Interview with James Cammock, Herb Devenney, Edward Devenney, and Jim Kindbeiter, 1984 May 9 [audio](part 1)

Hagley ID:
  • Local taverns and saloons; Cammock's photo; DuPont's 150th anniversary
    Keywords: Anniversaries; Blakeley's tavern; Dougherty's tavern; Gregg's store; Hagley Museum & Library; Photographs; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Toy's tavern
    Transcript: (Miscellaneous comments while they are waiting for everyone to get there.)

    McKelvey: Waiting for James Cammock. Fellow on Hagley staff driving him by the name of John Haley, Joe Haley's grandson. Remember Joe Haley - Barley Mill Lane. He was a chauffeur for years, young Joe was a chauffeur for years for Belin du Pont, out at Mt. Cuba. Yeah, H. B. du Pont, that's right. Well, this is the son, of Joe.

    Voice: I don't know who this boy is.

    Devenney: Well, Mr. McKelvey just said he was a grandson of a powder worker.

    McKelvey: His grandfather was Joe Haley.

    Voice: Joe Haley was the boss up in the yard.

    Voice: He was a fine gentlemen, yes he was. Always had a nice word. Never remember any disparaging word from that man.

    Voice: (Talking about saloons) They were well populated with saloons: Ned Conaway was at the top of Rising Sun Hill, Jeff Blakeley was in the middle of the hill and Pat Dougherty was down on the flat there, and Tommy Lawless was up near St. Joseph's Church.

    Devenney: They were beer gardens - not gardens - saloons.

    McKelvey: Did they have names?

    Voice: No, no, just the name of the gentleman that run it, that was all, not like the English Pub in town.

    Harris: Do you remember when Ned Conaway got smallpox up there?

    Voice: They had the yellow flags out in front of the house. That finished the saloon. That's the first and last time I ever saw a yellow flag on the place. Harris: And that was at the tavern.

    Voice: Tavern, yeah, if you want to call it that - saloon.

    Voice: Knock 'em down and drag 'em out, in one door – they had two doors, one in and one out.

    McKelvey: Did you ever hear of a saloon called The Flaming Rag?

    Voice: No, I never did, did you.

    McKelvey: It may have been earlier, but I think it was up on Rising Sun somewhere, up in that area.

    Voice: Well up on Rising Sun, Jeff Blakeley run that. It was in the middle of the hill.

    Voice: The house next door to Ned Conaway, Jenny Bradley lived in that house. Lived there for years and years and years.

    Voice: And my Uncle Mike lived across the street.

    Devenney: And remember Mrs. McDonald lived there for 95 years I guess.

    Voice: Old Sam Frizzell, old Stonegates.

    McKelvey: Do you all remember Sam?

    Devenney: Yeah, going back over some of the old books I have on DuPont - you know he worked in the office as a young fellow, according to the DuPont book.

    Voice: Well I knew Sam and he sold sugar cakes.

    Devenney: Yeah, that's right, large cookies covered with sugar.

    (James Cammock arrives and is introduced to the group.)

    James: You know that little bridge that comes across Rising Sun Lane. I'm glad I got the paper they sent me there, and it was talking about Breck's Store. Do you know what that said about Breck's Store, at the bottom of Rising Sun Lane, well I just lived a hundred feet over from that. You remember Breck’ s Store, don't you?

    Voices: Oh yeah, Harry Gregg, yeah.

    James: Well, I lived a hundred feet from there, born there.

    (Many voices talking at once.)

    Kindbeiter: Well, Harry Gregg was a pretty good man because my Father had his both legs cut off on the Pennsylvania Railroad after he left, and Harry Gregg carried us on the grocery bill. And he come over to the house and raised the devil because the wife wouldn't buy cakes and pies and that stuff. Harry was a decent man.

    (A woman comes in and speaks with James over the voices of others.)

    James: No, I lived over there, as I told you, right across from Breck's Store and I moved from there, but that's where I was born and lived there and about when I was about five or six, seven, we moved on up to Breck's Lane.

    (Some conversation regarding building of an airplane.)

    James: Our old hangout was the Hagley Community House. Do you remember that, Ed? Well, I might as well show you this picture. Is anybody else coming?

    McKelvey: We're all here.

    McKelvey: Now here's a picture that was taken at fifty years this year since it was taken. Let Ed see that, can he recognize any of that. I think there's thirty-one and there's only five living out of that.

    Harris: Fifty-one years ago.

    James: Fifty-one years ago.

    Devenney (Ed): My sight is gone. I wear these glasses, but I had a contact lens.

    James: Can you make any of them pictures out? Do you know where you are on there? Do you know your picture on there?

    Devenney (Ed): No. My sight is gone.

    James: There's Ed Devenney there, there's a man who was supposed to be here - Tom McCray, remember?

    Voice: Oh, Tommy McCray, is he still living? He lived over in the Flats, didn't he?

