Interview with James Gamble, 1984 June 21 [audio](part 2)

Hagley ID:
  • Train and trolleys from Henry Clay area; church picnics and a drowning incident
    Keywords: Brandywine Springs Park; church picnics; Cookman Methodist Episcopal Church; Drowning; Green Hill Presbyterian Church; Lenape Park; Picnics; Street-railroads; Street-railroads--Costs
    Transcript: Gamble: Yeah, we used to get the Sunday paper, and the night paper. There used to be two papers — three papers in Wilmington. News Journal, Every Evening and Evening Journal, and there was a North American paper we got from Philadelphia — came down, those three papers.

    Lotter: Now was the North American paper a weekly paper?

    Gamble: No, it was just a Sunday paper.

    Lotter: Now were these papers delivered or...

    Gamble: Yeah, yeah we had them delivered. Only costs a dime for the papers, we had them delivered.

    Lotter: How about any magazines, do you remember any magazines?

    Gamble: Not a whole lot that I can remember - Country Gentleman, and I think there was a Boy Scout magazine we had coming. My sister had a magazine that came, I just forget what it was, I know she had one.

    Lotter: How about any catalogs?

    Gamble: Sears & amp; Roebucks we got, Sears & amp; Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, there was another one - we used to - I don't know, I don't know whether - you used to buy stuff through it and you used to buy the paper or the magazine and you put in so much money and when you got up to ten dollars in there, then you got so much off when you bought something a like a piece of furniture or something like that, or a chair. That's the only one I knew of.

    Lotter: Do you remember your parents ordering much from catalogs?

    Gamble: Do I remember what?

    Lotter: Do you remember your parents ordering many things from catalogs?

    Gamble: Yes, only that one, that's the only thing I - even with my mother, it's the only one I remember we get one at that time.

    Lotter: How about the Sears catalog, did they order anything from that?

    Gamble: No, I don't - my father didn't do much buying stuff, only when we really needed what we needed — furniture and stuff like that.

    Lotter: Well how about the furniture that your parents had when you were very little, do you know where that came from?

    Gamble: No, I don't know whether it was Miller's, then there was another - I can't think of his name. Miller's furniture, I think, it was, then there was another one, but I can't think of it.

    Lotter: So they would go into Wilmington?

    Gamble: Yeah, yeah. You know how much you used to pay to ride the train from out where you are at the Experimental, out to the Hagley Yards where you are working, to Wilmington?

    Lotter: No, I don't.

    Gamble: Twenty— five cents on the train, and it would bring you into Front and Market Streets.

    Lotter: Oh, did it?

    Gamble: Yeah, so you didn't go to town very often.

    Lotter: No.

    Gamble: But the trolley cars used to go in there and they were — I don't know what it was, I think a nickel, nickel or ten cents. Used to come from up there where - oh what's his name — Carpenter, Lee Carpenter's place is out there in Montchanin, get on a trolley car up there, you come all the way down through Squirrel Run down to Rising Sun and there's a store down there - Gregg, Harry Gregg kept that store, you went right straight through the park, you know the park down there?

    Lotter: Yes.

    Gamble: And you come out down at — what do you call it - Bancroft's place, down there where the other park is down at Bancrofts?

    Lotter: Yes, yes.

    Gamble: And you go down to Woodlawn Avenue. Do you know where Woodlawn Avenue is?

    Lotter: Yes.

    Gamble: And you go over to Woodlawn Avenue, oh you get an exchange there to get on the Delaware Avenue, and stay on Woodlawn Avenue and you go all the way round and go out to Kiamensi, and from Kiamensi to — there used to be a park out there, Brandywine Springs Park...

    Lotter: Oh, yes.

    Gamble: That's the way, you go all the way around there, and you could change at the Brandywine Springs Park and get on one and then go on the way to Kennett Square up to Lenape Park, and from Lenape Park to West Chester.

    Lotter: Oh my goodness. Now what did it cost you to do all of this?

    Gamble: Well, only thing I can tell you is from Wilmington up, used to cost a quarter to Lenape Park and on up to West Chester. From Wilmington down to Woodlawn Avenue, get on it there and go all the way around through Brandywine Springs Park and all the way up to Kennett - to West Chester — twenty— five cents.

    Lotter: That was quite a bargain.

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: That was quite a bargain.

    Gamble: I know it [laughs], I know it.

    Lotter: Did you do that often?

    Gamble: Well, not until I got in my teens I didn't. We used to have a cottage up in Lenape, bunch of fellows, and we used to get on at Wilmington and go all the way around and up that way. Then we went up on the train, the Reading train.

    Lotter: Oh, did you?

