Part of the American History and Genealogy Project




Blackbird Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware

Early Settlements Religious Schools
Villages Industries Roads and Bridges
Hotels .. Post Office

Previous to 1875, the territory included within the present limits of this hundred formed a portion of Appoquinimink Hundred. On March 9 of that year, an Act of the Legislature was passed, dividing Appoquinimink Hundred by the following line: "Beginning at the mouth of Blackbird Creek, running with said creek and main branch to a bridge in the road leading from the head of Sassafras to Smyrna, thence westerly to the centre of said road to the cross-roads known as Dexter's Corner; thence southwesterly with the road leading by Garman's school-house; thence to Cypress Bridge, and thence down Cypress branch to the dividing line between Maryland and Delaware." All the territory in New Castle County south of this line was declared to be Blackbird Hundred. About twenty-five years ago the land of this hundred was mostly covered with timber. At the present time, about one-half of the hundred is in a state of cultivation, producing peaches, wheat, com and oats in large quantities. The forests are rapidly disappearing and the marshes are being reclaimed. The population according to the census of 1880 was 1778.

Early Settlements

The earliest settlements made in this hundred were on the bank of the Delaware River previous to Penn's ownership. A tribe of Indians, of whom Mechaeksit was Sachem, inhabited Thoroughfare Neck and sold the land to the settlers. At an early date, John Morgan obtained a warrant for eight hundred acres and John Denney for two hundred acres adjoining. This land was purchased by William Pierce, to whom a new warrant was granted in March, 1679. In the meantime, William Green settled upon these tracts, and to eject him, it was necessary for Pierce to resort to law. The following is a copy of the proceedings:

"Att a Coet held in the Towne of New Castle by his maj. authority the 3rd & 4th of June, l679.

"I sent Mr. John Moll, Mr. Peter Alrichs, Mr. Fopp Outhout, Mr. Garrett Otto, Mr. John D'haes, Mr. Abram Man, Mr. William Semphill, Justices: Captain Edw. Cantwell, High Sheriff.

"William Pierce, Plf., ) In an action of Trespass upon the case.
William Green, Deft., )

"The PU. declared that this deft, without any Leave or orders from his hono: the Goveno: this Court or any other Lawful Authority has seated himself upon a Peece of Land made over unto him ye Pit,: by John Morgen's successor: John Denny, and sence to wit in ye month of March Laest, a-new granted and confirmed unto this Pit.: by this Court as by ye Records will appeare and therefore desires that this deft, may bee ordered forthwith to quit & Leave ye Land to ye end that hee may not hinder this Pit. seating on ye same. The Debates of both partees being heard and the deft, not producing, any warrt: or order from any Lawful authority for his seating on ye Land the Court are of opinion,

"And do order that the Pit: have ye land according to Pattents of this court Grant and that ye deft: quit ye same.

"This is a true Coppy taken out of ye records which wee attest.

Jno. Moll
Peter Alrichs
J. d'haes
Will Sempell

Morris Listen came to this hundred previous to 1680, and purchased twelve hundred acres of land of the Indians. In that year, Mechaeksit, an Indian sachem, granted to Ephraim Herman the land between Duck Creek and Cedar Swamps, commencing at Morris Liston's corner. Liston came from England, and purchased the land above mentioned, and 24th of 9th month, 1702, he was warranted eight hundred and ninety-seven acres of land on the Delaware River, between Blackbird Creek and the run next south. In 1739, the two story hip-roofed brick house in which Robert Derrickson now resides was built by Edmund Liston. The original Liston farm is now owned by David J. Cummins, Benjamin Davids and Robert Derrickson, who is a descendant of this family. The Listons are now a prominent family in Preston County, Virginia.