    James: Here's two more. Here's my brother there, and there's Wilmer Jones. Harry Ballentine, there's Joe McDade, there's a McDade, that's little Ralph Floyd.

    Voices: He was a cranky man. He would fight with the devil.

    James: There's John Hackendorn. Now here’ s Ed here, and that's Tom McCray.

    (Lots of voices talking at once.)

    James: That's Frank Buchanan, you remember that name. And that's a Hollisey, there's Dick Cavannaugh. (Passes the picture around.) Oh, that's seventy years ago, I told you fifty years didn't I – seventy years.

    Voice: Did you ever work down the Experimental Station?

    James: Yes, I worked there. Now can you see what that pennant says up on the top - what year does that say?

    Devenney (Ed): 1914.

    James: See that, that's seventy years. I knew everybody on there. It's seventy years since that was taken.

    McKelvey: Are you in the picture?

    James: Oh yes, I'm in there, and Ed's in there.

    McKelvey: Were you on the basketball team?

    James: Oh yeah, we had a wonderful basketball team.

    McKelvey: I understand they did.

    James: There were two teams (more voices overlapping).

    McKelvey: Jimmy, Charlie is gone?

    James: Charlie Bono? Oh yeah.

    McKelvey: Did he have any children?

    Voices: Yes, he had two boys.

    McKelvey: He wrote an awfully nice article.

    Devenney (Ed): Charlie lived next door to us when we moved up the creek.

    McKelvey: He wrote a nice article in the newspaper.

    James: Charlie lived up there right by the Ferraro's.

    Devenney (Ed): Well now, the house between the Ferraro's and Old Enos Oatman.

    James: Oh Enos Oatman, I worked with him at the Experimental Station. I can't forget him.

    (More voices talking at the same time.)

    McKelvey: Do you want to go for a ride, gentlemen, show you a little bit of the Museum and maybe (tape turned off).

    James: Do you remember Wilmer Jones?

    Voices: Yeah, I remember.

    James: They called him Fiddler Jones.

    Voices: Fiddler Jones, that's right. Well his father was a fiddler, you know, and so was Wilmer.

    James: I knew everybody from top to bottom, everybody. And you people don't remember that being a toll gate up top of Breck's Lane, do you? I remember that.

    (Lots of people talking at once.)

    McKelvey: We need to get on the road, we'll take a look at this a little later, because I want to see your father, okay. Ed, we've got to go for a ride.

    (Noise and miscellaneous talking as they prepare to leave.)

    James: Listen, didn’ t they have - the Du Pont Company just have something here about seven or eight years ago, anniversary or something?

    McKelvey: The Museum had an anniversary.

    James: Do you know I was to the one fifty years before that, had it up in Squirrel Run? And the men were playing bocce and we were playing ball and they had music and dancing and plenty to eat. I don't know what year that was.

    McKelvey: Want to go for a ride upstream?

    James: It's all new, it's been so long since I've been up, this place, everything's changed.

    (Miscellaneous talking as they wait for the Hagley bus to come and pick them up.)
  • Touring Hagley; Holly Island; Birkenhead Mills
    Keywords: Birkenhead Mills; Brandywine Creek; Elderberries; Free Park (Del.: Village); Hagley Museum & Library; Holly Island; Huckleberries; Midwives; Wine
    Transcript: Voice: Oh, there's another thing, the DuPont family must have repaired and replaced ten thousand outhouses because at Halloween, they dumped them.

    (Getting on bus.)

    McKelvey: Let's just go up into the circle and stop at the Machine Shop.

    James: Joe ___________ asked me if I knew a lady up there by the name of Nanna Farrin. I said, "Oh my God, she brought me into this world." She was a midwife, she brought a lot of them children into the world at the Brandywine.

    Voice: Hey, there's Holly Island.

    McKelvey: What do you remember about Holly Island, what did you do out there?

    Voice: Well, there's many a keg of beer launched there from taking up by wedding, people getting married. The next day.

    Voice: That was one of the playgrounds for their beer drinking.

    McKelvey: Did you picnic over there?

    Voices: Oh yeah. That was a good fishing ground. There was a dam up here.

    McKelvey: Oh, up at the dam there. What did you catch?

    Voice: Sunfish. Once in a while you'd get a little bass and carp, that's all was in the Brandywine.

    James: I'll tell you there used to be an awful lot of bushes on there. They cultivate them now. They have a lot of New Jersey names.

    Voice: Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries?

    James: No, no - they cultivate them now.

    Voice: There's Bill Buchanan's home up there.

    (Voices discussing the Buchanan family.)

    Harris: Anna Buchanan, is she still alive?

    Devenney (Ed): Yes, as far as I know she is. She went over to Ireland with my brother and his wife one time.

    McKelvey: She lives on 10th Street.

    Voice: There's the race. Just think of the amount of labor went into just building that race alone.