    Gamble: Yeah, from Front Street in Wilmington to Montchanin, get on — either that or get up there and get on at Montchanin and it would take us up to Lenape Park, it was only a quarter then.

    Lotter: That's a pretty good price [laughs]. You said your family attended Green Hill Church, do you remember any church activities or picnics or...

    Gamble: Oh yeah, we used to go on picnics.

    Lotter: Did you?

    Gamble: Yep. I went on them when I was younger. I went on — I was the most religious man there were — I went to, I went to Green Hill, and I went from that to Cookman Church was on Delaware Avenue right off of DuPont Street, and the other Presbyterian church, oh I can't think of it - out there on Pennsylvania Avenue. I used to go there a lot of times up there. And I went on every one of them picnics.

    Lotter: Oh you did?

    Gamble: I didn't miss it. I went on one, had a fellow, he didn't live near us then, he lived in Wilmington, he was from farther, and we went - my father told me, he knew I liked him — don't you go on any of them picnics today - you took the boat down here on the Christiana there, come out, went over to Jersey, that was Cookman, not Cookman Church, well, it'll come to me. We went over there, and we were only there a couple hours, news got around. The boy had come over with his aunt, she asked if she could bring him there, and he went in swimming and he dove off the pier, and he never come up — drowned. So after years, the people that we lived - just my father and myself and step-mother, they bought a smaller home and the people lived next door to us, it was their son that was with us on that picnic, he got drowned, we didn't know.

    Lotter: Oh, for goodness sakes.

    Gamble: Yeah, we went up there — but I got home, see they started bringing them home from the picnic when that boy drowned, and that was about two o'clock in the afternoon. But I remember, that's the first thing Pop said when I got in the house - "Robbie, where's Elmer?" Said, "Upstairs." He come up and he said, "Were you on that picnic?" I says, "Yeah, I was on it, Dad." "Didn't I tell you not to go?" I said, "Yes, you did." Said, "Don't you go on no more." I said, "I won't." I didn't either [laughs].
  • His mother making Christmas decorations, dresses, and hats; his parents' clothing and activities
    Keywords: Christmas decorations; Dresses; hat making; men's hats; Sewing; Theaters; Umbrellas; Women's clothing; women's hats; Women's shoes; Women--Social life and customs
    Transcript: Lotter: Well what other celebrations do you remember as a young boy? I think you told me about Fourth of July, what about Christmas?

    Gamble: Christmas?

    Lotter: When you were living on Rising Sun, what do you remember about Christmas?

    Gamble: Only one - the girl that lived across the street from us, it was a tavern, and she was the same age as me. I think we were only about four or five, and her and I used to play together. So we got our Christmas presents, and Christmas morning, I'll never forget it, I went across the street and I hammered on the door, after a while he stuck his head out the second story window and he said, "Who is it?" I said, "Ray, Jimmie." "Go around to the back door, don't you know it's Christmas morning?" He still had a hangover. I don't remember many...

    Lotter: Do you remember having a tree for Christmas?

    Gamble: Any what - oh yeah, we always had a tree. I remember when we were up on 17th Street, that we had a living room and a parlor, at our house up there, dining room and a big kitchen. They tell us that they're not going to have anything for Christmas — okay - so they used to have them shutters, you know, those shutters with — they got them on houses now.

    Lotter: M— huh.

    Gamble: So I opened the big front shutters and looked in there and I seen the Christmas tree up [laughs]. I never told 'em.

    Lotter: I think that was the smart thing to do. What kind of Christmas decorations do you remember?

    Gamble: Well, we had - well I remember, that's where Mom died in that house - I remember she made an umbrella and she decorated the umbrella up, that's the last thing she remembered - she decorated the whole thing up, all over and she hung it up, the top, up here, and it was all decorated between the living room and the parlor, she had that all...

    Lotter: Was this hung in the doorway?

    Gamble: Yeah, she had that hanging.

    Lotter: What kind of decorations did she have on it?

    Gamble: All paper and then tinsel, wrapped it all tinsel.

    Lotter: What kind of an umbrella was it?

    Gamble: Just a regular umbrella, but I don't think it was quite as big as a big umbrella. She had that, and then she used to have — decorated every place she could, she decorated. I know, I used to help her sometimes.

    Lotter: Did she make a lot of the decorations?

    Gamble: Yeah, she was good, she made everything.

    Lotter: And these were with, made out of what?

    Gamble: Paper, different paper, different colored paper, and then tinsel, wrapped it with that. There was something else she used to do too — I know we kept them for quite some time.

    Lotter: Did you?

