was his name. He could tell you a lot. He was arguing with me, but he's older than I was. He retired way before I did.

    Gamble: Did you ever pull the front steps down on houses?

    Tremaine: I don't know. Might have. The steps were...all the houses up through there, you had quite a distance to go up. Might have. Now there's one about...oh...the old bridge used to be there. Rising Sun Lane. And it was a frame bridge. A fellow ... an old man...used to go out and get himself a couple drinks. Then he'd come back, and the fellas used to get up in the rafters. They'd make a dummy. And if he comes across the bridge, they'd put it down...work it down in front of him. And he'd want to fight it. Boy. [laughs] Some of them can tell more than I did. My memory's not what it used to be.

    Tremaine: Well that was a long time ago.
  • Playing "Releevio" and marbles; taking the trolley around the region
    Keywords: Baseball; Brandywine Springs Park; Games; Marbles (Game objects); Marbles (Game); Street-railroads
    Transcript: Tremaine: Do you remember any of the games you played as a child?

    Gamble: Baseball. Used to play Reelevio. They'd catch you and put you in a box, have it marked there. If you could sneak in when they weren't there, and you could holler Reelevio, you relieved those people there and then they'd all go. They'd choose up sides. And I think there's a few more; I can't think of them right now. Commies, I know, used to shoot commies.

    Tremaine: Shoot what?

    Gamble: Commies. Marbles.

    Tremaine: And what did you call it?

    Gamble: Commies. The little ones were commies. You put them in the ring. And then they'd get an agate. And that's what you had to shoot with. Shoot to knock them out. There'd be ten playing or eight playing. Each one would have about five or six in there. Maybe one's a better shot than the other and he'd...Marbles [laughs]. Kids used to call them commies. Then they'd get so all of them were big and agate looking. That was too easy. The other ones were just little ones.

    Tremaine: Did the girls play?

    Gamble: Oh yeah. They used to play too. Some of them were pretty good shooting commies, too.

    Tremaine: Where did you buy them?

    Gamble: In these little notion stores. The commies cost - you got so many for a penny. Three or four. And then marbles used to be a penny a piece or two cents a piece. Marbles. Use the kings. Then they got them too big, they'd knock all of 'em out in one shot. That wasn't no good.

    Tremaine: Do you remember anything else that might be of interest to them that I have not asked?

    Gamble: No. We'd go up there...I had an uncle that worked up there...one of my uncles. Used to call him Dickie Gamble. He'd work day sometimes in the machine shop. Had to work nighttime. And I used to go down there and stand outside. And watch the machinists and all. I had an uncle, a Frizell, Uncle Jack. He was a machinist. That was a great thing for a man in them days to learn the trade. Well, I'll think of something, but I can't. Maybe tomorrow or next week or something. Do they have any many of the big pictures up along the crick years ago?

    Tremaine: They have some, I think.

    Gamble: Could you get up there to see the stuff, I mean the pictures and things?

    Tremaine: Oh, sure. If you called they'd have someone. Now most of them are in files. They have to be pulled from a file. Now at this exhibit, they will have a lot of the things out then. I'm hoping that all the people we have interviewed will be invited at one time. So I'm sure you will know each other, and it would be nice to meet the others. But that's around Labor Day. [Unhooks microphone]

    Gamble: You live in Wilmington?

    Tremaine: I live out by Brandywine Springs Park. I live in Cooper Farms.

    Gamble: Cooper Farms. Brandywine Springs Park. I remember the hotel up on the hill. And I heard of it, and I can just remember it, because my father, see, he was the one that took us around. He took us to Brandywine Springs mostly on his day off. And I can just remember the hotel. But I rode the trolley cars from Wilmington to Brandywine Springs Park and from Brandywine Springs to Kennett Square. From Kennett Square to...well I didn't go clear to West Chester. I got off at Lenape Park.

    Tremaine: Did you ever ride up to Philadelphia?

    Gamble: On a boat? Yes, I did. Not on the trolley car. On a boat. Went to Willow Grove when I was small. Uncle Tom took me there. We had to go from Wilmington all the way up.

    Tremaine: Mmmm hmmm. I'm going to run this through and turn it, and then we'll...[Pause while tape switches] There we go. Just to get it turned over there. You say he worked in Rock...

    Gamble: He worked up there. I think a lot of people worked for DuPonts who retired. They ask them to the job up there. But to get it, they have to get people who had the years of service.

    Tremaine: Oh yes.

    Gamble: Others it's just what they hear. Somebody else was told them that...I listened to a lot of that when I worked. These people would come and work from the DuPont Company. A lot of them after three or four years there, they know more about it than the man who's been there fifteen-twenty-thirty years. Fellow that I came in contact with, or I knew him all my life up there. Jim McVey. He's older than I am.