The Age of George III
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This article, written by James B Jackson, appeared in Delaware Conservationists (vol. 18, no. 1 pp. 4-10) in 1974.
The following profile appears at then end of the article.
Mr Jackson, a native of Dover, is Executive Vice President of the Delaware Bankers Association. He is the author of several published works on Delaware history and was president of Dover's Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Committee. An active sportsman, he is past president of the Del Bay Retriever Club and the National Retriever Field Trial Club.
If the reproduction of the piece is found to be unacceptable or in breach of copyright, I will remove it from this web site.
About two miles upstream from the mouth of the St Jones River, close by its eastern bank, stands on of the oldest and most historically interesting landmarks in Kent County—a building which, despite its prominence, has been wrongly identified in every guide book or other publication in which it has been mentioned during the last quarter century.
This brick and frame dwelling and the tract of land upon which it stands have thus come to be known erroneously to the present generation as "Towne Point", alleged site of the first county courts.
The origin of this case of mistaken identity can be traced to the publication Delaware, a Guide to the First State, the generally reliable and authoritative directory published by the Federal writers Project of the WPA in 1938. This account has, unfortunately, been accepted as accurate historical fact by other writers, and the error has thus been compounded in several other well-known publications, including Eberlein and Hubbard's Historical Houses and Buildings of Delaware.
It seems quite apparent that the Guide researchers simply misinterpreted the historian Scharf's earlier writing on the subject, and that their own research did not include the original land and court records relation to it. These records, including a 1677 survey plot of the tract, show beyond the question of a doubt that the old house actually stands on a tract named "Kingston-upon-Hull", which was the next tract west of "Towne Point", on which no buildings of colonial vintage are to be found standing today. Regarding the old building, it should be noted that no positive proof has been found that any part of it was the original house on the site. There is, however, some interesting circumstantial evidence that it could be. The drawing on this page is a representation of what a competent architectural authority thinks the existing building might have looked like in its original form.
This account is based solely upon original research by this writer involving the preserved public land, deed, probate, and court records of the county, and some reliable private contemporary writings which contain references to the subject.
* * * * *
The year1671 marked the beginning of the organised settlement of the area that is now Kent County, Delaware. In that year the first formal grants of land were issued by the Duke of York's Governor, Francis Lovelace, to the pioneer settlers of the region. Prior to that time the only inhabitants, other than the peaceful native Lenni-Lenape Indians, are believed to have been a few isolated squatters and traders. The area, except for the coastal marshes, was almost entirely covered by a vast forest, and the earliest patents of land were taken up along the major creeks and rivers that provided the only convenient means of travel and communication before the first roads were cleared.
The first group of these original patents was issued in June of 1671, and several of them were for tracts "along a Creek now called St. Jones his Creek". One of these granted Mr. George Whale, Sn. a tract of 400 acres, not precisely located, which had a frontage of "two hundred poles" (rods of perches) along the east side of the creek and marsh, and ran "northeast into the woods three hundred and twenty poles" (one mile). Mr. Whale also took up several other patents on other creeks along the Delaware, and it is not known whether his St. Jones land was ever occupied by him. Subsequent developments indicate that he either abandoned it or transferred his right to it in some manner not recorded. In any event, nothing more is known of it until some six years later.
On 20 February 1677/8 a new survey for this same land was "layd out for John Briggs and Mary Phillips." The description mentions the 1671 patent of "George Wale", notes that it is now called "Kingston-upon-Hull", and that it is bounded on the northwest by "the Lands of Robert Jones" and on the southeast by "land belonging to the towne Point." It also enlarged the tract to include an additional fifty acres of land and about forty acres of marsh along the creek.
Accompanying the description is a remarkably clear and accurate map of the tract which shows a distinctive bend in the creek and some swamps that still exist which make it possible to plot it precisely on a present day map of the area. This interesting plot is also unique in that it is the earliest on of the many tract maps in the preserved "Duke of York Record" which notes that it it is the land whereon its owners "now dwell", and further locates and identifies the "dwelling house". But perhaps the most interesting feature is that the location of this house, with respect to the nearby creek, appears to be identical with that of the old house still standing today.
The actual patent for the land, calling for an annual quit rent payment of five bushels of wheat, was issued to the new owners on 14 August 1678. Briggs was also the original patentee of several other tracts in the area, including the adjoining "Towne Point" which he owned jointly with his friend Edward Pack, who made his own home on this latter 140 acre patent. Pack was one of the first set of Justices to be appointed, and it was his house that some sessions of the earliest courts were undoubtedly held. This house, on "Towne Point", has long since disappeared and no traces of it can be found today.