    Gamble: Yeah, Pop didn't want to get rid of them. See, she was like a seamstress, used to make dresses and stuff.

    Lotter: Oh, she did?

    Gamble: Yeah. There's quite a few people around there that wanted their daughter to get married or something. She'd take - they'd go up to Philly, and she'd look around and see them in the windows, and she'd stand there for about a half hour, maybe longer than that, and then she'd walk away, and she'd come home and take that out of her head, make one like that.

    Lotter: Well, she was very clever.

    Gamble: Pop, like in the Masonic Lodge, he belonged to it, and at that time, and he'd wear high silk hats you know?

    Lotter: M-huh.

    Gamble: You've seen them — she was going to something, I don't know what it was, and she couldn't find one [laughs]...

    Lotter: She couldn't find what?

    Gamble: Couldn't make out what kind of a hat she was gonna wear, so she took Pop's high silk hat, cut - all the lining and stuff out of it, you know — and made herself a hat. And I know she come home from work, she said, "Jim, how do you like my hat?" She was goin' then, "That's a pretty hat, where did you buy it?" "Oh, I bought it." Then after a while it come to him that night, he said, "That looks like the stuff off my hat." [Laughs]

    Lotter: Did she always wear hats when she was dressed up to go out?

    Gamble: Oh yeah, all of them. My uncle down at Atlantic City, Uncle George moved his drugstore down to Atlantic City, and he'd go out - when my mother died, they'd ship me down there in the summertime for two summers. She'd get one of them great big hats on, you know, great big hat, and a net...

    Lotter: M— huh, wide-brimmed hat.

    Gamble: And she'd wear, collar of the dress, didn't knit it, come way up around here - that's the way they used to go.

    Lotter: That must have been hot in the summertime.

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Lotter: Now was this a ruffled collar, high, stand-up collar that she had around her neck?

    Gamble: That's right.

    Lotter: And then what type of a dress, do you remember what...

    Gamble: Come down...

    Lotter: Long sleeves and what kind of material?

    Gamble: Yeah. We used to have quite a few pictures here with people dressed like that. My father, between the living room and the parlor, used to have a big picture in there on the wall, and my father used to dress well. He did that up in New York when he was up there, all had to wear these Piccadilly collars, big four-in— hand tie.

    Lotter: Yes. You don't, by any chance, have any more of those pictures around, do you?

    Gamble: No, we had it until we moved here, and the house before that, everything got moldy in the cellar, we never saved anything.

    Lotter: Oh, that's a shame, and those were lost too? Well that's too bad. What kind of shoes did your mother wear?

    Gamble: High button shoes.

    Lotter: Did she?

    Gamble: Yeah, way up around here.

    Lotter: And how long were her dresses?

    Gamble: Down to the shoes.

    Lotter: And did she always carry some kind of a purse with her?

    Gamble: A fur, yeah. I even remember that.

    Lotter: And a purse?

    Gamble: Had a little fur. Now in your home like that, you think of — stuff that comes back to you that you've seen. Pop used to wear a derby hat. When he was over in New York there, he used to — there was two other brothers over there with him — they'd go to a theater or anything at night, that's what they wore, Piccadilly collars, sometimes high silk hats. So nobody knows you over in New York, that's the way they went around.

    Lotter: Now where did your mother go when she got all dressed up to go out on an afternoon or an evening?

    Gamble: Well, I don't know a whole lot about that, I guess she went to - Well Aunt Rita only lived two doors below her and it wasn't any distance between Squirrel — up there Rising Sun to town here on 17th and Union where we lived. A lot of them get on the car, come down to our place, and they'd all go in town in the evening, in the theater. There was three theaters in Wilmington at that time.

    Lotter: I see, u— huh.

    Gamble: I know I used to go - the gang, we used to go there on Saturdays, the different theaters, see shows. And she used to go around quite a bit.

    Lotter: Do you remember any other — was she in any clubs or any other groups?

    Gamble: I don't know, no I don't — well she might have been, at that time I don't remember much.

    Lotter: Do you remember the women getting together and doing anything like that during the day?

    Gamble: Oh yeah, she went - she'd come home on the train from Philadelphia, from Philly to Wilmington, got off at the B. & amp; 0. there, at DuPont Street, and Pop was coming home from work, he worked on the railroad then, and he was coming home and he said to her, and two other women, "Where you been?" They said "Up to Philly ball." So they were up there. Pop often talked about that. So they went to the ball game. She used to go around quite a bit.

    Lotter: But she didn't have any weekly, any activities that she did on a weekly basis, like clubs or anything like that?

