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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #101
xzmattzx
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MIDDLETOWN

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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #102
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Middletown is a town in southern New Castle County, below the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Middletown was named because it was the halfway point of a trail between Appoquinimink Creek in Odessa, Delaware, and Bohemia Landing on the Bohemia River in Maryland. This trail was the quickest way to get goods from the Delaware Bay to the Chesapeake Bay before the C & D Canal was built.

Middletown is Delaware's fastest growing town. The current population of the town is around 10,000; Middletown's population in 2000 was just over 6,000, and the population in 1990 was around 2,800. The growth in Middletown in the last 15 years has made it the 4th biggest city in Delaware, bypassing Milford and Seaford, which were ahead of Middletown in 2000.












































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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #103
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Located southeast of Middletown is St. Andrew's School. St. Andrew's is a co-educational boarding school that was founded in 1929 by A. Felix DuPont. The school has an enrollment of 285 and sits on 2,200 acres. Alumni have included an ambassador and a four-star admiral, among others.

The 1989 film "Dead Poets Society" was filmed at St. Andrew's.

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Old July 15th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #104
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The 1989 film "Dead Poets Society" was filmed at St. Andrew's.

Very interesting.

Nice houses. Regards.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:48 AM   #105
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Very interesting.

Nice houses. Regards.
Thanks!
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 09:57 PM   #106
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very Protestant style IMO-modest buildings without any kitschy ornaments. I like it-red brick rocks!!!
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Old August 5th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #107
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Middletown is one of the few financially secure municipalities not only in the state, but in the region.

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A thriving Middletown asks, what recession?
Booming town has a surplus - and no tax hikes


As Kenneth L. Branner Jr. walks the heart of Middletown, a $6 million streetscape project in its last phase, the longtime mayor voices both relief and pride his hometown dodged a bullet.

"We're ahead of where we thought we'd be," he said.

Despite bad economic times, the town began its new fiscal year with a $36.9 million budget that has no tax or utility hikes -- but it does have a surplus.
Branner says an audit is determining the exact surplus, between $100,000 and $400,000.

"We're probably lucky compared to other towns," said longtime resident Charles Bitts, 71, owner of the Towne Barber Shop. Not raising taxes is "pretty good," he said.

Branner credits the town's fiscal health and good outlook to conservatism and careful growth supported by residents.

Town departments looked for ways to cut expenses, each finding savings totaling "tens of thousands of dollars," he said.

While frugality will continue, he said, town leaders anticipated economic downturns. The annexations and housing boom that broadened Middletown's tax base -- doubling its population to about 15,000 in a handful of years -- was based on a promise residents would not pay for growth, he said.

Having seen out-of-control development years earlier in Bear and more projects heading south to Middletown, Branner said, he and town council put growth issues to referendum.

Eighty-nine percent of voters supported sewer and power capacity expansion along with a new comprehensive plan, created through University of Delaware with the WILMAPCO planning group's aid and dozens of public hearings.

Branner said defining the growth, rather than being a victim of it, let the town strengthen its economic stability, get a good mix of uses, add jobs and boost quality of life without residents picking up the tab.

"Our taxes are lower than they were in 1972," said Vice Mayor James Reynolds. "Do you know anyplace else that can say that?"

The last change in taxes was in the early 1990s -- a 40 percent cut. Last hike? Decades earlier.

New Castle County just sent residents tax bills with a 25 percent hike to 70 cents per $100 assessed property value, after $29 million in budget cuts and more expected. Middletown, where no jobs or projects were cut, last week sent its tax bills at 30 cents per $100 assessed value.

Property taxes cover all town operating expenses, nearly $30.6 million in the new fiscal year, while development money from permits and other fees, goes to capital improvements, topping $6.3 million in the new budget.

Middletown development, including new home construction starts, slowed with the rest of the nation, but Reynolds noted rises in recent months.

Not counting on development for essential funds left the town in a good spot as the economy faded, Branner said: "We knew that if we got comfortable living on the fluff and great development, what would we do?"

Last year's budget funded many capital projects, such as finishing the streetscape of West Main, the $3.5 million police headquarters and completion of the new Levels Road Park, which cost $3.5 million.

Capital improvements in the just-started fiscal year include $1.8 million expansion of wastewater management and $660,000 for Del. 299 improvements.

The town lost $387,000 in state lawmakers' last-minute elimination of municipal street repair funds. But Branner said, "we did our budget knowing we might not get that. We lost it, fine."

Middletown already planned to add three police officers in the coming year, funded in the previous budget and now in academy training, so its recent designation to get three-year federal funding to add an officer will go to replace one who left for family reasons, he said.

Like last year's budget, this fiscal year's spending plan has $1.5 million for the East Main Street streetscape project Branner and Reynolds visited last week with Mike Austin, owner of Austin & Bednash.

The $3 million West Main Street phase is done, and Austin, with about 15 employees on-site daily, expects East Main to be finished in mid-October.