    James: Huckleberries - huckleberries grew on Holly Island, yeah, I couldn't think of it.

    McKelvey: Did you ever gather them for pies or anything?

    James: Yep, that and along the Brandywine: I'll tell you another one we gathered for use was the elderberry. A lot of them made wine out of elderberries.

    McKelvey: Did you make wine?

    James: Yep, that and dandelion wine. They brewed their own home brew, a lot of the families.

    McKelvey: Jim, what kind of wine did you make?

    James: Elderberry wine.

    McKelvey: How many gallons of wine would you make at a time?

    (Too many voices talking at once to distinguish.)

    Voice: Ah, here's Blacksmith Hill, isn't it? Yeah, Blacksmith Hill.

    McKelvey: We'll be going up there. Now we're in the powder yards, we're in Hagley Yards. Yeah, the swinging bridge is gone now, the iron bridge is still there.

    (More pictures being passed around and people are looking at them and making comments.)

    McKelvey: Gentlemen, I don't want to bring up a sad point, but I think the recorder should know that we're at the Birkenhead right now. Your uncle was killed here.

    Voice: That was a mill that went up, right?

    McKelvey: Yeah.

    Voice: They got the old paddles turning, Edmond, for the race.

    James: You know, I used to carry lunch up there and sit.

    Harris: When was that?

    McKelvey: Ed, when was your uncle killed?

    Devenney (Ed): 1904 I believe.

    McKelvey: 1904, what's your uncle's name?

    Devenney (Ed): McDowell, Billy McDowell.

    McKelvey: We're at the Birkenhead Mills right now, and that's where Mr. McDowell was killed.

    Voice: I think it was a grazing mill that was here.

    Voice: Was that 1915 when Birkenhead went up?

    McKelvey: Ed says 1904. I don't know when it was.

    Voice: 1915 was a big explosion, of course I don't recall that one, I was young then.

    Voice: That was across the other side of the creek. Where they killed the 31 boys at one shot over there.

    James: Do you remember that fire down at the bottom of Breck's Lane?

    Harris: Did you hear the explosion?

    James: Right below from Hagley House, where that great big building burnt down about 1914, 1915?

    McKelvey: Oh, the Rokeby Mill?

    James: It was a great big thing, and I was up at a ball game at the Rockford Tower and I come down there and I see smoke coming up and right down at the bottom of Breck's Lane it was, big building on this side of Hagley.

    McKelvey: Yeah, should be the Rokeby.

    James: You want to hear of the powder going up: it blew everything, and then it moved down into the Experimental Station, that was a big fire.

    McKelvey: They said that mill burned for a week, all that flour in there, was smoldering for a week.

    James: They still got the old steam jenny?

    McKelvey: Yep.

    James: Yeah, I'll be darned.

    McKelvey: How did you know that was steam engine house?

    James: Been there.

    McKelvey: Do you remember it having a steam engine?

    Voice: Not until lately: I see they still have it though.

    (Many voices talking at once.)

    Voice: There's the old iron bridge? Right ahead of us, Edmond, it goes up to Chicken Alley, remember?

    (More jumbled conversations going on at once.)

    McKelvey: When was that?

    Voice: Jimmy, when was that when the du Pont family put the beavers up there?

    James: I don't know what years it was, but they didn't stay there too long because they cut the trees down and they started to build dams and they got rid of them.

    Voice: I can understand why.

    McKelvey: Now we're coming into the Upper Yard. Not much survives up here, they tore it all down when Mrs. Crowninshield moved in.

    Voice: Where's Crowinshield's place, up on the hill?

    McKelvey: Yeah, we'll be coming to it in a minute, you'll see it up the hill. There it is, look right out the window up there, that's Crowninshield's.

    Voice: Remember Frank Conable lived up there?

    McKelvey: I don't, I know where it used to be.

    James: Where's that little Hagley house used to be up there, up by Free Park?

    McKelvey: We'll be going up to that a little later this morning.

    James: Well maybe the house is up there they want to know about, is it?

    McKelvey: Yes.

    James: Well, I think I know who lived in there, if it's the place I know, I can certainly tell them, tell them where the man worked at too.

    Voice: Pauline Seitz lived in that house up there.

    James: Oh I knew them.

    Voice: Buddy, what was the name of this dam here, above the Hagley dam?

    Voice: I don't know.

    Voice: Above Chicken Alley, it had a name.

    Voice: We had numbers for them.

    McKelvey: Now over here, on this side of the road, this is where the saltpeter refinery used to be.

    Voice: That's where my Daddy worked there.

    McKelvey: They tore that down to put a garden in, remember?

    James: You know it's too bad Ed can't see these pictures, all the things we got here, all of everything.

    Voice: That's the Crowninshield's lived up there.