    Gamble: No, not to my knowledge, maybe she did.
  • Parades in Wilmington and election day parade in Henry Clay; antique family furniture
    Keywords: Antiques; Chairs; DuPont Building; Election Day; Eyeglasses; Fire fighters; Parades; Variety stores
    Transcript: Lotter: Do you remember any parades or any other community activities?

    Gamble: Me?

    Lotter: M-huh.

    Gamble: Yeah — I remember when they had a — that was fifty years, Wilmington fifty years, must have been longer than that anyway, anyway, they had an old home week here, Wilmington. I was twelve years old, 'cause I knew, I had just joined the Scouts. And 10th and Market they had a - that was the City Hall - and the police station was down around — well, by Mullins, I'd say 8th, 7th and Market. And us kids, we had the job of letting the people have the seats — they put in a stand, you know, see the parade. They had a parade every day in the week. So we got the job of doing that, we used to get twenty— five cents, they'd give it to us.

    And the Fireman's Parade, they had that. They had a good time, the firemen. And other home week parades. I thought of the firemen because they let us ride the fire engine after we was done [laughs].

    Then the DuPont Building was built. That was ten stories high. Well we didn't like it because them people up there would get a penny and heat that penny and they'd throw it out the window and the kids would see them come down, they'd try to get them and get their fingers burnt. I got one, I didn't bother with it any more.

    Lotter: I guess not.

    Gamble: Whether the people worked there or what it was, I don't know why they did that.

    Lotter: Do you remember any special celebrations along the Brandywine or any parades down in that area?

    Gamble: Well, not a whole lot, because we didn't go over Brandywine Hundred.

    Lotter: Well I meant in Henry Clay Village?

    Gamble: Only on election day, election night, the night before election. They had a parade and I was down here, let's see, where was that - down there where the tavern is, you know. Well this side of it, there was another tavern, well that wasn't a tavern.

    Lotter: Which tavern, do you remember?

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: Which tavern?

    Gamble: Well, that's Hagee's. That wasn't there then. Aunt Rose's father kept a tavern on this side, that was - Oh, Tom Toy's. Then my uncle had the grocery store and the post office about two doors down. Well anyway, I was a kid and I was down there and they had this parade. And in them days, oh had long coats on, and they all carried these flares you know, you put a match to them and they come red. They all were walking along the street with them red things. And the kids were stealing them [laughs]. They stopped at every tavern from Montchanin up there at Tommy Lawless's, clear down to where up Rising Sun Lane and then they went in town. I'll bet they were in fine shape [laughs].

    Lotter: I'll bet they were too. Now these were the politicians who were running for office?

    Gamble: Yeah, them and the people who were voting for them. I saw that one, that was the only one I ever saw of that.

    Lotter: Anything else you remember about the parade?

    Gamble: No, only they stopped the parade at every tavern and they'd holler and they'd go in and somebody would come out and holler again. They didn't have any bands in those days, holler again, and they would come out.

    Lotter: This was for a local election?

    Gamble: Yeah. But they mostly had their own fun up there, Squirrel Run, Henry Clay and those places.

    Lotter: One thing I wanted to ask you about before we finish up here, you mentioned a set of twelve chairs, and I think you have one of the chairs, one or two of them in your living room, the wooden chairs. Who did those chairs belong to?

    Gamble: Well these chairs that I have in here are Evelyn's mother's. I'll show you one of them.

    Lotter: I see. Wait a minute, I'll have to unhook you. Let me take this with us.

    Gamble: I'll show you this one here. Now we have [noise on tape] son and his daughter has them.

    Lotter: So these were not in your side of the family?

    Gamble: No, these were in Evelyn's family.

    Lotter: Oh, they are lovely.

    Gamble: That one there. Ours were something like that, but the backs of them were different. See, you can tell that these are old.

    Lotter: Oh, yes.

    Gamble: See how they are here and none of them straight, real straight. I think this one here — see they're not altogether straight.

    Lotter: No, they're not, no, you can see little differences in each one. And she's very fortunate to have those, they're in beautiful condition.

    Gamble: My daughter, she has one. My son, he has two. She has two, but one's in the cellar, not finished yet. But talking about this man, Collison, when he died, my father was up there and he took a lot of the stuff. He only had a daughter at that time, and he came here from up in New York State. So he had two marble topped tables. Now Pop, my father got all this, but my father was over in New York at that time. He got two marble— topped tables, one was a great big one, the other was a small one, and a bookcase, old time bookcase, well they all came down home to Grandmom's, that furniture. And these tables, these chairs, they come from Grandmom's, they were Grandmom's chairs, twelve of them, because it took nearly twelve to feed that family.