Abraham Staats came from Holland, and was one of the earliest settlers on Manhattan Island, where he resided until it was invaded by the English, when he moved to Staten Island, which is said to have received its name from him. When the Dutch conquered the Swedish settlements in Delaware, the Staats family moved to Thoroughfare Neck and purchased land of the Indians. From this ancestor are sprung the present Staats family of this and adjoining hundreds. Abraham Staats, a descendant, served in the Revolutionary War and became a captain. On his farm was a tidewater mill, which was abandoned during that war. A stream large enough for sailing a vessel ran to the mill. Near the mill a vessel one time sunk. This is now over-run with sod and grass. The home-stead is now owned by Isaac Staats, a grandson of Captain Abraham Staats.

John Wooters owned land on the south side of Blackbird Creek in 1685. In a law-suit of October 20 of that year the witnesses of Wooters, Casperus Herman, Thomas Snelling and others, testified that Wooters had settled there about twelve years before at a place he called "Wooters," had erected a dwelling-house and planted trees, and assisted by his servants had produced a crop. Shortly afterwards, his house and improvements, which were leased at the time, together with the corn and tobacco were burned.

On January 2, 1678, Peter Bayard petitioned the court for the right to take up on Duck Creek four hundred acres of land, and it was granted.

On November 25, 1681, there was surveyed and laid out for Thomas Harris two hundred acres of land, called "Exchange." A portion of this land is now owned by John C. Stockley, of Smyrna.

In 1747 a Spanish privateer landed near the house now occupied by Robert Derickson and plundered the house. The following affidavits were made before Thomas Hopkinson, of Philadelphia:

"Edmund Liston of Appoquinimink H'd., In the county of New Castle, Yeoman, being one of the people called Quakers, on his solemn Affirmation, declares and affirms, that on Sunday, the twelfth day of this Instant, July, about one o'clock in the afternoon, a Company of Foreigners, which this affirmant believes to be Spaniards, to the number of Nineteen, came ashore in an open Boat from a Pilot Boat riding at anchor in the River Delaware, over against this affirmant's House which is Situate about four Miles above Bombay Hook and about half a Mile from the Banks of the said River Delaware, and as the Affirmant was afterwards told by his daughter, as soon as they landed some of them ran to the Place where his Daughter and a Negro girl happened to be getting Crabbs, seized the Negro Girl, tied her, and put her into the Boat. This Affirmant further Declares that the said Foreigners came Directly to him this Affirmant and with Guns, Cutlasses & Pistols, and telling him they belonged to a Spanish Privateer not far off, they demanded his Negroes, Money and the Keys of his Drawers, A having got some keys from him they proceeded to riffle & plunder his House & took out of it several sorts of wearing Apparall, Bedding, Cloths & Furniture & tying them. In separate Bundles they carried them to the Shore & afterwards put them on board of the open Boat: they likewise took a Negro Woman and two little Negro children, one of a sucking child, and then clapping their Pistols to this affirmant's Breast they compelled him to go with them to the next Plantation, belonging to James Heart, at the distance of about half a mile.

Edmund E. L. Liston. mark.

Af. 27 July 1747
"before me Thos. Hopkinson.'*

"James Hart of Appoquinimy Hd., in the County of New Castle on Delaware, being sworn on the holy evangelists of Almighty God, did depose and declare that on Sunday the 12th Day of this Instant, July, about three of the Clock in the Afternoon, several People, who this Deponent took to be Spaniards, to the number of fifteen, and one Man with laced Hat, who this Deponent took to be an Englishman (being much fairer than the rest) came Arm'd to this Deponent's House, Situate about half a Mile from the River side, together with Edmund Liston, a neighbor of this Deponent's, who they had forced along with them: That this Deponent seeing them come at some distance shut up and bolted his Doors and got his Gun in readiness lest they should prove to be Enemies: That they came directly up and surrounded this Deponent's House, and some of them pursued a Negro Girl belonging to this Deponent, which this Deponent perceived thro' a Window, that some of the said Company called out to this Deponent in good English to surrender or they would set fire to his House, and several Bullets were fired into the room, where this Dep. his Wife and Children were, that one of the Bullets wounded this Dep's wife in the Hip & that she bled very much; whereupon this Dep. thought fit to surrender, and accordingly opened the Doors of his House, thereupon the Spaniards seized this Dep. and bound his Hands and immediately plundered the House & took away the above mentioned Negro, almost all of this Dap's wearing apparel, a pair of Gold Buttons and several other things to the value of about seventy pounds. That when they had done plundering the Dap 'a House as aforesaid, they forced this Dep. away with them to E. L.'s Plantation about half a mile from this Dep's, where they tyed up into Bundles the Plunder they had got at this Dep's House and the said E. L's & having carried it on board the Boat they went off to the Pilot Boat from whence they came.
"James Heart
"Sworn July 27, 1747,
"before me Thos. Hopkinson."