    McKelvey: Now you guys, remember up here, maybe this was before your time, but up on this hill, that's where the Upper Banks used to be. We’ ve got our office building and library up on the hill there, but this hillside used to be all houses.
  • Worker's Villages; Looking at photographs; Hagley gate guards; Hagley machine shop
    Keywords: Accidents; Buckley's tavern; Hagley Machine Shop; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Trades; Walker's Bank
    Transcript: Harris: What village did you live in?

    Voice: Walker's Bank across the creek.

    Harris: All you guys lived in Walker's Bank?

    Voice: No, half of them lived in Henry Clay, Devenney's lived in Walker's Banks, Cammock lived in Henry Clay.

    James: That's 1917 (looking at photo) up at Lenape, that was taken up Lenape, up there. Oh I've got a dozen of them in here - too bad Ed can't see them. And there's your brother, Benny, and Bill Workman, do you remember them?

    Voice: Oh my God, yeah.

    James: Look at the date on the back of that.

    Voice: He later became a State trooper, didn't he?

    James: Yes, he was a State trooper, yeah.

    Voice: Do you know how he got that job as State trooper? Governor Buck was the governor of Delaware and they give Tom the job.

    Voice: That's how a lot of State troopers get jobs them days.

    (Many voices talking at once.)

    Voice: ...and a uniform that fit Tom, and they put it on Tom and the first day that Tom got the job, and he didn't like the job anymore and he says, "My brother, Bill, is hunting a job, give him the job."

    James: Here's a man used to be in the gate – Experimental Station gate, you go in and one out. Remember him?

    Voice: Tom Leech was the first one.

    James: You don't remember Tom Leech, and them Admiral Moffat later on became a guard there at the gate.

    McKelvey: Was Tom Leech any relation to George Leech who used to have the tinsmith crew? Pipefitters.

    Voice: You've got me stumped on that.

    James: Did you know Bill Buckley?

    Voices: Yeah.

    James: And did you know Howard Hand? There's two of them on there, and that other guy comes out of town to them.

    Voice: Bill Buckley run Buckley's Tavern up on - Chick Laird...

    James: Dennis was the one that run that.

    Voice: Dennis, yeah. Chick Laird owned the tavern and Dennis run it for him.

    Voice: 1917, holy smokes.

    James: Yeah I knew who was Dennis, I've got all that. I knew everybody lived on that creek from one end to the other.

    Voice: Wasn't Bill a brother there too?

    James: Here's Benny on there again. You remember Jim Coucil, Ed, you remember him?

    Voices: Yeah, yeah, whatever become of him?

    Voice: As far as I know, he's still living up on Rising Sun Lane.

    Voice: Oh no, he went to Farnhurst.

    James: No he didn't, he died years and years ago. Yeah, he was one of the group.

    Voice: Yeah, he lived in the first house.

    McKelvey: Yes, Mrs. Crowninshield's place.

    Voice: What was his name, Jim Coucil, wasn’ t it? He went to Farnhurst because he flipped his lid altogether.

    James: You're correct on that. And that's the Destaffney kid there. And that's Paul Dougherty.

    Voice: He lived up over here right where the railroad went across.

    Voice: Where the piers are now.

    Voice: He married a girl, lived down 18th Street - Mrs. Toomey.

    Voice: Old Jakey had his arm cut off up there.

    Voice: Mrs. Toomey asked me, you know there was two boys - Bunker and Bum. She said, "How in the world did - do you recall how Bum got the name of Bum?" I said, "Oh, you'll have to ask someone older than I am to recall that." Remember Bum was a great catcher for the baseball team.

    James: There's Anna Buchanan, you remember her don't you?

    Voice: Oh my golly, yes.

    James: That's the little Gallagher girl.

    McKelvey: Mr. Kindbeiter, who had the arm cut off?

    Jim: Jakey Toomey, up at Mrs. Copeland's tunnel, where the - they shifted the train back: the train run over him - he went to sleep on the track up there and had his arm cut off.

    McKelvey: Had he been drinking?

    Jim: Oh yeah, he took everything he could get his hands on.

    Frank: George Cheney lost his arm up there too – George Cheney.

    Voice: Yeah that's right. George Chenney did, he run the blacksmith shop up by St. Joseph's Church, up the Kennett Pike.

    McKelvey: Catherine Chenney, his daughter, is still alive.

    Voice: She is, my God, she must be old.

    McKelvey: Yes, she's up in her early eighties. Her mind is still sharp, just like yours. She used to teach school, she was a school teacher.

    (Lots of voices talking as they look at pictures.)

    McKelvey: When did you start your apprenticeship?

    Voice: 1914.

    (Vehicle stops and men get out.)

    McKelvey: That's where we are now. We’ ve taken the old machine shop and made it into a machine shop again. You want to take a look at it?

    James: It's a shame Ed can't see well enough, ‘ cause everything you see would bring back memories. Now watch it, you've got a step here, Edmond.

    (Miscellaneous comments as the men go into the shop.)

    Guide: 1901, how does that sound, is that when you started in...

    James: How I learned my business.