It is not difficult to see why John Briggs selected "Kingston-upon-Hull" to be his home plantation. It was the only one on the lower St Jones that had some high land frontage on the main course of the creek. "Towne Point" and all of the other neighbouring ones had broad areas of treacherous marshes between their land and the creek, and were accessible by small tributaries such as "Towne Point Gut". It had other advantages too, not the least of which was an abundance of game, waterfowl, and seafood. Perhaps its only disadvantage was one shared by all of Jones Neck even today—great numbers of mosquitoes during the summer—but insects were a plague everywhere in those days, and a few more probably didn't make too much difference to the hardy settlers.
There are numerous references to Briggs as "Captain" which suggest that he was probably a waterman. In any event, he was obviously a man of considerable substance and talents because he immediately became one of the acknowledged leaders of the local colony. He was one of the signers of the historic petition requesting the establishment of local courts so that the settlers of the area might be spared the "long and perilous" journeys to the Hoornekill (Lewes) which was then the county seat for the whole area below Blackbird Creek. This action resulted in the formal establishment of "St Jones County" in 1680, and changed to "Kent" four years later.
In 1680 the first census of the new county was taken by Briggs, whose family of six was the largest in the area. It lists only thirty-six families of "responsible house-keepers", totaling 99 persons, living then in the whole area between Cedar Creek and Duck Creek. Unfortunately we have no certain knowledge of the exact relationship between the Captain and "Mrs Mary Phillips", who deeded her interests in "Kingston-upon-Hull" over to him in 1679. However, later deeds show that he had a wife named Mary so perhaps they did make it legal.
In 1682, at the beginning of William Penn's proprietorship, Briggs was appointed to his first public office—the important position of Sheriff. The next year he was one of the ten men representing the county in the inaugural meeting of Penn's Provincial Assembly. In 1685 he was commissioned a Justice of the Peace and, as such sat as a Justice in the Court of Common Pleas, the highest judicial body in the county. Its sessions, held at the homes of the various judges at that time, were always events of great public interest, and each of these locations thus became an important hub of its area. It is most likely that Justice Briggs' home must have seen its share of these historic activities.
If, as indicated, Briggs was also a waterman, his ideally located plantation landing near the mouth of the creek, must also have been the foal point for the area's shipping and communication with the outside world. In view of all this it seems fair to assume that "Kingston-upon-Hull" was undoubtedly one of the most important and active plantations in all of the county, and thereby played a significant role in its earliest history.
John and Mary Briggs' life in Kent County was an active but short one. In 1686 he moved to "Cape May in the Province of West New Jersey", and sold "Kingston-upon-Hull" to William Frampton, a Philadelphia merchant who had extensive operations in the county at that time. The price paid was "three-score thousand pounds of tobacco". This common medium of exchange had a legal tender value of 10 shillings per hundred pounds, so he received the equivalent of 300 English Pounds money. This price, several times higher than the average being paid for tracts of the same size, indicates, among other things, that the house thereon must have been a substantial one.
The deed specified that Frampton was to pay for it in installments through the year 1690—but he was not destined to complete his purchase. He died before making any substantial payments, and Briggs resold the property in 1688 to Richard Basnett of Burlington, New Jersey who had, by this time, married the widowed Elizabeth Frampton. The price for this second sale was also 60,000 pounds of tobacco, paid this time in a lump sum.
Nothing of interest is apparent about "Kingston-upon-Hull" or the Basnetts during their tenure. He died c. 1697, and his widow, then back in Burlington, sold it in 1700 to Stephen Nowell of Kent County for 250 Pounds "silver money"—still a much higher price than the average at that time.
Nowell was a farmer and active in county affairs. At the time he purchased "Kingston-upon-Hull" he was "Overseer of Highwayes" for the Hundred, and was also to serve as "Viewer of Fences" during the next five years. He also saw considerable service as a juryman, but perhaps his greatest claim to local fame is found in his activities with the ladies—which brought him into court several times, on the other side of the rail. In 1702 he brought suit against one Abigail Cook for speaking "some Scandalous words" against his reputation, and won damages of twenty shillings. In 1704, and again in 1705, he was charged with adultery, each case involving a married lady. On both occasions he was acquitted, but each of the unfortunate ladies was subsequently convicted of bastardy and given "twenty-one lashes on her bare back well layd on." We are happy to report that he was, in this latter case, completely vindicated when the woman involved, at her later trial for perjury, confessed that "the Child was not the child of the said Stephen Nowell", and was thereupon sentenced to be "forthwith putt in the Pillory for the space of One houre." On another occasion Mr. Nowell was not so fortunate, being fined ten shillings when it was found that he "did assault ... beat, wound and evilly Intreat with force and Armes" one Daniel Smith. He was, no doubt defending either his own good name or the honour of some fair damsel!
