It appears we came down from Mass. to Peckville, or Blakely, Pennsylvania I don’t know if farming or lumber, but coal was king in the area around Wilkes Barre, and Scranton.
I have been thinking, I may be a fifth generation Christian on my Mother’s side, I am not real sure about Dad’s side. I don’t know much about Peckville, where Granddad Nelson was raised, and he moved to Mulberry St. in Milton, Delaware, following the railroad construction, or maybe boat building. Ed, and Dad were always around boats I think in early 1910, or 20, census, can’t remember, what Pop Peck, was entered as will have to check again, I know Ed was listed as Fireman. Maybe on the train, back then it was steam, and there was the engineer and the fireman on board each engine, with a tender car behind the engine full of coal or wood to feed the boiler to make the steam.
This was a beautiful sight to see one of these steam engines moving out at Spruce Street Yard in Wilmington, when one of these monsters would start out, because they had to climb a little grade to get on the main line for Philadelphia. They smoke would be puffing out the stack, and the steam would be hissing to drive this big monster up the track. I can just imagine what this sight must have been like in the bigger cities like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and out west.
Why Milton, well it was a boat building town and probably a railhead due to material needed for boat building. The boats were Sloops, they were fast caring a lot of sail with low draft able to navigate in and out of the shallow rivers and creeks, and shallow areas of the Delaware Bay. They could go where the larger British Ships could not go because they would run aground and would be easy pray for these smaller and much faster crafts. They used them on the Christine Creek during the Revolutionary War, when they could sneak on the British Ships, and out maneuver them, pepper them with some shot and retreat back into the Creek. They had these huge boats that would allow thirty men to row, and in front would be a large cannon,, front and rear. They would row out and blow the hell out of the larger British Ship, and because they were so low in the water, the British could do nothing but shoot over them. They would just keep circling and shooting until the British would retreat, and they would go back up the creek. The Christine, being to shallow for the larger Ships to navigate up very far, they could not give chase and if they did they would be easy pickings for those on shore to strike. There is a book that Grace Martin, has call Delaware’s Forgotten River, I can’t remember the author, but he has written others like Forgotten People, I need to get the info from her again. This book covers the early history of the Christine, and why the early places were called hooks, there was Crane Hook, from the mouth of the Christine to the Dike in New Castle, I think Long Hook, was the Brandywine Side to Wilmington Town, and Fern Hook, from Wilmington Town to Christina. The Christine, was navigable to here, then it was overland to the Elk River to get to the Chesapeake Bay, and Baltimore Town, and up the Susquehanna River, to Port Deposit.
Melvin Halter, said Pop Peck was some kind of a novelty salesman, selling trinkets, pins, badges, flags, and that sort. When they moved to Minquadale, I don’t know when probably 1929, maybe during Great Depression, things got pretty tight and usually families gathered together to survive. I remember Nanny and Pop Spinken, talking about making hooch, bootleg licquor, mixing it up in the bath tub for Sam Thorpe. He was Nanny’ sisters husband living up by the Firehouse in Minquadale. From what I have found we came from New England, quite possibly earily puritan, Society of Friends; Dad never talked much about religion. The only earily church connection was Catholic, my Aunt Nan, lived in Wilmington, she was my Grandmother’s sister and was Catholic. My Mother was because I remember hearing stories of her singing , at St. Mary’s in Wilmington’s East Side. Everything that happened weddings, funerals, holidays, seemed to focus on the Catholic Faith. I remember always having a cross hanging on the wall, Mom had, it was wood and it slid apart, and held vials of Holy Water. Us kids thought it was neat, but we knew it was special. Mostly remember from 402 Queen St. South Wilmington, The only church for me was C and E, Christmas and Easter, Aunt Ethel Fletcher, would have me stay over night on 3rd Jefferson with my Cousins, and we would go to St. Peters, 3rd and West St. in town. Sis had become Aunt Nan’s connection with the Catholic Faith I guess the rest of the family kind of did what ever was close or their friends did.
In South Wilmington, there were several Churches, Methodist, Catholic Orthodox, several Colored Churches, and probably others the rest of my family knew about. My connection with the Methodist Church, was in Minquadale, that was the only close to me , and I guess we were lead there by our neighbor, Mr. Bill McNally, Gail his wife and others, everything revolved around that Church. It was our play yard, where we hung out as kid’s where we would meet much like today,” meet me at the Church, since we only had the one, wasn’t hard to figure, right.” Now you better be a little more specific, like in our town of Astatula, we only have a Baptist Church, our nearest Methodist Church is in Tavares, several miles away. So if I tell people to meet me at the Church, I usually sat our Church. We were working one day moving the food pantry Hearts and Hamds, to a new location and Tom Sonn, Daniel Shufelt, and many others were helping, we had finished, and I volunteered to return the truck to the chuch. We had ridden over together with Tom in his pick-up, so I said I’ll meet you at the Church, well they headed for our Church, in Tavares where we met that morning to go out to Umitilla. After awhile they figured it out, and I met them coming back after me, that’s why you have to be specific when we say, meet you at the Chuch, even in our town of Mocanaqua, you had to say what Church, unless you said our Church.