    Harris: What did you do here?

    Voice: I turned shafting like that. I made powder machinery in a larger way. Would make powder presses and cutting machines - you name it.

    Harris: So you were making other machines?

    Voice: Machinery to make black powder, yeah. Replacement parts there for the mills.

    (More voices making comments.)

    Harris: Where would you stand when you were working here?

    Voice: Right here.

    Harris: And you would turn those handles?

    Voice: This guy was a drunk come up through the yard here. And he said, "What the hell is the matter with you people. You trying to break up them rolling mill wheels? Drill a hole down through it and pour water in it and let it freeze." That broke them all up.

    Voice: Well I wish they hadn't. I wish we still had some of that stuff.

    Harris: And what did the carriage do?

    Voice: It ran off this, see and this moved this - slowly.

    Voice: Hey, what make lathe is that, Edmond?

    Devenney (Ed): I don't know until I see a sign on there.

    McKelvey: That's a Putnam.

    Voice: Oh, that's an old timer.

    McKelvey: Yes it is. This was made around 1865. What machines did you work on, Ed? Were you a lathe operator or could you use them all?

    Devenney (Ed): Lathe mostly.

    McKelvey: What did they start you out on?

    Devenney (Ed): In the tool room, six month course.

    Voice: He was a machinist up there.

    Devenney (Ed): You learned all the tools, how they were used, then they got you out in the big shop, see. Started you off in the tool room so you learned all the names of the tools and what they were, how they were used and everything. Then they started you out in the shop and put you on, well mostly lathes first, about this size, some a little smaller.

    McKelvey: They would start you on a lathe?

    Devenney (Ed): Yeah, yeah, sure.

    McKelvey: I'll be darned. We don't allow our guys to do that, we start them on the drill press.

    Voice: Well the drill press is a complicated machine any more. They use four and five holes that are drilled a time.

    McKelvey: Did you learn to scrape and file the first thing? Did they teach you how to scrape?

    Devenney (Ed): Oh yeah, with the double edge, made them yourself. Scraped in bearings, yeah Babbitt bearings, poured them and scraped them, yeah.

    McKelvey: Did you have a shaper in your shop?

    Devenney (Ed): Yes, had a shaper. Milling machines. I'm talking about the shop here, you know.

    McKelvey: Yeah, the new machine shop. Yeah, they use this shop until they moved on to the new one in 1904.

    Devenney (Ed): I don't remember that.

    Voice: Where did they move to the new one, down along the gate when you come in?

    McKelvey: Yeah, right down by the main gate.

    Voice: That's Hallock du Pont had that barn down there.
  • Hagley machine shop 2; Learning the machinist's trade
    Keywords: Drill presses; Ferraro family; Hagley Machine Shop; Lathes; Machinists; Work
    Transcript: (More voices talking at once.)

    Guide: What do you think, Frank, should we turn it on?

    McKelvey: Alright, we're going to turn the power on, so watch yourself.

    (All voices talking at once and no specific comments are clear.)

    Harris: What's it called?

    Voice: Face plate. You can bolt a piece of material to it.

    McKelvey: Hey Ed, what was the first prank they pulled on you when you were an apprentice?

    Voice: I remember them shooting off that cannon all night.

    Devenney (Ed): I'll tell you, there wasn't much prank played then.

    McKelvey: There weren't?

    Devenney (Ed): No, not during the world war.

    McKelvey: It really was pretty serious.

    (More garbled talking.)

    McKelvey: Who was your foreman?

    Devenney (Ed): Jim Pointsett (sp), then Jack McQuade took over, one of the finest men I ever worked for.

    McKelvey: Was that Tom McCray's father?

    Devenney (Ed): No, this man's name was McQuade.

    McKelvey: Oh, McQuade. Do you remember any of the Millers?

    Devenney (Ed): Yeah, John and Jack Miller, yeah. Redhead Miller.

    (More garbled talking.)

    Voice: So they divided it up. I happened to have the bad luck to get the night shift. I went to work five o'clock, stopped seven the next morning. I'm talking about the second World War now. Machinists were awful scarce.

    Harris: Right. So you came to work at five.

    Voice: Five in the afternoon.

    Harris: And got off at seven in the morning?

    Voice: Seven next morning, yeah.

    Harris: Whoo, that's a long day.

    Voice: Thirteen hours and a half.

    (Power is turned on and machinery is running.)

    McKelvey: People today tell me they've never seen this sort of thing.

    Voice: No, they don't make them this way anymore. This is quite an antique, but she’ s a nice one.

    McKelvey: She's older than you are.

    Voice: Yeah, I imagine it is.

    McKelvey: That was made during the Civil War?

    Voice: This, I don't doubt it. I've got to tell you, when they made them in those days, they made them look nice.

    McKelvey: They really did make them look pretty, didn't they?

    Voice: They certainly did, my God.

    McKelvey: We use lard oil here for cutting, what did you use?