Stephen Nowell was the first owner of"Kingston-upon-Hull" to break up the original tract. In 1701 he sold fifty acres of it to Robert French—a narrow strip along the northwest side next to the Jones tract.
After an apparently short but obviously lively life Stephen Nowell died intestate some time between 1709 and 1711. Although there is no record of his estate, it is known that he was survived by a son George and two daughters. A fitting epitaph to this master of "Kingston-upon-Hull" should note that he did more than his share to add a little spice to the early social life of Jones Neck.
In 1711, George Nowell, having by then acquired sole possession of the plantation from his sisters, sold another fifty acres of it, the upper northeast corner, to Alexander Donaldson. Sour years later a cloud upon the title of the whole tract appeared in the person of one Abraham Bickley who claimed that the Frampton deed to Stephen Nowell was "imperfect", and that the land actually had descended to Thomas Frampton, who then sold it to Bickley. The claim was resolved when George Nowell paid him 200 Pounds for his alleged rights to it. In 1716 Nowell sold off another parcel of 64 acres to Nathaniel Hunn, then owner of the adjoining "Towne Point." This piece was along the central part of their common boundary line.
George Nowell held "Kingston-upon-Hull" for about nineteen years. He was a farmer and merchant, and maintained a general store with post-office and dock facilities to which boats from Philadelphia and other ports came frequently. It is apparent form the available reference to his establishment that it was a shopping and shipping centre for the area during this period. He had slaves to work the plantation, and it was well stocked with forty head of cattle and seven horses, including "a large black pacing horse".
Young Caesar Rodney (Sr.), who lived nearby notes in his diary that he bought his harvest-time rum at Nowell's, and that, on one occasion when he went there to mail a letter, he had "a deal of pastime" watching "a parcel of drunken men who was fitting with cugels." So again it seems that life was seldom dull at "Kingston-upon-Hull" when either of the Nowells owned it.
In fact, judging form Rodney's diary, live in most of Jones Neck in the 1720s seems to have seldom been dull—at least in so far as enjoyment of the simple pleasures of good country life were concerned. The everyday pace was a casual one with much visiting and helping with each other's farming, then "playing at cards, fiddling and danceing" in the evenings. Fishing and hunting for plentiful trout, drum, oysters, squirrel, turkeys, and water fowl were regular pastimes, and when they tired of this they held "shooting matches" fort prizes of money, a fiddle, or a hat. Following one of these in which George Nowell won five Pounds, he took a group to his home and "treated us all with rum" until midnight.
One of the major social events of the period was a notable marathon wedding celebration in October on 1727. At noon on Wednesday the 18th young Rodney and Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of the Rev. Thomas Crawford, were married at the Crawford home on adjoining "Poplar Ridge". There was "a Grate Company which wass fiddling, danceing, and verry merry", and the festivities continued on into the night and the next day, when the Reverend himself, a widower, took Katherine French for his own bride. The happy couples, their "Brides Men and Brides Maids" and celebrants then paraded through the neighbourhood with "a Drum and two Viol Ends before us". Then they all "Came Back ... sent (to George Nowell's?) for more Rum and Syder and Past the night away with the same Plesher as before". The "Company continued" into Friday, but finally broke up, and the newlyweds then "Got our super of oysters and Went to Bed quietly". Almost exactly a year later the young Rodneys had a more quiet celebration—on the birthday of their first son—his father's namesake, and destined for greatness.
George Nowell's connection with the Rodneys was a close one, and in 1729, he married Caesar's mother Sarah, long a widow since the death of her husband William, the emigrant. She died that same year, and he re-married, almost immediately, Margaret Bell, widow of John Bell, owner of the historic inn on the Dover Green at the site of the present Court House. Nowell himself died in 1730, leaving all of his land "with my dwelling house, plantation, and appurtenances" to his new wife, except for a fifty-acre parcel to be laid off, between the Donaldson and French tracts, for his cousin Sarah Cook.
