The prestige of the spring water was wearing off. DPM's Megan Pauly reports on the evolution of Wilmington's annual August Quarterly and its importance in the African American community. Read Sarah’s story below to find out what “dazzling” history Sarah helped unearth: “When you visit Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County, Delaware, you will see tall trees, a beautiful creek, and many different types of wildlife. But Crook’s advertisements still took advantage of nature: specifically an oak tree he called Council Oak. He hit upon the idea of adding small amenities to the hotel grounds, like a picnic grove, tennis courts, and a small merry-go-round. “Greek revival was becoming very popular in the United States,” Castellano said. Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County may look like a common park, but it has a rich – and unique - past: as both home to natural springs and an old historic amusement park during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The park had its own rail station where folks would be picked up and drop off by the Wilmington and Western Railroad that came into existence in 1870. We have meetings once a month at The Cedars United Methodist Church, Maple and Harrison Avenues, The Cedars (off of Route 41). “Well the question is: ‘are you getting better because of the water or because of the exercise?’ Because you had to do it three times a day. Catherine Bodjaska was an innocent who through misfortune encountered a human beast. This is a beautiful hike with views of Red Clay Creek and a few hills. Gangas drew a knife and briefly used it on Miss Bodjaska but reports of the actual nature of the injures he inflicted with the blade all conflict with each other. A unique piece of Delaware’s African American history has been uncovered: the graves of five soldiers who served in the Union army's Colored Troops during the U.S. Civil War. “There was a group of Brandywine Springs citizens group that lobbied the legislature to make this a state park,” Ciosek said. “With the Wilmington and Western Railroad having been built along the edge of the property in 1872, Crook looked for ways to draw patrons to the hotel. Continue research, including archaeological digs with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, to find footings of the buildings and rides in the park and mark them appropriately. The site of the park itself, as Mr. Weslager shows, can be traced back to the days of William Penn when the property was part of the vast tract known as 'Letitia Manor.' In the summer of 1916, Nicholas Nicholas, a Greek immigrant, ran a restaurant in Brandywine Springs Amusement Park. We want to make a clear, safe trail for visitors to stroll through the park and learn a little Delaware history while enjoying the natural surroundings. It is noted from early American history as a Revolutionary War encampment of General George Washington's army. Fees apply for court/field/pavilion rentals. Castellano has read through George Washington’s letters and says the war council could have been held in Elsmere, Newport or somewhere else nearby. In point of fact, Gangas set fire to the restaurant twice. For those who enjoy the idea of walking leisurely through history, immersed in nature in the beauty of winter, join me for a hike on trails with a few steep hills, to imagine what this historical location was like in 1890 as an amusement park in Wilmington DE before it vanished in 1923. A hotel and hot springs were already on the property. “So there was a dual function.”. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. They were absent from his first advertisements. “I called it my digital excavation of Brandywine Springs,” Castellano said. The park closed in 1967 but its ruins were visible well into the 1990s. And going to the water meant climbing a massive hill, going up and down 60-80 steps a few times a day. This is when Richard Crook was brought in to manage it. The Boardwalk, Brandywine Springs, Delaware. As early as 1858, according to one source, picnics were held on the site, even though the ground was overrun with bushes and vines. Delaware Public Media's Megan Pauly reports on a new federal grant supporting improvements on a historical First State house. Well, with the station here, they could get off right in the park,” Ciosek said. The trolley was also Crook’s brainchild. Train stations were required to build them at each major stop to provide accommodations for guests, since the trains of that era didn’t have sleeping bunks. However, from about 1890 until 1923 it was an amusement park beloved by people near and far. Crook’s branding of the park’s connection to George Washington didn’t stop there: he created an artificial seven-acre lake, which he called Lake Washington. In 1915 Richard Crook bowed to the inevitable, retiring from business and selling both the Peoples Railway and Brandywine Springs Amusement Park to the Wilmington & Philadelphia Traction Company (W&PT), the then iteration of what had been the Wilmington City Railway. Our plan is to create a historical nature walk. Nicholas along with his son Spiro Nicholas as well as John Alexander, another employee/relative, always slept in the restaurant. He never said anything about his guilt or lack of it. But that’s never been confirmed. “He said: wow, I’m making more money from the amusement than I am for the hotel,” Ciosek said. Then in the 1990s, the Friends of Brandywine Springs group – of which Mike Ciosek is president – started digging around, figuratively and literally - teaming up with local archaeologists to excavate the old amusement park. 1949 Brandywine Springs, The Rise and Fall of a Delaware Resort. A new pavilion was built to accommodate waiting train passengers, and modern electricity was installed. Unfortunately, from our perspective in time, the reporters make little effort to spell anyone's name the same way twice, the exact sequence of events frequently changes from one published account to another, and even ‘the facts’ of the sequence of the events change from one published account to another. Before long, Crook noticed that these added attractions were drawing more people than the hotel itself. The “funeral services ... were observed ... at the Ruthenian Catholic Church, Third and Harwick streets, by the Rev. A hotel and hot springs were already on the property. History of Brandywine Springs The early days of Brandywine Springsrevolved around a hotel started in 1826 to bring people to the mineral springs that were believed to have healing powers. We want to make a clear, safe trail for visitors to stroll through the park and learn a little Delaware history while enjoying the natural surroundings. The amusement park business took off, and Crook began adding more and more features. This compelling third edition is an engrossing read, enhanced with over 100 photos and improved maps as well as recently-found information. Hours NCC Parks are open from dawn to dusk. For the contemporary reader, studying the old news accounts offers as much insight into the character of the countless unnamed reporters (and even named public officials) as it does those directly involved in these tragic events. I have recounted this tragic murder, however, not to bring shame onto the Greek-American community, but to put a current phenomenon in perspective. And of course, it never really revived very well.”