    Voice: Same thing, cut threads - lard oil, that's right. Drilling - or tapping with lard oil too. Overhead pulleys and all.

    McKelvey: Yeah, isn't that great!

    James: You know the old ruins had that too, in the old clock mill. Cause I remember being in there. My Lord, yeah. Walker's Mill and Hudson's Mill. My Lord, yeah, the old overhead pulleys. Have you ever been up through the golf course and around the section there and noticed all those walls built with that Brandywine stone?

    McKelvey: No, I haven't.

    Voice: From Rockland on up and around.

    (Move over to the shaper and turn it on.)

    McKelvey: We don't know who made this one. We think it might be a Gearhart.

    Let me show our milling machine.

    (Sounds of an anvil being struck.)

    Voice: Listen to the sound of this, Ed. I learned something the other day I wonder if you know, about an anvil.

    (Anvil being struck again).

    Voice: I'll be darned, play a tune with it. The old blacksmith.

    Voice: That reminds me of something, remember Perrie Ferro, he could play a tune with an old funnel, remember that? Sounded just like - almost like a trumpet, he'd play a funnel.

    Voice: I remember him getting his foot cut off too.

    Voice: Leg cut off.

    Voice: No, just foot. Just off to here.

    (Miscellaneous comments of the Ferraro family.)

    McKelvey: Ed, here's our milling machine - it's a Browne and Sharp.

    Voice: They're still in business, incidentally.

    McKelvey: Yes, they are. That was one of the first ones they made. Later they used to have the overarm, you know the overarm to support the arbor.

    Did you use to work the milling machine when you were an apprentice?

    Devenney (Ed): You took it steps you know, one machine at a time. Maybe you get three months, six months on it. Mostly the machinist learned he does more on the lathe than any other machine in the shop.

    McKelvey: They want to get our picture. Gentlemen, we need a - we're going to get a group portrait here, take our picture down here.

    McKelvey: I had the tape turned off when they told the marvelous story about the whiskey bottle in Christ Church wall. Three of the four men remember the story in their time and think that it's been handed down through the generations.

    (More overlapping conversations. Sounds like the tape might have been turned off and then on again.)

  • Serving newspapers; Touring Free Park
    Keywords: Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Free Park (Del.: Village); Newspapers
    Transcript: James: I served newspapers all up through this area.

    Harris: How many families did you service, do you remember?

    James: Oh God, how many families - let's see - Walker's Banks all the way up, Rising Sun Lane up to the top of Mt. Salem, up as far as Miss Amy du Pont’ s at Pellport, and at Squirrel Run - I don't know, there must have been - what, three hundred or four hundred papers.

    Voice: Well that's where, Miss Amy's is where...

    Voice: I still can't recall the name of that Italian paper we used to serve. Ed says El Progresso, but that's a spaghetti sauce.

    Devenney (Ed): It's the name of an Italian paper, too.

    Voice: It's the name of a spaghetti sauce, not a paper.

    (Men back on the vehicle again.)

    McKelvey: John, can you take us up to Christ Church parking lot and turn around and then come back down. Hey guys, we're going up this hill now, what was this hill called?

    Voice: Blacksmith.

    McKelvey: What was it called in your day?

    Voice: Jimmy, do you recall remember any other name for Blacksmith Hill besides Blacksmith Hill?

    Jim: No, that's the name of the thing.

    McKelvey: What was it called in your day?

    Jim: It wasn't called nothing.

    McKelvey: Now this house up here, right on the right, that's where John Gibbons used to live when he was foreman up until 1885, and then the Stewarts lived there, and we don't know who lived there after.

    Voice: How about the Seitz girls?

    McKelvey: They lived a little further up. Right up here on this foundation there was a house and that's where George Cheney lived. Do you remember Trilliart, the French family? That might have been before your time. The last name was Trilliart.

    James: No, I know the French people by the name of Gentieu.

    McKelvey: Yeah, well Trilliart lived here with Cheney, but then Cheney moved into their half of the house, so he lived in two houses.

    James: Well do you know the house where Frank Conley lived, I mean Conabel?

    McKelvey: Up on the hill here?

    James: I thought maybe that was the house they didn't know who lived there, but you know that. I served mail to him. Where's the little Hagley house before you got up there. There's a little - Carpenter was the head of it then. Remember that?

    McKelvey: They tore Hagley House down.

    James: And there's a fellow by the name of Lindsey Whiteman who served the DuPont Company.

    McKelvey: Do you remember Judge Bradford? Well he lived up in Hagley House, and they've torn that house down. They tore that down in 1952.

    Voice: He was the lawyer that sold Pop's farm in Donegal. Edmond, wasn't that Judge Bradford?

    Devenney (Ed): Yes, a young judge.

    McKelvey: Well now look over here on the right, you guys remember the Hagley office. That's where the Seitz girls lived, over here.