    Lotter: That’ s right, I'm sure it did. You don't know where any of those pieces are today?

    Gamble: Yeah, I know where they are.

    Lotter: Oh, you do?

    Gamble: Yes I do, but we didn't get them.

    Lotter: Well it's nice that they're still in the family somewhere.

    Gamble: I think they're in the Barlow family, that's my aunt, she was a Gamble.

    Lotter: I see.

    Gamble: That's where they are. A lot of the stuff that we had, why we never got.

    Lotter: Well, you’ re very fortunate to have the Bible, you have Bibles from both sides of the family. You're very fortunate to have those.

    Gamble: Well see, my son, he kinda goes in for antiques.

    Lotter: Oh, does be?

    Gamble: Yeah, he was at McElhinney & amp; Kirk, an optical firm. When he graduated from West Virginia, he worked for them.

    Lotter: I see.

    Gamble: Then now he's down in West Virginia working for people that are children and people that are crippled and things like that. They all get paid a little something for working there, I mean all of the people in there. He's just starting this up and I don't think they got over a dozen or two dozen people working for them. The government set it up, but then the optical business, it kinda went out during the depression because a lot of people would go to these other places. You could get a pair of, set of glasses, they fit you, you didn't have to have them made, a lot of them, you know.

    Lotter: No, I imagine a lot of people bought them in the dime store.

    Gamble: Yeah, yeah.

    Lotter: And I'm sure, do you remember your grandmothers having glasses?

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: Do you remember your grandmothers wearing glasses, or your grandfathers?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Lotter: Where did they get their glasses?

    Gamble: I don't know.

    Lotter: Probably...

    Gamble: I know where my father got his - ten cent store.

    Lotter: Yes, and they probably had something similar.

    Gamble: We went with him there.
  • Discussing photographs in the book "The Workers' World at Hagley" by Glenn Porter
    Keywords: Barlow's Mill; George Kelley; Green Hill Presbyterian Church; Harry Gregg; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Working class families; Rising Sun Lane; Samuel Frizell; Squirrel Run; St. Joseph's Church; Toy's Tavern
    Transcript: Lotter: Did you have a chance to look at the "Workers' World" book?

    Gamble: Is that the one....

    Lotter: That's the same one that I left with you.

    Gamble: I seen some of it, yeah.

    Lotter: I just wondered if you had recognized any of the people in that book?

    Gamble: No, I might, I'm not sure. I know this house here, I remember being up that road.

    Lotter: Do you know where that's located?

    Gamble: I think it's up in Squirrel Run, I'm not sure.

    Lotter: That's the page opposite the title page.

    Gamble: And that's the old mill, that's where I used to go sw1mm1ng.

    Lotter: Oh, behind Walkers' Mill?

    Gamble: Yeah, it was my aunt that I talked about, their boy has the furniture. Her husband had this mill, used to have it.

    Lotter: Oh, I see, he managed the mill?

    Gamble: It was Barlow's, it was Barlow's Mill.

    Lotter: I see, so they lived — did they live in one of those houses on...

    Gamble: No, the houses they lived in was up in back of here, when he ran this mill, it was Barlow's. They were a cotton mill.

    Lotter: I see, so it was a larger house.

    Gamble: But some of these places...

    Lotter: I'm sure a lot of them look familiar to you.

    Gamble: Yeah, yeah.

    Lotter: Do you remember them skating on the Brandywine?

    Gamble: Yes I do. And this is the one up in the mill.

    Lotter: At Breck's?

    Gamble: M— huh.

    Lotter: Do you ever remember doing much boating on the Brandywine or did you know boys that had boats?

    Gamble: No, I didn't know of any. I had a canoe up there, eight years, six, eight years.

    Lotter: Did you?

    Gamble: See, this here's the tavern here, that's Toy, Tom Toy. Now see, that's the way all those fellows were dressed.

    Lotter: Yes, I see them with their high hats, that's right, it looks like they do have the starched collars. You remember your father dressing very similar?

    Gamble: Yeah, I can remember his dressing like that. That's my Uncle Sam's store here, Squirrel Run, Sam Frizell.

    Lotter: Yes.

    Gamble: That's their store.

    Lotter: This one down here.

    Gamble: Is that when — yeah, that's right. Well what's this one here? Squirrel Run?

    Lotter: This says Bob Blakely — do you remember?

    Gamble: Yeah, that's his tavern. That's coming down Rising Sun Lane, come down here and go in the Experimental Station here. And this one here, when you go in here, goes on up past the tavern, oh what's his name, where Agnes used to keep.

    Lotter: So this turn goes along the creek?

    Gamble: Yeah, it goes right along to the Hagley Yard. And I'm trying to see...