Following her husband's death Margaret Nowell eventually married Caesar Rodney's brother Daniel, and apparently moved from "Kingston-upon-Hull" to her new husband's nearby farm - thus marking the beginning of a period when "Kingston-upon-Hull" seems to have been occupied by tenants or lessees about whom nothing is known, with one notable exception.
The largest landowner in the area at this time was the prominent Maryland planter and merchant, Samuel Dickinson, who was soon to build his Delaware mansion nearby. About 1720 he had begun acquiring land in Jone's Neck, and, as his operations there increased, he spent a great deal of time there supervising them. From the available evidence it appears that he leased "Kingston-upon-Hull", which was then the most substantial home in the Neck, from Margaret Rodney, to serve as his temporary Delaware residence in the late 1730s until his own home was completed in 1740.
We might, at this point, digress to comment on the brief but widely cited account of "Kingston-upon-Hull" in Scharf's History of Delaware (Vol II, p. 1079) and point out a major error and interesting contradiction to be found therein. It states that both this tract and "Towne Point" were purchased by Samuel Dickinson and became a part of his manor. This is obviously in error, as it is quite apparent from their chains of title that he never owned, or claimed, either of them at any time, and that, as will be seen, they did not become part of the Dickinson lands, until purchased many years later by his son John.
It is equally clear from both the deed records and his survey that Samuel's 1369-acre "Dickinson Manor" included only three tracts: "Wharton's", "Mulberry Swamp", and "Shrewsberry", each 4000 acres, plus some adjoining marsh along the creek. All of these lay northwest of "Kingston-upon-Hull", separated from it by the Jones tract, and the mansion house was built on "Mulberry Swamp". Samuel's other lands in the area included adjoining parts of "Rixham" and "Burton's Delight".
Scharf also states that it was upon "Kingston-upon-Hull" and "in the house of John Briggs that Samuel Dickinson resided until he built the mansion house ...". Then, contradictorily, a few paragraphs later, is the statement that "he built a residence on the site of John Brigg's house ... where he resided for several years after he removed to this county in 1734." This latter statement seems obviously mistaken because he would hardly have built on land that wasn't his just a few years before he did on land of his own nearby. It also appears wrong as to the date he moved here. Every one of his land transactions as late as 1737 refers to him as being "of Talbot County", while in those of 1738 and later is is "of Kent County". It thus appears that he moved here in that year - undoubtedly to supervise the construction of his new home. He must have lived alone at "Kingston-upon-Hull" because it is known that he did not bring his wife and children here until the new mansion was completed.
Returning now to Margaret Rodney. She was widowed for the third time, while still a comparatively young woman, when Daniel died in 1744. While it cannot be said with certainty, it is indicated by a subsequent reference, that she then moved back to "Kingston-upon-Hull", and, to provide herself with a livelihood, drew upon her past experience and converted the house to an inn to serve the busy rivermouth area. If so, she probably continued it in operation, with a tenant farming the land, until sometime in the early 1750s when her daughter, mary Bell, married Caleb Luff. YOung Luff had no land of his own at that time so they made their home at "Kingston-upon-Hull" with Mrs Rodney. She turned the management of the farm over to Caleb and continued to live there with them.
Luff prospered and, in 1753, added to the plantation by purchasing 200 acres of the marsh adjoining to the southeast. He became active in public affairs and, in 1756, was commissioned an Ensign in Captain Caesar Rodney's company of the local militia. In the same year their son Nathaniel was born.
In 1760 his father died, leaving him "Point Lookout" in Mispillion Hundred. He chose, however, to stay on at "Kingston-upon-Hull", and, three years later, purchased it from his mother-in-law for a bond of 800 Pounds guaranteeing her an annuity of 30 Pounds for the rest of her life. Two years later he added another 125 acres of marsh along the beach at the mouth of the creek.
"Kingston-upon-Hull" is the official chartered name of the port city of Hull, located in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It dates from the year 1299 when the town's charter was issued by Kind Edward I.
The name first appears in connection with the Delaware tract in the 1677/8 survey to Captain John Briggs and Mary Phillips. It was presumably so designated by them, as the tract was not named in the 1671 patent to George Whale.
It cannot be said with certainty why this name was chosen, but the most logical assumption is that they simply followed the practice quite common among the early settlers, and named their New World home after the old one.
In 1773, following the death of his wife, Caleb entered into an agreement with his mother-in-law to guarantee the passage of "Kingston-upon-Hull" to his son Nathaniel upon his death. This arrangement was prompted by Margaret Rodney's great love for her grandson, and her disapproval of Caleb's second marriage which followed her daughter's death. This second wife lived but about two years, and he married again shortly thereafter.
