From the pages of The Smyrna Times, August 9, 1934


From the pages of The Smyrna Times
August 9, 1934

Cyclone Hits at Brenford
    One of the worst storms ever at Brenford, a veritable cyclone, swept down on this village three miles from Smyrna at about six o’clock Thursday evening, laying low the old cannery and sweeping buildings and trees before it to the damage of several thousand dollars.
    The Brenford cannery which during the last days of E.B. Arnold had been rebuilt and enlarged into a building 100 feet long by 50 feet wide and made one of the best canning houses in this vicinity, was completely blown down, the roof carried over on top of the stable in the rear of Mrs. Estelle Moffitt’s residence, an adjoining property.
    Two rows of shacks used as housing quarters for labor at the cannery were picked up and carried across the road and landed in Mrs. Moffitt’s grape vineyard. The houses, approximately twenty homes, were completely demolished.
    This canning house is now owned by the Fruit Growers National Bank and Trust Company of Smyrna, the factory being taken over by the bank shortly after Mr. Arnold’s death several years ago. It had been rented for the coming season by Mr. Irwin T. Saulsbury Jr., of Ridgely, Maryland, but whether or not it will be rebuilt has not been decided.
    The cyclone also did considerable damage to the property of Mrs. Moffitt. Three chicken houses, the stable and the garage were all blown down. The back porch was moved completely away from the house, and throughout the house about ten window glasses were broken. At their property across the road, better known as the old York property, the windmill was blown down, the tank house damaged, the chimney and part of the roof on the house blown down and the tops of five trees blown away….
    Ned Donovan who lives about a quarter of a mile from Clayton is said to have watched the funnel-shaped cloud as it swept out of the west and for a time was fearful it was going to strike his farm, but he just escaped any damage.

Trains Run to Clayton Again; Mail Now on Time
    After a lapse of two days and a half, train service on the Delmarva Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad from Wilmington to Clayton was resumed at 4:35 o’clock Sunday afternoon when the first train passed over the 150 feet of track rebuilt about three quarters of a mile north of Townsend, following the washout which occurred there early Friday morning.
    Trains passed over the repaired section slowly Sunday afternoon but officials of the road said Sunday night that virtually all of the repair work had been completed and that the trains were running on schedule. The work crews had been working feverishly night and day to repair the washout.
    During the two and a half days, passengers were transferred from Wilmington to Clayton by Greyhound bus. Train service continued to run from Clayton to Cape Charles regularly.
    Mail service was held up somewhat but by the use of trucks was only slightly late.

VanGasken, Smyrna Native, Dies in Washington
    William VanGasken, aged 81, of DesMoines, Washington, oldest son of the late John VanGasken of Smyrna, died at his western home Saturday after a lingering illness. The announcement of his death was received with sorrow by his Smyrna relatives and friends.
    Mr. VanGasken was born and raised in Smyrna and left here in his youth for the West and settled on a ranch in the State of Washington where as a pioneer he forged his way to the front and became a useful and prominent citizen. He settled in a virgin territory far from civilization and saw it and the State of Washington grow and develop into one of the progressive states of the Pacific Coast and the northwest.
    He married early in life a Philadelphia girl who went west with him on his pioneer undertaking.
    He is survived by several children. Besides his immediate family, he is survived by one brother, Harry VanGasken of Wilmington, and two sisters, Mrs. Frank E. Postles of Smyrna and Dr. Frances VanGasken of Philadelphia.
    Harry VanGasken went out west to see him and was with him when he died.
    The funeral and interment took place at DesMoines, Washington.

Smyrna to Have New Industry
    Messrs. Potter and Sons, of Leipsic, carpenters and contractors, formerly of Philadelphia, have leased the Tschudy property, next to the Century Club House, Commerce Street, and will operate a sash, door, and millwright factory. The industry starts off with promise.

Local Motion Picture Exhibit at Rotary Meeting
    The members of the Smyrna Rotary Club were treated to one of the finest local exhibitions of motion pictures ever assembled in Smyrna.
    Mr. J. Wells Faries, local cinema operator and member of the American Cinema League, presented his pictures of: the State Welfare Home, as it appeared under construction and the dedication by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Delaware.
    The cinema news for 1933 includes the storm of August, fall sports, duck hunting, squirrel shooting and rabbit hunting. The news for 1934 included snow scenes of last March, the Memorial Day exercises, the Smyrna Gun Club in action, motor boat races on Silver Lake and game fishing on Lake Como….
    Mr. Faries also has a collection of pictures relating to the activities of the Smyrna Fire Department and many other interesting pictures of Smyrna.
    The club gave Mr. Faries a rising vote of thanks, and Dr. C.G. Harmonson expressed the appreciation and interest of the members in Mr. Faries’ exhibition.

Smyrna Loses to Townsend
    The Smyrna Baseball Club has shown little activity the past week. The Middletown Club, which was to have played in Smyrna last Saturday, phoned at noon they were not coming as a number of their players  had motored to Philadelphia to see big league baseball, leaving their team too crippled to even hazard a contest. So there was no game Saturday afternoon.
    On Sunday Manager Husted took what he could of his regular team to Townsend but lost by the close score of 7 to 8. Two or three times Smyrna was tied with or a point ahead of Townsend, but through bad errors, mostly at first, they allowed Townsend to score.
    In the ninth inning Smyrna was ahead 7 to 6, but a costly error allowed Townsend to win the victory.
    Scott and Reynolds were the battery for Smyrna and had they received the support of their teammates, Smyrna would have had the game easily.
    Blackburn and Wells were the battery for Townsend….

Personal & Social; People Who Come & Go
    Mr. and Mrs. George Jones are receiving congratulations on the arrival of a fine baby son on Monday, at Dr. J.J. Jones’ Private Hospital in Wilmington. Mrs. Jones will be remembered as Miss Marguerite Burris.
    Rev. James R. Gailey, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Smyrna, and Mrs. Gailey, have gone to Rehoboth for two weeks. They will spend the remaining two weeks of their vacation at Cleveland, Ohio.
    Mr. and Mrs. Russell Hutchison and daughter, Jane, have returned to their home in Wilmington after a week’s visit with their mother, Mrs. H.M. Hutchison.
    Mr. and Mrs. Herman H. Staats and son, Mr. Perkins Staats, attended on Sunday the funeral services of Miss Hazel Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brown, at Collegeville, Pa.
    Miss Helen Scout and Miss Ruth Jones are spending several days at Atlantic City and Ocean City, N.J.
    Mrs. Hope Copper and son Edgar, of near Chestertown, Md., are spending this week with Mr. and Mrs. John C. Still.
    Mrs. Ida Wallace of Dover, visited Mrs. Annie C. Boyer, who is quite ill at her home, Cedar Brook Farm, near Smyrna, over the weekend.
    Mrs. Margaret P. Collins returned on Tuesday after spending several weeks at Rehoboth.