    Lotter: So Blakley's was right at the bend of the road?

    Gamble: U-huh, that's where — speak of that other one here, see that one?

    Lotter: Yes.

    Gamble: Well that was up on the hill back up here, well here, you go back up to this one. That was, oh, George Kelley, that was Kelley lived there, George Kelley's father-in— law.

    Lotter: In that whole house?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Lotter: Now was that a farm back there, or was that a Company house?

    Gamble: No, that's — you know where that like tunnel is, coming down Rising Sun Lane, you look up on the hill, that's Mrs. Copeland's home?

    Lotter: Yes, yes.

    Gamble: Well that's it here.

    Lotter: Oh, I see. All right, that's...

    Gamble: No, no, no that's not his, that's a — Harry Gregg's Store, Rising Sun Lane. It's over here, you can't see it. That's where the trolley car used to come right here. Used to be a canoe club right in here, right there.

    Lotter: So that's right down almost near the creek.

    Gamble: So this is that - this is right across from — oh, what do you call it — Hagley...

    Lotter: Breck's Mill?

    Gamble: Breck's Mill, yeah. And see this here, you don't see that, it comes down the road and then it kinda cuts in and goes around here, and out here it's go back. See that's the kind of wagons.

    Lotter: That would be a delivery wagon, then, in front of the store?

    Gamble: Yeah.

    Lotter: That's on page 23.

    Gamble: I only looked at that one day. There's some old trolley cars, Squirrel Run. I don't know who that is. We used to have a picture of a whole gang of men.

    Lotter: Did you?

    Gamble: Yeah. This is up at St. Joseph's Church, supposed to be. That used to be down on the lower — no, was on the upper floor, just like Green Hill is, and they took it out and brought the church, now, down on the lower floor.

    Lotter: Oh, I never knew that.

    Gamble: Then you come right straight out.

    Lotter: I never knew that. What was the lower floor used for?

    Gamble: It was Sunday School, just like Green Hill.

    Lotter: Oh, I see.

    Gamble: See Green Hill's, is this Green Hill or the other one? Yeah, that must be, yeah. See this?

    Lotter: Yes, I think that looks like Green Hill.

    Gamble: Yeah. Haven't been up there for years. Yes I was, too, I was up there not so long ago. Robbie and me went up. These all been to church, Sunday School. And there may be some relatives of mine in there.

    Lotter: That could be.

    Gamble: But that don't look like the clubhouse, the original picture of the clubhouse. That's the office building.

    Lotter: Yes, that's the office building.

    Gamble: It's done over.

    Lotter: Yes, it is now, yes.

    Gamble: 'Cause it didn't have all this on it. That's when the Seitz girls were there.

    Lotter: Yes, that's what you remember. Did you go up in that area often?

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: Did you go up in that area often, up by the schoolhouse?

    Gamble: Up here? No — the man who was the head of this office wrote a book on DuPont Lodge when it was fifty years old.

    Lotter: Oh, did he?

    Gamble: Yeah, he's the same age as my father. This is where I started school, and this is where my sister graduated. Am I holding you up here?

    Lotter: No, not at all.
  • Continued discussion of "Workers' World" photographs, beginning with Breck's Mill on page 33
    Keywords: Blacksmith Shop; Breck's Mill; Children--Social life and customs; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Iré né e), 1864-1935; Edward Beacom; Hagley Community House; Longwood Gardens; Rokeby; Samuel Frizell; stoves; Tuberculosis; Walker's Banks
    Transcript: Gamble: There's Breck's Mill. There's Walker's Mill.

    Lotter: This may be at Breck's Mill when it was the Community House.

    Gamble: Yeah, that was some place. They used to play basketball up there, you wouldn't know whether it's gonna stay or go right down in the run.

    Lotter: Do you remember doing anything else up at Breck's Mill, any other activities or clubs or...

    Gamble: No, only thing we had was we played baseball and basketball.

    Lotter: Where did you play baseball?

    Gamble: Baseball? Up there in the back where the Experimental Station is, where the road used to go around like that, now it goes shorter around. Took this, oh that's his name, Jones's farm where the barn used to be up there, Jones's barn.

    Lotter: I see.

    Gamble: He's in the same class as Frances, he used to work in the bank in Wilmington. Rokeby, I know Pop used to speak a lot about Rokeby. That's when Alfred I. had his orchestra, that's whose it was. Alfred I. du Pont.

    Lotter: Oh yes, do you remember his band?

    Gamble: Yeah, I remember him, he used to — in town, he used to sit on the corner, and he had one of them long things, you know, instead of like I have here...

