Greetings From the Past!

by Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives
From the June 2014 issue

postcardIn his lifetime, Delaware native George Caley collected more than 6,500 postcards, all depicting scenes from Delmarva and the state’s northern reaches. His widow, Irene, donated the collection to the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, where it can be viewed. (It is also accessible at

The postcards date from the early 20th century through the mid-1970s. Of particular interest to those who love coastal Sussex are about 1,500 that show area beach scenes.

“The picture on each card documents a moment in time in Delaware history,” says archives Director and State Archivist Stephen Marz. Several capture images of a largely undeveloped Fenwick Island, with cottages here and there along the ocean shore. Another, from the late 1950s, shows Wilson’s Pier on Rehoboth Bay in Dewey Beach. Gathered around a small white building are about a half-dozen people, one of whom is crouched by the side of the building, smoking a cigarette.

Center for the Inland Bays’ fish tally brings in key data and community involvement

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Peggy Hepburn
From the May 2014 issue

waterways1Ron Kernehan had written about the fish that live in coastal Sussex’s estuaries. In fact, he and J.C.S. Wang collaborated on the 410-page “Fishes of the Delaware Estuaries,” published in 1979 by E.A. Communications.
But he’d never seen many of them.

“Now, I get to feel them. Touch them. Get up close and personal,” says Kernehan, who lives on Lewes Beach. “It’s very exciting.”

A retired financial adviser who has a bachelor’s degree in fish biology from Cornell University and a master’s in fisheries science from the University of Massachusetts, Kernehan is heading up an ongoing survey of the fish populations of Delaware’s inland bays, being conducted by the Center for the Inland Bays. Twice a month, from April through October, he and more than 100 volunteers venture out to 17 sites in the Indian River Bay Estuary (which includes Rehoboth Bay) and Little Assawoman Bay Estuary. At each location, they stretch out a 30-foot seine and, with one end on the shore and the other extended into the water, they drag the net, perpendicular to the shore, for 100 feet.

The volunteers then count and identify the specimens captured; each haul can contain 2,000 to 3,000 fish, Kernehan says.

In addition, the first 25 of each species are measured. That’s where that “up close and personal” part comes into play.

County Councilwoman Joan Deaver loves her job, despite feeling isolated by party, gender and policy positions

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the May 2014 issue

joandeaverOn a cold January day, representatives of Sussex County government, town officials, people in the health care and tourism businesses and chamber of commerce members all gathered at the Sussex Pines Country Club near Georgetown. They were there for the unveiling of the latest version of the Sussex County Profile, a 72-page compendium of data about the county and its government.

When County Councilwoman Joan Deaver arrived, the other four council members were already there. They, as well as their friends and family members, were all seated at one table at the front of the room. Another table, also reserved for representatives of the county, was empty.

“I walked up to the table where they were all sitting and asked if there was anyplace for me to sit,” recalls Deaver. “All of the chairs were taken. But they could have moved a chair and someone [could have] slid over to fit me in.”