. 3300 Faulkland Road Wilmington, DE 19808. Delaware Public Media's Megan Pauly examines ships and shipbuilding on Wilmington's Riverfront in this month's History Matters. Photos from the amusement park known as Funtown on Stewart Avenue (now Metropolitan Parkway). Robert Shaw rendering of the first Brandywine Springs Hotel in 1909. The Read House in New Castle will be getting some upgrades thanks to a new federal grant. A short list of Sifakis' books on crime in America includes: The Mafia Encyclopedia; The Encyclopedia of American Crime; Encyclopedia of Assassinations; Mobspeak: The Dictionary of Crime Terms; The Encyclopedia of American Prisons; America's Most Vicious Criminals; American Eccentrics; Strange Crimes and Criminals; A Catalogue of Crime; Encyclopedia of Gambling; Frauds, Deceptions, and Swindles; Crimes and the Rich and Famous; A Compendium of Deceptions, and Ruses and Swindles. Language: English Abstract: Brandywine Springs County Park was a popular amusement park in the rural countryside outside Wilmington from approximately 1890 to 1923. There was a time on the Delmarva Peninsula when passenger trains took people up and down the spine of the First State. New Castle County Special Services Department now manages Brandywine Springs Park, located at Newport Gap Pike and Faulkland Road. The history of the Brandywine Springs Park goes back many decades to a time when local Indians frequented the iron and sulfur-rich mineral Chalybeate Springs believed to have medicinal qualities and cure ailments. Late-1800s Atlantans flocked to the gardens and springs, which were expanded in the early 20th-century to include a dazzling amusement park. People began driving to the beaches, which replaced the amusement park as a vacation spot. The markers have been installed by the Friends of Brandywine Springs, a group dedicated to creating a historical nature walk and sharing the history of the former amusement park that once attracted up to 30,000 visitors a day. The Friends of Brandywine Springs are dedicated to recovering the history of the amusement park. Wilmington, Delaware. Mark R. Lawlor has done us all a tremendous service by elevating Brandywine Springs Amusement Park from obscurity to significance. “To take a vacation in the 1830s, you had to have big money. Brandywine Springs. They were high tech in the 1850s, 1860s.”. But it underwent a burst of development after the trolley company bought out Brandywine Springs’ private trolley system, thus nudging it toward extinction. Jabez Banks in front of the second Brandywine Springs Hotel. In 1891, the park entered into an agreement with the Philadelphia division of the B. Officially dedicated on July 29, 1956, Brandywine Springs was Delaware’s first grassroots effort to create a state park. Philadelphia entrepreneur Richard Crook believed the business could prosper again with re-branding. But one advanced – the advent of cars – didn’t help the park’s business -- instead ushering in its demise. Read about the fun-times as well as tragedies. Delaware Public Media's Megan Pauly unearths some of Brandywine Springs Park's forgotten past in this month's History Matters. Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society. There’s a picnic gazebo and a fairly large stretch of green grass that leads to a row of trees. “This popularity just went down the tubes,” Ciosek said. Something really interesting about this park is that it was once an amusement park. Later his conduct became such that he was driven from the park and ordered not to return. Nicholas along with son Spiro and John Alexander had put out the first fire Gangas set in the restaurant. The park really took off, though, with the 1900 completion of Richard Crook's other venture – the Peoples Trolley (Brandywine Springs Amusement Park).”. “So by 1923 it just all went to seed, just walked away. Today, Brandywine Springs is a county park, It features several pavilions, a couple of baseball diamonds, a basketball court, a playground, a bunch of hiking trails through a dense woods, with a lake and a stream running through it. Gangas was a confessed criminal who received his just punishment. In next month’s History Matters, she’ll take us behind the scenes of the Brandywine Springs Friends group – and their efforts to keep history alive through a series of archaeology digs orchestrated alongside other community partners like New Castle County and professional archaeologists. Castellano said Walter rendered watercolors of the Brandywine Springs hotel as well as his other projects. Trolley parks were ubiquitous in the late 1800's and early 1900's, with well over a thousand dotting the national landscape in the early part of the last century. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Brandywine Springs Amusement Park was a place to gather for picnics, games, rides and more. Friends of the African American Union Church Cemetery. His bullets were directed at Miss Bodjaska. In the early twentieth century, it became renowned for an amusement park built along the Hyde Run … More information was gathered from physical evidence at the site, now a New Castle County park. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this tract of land was so much more than a few hiking trails and a picnic grove. We want to make a clear, safe trail for visitors to stroll through the park and learn a little Delaware history while enjoying the natural surroundings. Rating. “Then he determined: he had to get people here,” Ciosek said. A significant witness tree was lost about 13 years ago in the Council Oak at Brandywine Springs State Park. The book includes a map of the park … Ara Nicholas, wife of Nicholas. For an 1887 grand opening, Crook decided to leave the springs behind as a hokey reminder of the past. The two make an interesting guide for walking the area on your own. A hotel and hot springs were already on the property. Although the amusement park is usually dated to 1886, the history of the site on the southeast corner of Newport-Gap Pike and Faulkland Road goes back much further. They’ve been digging at the site of the chalybeate springs for over five years now – part of a nearly invisible village beyond the trees near the Red Clay Creek. There is also on the viewside, lower lefthand corner printed, George A. Wo This facility has not yet been rated. Please come and join us! 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