    Lotter: Oh, a big hearing aid?

    Gamble: Yeah, and he'd sit there and talk.

    Lotter: Do you remember him at all when you were a young boy living on Rising Sun?

    Gamble: Yeah I knew him — he lived up on Breck's Lane is where he used to live, up there. Place is still there I think, I'm not sure.

    Lotter: I don't think the house is there any longer, I think if you look closely, you can see where it was, but it's not there any more.

    Gamble: I think - oh, what's his name used to live there, the two brothers, three brothers. Oh he — Matthewson's, they used to live up in there.

    Lotter: Oh, I see.

    Gamble: Those boys, their father worked for DuPont's.

    Lotter: What did people think of Alfred du Pont?

    Gamble: Oh, they liked him. His first wife, I knew her — his first son, he worked at the Experimental Station.

    Lotter: Oh, is that right?

    Gamble: Him and I were in the storeroom.

    Lotter: Was he about the same age as you?

    Gamble: A little older than I am. Then he lived — when he got married, he built a house out here right off the Kennett Pike, you know, across from Westover Hills, that's where he lived.

    Lotter: I see.

    Gamble: You know where this reminds me, going to Rockland, down through here.

    Lotter: Does it?

    Gamble: Yeah, you know where you go down to Rockland where they're building the paper mill?

    Lotter: Yes.

    Gamble: Go over here and go down, that's what it looks like, this house.

    Lotter: The houses were similar there - to those?

    Gamble: Yeah. Now here's the ones I speak of.

    Lotter: On page 39.

    Gamble: That's the one I speak, three stories. Blacksmith Shop, well that's up there. The man, what's his name, he lived next door to us, my Grandparents on Rising, the people that this man was the blacksmith up there.

    Lotter: I'm not sure if it lists any names, I know there was a Ferraro that was a blacksmith.

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: One of the Ferraro's.

    Gamble: She was?

    Lotter: No, one of the brothers.

    Gamble: Oh — Pete and Gino, Gino is the small one and Pete Ferraro is the - I think he's the last one. I don't know whether any of the two girls are living yet or not.

    Lotter: I don't know either.

    Gamble: He's the one that kept that house going, or she did, she went to the DuPont Building when they asked them to move. I don't know which du Pont he went in to see, he said "Well I didn't know they were tearing them down." He said, "Yeah, all tore down but these five that we live in." And she said "I'll see about that." So they're still living there, if they're living.

    Lotter: Yeah, I don't know if they're still living there or not. I know people are living in those homes, the house is still there.

    Gamble: That's the kind of stoves they used to have.

    Lotter: Oh yes, is that what your grandmother had?

    Gamble: Yeah, she had a bigger one than that, had to be bigger [laughs] with all them kids. Now, Walker's Banks, that's where - see, this is where Ferraro's lived, right here in the end house. I don't know whether Devenney's had a — lived in any one...

    Lotter: I think the Kindbeiter's were in...

    Gamble: Yeah, that's right, Pete Kindbeiter. And it had a picture of Pete Kindbeiter in the paper, which one was that, I don't know. I knew all of them.

    Lotter: I think it was the James.

    Gamble: Yeah, I wonder if — he was an electrician, I think.

    Lotter: I'm not sure what his trade was, but I think he was the one that was in the paper.

    Gamble: I knew Devenney, Edmund, and I used to run around with Bob, there was Tom and a couple more boys and all the girls except one died with T.B.

    Lotter: Is that right?

    Gamble: Yeah, one of them was beautiful, too. They all died sudden, Bob too. I guess if I go through here, I can find the names of who these are.

    Lotter: A lot of the people are not identified, so if you see some familiar faces, it would help us a lot to find out who these people are.

    Gamble: Well I'll look and see. Up in Chicken Alley [pause] sixty-four, forty-six [pause] there's one of those Krause family. They used to live in the big house, right where the Yellow House, Krause is built in that, one of the family Krause. That's that uncle, see? [Tape is switched]

    Lotter: Yes, right there.

    Gamble: That's the one up in the yard.

    Lotter: Do you have any idea how old he is here?

    Gamble: Who, Uncle Sam?

    Lotter: Your Uncle Sam.

    Gamble: Oh, you have it in the book, I mean...

    Lotter: I don't think it really says how, I just wondered how old he was in the picture there.

    Gamble: Oh, in that — I don't know, he must have been a young fellow, because he went to school up in the office building, I know that. And then after that he went into the store. 'Cause after he left, the store burnt down and he got out of that other business, he went into politics in Wilmington.

    Lotter: Oh did he? Oh, I see.

    Gamble: That's where he was when he died.