On August 17, 1697, Richard Bonsall and John Wood purchased of John Donaldson nineteen hundred and ten acres of land in "Thorowfaird" Neck. This tract was adjoining land at that time owned by Christopher Elliott and John Taylor. It also touched Cedar Swamp, and part of the land was on the North-west branch where the Northeast branch springs from it. Bonsall purchased a three fourths interest, and on 24th of December, 1702, one thousand, three hundred and fifty-six acres of fast land and eighty of marsh were placed in trust for his children as his portion. At the same time eight hundred and sixty-four acres of adjoining land were also placed in trust for them. On May 4, 1709, Jacob Bonsall, son of Richard, entered into an agreement with Matthew Walton, George Cummins and Matthew Rue for the sale of one thousand three hundred and ten acres of his land. The sale was consummated, and in 1737 Walton's share was owned by his son Matthew Cummins sold his portion to John Owens, who was the owner in 1737. Samuel Fitzgerald in that year was the possessor of John Wood's portion. On November 9, 1709, Jacob Bonsall also sold to Thomas Ward, of Staten Island, a tract of land adjoining the above. This descended to his son Thomas, who, May 12, 1770, conveyed one hundred and twelve acres of it to Thomas Collins, whose descendants still own it.

Pomfret, a tract of three hundred and fifteen acres, on the north side of Duck Creek, and bounded on the north and northwest by Ellet's branch (Morris's run) was surveyed by Ephraim Herman for William Grant on November 28, 1681. It was assigned by Grant to Anthony Tompkins, to whom it was patented by William Penn, July 30, 1684. It was afterward owned by William Wilson, and is now in the possession of Alexander G. Cummins. Brick Store Landing is situated on this tract. At the Landing is a phosphate manufactory operated by the owner of the land. An old brick building, bearing the date 1717, is still standing here.

Shrewsberry, a tract of eight hundred and thirty-seven acres, on the south side of Blackbird Creek, was warranted to Edmund Cantwell on the 15th of April, 1684.

On the 22d of February, 1682, there was warranted to Dr. Gerard us Wessels a tract of three hundred acres on the north side of Duck Creek. This was assigned to Joseph Moore, for whom it was surveyed September 1, 1685.

In 1683 Christopher Elliot owned a tract of land at the main branch of Duck Creek, containing five hundred acres, late in the possession of Joseph Holding, deceased. Elliot died, seized of this estate and left no heirs, and on October 8, 1701, after an inquisition tho farm land was selected and confirmed unto Joseph England. On May 19, 1701, there was also warranted to England eight hundred and eight acres, lying between two branches, of which one was Morris's Run. This land was owned by William Holton, who at his decease devised it to his wife, Elizabeth, who afterwards married Philip England, and to his daughter Rebecca, who became the wife of Joseph England, to whom the whole was confirmed on date above mentioned. This land is now probably owned by Gideon E. Rothwell and George W. Matiford.

On April 25, 1737, there was warranted to Abram Enos, a tract of two hundred acres on the south side of the North West Branch of Duck Creek, known as Slave Getters Hall. In 1747 the land-owners in this vicinity were James Alfree, Samuel Moore, Abram Enos, Thomas Bennett, Thomas Barrett, John Barber and William Holliday.

