Posted in beachcombing, Breathe, CBD Hemp Oils, Delaware, Essential Oils, Health and Wellness, Nature, Photography, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

My One Word is BREATHE

November 11, 2018

On my drive down to Lewes, I started listening to the Audible book Just Breath Mastering breathwork for success in life, Business and Beyond by Dan Brule. I have been drawn to this book for quite some time, and finally bought it and downloaded it.  Once I started listening to it, I felt that I had found the missing piece of a puzzle that I have been looking for to sum up in one word the direction that I was going in.   Let me paresis this by saying that I also just finished the book One Word by Jon Gordon who talks about focusing on one word for a year. The simple power of One Word is that it impacts all six dimensions of your life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. He also has a book out called Life Word. Which I think that I found, I also think it may be the path that I am being called to and my life purpose. That word is BREATHE!

As I was driving down today, Breathe just fit the direction my life and business is going!!! The obvious one is the Laughter Yoga that I have been practicing and sharing since March 2014. Which is right after the time my chronic pain started and I was searching for Something/Anything to help navigate through the depression, anxiety, and pain that I was feeling in all pillars of my life.

October 2017, I became very interested in Essential Oils and Aromatherapy which I have seen work miracles in my life as well as my Aunt Janice’s life since we have been caregiving with her.  I also thought about other aspects of my life.

Looking into other aspects of my life, my stones that I have collected, rubbed, carried, worried with, meditated on, photographed, and wire wrapped. Stones have always brought me comfort in a very natural way. In a holistic kind of way.

I do not consider myself “New Age” and the practices that some new age cultures lend itself. I see myself more as a naturalist, maybe a little naturopathic. Enjoying what Nature has already provided us.

I also look at my hobbies, I have always enjoyed crafts. Since I was about five years of age and my Grandmother taught me how to do the chain stitch in crochet. I remember sitting very still and kind of be in a calm state, just doing the chain stitch with a whole skein of yarn which usually was long enough to wrap around the whole outside of the farm house thank I would rip it out and do it all over again.

I have done crafts ever since, it has morphed into different crafts. I use to do latch hook, counted cross stitch, needlepoint, of course crocheting, wire wrapping and now I am even weaving. I am guessing that while doing these crafts my breathe also changes and slowed down. Doing this kind of repetitive action can also put you into a different kind of state of mind. All those crafts brought a calmness, and repetitive action that was comforting and relaxing to me.

Growing up and even now, I find peace and relaxation as I explored nature. Growing up I had access to a large working farm with woods and a large stream running through it. I would love to  breathe in the smells of nature, play with the farm animals and watch the birds as they flew overhead.  I used to collect nature’s treasures such as old snake skins, turtle shells, leaves, and but especially stones. Moving to Delaware that exploration just moved to the beach and collecting sea glass, and beach stones and breathing the salt air and listening to the rhythm of the waves crash on the beach. I always tried to pattern my breathing to the waves.

Mark, who has been with me on countless photographing nature walks, has mentioned that he observes me in a kind of meditative thought when I have a camera in my hand. I find the noise in my head stops, my breathing slows down, and I look at the world through whatever lens, I just happen to have on my camera at that time.

I have noticed that my life, my store which reflects me, has been evolving especially in the last year. I am getting away from the “gifty” side and moving more into the nature holistic side.  When you walk in my shop people have said “it is very relaxing in here”.  I have soft piano music playing in the background, you see the beauty of nature in all the stones and sea glass all around and my wire wrapping. Many people gravitate toward the moving sand art pictures, Exotic Sands, and just stand there and watch it, commenting that it is very Zen like.  l will always be focusing on my wire wrapping and my photography, but as you walk in now also see doTerra Essential Oils as well the HempWorx Hemp CBD oils. I am looking forward to seeing where this new self-discovery and new word BREATHE take me.

Posted in Delaware, Delmarva, History, Lewes, Nature, Uncategorized

“SANDS OF TIME” The Story of Lewes

The Story of Lewes
By Larry Fox – June 8, 1990
NOT FAR from the garish carnival that plays daily along the boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach is a great, hook-shaped cape separating ocean and bay, a place where natural wonders as well as the works of the past are celebrated.

From the cape’s tip, the sand, scrub pines and grass-choked marshes stretch to the limit of vision. It’s one of those delights now so rare on the Atlantic coast, a place with so little development that you could squint your eyes and see it as it was several centuries ago — serene, empty and yet inviting.

