Interview with Edward B. Cheney, 1958 June 13 [audio](part 1)

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  • Identifying powder yard families; Watching the barley mill fire
    Partial Transcript: "This is the upper part of Squirrel Run, above the Diamond Bridge..."
    Synopsis: Cheney names families who lived in Squirrel Run and describes the "Diamond Bridge" that bisected the village, mentioning that there was another smaller footbridge. He describes the route that the trolley took through Squirrel Run and the surrounding area. He says that he saw the old barley mill burn and said that the piles of grain smoldered for six weeks after the fire. He names other families living in the communities of Squirrel Run, Walker's Banks, and Free Park.
    Keywords: Bancroft's Mill; fires; Free Park (Del.:Village); Peoples Railway Company (Wilmington, Del.); Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Street-railroads; Walker's Banks (Del.:Village)
  • Accident involving Harry Stirling; Other stories from the yard; Education; du Pont family coachmen
    Partial Transcript: "...his brother, Harry Stirling, had his hand severed by a circular saw..." "When a boy would graduate from high school..."
    Synopsis: Cheney tells a story about a neighbor losing a hand at Hagley's carpentry shop. He tells a story about his college student brother solving a difficult math problem for a neighbor and getting a rooster as a reward for a correct answer. He talks about his brother, Lowther, getting a job at DuPont's plant in Carney's Point, N.J. He talks about the du Pont family coachmen.
    Keywords: Accidents; Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Blakeley's tavern; Carpentry; Circular Saws; Hagley Yard; Stirling Family
  • Pranking men who came to the creek; Practical jokes; Pranking H.A. du Pont; Eating Chestnuts; Identifying people and places in Squirrel Run
    Partial Transcript: "Remember the stories I used to tell about the fellows that came to the creek to court the girls, locally?"
    Synopsis: Cheney tells a story about pranking outsiders who came to the creek to date local girls. He says that the local men would take the axle off the wagon and put fasten it to a fence so that the wagon could not move. He says that he used to put valerian root in coat pockets, which caused the coat to smell terrible when it got warm. He also talks about picking and eating chestnuts.
    Keywords: Courtship; Dating; Du Pont, H. A. (Henry Algernon), 1838-1926; Relationships; Sam Frizzell's store; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Valerian
  • Poem about James MacAdoo; Fife and drum corps; Social clubs; Identifying people and places in photographs; Cheney reads some of his poems about the Brandywine Valley and DuPont
    Partial Transcript: "I have a short poem here: I sit beside the bridge across the Brandywine..." "I wrote this one... "The Passing of the Village of Squirrel Run"... Strange that I should return to view the passing of the landmarks that my boyhood knew..."
    Synopsis: Cheney reads a poem he wrote about his neighbors and friends in Squirrel Run. Cheney talks about the local fife and drum corps and a club. He reads poems about Rockford Tower and the DuPont plant at Carney's Point, N.J. Cheney explains the origins of his poem writing hobby. He says that he remembers Squirrel Run being torn down between 1931 and 1932. He reads poems about exploring the Brandywine as children and about the covered bridge at Rising Sun Lane in Henry Clay. He says the bridge was torn down shortly after he wrote the poem. He reads poems about parties on Keyes' Hill and about looking at Wilmington from the New Jersey shore. He says that his poems originally appeared in the Wilmington Evening Journal. He then reads another poem written by a soldier leaving Montchanin after the Spanish-American War and discusses the Spanish-American War in greater detail.
    Keywords: Carney's Point (N.J.); Covered bridges; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Fife and drum music; Fourth of July celebrations; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Keyes’ Hill; Montchanin (Del.: Village); Poems; Rockford Tower (Wilmington, Del.); Spanish-American War (1898); Squirrel Run (Del.:Village); The Brandywine Club; Wilmington Evening Journal; Wilmington, Del.