Caleb Luff's farming and real estate operations had made him a wealthy man, with additional holding in both Mispillion and Murderkill Hundreds. During the Revolution he was active in support of the rebel cause, and was elected to represent his Hundred in the Legislature.
Margaret Rodney died in 1781. She had left "Kingston-upon-Hull" when Caleb remarried following her daughter's death. In the autobiographical "Journal" which he later wrote, Nathaniel described his "ancient grandmother" as "a woman of high spirits" - which he attributed to her "old English blood" - who could not brook to live within her former territories and removed elsewhere. She left Nathaniel her entire estate which consisted of considerable silver plate, gold jewelry, furniture, and six negro slaves.
Caleb Luff died in 1782, and in accordance with the previous deed agreement, "Kingston-upon-Hull" passed to Nathaniel. The inventory of his considerable estate reveals the prosperity and self-sufficiency of the plantation at that time. The house was well-furnished and had all of the appointments requisite to the good county life of that day - including "133 - ½ gallons of Brandy". The farm was completely equipped with every necessary implement and tool, and there were "7 acres of wheat in the ground", a field of corn "supposed to contain 500 bushels", and large quantities of grain in storage. There was a scow at the dock, and his livestock included "22 fattning hogs, 16 others, 14 cows, 19 other cattle, 4 steers, 2 bulls, 2 yoke of oxen, 33 sheep, 2 mares, and 1 'Kipshotten' horse". To man the plantation there were six adult and thirteen minor slaves. It seems, from this picture, that "Kingston-upon-Hull", then embracing about 667 acres, was certainly one of the largest and best farms in the Hundred, and probably surpassed only by the neighbouring ones of John Dickinson and Caesar Rodney (Jr.)
Nathaniel Luff, then new owner of the plantation, was, at the time of his father's death, a struggling young physician. He had been married for two years to Elizabeth Fisher, a Quakeress, and they lived on a small farm in Mispillion Hundred. He had been educated in Philadelphia and apprenticed in medicine there before the Revolution. In 1776 he served as surgeon of a Philadelphia militia battalion throughout the New Jersey campaign, after which he returned home to set up his practice, which was not initially successful, forcing him to supplement his income by farming.
To add to his troubles, his step-mother had designs on "Kingston-upon-Hull" and remained living there after Caleb's death. In his "Journal", Dr. Nathaniel reported that "on discerning this plan I soon removed to my place and took upon myself the administration, and she removed to a small house on the premises."
Not long after moving in he was prevailed upon by his friend Philip Barratt to permit some of his neighbours, "a set of well inclined Methodists" who had no nearby meeting-house, to sue "Kingston-upon-Hull" for this purpose. The good Doctor, an Episcopalian and man of generous impulses, permitted them to hold several meetings in his home, but Mrs. Luff "could not in any wise tolerate these going on" and took steps to see that they were discontinued.
The young Doctor, obviously inexperienced, and not blessed with is father's business and agricultural talents; and faced with mounting problems after several years, he described himself in a classic lament as "surrounded by relations who were sueing, friends deceiving, enemies frowning, mendicants begging etc., and an increasing family of children - house full of negroes naked and bare of clothing; some good, others very great knaves - a multitude of advisors, with opposite directions - a plantation out of order - a plaguing practice, and no physician but myself near at hand. I could neither do one thing to advantage, nor another". In the face of all this he finally concluded "to let out my farm and return to practice."
He then released his slaves, at considerable financial sacrifice, moved to a small farm near his father-in-law's. After staying there but a short time he took in two apprentices and moved to Frederica, where he remained until about 1793. It was during this period that he assisted with the founding of the State Medical Society and became one of its charter officers.
Although is fortunes improved somewhat at Frederica, problems continued to harass him, and he "finally determined to remove on my farm, the only one I now had, having disposed of the rest, and with various twists and turns extricated myself from many embarrassments ... I apprehended the farm the only safe and secure away, for when I raised grain and sent it to market, it would bring cash."
Thus again did Dr. Luff return to "Kingston-upon-Hull" for the last time. He did not, however, return in a manner exactly befitting the "Lord of the Manor" for he notes that "on coming to my plantation I had to remain part of the year with the tenants in the same building. The plantation being much out of repair, and I no spare money to go on, but I thought it best to endeavour to discharge my debts and live in a rough manner ..." He also observed that during his five or six year absence "the neighbourhood had been greatly chanted by deaths, removals, and newcomers. The shackled conditions of the fencings as well as the buildings required a vigorous exertion".