The recorded history of Cape Henlopen goes back centuries. In 1609 the massive white dunes on the tip of the cape captured the eye of English explorer Henry Hudson, who found the broad bay a fish-filled haven offering sanctuary from the waters of the Atlantic and promises of even more riches to be found. The cape’s bountiful resources attracted the Dutch in 1631, who founded a small fort — called Zwaanendael (“Valley of the Swans”) — to be used as a whaling colony.

Zwaanendael was established just inside the mouth of a small creek entering the bay a few miles west of the sand dunes on the cape’s tip. The landscape the 32 whalers encountered was lush, if not exactly hospitable: vast expanses of tall, razor-edged marsh grass interrupted only by cypress swamps and pine groves. The colony was doomed, though, but not because of the paucity of whales in the bay or even the mosquito-infested surroundings.

It all started in a dispute over a coat of arms. The Dutch whalers ran into a problem familiar to newcomers: their presence was resented by the locals. In this case, the locals were Lenni Lenape Indians, and soon the dispute — legend holds that it was over the Dutch flag raised at the fort — provoked the Indians to massacre their unwelcome neighbors.

The lack of a welcome wagon didn’t discourage the Dutch, who intime reestablished a trading post there and operated it until 1682, when the English took it over and renamed it Lewes (pronounced “Lewis”) after a village in Sussex County, England.

The centuries since have not always been kind to Lewes and Cape Henlopen. Captain Kidd and others of his ilk plundered the town several times in the late 17th century, and in 1813, the village was shelled by the British in a skirmish in the War of 1812. The casualties were light — a chicken (dead) and a pig (wounded) — though a house damaged by the bombardment still bears a cannonball lodged in its foundation.

The village also became famous as the home of the Delaware Pilots (formally called the Association of Pilots for the Bay and River Delaware), the men who guided the big ships up the treacherous waters of the Delaware bay and river into the vital ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia.

After the Civil War, prosperity was as fickle as the tides. In 1869, the railroad spurred the first economic boom, with other expansions created by harbor development, government and military construction, small factories and another rail line. Lewes was so prosperous in the 1890s that more than 100 homes — many of them in the ornate Victorian and Gothic styles — were built in the town.

Times, though, were changing. The railroad stopped coming, the factories closed and Lewes began to wither. The story would end here except for a small, determined group of residents who decided in 1961 that Lewes and its three centuries of heritage must be saved.

“It was a tired and shabby town then,” recalls Judy Roberts, who grew up in Lewes, married a Delaware pilot and is now the president of the Lewes Historical Society. “We were losing a lot of history.”

Through the works of the society, the local chapter of the DAR and newcomers, many of them retirees from the Washington and Baltimore areas, Lewes today is a treasure house of colonial, 19th-century and Victorian architecture.

The natural resources that attracted the early settlers remain alluring today. The small creek on which the Dutch established their whaling outpost is now part of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Today it anchors Lewes’s small downtown, a waterfront inn, seafood restaurants, and fishing and pleasure boats.

The great cape changed in time, too. Once a crucial military base guarding the mid-Atlantic shipping lanes, today it is a state park covering more than 3,300 acres and offering miles of uncrowded beaches, pine forests and some bleak reminders of World War II, the greatest conflict the world has known. A WALK THROUGH HISTORY.

A walking tour of Lewes should begin at the small, oddly decorated building at Savannah Road and Kings Highway, just three blocks south of the drawbridge across the canal. The building, the Zwaanendael Museum, is a copy of the town hall in Hoorn, Holland. It is adorned with red and white shutters and carved-stone gables. A statue of Capt. Pieterssen deVries, who founded the first settlement here in 1631, sits on top.

The two-story museum displays relics from the H.M.S. DeBraak, a Dutch-named, British-owned warship that sank off the cape in a storm on May 25, 1798. Legend held that the DeBraak carried a cargo of treasure, and fortune hunters tried over the years to locate and recover the horde.

Rediscovered in the 1980s, the DeBraak was found to hold no such treasure, although the china, utensils and other artifacts recovered from the wreckage hold a fascination of their own.

Other exhibits display toys, china, silverware and other household items, parts from the Cape Henlopen lighthouse and other nautical memorabilia used by Lewes mariners.

Behind the museum, facing Kings Highway, is the Fisher-Martin House, a modest two-story frame house built around 1730 in Cool Spring, about 10 miles west, and then moved to Lewes in 1980. The town’s information center is located in the house.

Down the street, at 107 Kings Hwy., is the Colonel David Hall House, which was built around 1790 by the 15th governor of Delaware. This is a private home and isn’t open for tours, but is worth seeing from the outside, if only for its siding of cypress shingles, a building material common to Lewes. The antique shop called the Swan’s Nest in the south wing of the house sells some interesting baskets, forged iron pieces and antique furnishings.