    Voice: I remember the second office too, up on the other road.

    James: The other office, I carried mail to that, and Carpenter was the one was in there, right?

    McKelvey: I'm not sure.

    Voice: That's a beautiful old church inside.

    McKelvey: Yes, yes, oh yes, beautiful. Now, we're swinging up past Free Park. There used to be a road that went straight up the hill further.

    James: And the breadman, you got six loaves of bread for a quarter, but it wasn't sliced, you had to slice it yourself. And when you went to the store, no matter what you bought, they'd wrap it up in newspaper because they didn't have bags or nothing to put it in. Nothing in jars or cans or nothing.

    McKelvey: This is where Dan Shields lives.

    James: Oh, I knew Dan Shields, had the lumber yard up in Greenville, I knew Dan, I knew everybody.

    Voice: Dan Shields married a woman, she was a movie actress. Yeah, out in Hollywood.

    McKelvey: Now this is the Sexton's house for the church. That's where Cheney's moved up to around World War I.

    Voice: Yeah, that's right, that's where they lived.

    James: They had a daughter named Elsie Chenney.

    McKelvey: Yeah, and there was a daughter, Catherine. And Catherine's still alive. She's been down here a couple of times to help us learn what life was like.

    Voice: You know up at St. Joseph's they had a gathering up there one Sunday. The preacher got up on the altar and says "Now anybody that's infirm, you can park in the Christ Church parking lot. Anybody that's infirm, walk down, and please no alcoholic beverages." When in the hell did you ever see an Irishman go to a funeral and go to a wedding without or a gathering without a lot of booze.

    James: What are those little tags on the trees?

    Frank: They are just names of the trees.

    Voice: There used to be a whole row of houses down here.

    McKelvey: Yep, that's right. They're all gone now.

    Voice: Yeah, all but: what, there's only two left here?

    McKelvey: Yeah, just the one here.

    Voice: Just one - Cheney house it is.

    McKelvey: They tore most of them down in the 1920's.

    Harris: Is this Flea Park?

    McKelvey: Yes - was.

    Voice: Flea Park is gone?

    McKelvey: Yup. Yeah, they tore that down in the twenties.

    Voice: ...bought the first piece of property DuPont's ever sold. That was down along the creek road. Chick Laird bought that house after they all passed on.

    Voice: That's by Dick Cavannaugh's store.

    McKelvey: Any of you guy remember the Collison family?

    Voice: No, I don't.

    McKelvey: I think he was a bookkeeper. He lived in this yellow house here.

    Voice: Where did Lindsey Whiteman live?

    James: Lindsey carried the mail to all the DuPont people.

    McKelvey: I don't know.

    Voice: His father was killed up here, wasn't he?

    Voice: Yeah.

    Voice: I thought he was. I used to meet Lindsey quite often.

    Voice: Now wait, you said my father was killed up here? No, he wasn't. He lost his both legs on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

    Voice: What was the name of the Haley that preceded him at the Hall of Records?

    McKelvey: Joe Haley, I think.

    Voice: He was a white-haired old gentleman, remember? Then Lindsey took over at the Hall of Records. I don't know who run the Hall of Records before that.

    Voice: Snake Harkins's son worked up there too.

    Voice: Yeah, they lived across the bridge at Squirrel Run, the Harkins family.

    Voice: Snake used to work for me, the son worked for me.

    McKelvey: Ed, if we do this often enough, we're gonna get the hang of it.

    (Getting in or out of the van.)

    Voice: Plenty a gallon of dandelion wine I made.

    McKelvey: How did you make it?

    Voice: During prohibition. Flowers.

    Harris: One of these things?

    Voice: Yeah.

    McKelvey: Did you put sugar in it?

    Voice: Sugar, yeah.

    McKelvey: What else did you put in?

    (Miscellaneous comments and sounds as they move to another area - voices of children also.)
  • Visiting the Gibbons house; Dances at Breck's Mill; 1915 or 1917 explosion
    Keywords: Explosions; Free Park (Del.: Village); Gibbons House; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill)
    Transcript: Voice: What date was your birth, 1894?

    Voice: 1897.

    (Miscellaneous comments regarding birthdates.)

    Voice: You remember this house, don't you, Jimmy? Gibbons.

    James: I don't know whether I do or not.

    Voice: Can I get you something, Jim?

    James: I want a cup of coffee.

    Voice: I don't know whether they have coffee or not, I'll see.

    (Many voices talking at once as they come into the Gibbons House and are served soda bread and beverage.)

    Harris: What time did you get off work at night?

    Voice: Oh my Lord, in the terriblest weather, ten hours a day in those days.

    Voice: Listen, I'll tell you what we worked, we worked 54 hours a week, ten hours a day and half a day on Saturday, that's 54 hours, 54 hours in the week.

    (More voices as they are being served refreshments.)

    McKelvey: May I see some of your pictures?

    (More miscellaneous comments with voice overlapping.)