On July 16, 1739, a warrant was granted to Thomas Stone, for one hundred acres of clear land on the road from Duck Creek to New Castle. It was called "Vulcan's Mount, including a small improvement made thereon, the first settlement thereof being about the year 1726." This is now owned by Samuel Armstrong.

"Longacre," a tract of ninety-five acres on the road from Duck Creek to Bohemia Manor, was warranted to Samuel Cortwright on February 27, 1739.

A warrant was granted to Isaac Norris, of Philadelphia, and Isaac England, of New Castle County, on September 26, 1754, for a tract of one thousand and eight acres of land called "New Bristol," situate on the north side of Duck Creek. Nearly all of the land in the western part of the hundred was included in a grant to Walter Dulany, and known as "Dulany's Manor." This land was heavily timbered and while in the possession of Grafton L. Dulany, a wood lease was granted to Bernard, who constructed a wooden railroad, from the woods to Brick Store Landing, to be used for conveying the timber to a shipping point. It was operated during 1849 and 1850 and then discontinued. The cars were drawn by horses over the wooden track. This land is now owned by Napoleon Walton, Samuel Beck, Barney Donelly, David Lloyd and _____ Harkman.


On April 20, 1782, Robert Appleton conveyed to Joseph Deakyne, Edward Martin, William Truax Marsh, Abraham Staats, Jr., John Barlow, Robert Standlay, Jacob Deakyne, Thomas Deakyne and John Collins, one acre of land in trust "to the intent and express purpose of building a preaching-house or chapel for the use of the Methodist preachers." These were the first trustees of Friendship Church, and they at once began the erection of an edifice for public worship. The building then constructed, of cedar logs and about twenty-four feet square, was used until 1866 when it was torn down. The present neat frame church was dedicated January 16, 1867, with appropriate services, conducted by Bishops Scott and Ames, assisted by Revs. Urie and England.

The building is thirty-six by fifty feet with a gallery and recess for the pulpit and cost about five thousand dollars. Until 1872, it formed a part of Smyrna circuit and was served by the pastors of that circuit, a list of which is to be found under the Asbury Church of Smyrna. It now forms part of Appoquinimink circuit and has had the following ministers.

C. W. Prettyman 1873-74
T. B. Killim 1875
James Carroll 1876-77
John Shilling. 1878-79
John E. Collins 1880
B. K. Stephenson 1881-82
D. F. Weddell 1883-84
I. D. Johnson 1885
G. S. Conway 1896

In 1828, Friendship Church had a membership of twenty-nine. At the present time there are about one hundred on its rolls. The following are the present trustees with the dates of their election.

Isaac Staats February 28, 1844
John Jarrell June 15, 1850
Thomas Deakyne January 15, 1866
Alexander Deakyne June 15, 1870
Robert Derrickson November 26, 1870
George C. Deakyne January 12, 1880

William Keyser is the superintendent of a Sunday-school of forty scholars connected with this church.

The first Methodist meetings in the southwestern part of the hundred were held in a private house, at a place called the "lime stone." The meetings increased in size, and in 1842 it was found necessary to erect a church. At this time there were about fifty members, prominent among whom were William Gordon, William Clayton, George Wilson, Thomas Sapp, Elizabeth McCay and Rebecca Clark. In that year Grafton L. Delaney, of Baltimore, donated to John Eaton, Thomas Meriam, Robert Bailey, Thomas Lamb and Jesse Moffitt, trustees, a tract of land on which a log church, twenty-four by thirty feet, was erected at a very little cost, other than the labor which was given. The building is still used for divine worship, and is known as "Dulany's Chapel.'' The present membership is thirty. At the present time the board of trustees is composed of the following persons: Jas. R. Pryor, Eben Cloak, Charles Rhiem, Samuel Beck and George Rhiem.