    Lotter: Now did he continue with his bread business at that point too?

    Gamble: No, he gave up — during the war, during the war he gave up that and went in town. He had to go to work somewhere so...

    Lotter: This is on page 58. Do you see any other faces that you might recognize?

    Gamble: I'll look over and mark them.

    Lotter: There's another picture of the blacksmith shop that you were talking about. Right here.

    Gamble: Yeah, yeah that's it. Well the blacksmith shop that I talked about was Beacom. Beacom used to have that last.

    Lotter: Oh, is that right?

    Gamble: Edward Beacom, and that was his father that lived next door to us. Quite a few of the Beacoms, all dead now mostly. I think there are younger ones. One fellow works in the building, the other has something, quite a good job with the place out at Winterthur, if not there, maybe the other one. I know I have a cousin he worked for, what is it — out near Kennett?

    Lotter: Longwood?

    Gamble: Longwood Gardens, he works in there. He's a C.P.A. and this is his cousin, Beacom, his mother's. I don't know whether it shows Edward Beacom, that's a way before his time, too.
  • Signing interview release form and final thoughts on having lived on Brandywine Creek
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Green Hill Presbyterian Church; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Henry Clay (Del. : Village)--Working class families; Sand Hole cemetery
    Transcript: Lotter: Well, I don't want to take up any more of your time. I do appreciate your talking to me for so long this afternoon.

    Gamble: Well, my wife will make me do the dishes [laughs].

    Lotter: I would like to ask you if you would mind signing another release form. It's similar to what you signed before.

    Gamble: I've signed three or four of them at DuPont's. My wife says I'm a pretty good scribbler.

    Lotter: Thank you. Yes, you have a very nice handwriting.

    Gamble: Better not tell her that [laughs].

    Lotter: You can read it, a lot of men's signatures you can't read. I don't know why they think they have to sign their name so that it's not legible. Well, I thank you so much for spending this much time with me this afternoon. I'll get that microphone off of you.

    Gamble: Well, my wife said I could find somebody to talk about the Creek, I'll talk about it willingly.

    Lotter: Sounds like you enjoyed living...

    Gamble: Huh?

    Lotter: Sounds like you enjoyed living there.

    Gamble: Yeah, I told her today. I said I wouldn't mind living on the Creek again. Used to be all poor people, now all the rich are...

    Lotter: That's right, they're redoing a lot of those houses, aren't they?

    Gamble: Well, my great— grandmother — grandfather had quite a bit of property up there, lost it all.

    Lotter: Did he really?

    Gamble: Yeah, when they settled the will, they didn't get...

    Lotter: The family did not get any?

    Gamble: No, only the two brothers, they had nothing to do with it. He had a coal company in town too, I mean hard coal, he'd come around the houses. Somebody said he had what they call a hotel there at 5th and Market, I don't know. That's just one of those things.

    Lotter: That's too bad.

    Gamble: Maybe if I'd have had all that, maybe might — but I knew he did have that business. They're his — I don't even know his wife's name, and they're buried up at the Sand Hole.

    Lotter: I think you mentioned that the last time we talked.

    Gamble: Well I've got an aunt buried up there somewhere.

    Lotter: Oh, do you?

    Gamble: Yeah, all of them, all of my — their people, they all belong to the Episcopal church, and that's the only ones are up there. My Grandfather and my Grandmother, they were Presbyterian [laughs].

    Lotter: So they're buried at the Presbyterian church then?

    Gamble: Yeah, that's where my son is — helping out down south too, preaching — he's not a preacher though.

    Lotter: Oh, isn't he?

    Gamble: No. He likes it.

    Lotter: Does he?

    Gamble: Yeah, but I don't think he - he likes his business. But, if you can make a living, can't argue with him.

    Lotter: That's right. Well, I thank you for showing me all these things again today, very interesting.

    Gamble: Yes it is. A lot goes with it when you lived up that way, too.

    Lotter: That’ s right.

    Gamble: When you see those things.

    Lotter: That's right, that's right, brings back a lot of memories I'm sure. I hope this nice weather continues through the weekend, I think it's supposed to.

    Gamble: I do too, I hope so. We were down in Ocean City yesterday.

    Lotter: Oh, were you really? Okay, well thank you very much, Mr. Gamble. Tell your wife I said good-bye. We'll talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.

Digitized material in this online archive may document imagery or language that reflects racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive and harmful beliefs and actions in history. Hagley Library is engaged in ongoing efforts to address and responsibly present evidence of oppression and injustice in our collections. If you are concerned about the archival material presented here, or want to learn more about our ongoing work, please contact us at