But as before, moving back to the farm did not solve his problems, but, rather, brought on some new ones. While living at Frederica Dr. Luff had been converted to Quakerism. Like many converts he became an avid disciple of his new faith,. and it became the governing force of his life thereafter - and one of the major reasons for his decision to leave Jones' Neck permanently after remaining there for only about three years.
There were few neighbours of his faith, and, with the Murderkill Meeting House located some distanced across the creek he felt that his family " was very disadvantageously situated as to attendance of meeting, especially my wife and smaller children, for if we walked we had three miles to go, one over marsh, very cold in winter, and disagreeable when the mosquitoes were thick in summer, and sometimes it was impassable by being overflown, or impractical by ice, etc., and if we rode, fourteen, sometimes eighteen miles to the creek".
Continuing further his interesting "Journal" we find this account of his final decision to dispose of "Kingston-upon-Hull" and move to Wilmington:
We continued thus to attend as often as we could the respective week-days, first-days, month and quarterly meetings, and attended to the business of the farm for the space of two years and more; and I had got an increasing stock, tolerably suited as to team, utensils, &c., for the prosecution of the farming business, and was prosperous; but as the plantation was large, and scarce of timber, and required secure fencing, as there was considerable thoroughfare on both sides of the plantation, and labourers scarce and unsteady - my house wanting considerable repairs, &c., - and to this was added an indisposition of body that so reduced me, that I apprehended it absolutely necessary to remove to give some prospect for the prolongation of my life. As my children could not have the advantage of a suitable education, would I have died there, I apprehended the plantation divided into so many shares would have been spoiled, and, if offered for sale, perhaps sold to disadvantage, so that I finally concluded to dispose of it and seek a more suitable one. Having, therefore, come to this conclusion, I proposed the consideration for removal to my friends, who, having acceded thereto, about the latter part of the Third Month, 1796, we departed from the place of our abode, having previously sold the same to John Dickinson.
Thus departed the last owner of "Kingston-upon-Hull" who was to ever make it his home. Under every subsequent owner, to this day, it has been occupied by tenants or lessees, or kept as a rural retreat for its owner who lived elsewhere. This was also the last time the property was ever to be sold - except for intra-family transfers - during the next 162 years.
John Dickinson paid Dr Luff 2500 Pounds for "Kingston-upon-Hull" and its additions. In that same year he also purchased "Towne Point" and parts of some adjoining tracts for 1500 Pounds, and added all of this combined acreage to this other vast holdings along the St. Jones.
At his death it all descended to his daughter Sally who, in turn, left it to her four nieces and nephews, the children of hier sister Maria and Albanus Logan, of Philadelphia. The easternmost section, embracing all of the original "Kingston-upon-Hull", "Towne Point" and their adjoining marshes —2600 acres in all—ultimately passed in 1881 to Algernon Sidney Logan, the last member of that family to own it.
In a biographical sketch of Logan, his son Robert noted that, after inheriting the "ancestral farm and marsh on Jones Creek, Delaware", his father turned to a serious study of farming "with the result that in a few years he restored the impoverished land to fertility and developed an excellent herd of registered Guernseys".
During the next fifteen years the Logan men spent "a part of every Spring and Autumn there" and regularly enjoyed the excellent duck and quail hunting it afforded. Logan noted that "the house ... which he used as his residence there was a small and very old brick house dating from long before the revolution, and life there, nine miles from Dover, the nearest town, was quite primitive". A photograph of the farmyard area taken in 1891 shows the house with its numerous and substantial outbuildings to be well-fenced and in excellent condition.
In 1896 the ancient scourge of Joneses Neck brought a halt to the Logan family's enjoyment of their Delaware farm when both father and son"developed severe and chronic cases of malaria" and thereafter "stayed away".
Algernon Logan died in 1925 and his Delaware farm passed to one of his favourite charities which maintained it as a marginal farming operation for the next thirty-three years.
It was purchased in 1958 by Mr. J Everett Lofland of Smyrna. During the ten years of his ownership Mr Lofland, with the assistance of State conservation officials, developed it into one of the finest waterfowl and upland gave preserves on the Delmarva Peninsula. The fertile 600 acres of cropland was leased for grain production, and the entire area was utilized for hunting under carefully controlled conditions. In 1968 the whole property was sold to its present owner, Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.
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