It was connected with Smyrna circuit until 1862, and served by the pastors in charge of that circuit. Since that time the following pastors have ministered here:

Rev. Samuel Webb 1862-66
Rev. David A. Price 1865-67
Rev. John M. Clark 1807
Rev. Chas. K. Morris 1868-Sept. 77
Rev. Jno. M. Clark Sept. 1, 1877-79
Rev. Chas. K. Morris 1870

The Sunday-school has twelve officers and teacher, and seventy scholars. John Rhiem is the superintendent.

Salem M. P. Church was built about 1842 through the efforts of Rev. W. Maddon and Messrs. Arnold S. Naudain, Ezekiel Wright, Gideon E. Barlow and Israel Hall. In 1845 there was a great revival of religion in the church, and Ezekiel Wright and wife moved to the church with bedding and provisions, and remained day and night. In 1857 the church was repaired, and reopened May 10. The congregation were unable to raise the indebtedness thus incurred, and the church was closed. It was in this condition when Rev. D. F. Ewell was assigned to this charge. Through his earnest and unwearied efforts the debt was paid, and the building again dedicated to the worship of the Almighty. Rev. Ewell labored with this congregation eleven years, and was succeeded by Rev. A. S. Eversole, Rev. J. T. Lassel, Rev. J. S. Rowe, Rev. J. B. Jones, Rev. A. D. Melvin and Rev. B. F. Benson, the present pastor. The membership at the present time is seventy-five.

There are eighty members of the Sunday-school under the superintendence of George W. Thomas.

The present board of trustees is composed of the following persons: James Brockson, Andrew Webster, James Webster, Charles Numbers, R. C. Brockson.

There was a Presbyterian church at an early period in this hundred, near Taylor's Bridge, concerning which no definite information has been obtained. Rev. George Foot, in a sermon delivered in Drawyer's church, May 10, 1842, thus spoke of it: "The Presbyterian Church, near Taylor's Bridge, was probably organized within this field. But when it was gathered, or who were its ministers, or what is its history, we can probably never ascertain. While Dr. Read was pastor of this (Drawyer's) people, he devoted some attention to that church. Its house of worship was standing in a decayed condition, and Mr. Burton preached in it occasionally, in 1809. No remnant of it, except a few mounds in the old cemetery, now remains." The land on which it stood, is now owned by Peter Johnson.


Previous to the adoption of the common school system subscription or pay schools were in existence in Blackbird Hundred. Among the teachers of the latter kind are remembered William Orr, David Price, William Welden, James Welden, Isaac P. Walker, Seth King and Samuel Anderson.

The opening of the public schools, with the advantages afforded to all, caused the abandonment of private schools. John Mulholland and Leonard are remembered as pioneer teachers of the public schools. The school in Thoroughfare Neck, which was deeded for school purposes in 1816 by Peter Staats, was converted into a public school. Other private schools were converted to the same use. The subdivision of the districts, the multiplication of the schools and the increased abilities of the teachers, have placed the common schools in this hundred on a very high standard.

Roads and Bridges

At the November session of the Levy Court of New Castle County, it was ordered that a road be laid out from the main road leading from Smyrna to Odessa, at a point near Smyrna, to Thoroughfare Neck. The road was surveyed May 7, 1780, and passed through lands at that time owned by Dr. Morris, Mary Hudson, Mrs. Dially, William Clark, Charles Carson, Isaac Daney, Michael Offley, Thomas Goldsborough, William Jordan, Edmund Edwards, Robert Appleton, Nicholas Barlow, George Ward, William Hudson, Arthur Allston, John Conner, John Bassett, Elijah Bartlett, Joseph Deakyne and Jacob Deakyne.

In February term of the Levy Court, 1792, a petition was presented for the opening and construction of a road leading from Captain Abraham Staats' tide mill to Israel Daney's smith shop, to be nearly on line of a road that had been used for nearly eight years.

In 1827 four hundred dollars were appropriated for the construction of Long Bridge over the northwest branch of Duck Creek.

In April 1825 three thousand dollars were appropriated by the Levy Court for the erection of a new bridge over Blackbird Creek, "where old bridge (Taylor's) now stands." In March of the following year $340 more were applied to the same purpose. The bridge was constructed by James Spier, of Cantwell's Bridge.