The project includes burying utilities, replacing or lining sewer pipes, replacing trees and curbs, installing antique-style street lights, laying brick sidewalks and adding landscaping, planters and trash cans.

Such amenities are "the type of project other municipalities are cutting because of the economy," Austin said, adding most are doing "just critical stuff."

The West Main Street phase was more complicated because it used federal money, Branner said, but "this one, we're funding ourselves."

Inspectors Glen Tush, Paul Perrone and Todd Taylor save time and money by staffing the site. They helped deal with surprises below the town's oldest street from historic cesspools to power lines no one knew about.

Still, Austin says, the project is going "smooth as can be," adding residents and businesses alike appreciate the town commitment to lane shifts without road closings.

"Residents have been great," he said. Some watch the work daily and the crew helped one start a reluctant lawn mower.

Austin, a Townsend resident, said the project has that friendly feel of "pretty much everything in Middletown."

First seeing East Main finished, Reynolds said, "It was just amazing how far you could see and how pretty it looked."

At the Towne Barber Shop at 15 W. Main St., owner Bitts is equally pleased. "I think it's really nice what they're doing," he said. "They've done a really good job."
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/p...=2009908030327
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Old August 5th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #108
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Nice photos!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #109
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Nice photos!
Thanks!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #110
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This has a little resemblance to the High School I went to except our front entrance was much bigger and fancier.

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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #111
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Peach Mansions of southern New Castle County

In the 1800s, peaches were the king crop in Delaware, particularly in the middle of the state. The peach boom began in 1840, when Isaac Reeves introduced the artificially budded tree to Red Lion Hundred, south of Glasgow and Bear. At the early time of the boom, the center of the industry was in southern New Castle County, particularly in Red Lion Hundred, and in the Middletown and Townsend areas. It was said that you could take a train from Middletown to Townsend and the peach trees were so dense that you would see nothing but tree branches and sky. These same railroad tracks carried the peaches north to the markets of Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York City, and beyond, replacing the much slower process of shipping the peaches from Delaware City. It was Delaware peach industry that introduced the fruit to the country and made it a national food instead of just a regional food.

Over time, the industry shifted southward to Smyrna, then to Dover, and then into Sussex County. The boom peaked in 1875, when 8.7 million bushels were shipped out of the state, and the boom ended at around 1889, when "the yellows" a peach blight wiped out the crop and bankrupted most peach farmers. But relics of the boom can still be seen across the state, most notably in the Middletown area.



Hedgelawn
1856





Cochran Grange
1834
Also the home of John P. Cochran, 45th Governor of Delaware (1875-1879)





Okolona
1860





Andrew Eliason House
1856





Buena Vista
1842
Also the home of John M. Clayton, U.S. Secretary of State (1849-1850)





Lexington
1846
Home of Major Philip Reybold





Oakland Plantation
1842





Some other peach mansions:























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Old October 8th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #112
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Other farmhouses of southern New Castle County


















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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #113
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A splendid collection of photos to record such a rich and fruitful time in Delaware's history.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #114
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Very nice place!
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Old October 30th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #115
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Thanks for the comments, and sorry for the very late reply. I agree, this was a rich period in the state's history. I may be wrong, but I think that I read somewhere that Delaware was the big peach state, like Georgia is known as now. I believe we produced the most peaches of any state back in those days.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 02:31 AM   #116
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You are absolutely correct. Delaware was The Peach State back in the middle to late 19th century. Obviously that is the reason behind the peach blossom still serving as the state flower. I knew about the prominence of the peach orchards in the areas between Dover, Bridgeville, and Georgetown, but it’s interesting to learn that the industry spread from lower New Castle County.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #117
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Delaware's Covered Bridges

Even though states like Pennsylvania and Indiana are more well-known for their covered bridges, Delaware has had a history of covering bridges as well. Delaware's rolling hills in northern New Castle County, were the location of all of the state's covered bridges, past and present. At the turn of the 20th century, there were close to 15 covered bridges in New Castle County. Today, there are only 5 covered bridges in the county, including 2 that were built in the 1960s. Because of these new bridges, or perhaps because these 1960s bridges have concrete slabs as driving surfaces, some people consider Delaware to have only three covered bridges instead of five covered bridges.


Wooddale Covered Bridge, originally built in 1850, destroyed in 2003, reconstructed in 2008.



Smith's Bridge Covered Bridge, originally built in 1839, burned down in 1961, reconstructed as an uncovered bridge in 1961, and covered in 2002.



Ashland Covered Bridge, originally built in 1870, renovated in 2008.



Covered Bridge Farms Covered Bridge, built in 1961.



Westminster Covered Bridge, built in 1960.

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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #118
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Covered bridges always look stunning in autumn...great pictures...Thanks mattz...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:29 AM   #119
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Thanks for the comment! Covered bridges really do look best in Autumn, or sometimes Winter.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:30 AM   #120
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I'm finally going to post a new place, so I'm bumping this up.
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