    Harris: Did they have dances or anything like that?

    Voice: Yes we had dances, Breck's Mills was dancing.

    McKelvey: Did you take these pictures?

    James: Ed and I, we took all them pictures. The dates on the back of them, you can generally look on the back of them.

    McKelvey: Who's she?

    James: That girl's name is Anna Wagner. She married a fellow by the name of John Taylor. Now this fellow here, he used to be, at the Experimental Station, he used to be the watchman at the gate. One of them’ s the owner: mother of Catherine Jackson on that picture.

    McKelvey: Pretty girls, weren't they? That's down by the covered bridge, isn't it - Rising Sun?

    James: Yeah, that wall goes along there. That was Jim Thompson they call him, and that's a McGonigle fellow. Now there's Howard Hamm.

    (More voices talking at the same time, can't make out what Frank and James are talking about as they look at pictures.)

    ....the other fellow is John Hackendorn. That's Tom McQuade...they are the ones from up the creek, and some Buchanan girls on there.

    McKelvey: Oh, who is this Irishman with the shillelagh?

    James: That's John Fern, used to be the watchman on the gates at the Experimental Station.

    McKelvey: Did you call that a shillelagh in those days?

    James: I guess you would.

    McKelvey: Oh, that's beautiful.

    (Voices overpower conversation between Frank and James.)

    McKelvey: Where was this picture taken?

    James: On the Brandywine there somewhere.

    McKelvey: Oh, look at that steam roller. Where was this taken?

    James: That was taken up at Lenape, that's Ed's picture on there, Ed Devenney on there. That was taken up at Lenape. I didn't bring all the pictures, that some of the fellows - let's see, that's the one - there's his brother, that's one of his brothers, Bennie. And that's Bill ____________, used to be a policeman.

    McKelvey: Oh, who's that?

    James: Pete, Pete: I don't know his name, that's World War I, he was in the Navy. I don't know his last name.

    Voice: Pete Carman, he lived up the creek there.

    James: Oh that's one of the Hackendorn girls there, Emmas Hackendorn and Anna Buchanan. That's Tom - I don't know why he didn't come along. That's (identifies more people, but other voices make it hard to hear.)

    McKelvey: There's the old covered bridge.

    (More voices talking at once.)

    James: Can you read the date on that?

    McKelvey: 1916.

    James: I tried to read it, but my eyes are not that good.

    McKelvey: Jimmy, are you gonna let us borrow these to make copies of them?

    James: I'll do anything to help you out.

    McKelvey: That's great. And then will you describe: when we get the copies made, will you tell us who all these people are?

    James: Yeah, the ones that I actually know, yeah. Now did you know Jim McClay that had the grocery?

    McKelvey: No, I didn't.

    James: And that's Paul Gallagher and that's Joe McLaughlin and that's me there.

    McKelvey: Oh, wait a minute, that's the 1917 basketball team.

    Voices: (Comments about the Hagley Mt. Vernon basketball team.)

    James: You ought to see the nice pictures I got - with the whole team on them. Do you know none of them is living? The team I played on, there was nine people on it and I'm the only one living out of the nine. Old Gallagher's gone, Bum Toomey's gone, Jim McVay's gone, the one that had the horses, he's gone.

    (Comments as coffee is brought to James Cammock.)

    James: That's the Hagley Community House, that's when we first - see the date on that?

    Peg B.: Oh yes I do, 1913.

    James: That's fifty years, fifty years this year. And there's only five living out of that bunch of men there. And here's two others right here.

    There's another picture in that bag that's showing you the Rockland Bridge, you know, you know where Rockland is?

    Peg B.: Yes I do.

    James: And it tells you about the bridge where it says the old bridge and the new one. Picture's in there - it's a post card in the bottom of it - the bag.

    (As the men are being served refreshments, there are voices referring to children playing with the powder, but it is hard to understand what is being said.)

    McKelvey: Jim, I've heard the story before - they had kids working up there. How old were they?

    Jim: Oh, they were child labor.

    James: Where's that at?

    McKelvey: When they had the big explosion up there.

    James: One of them I can show you on that picture played on the basketball team. His picture's on that paper.

    McKelvey: How old was he?

    Voice: Across the Brandywine from Laird's house, up there.

    James: Well what year did that happen?

    McKelvey: I think it was 1917.

    James: It was 1915 I think.

    Harris: And there were kids in there? Kids were in there working?

    Voice: Kids were working, sure - after school. It was the packing house, wasn't it? They were throwing these powder pellets at each other, and all it needed was a little pop.

    Voice: They packed the pellets in tin cans for the Army and this Italian boy invented a funnel.

    McKelvey: Gentlemen - I want to interrupt you for a minute and introduce Mary Jo D'Angelo. You all know her, you've all talked with her. This is what she looks like.

    (Introductions are made.)(Miscellaneous comments as several people talk at the same time.)

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