In later days new roads were opened and the old ones repaired; old bridges were replaced by new and more durable ones, and at the present time the roads and bridges are in an excellent condition.


The earliest industries in Blackbird Hundred were several old grist-mills which have not been in use for many years. Most prominent of these were the tidewater mill of Captain Abraham Staats, on the farm now owned by Isaac Staats, and a wind-mill for grinding wheat and com on the Liston farm now owned by David J. Cummins. There was also an old mill on the McMurphey farm, now owned by G. W. W. Naudain. A mill-race and dam in good condition on the North West Branch, on farm of V. 0. Hill, give evidence that a mill was once located there. As early as 1746 there was a mill pond formed by Ridley Run, now Green Spring Branch. The mill was situated on land now owned by William Nailor and has long since passed away. A mill-race was dug from the stream through a field to the mill, and is still in existence.

In 1780 Ira E. Lyons built a mill on Blackbird Creek, near the village of Blackbird. He retained possession of it for many years, and finally sold it to Auley Lore. It was subsequently owned by Jonathan Hand, William E. Evans, Jacob Richardson, and is now in possession of Samuel R. Warren. The present grist-mill is partially stone and partially frame, does both custom and merchant work, and has a capacity of twenty barrels per day. The saw-mill in connection has a capacity of fifteen hundred feet per day. The mills are operated by steam and water-power.

Alvan Allen commenced manufacturing tiles about 1863, in Appoquinimink Hundred, near Smyrna Landing. In 1868 he associated with himself William .M. Bell, and the business was conducted in partnership for several years. In 1869 Allen & Bell were awarded a contract for sixty thousand drain tiles for park purposes, by the commissioners of Fairmount Park. After Mr. Allen withdrew from the firm the tile-yard was operated by Mr. Bell alone until October, 1884, when he sold to Joshua T. Jerman and John Cosgriff, the latter of whom had served in the capacity of superintendent from the commencement. The business is now carried on under the style of Jerman & Cosgriff. The clay pit, cover-ing ten acres, is of a superior quality, and the half million tiles produced annually are shipped to all parts of the United States. The tile-yard is in operation during eight months of the year, and eight men are constantly employed in manufacturing the various sizes and styles of tiling. Steam is employed to operate the mills.

A steam saw-mill was built on land of Isaac R. Staats, in 1873, by John B. Maddox, of Maine. The mill was operated by him for a few years, and then sold to Isaac R. Staats, who operated it until March 21, 1879, when it was burned. In the same year another mill was built, which is still standing. The mill has a capacity of one thousand five hundred feet per day, and both merchant and custom work is done.

In 1882 R. C. Brockson erected a building at Black-bird Village, and placed in it an evaporator. This is in operation six weeks per year, and during that time employment is given to thirty persons. Sixteen thousand pound of fruit are prepared each season, and shipped principally to New York and Philadelphia.


Blackbird is a small village on a stream of the same name, about equally distant from Middletown and Smyrna. It contains a hotel, a post-office, schoolhouse, two stores, kept respectively by R. C. Brockson and C. B. Satterfield, and about fifty inhabitants. It is an old village, as is evidenced by the ancient appearance of its residences.

Bassett Ferguson, farmer of Blackbird Hundred, died November, 1853. He was one of the first to engage in business in Blackbird, and was appointed first postmaster of the town in 1838. The post-office was conducted in the hotel which he kept at the same time. Bassett Ferguson was a man unassuming in manner, possessed of a large amount of sound common sense, and held in the highest respect by his friends and neighbors. In 1849 he was elected one of the senators to represent his county in the General Assembly. In this position he won the respect of his fellow-members by his strict attention to its duties. He was married to Miss Susan T. Weldon, and had twelve children, two of whom, Richard and Colen, have represented their county in the General Assembly.

Colen Ferguson is a son of Bassett Ferguson, and is the third in order of twelve children, seven of whom survive. He was born October 25, 1835, at Black-bird, Delaware. His mother, who is still living, January, 1888, was Susan T. Weldon, of Appoquinimink Hundred. Until he was twenty years old Mr. Ferguson remained at his father's house and cultivated the home farm. During this period he attended the district schools of the neighborhood at such times as his duties on the farm would permit. He enjoyed the advantages afforded by the New Jersey Conference Seminary, in 1854-1855, for one year. In 1856, in his twenty-first year, he went to Odessa as a clerk for Messrs. Crouch & Davis, general grain and dry-goods merchants, of that place. Here he cast his first ballot as a citizen for James Buchanan for President of the United States. After two years of service with the above-named firm, he returned to the farm near Blackbird, which had now become his own by purchase of the interest of the other heirs after the death of his father, in November 1853. From that time until the present, January, 1888, with the exception of one year passed in business with Messrs. Lord & Polk, dealers in Phosphate, in Odessa, Mr. Ferguson has resided in Appoquinimink Hundred, near Blackbird. On the 3rd of June, 1868, he was married to Miss Cordelia, daughter of Joseph A. Lord, of Odessa. They have had six children, of whom four survive. Mr. Ferguson occupies the residence in which his father formerly lived, and cultivates a farm of about two hundred acres. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he has always been a Democrat. He is one of the three Senators from New Castle County, in the State Legislature, a position to which he was elected without having sought the honor. Political preferment has not been with him an object of desire. In person Mr. Ferguson is a spare man, of medium height, of dark complexion and active movement. Time has dealt gently with him, and but few indications of his age are apparent. He takes an active interest in the educational agencies of his neighborhood, and shows it as one of the directors of the district school. He is an intelligent observer of the particular needs and growths of crops. He has bestowed careful attention upon his peach orchards, which contain thousands of trees, and from which he has in successive years obtained his largest pecuniary rewards.


The hotel at Blackbird was erected by Benjamin Donoho at an early date. After his decease it descended to his son William, who was proprietor until his death, which occurred in 1836. In 1888 Bassett Ferguson purchased the property and while in his possession it was managed by Israel Townsend, James Fountain, Stephen Townsend, William M. Johnson and John Silcox. In 1841 the old hotel, which is now used as a residence by Benjamin Loockerman, was abandoned and the present hotel opened. In 1866 it came into the possession of V. O. Hill, who rented it for several years to Leonard Grouse and William E. Price. In 1869 Hill took charge of the house and has since been the proprietor.

In 1850 the Hygenia House was built on Collins Beach by George Collins. On account of the excel-lent natural facilities of the place the house and beach became extensively known. In 1878, however, the tidal wave washed away a large portion of the beach and all the buildings but the hotel. Since that time the hotel has not been opened continuously and is now closed.

Post Office

The post-office at Blackbird was established in 1838 with Bassett Ferguson as its first postmaster. He was succeeded about 1847 by Jacob V. Naudain. Richard Ferguson followed Naudain and was succeeded by V. O. Hill and Robert A. Davis. C. B. Satterfield, the present incumbent, took charge of the office in May, 1885.

The post-office at Deakyneville was established about thirty years ago with Thomas Deakyne as post-master. He was succeeded by George C. Deakyne, the present postmaster. The mail is carried here daily by a stage running from Townsend.

A post-office was established at Taylor's Bridge in October, 1871, with George W. Simpler in charge. The office was discontinued in September, 1877, and re-established December 4th of the same year with Abraham Staats, the present incumbent, as its post-master. The stage running from Townsend to Deakyneville deposits mail daily.

Greene Springs post-office was established in 1874, with George D. Collins as first postmaster. He was succeeded in 1880 by Daniel Wells. In November, 1884, B. C. Collins, the present postmaster, took charge of the office. Two mails north and two south are received daily.

Forest post-office was established at Blackbird in 1875, with William P. Reynolds as postmaster, which position he still holds.

New Castle County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

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