Walking north on Savannah takes you to Front Street and the waterfront. Just west of Savannah Road is a park holding six cannons of various vintages, a memorial to the battery that attracted the British cannonade in April 1813.

One sign of the bombardment can be seen a few steps west on Front Street at the Cannonball House and Marine Museum, a small cypress-shingle house built in 1797. Down on the wall near the sidewalk, just left of the huge anchors flanking the entrance, is a three-pound cannon ball, said to have stuck there in the British attack. The Cannonball House is now a marine museum displaying nautical artifacts related to Lewes.

If you continue walking west on Front Street you pass a few gift shops before coming to Market Street and the Inn at Canal Square, a lovely waterside retreat offering spacious rooms filled with antique reproductions. The inn also rents a two-bedroom houseboat, tied up at the docks in back, for those who prefer a water view.

Market Street, between Front and Second streets, is a shoppers’ paradise, featuring antiques at the Gaslight Company, Copper Penny, Cobwebs Antiques and Carol’s Cove, and gifts at the Classic Toy Box and Celtic Pavilion.

Second Street is Lewes’s main avenue, home to a wonderful, antique-filled hotel — the New Devon Inn — and other temptations. Try the King’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop at Second and Market, which offers wooden booths to enjoy your sundae in.

Flanking the ice cream shop are Habersham Peddler Interiors, with country and classic antique furnishings, and the Golden Goose, a shop specializing in gifts, yarn and knitting materials. The building in which the Golden Goose is located is topped with some dark red and white brickwork, common to High Victorian Gothic buildings.

Between Market Street and Savannah Road are other shops, galleries and restaurants, enough to serve as a break before returning to your walk through history. A block south, at Third and Chestnut streets, is Firehouse Antiques and Accessories, a fine shop occupying what was the Lewes fire station and jail until 1920. During World War II, the tiny building was used to house prisoners of war. The jail bars are still visible in the office of the antique shop.

After browsing through Firehouse Antiques and the Second Street shops, head west again on Second Street and you will enter the heart of Lewes’s past.

On the south side of Second Street, at the corner of Mulberry, is the Ryves Holt House, a shingled structure that is known to have been standing in 1685. The house is named after the naval officer of the port who moved into the house when he took his position in 1721. Later, the home was occupied by Commodore Jacob Jones, a hero of the War of 1812.

The Delaware pilots built many of the fine homes in Lewes. In 1879, pilot John Penrose Virden, first president of the association, built the Second Empire-style house at 217 Second St. The house is marked by its mansard roof and king-post trusses on the dormer gables.

Pilot J. Frank Macintire built the Queen Anne-style house at 221 Second St. in 1901, while pilot James Marshall constructed a Second Empire-style house at 223 Second St. The house, built just after the Civil War, is decorated with four rows of fish-scale shingles on the roof.

Another Second Empire-style house, an impressive three-story home at 232 Second St., was built in 1879 by F. C. Maull, a Lewes ship chandler. A year later, D. L. Mustard, another Lewes merchant, remodeled his 18th-century house on the lot at 236 Second St., surrounding it with the Gothic Revival house that now stands there.

Second Street leads to Shipcarpenter Street, and more historic homes. Pilot William Maull built the late Victorian structure at 106 Shipcarpenter St. in 1897. (These, and many other houses not operated by the historical society, are private and not open to visitors, but may be admired from the street.)

On the waterfront at Shipcarpenter Street is a baseball field and parking lot. Beyond center field is the lightship Overfalls, which was stationed at the entrance to Delaware Bay from 1892 to 1961. And next to it is the small white frame boathouse that housed the U.S. Life Saving Station, a forerunner of the Coast Guard. The ship is open for tours during the summer.

South on Shipcarpenter Street, away from the water, is the pride of Lewes and its historical society — the Complex. The Complex is a two-acre lot at Shipcarpenter and Third streets. Here the historical society managed to save and restore a number of colonial and 19th-century buildings. The buildings are open for self-guided and guided tours.

The Burton-Ingram House at Shipcarpenter and Third was moved from Second Street to its site in 1962. The house was built around 1800, and is girded with cypress shingles and has cellar walls composed of ballast stones taken from ships. The three-story house is magnificent, filled with colonial art and antiques. Upstairs is the Toy Room, a unusual display of children’s playthings from more than a century ago.

The modest addition to the right of the entrance is actually an 18th-century building, donated by the town of Milton, Del., to replace the wing destroyed by fire in 1922.

Next to the Burton-Ingram house on the Third Street side is the Rabbit’s Ferry House, which was moved from the Rabbit’s Ferry area outside of Lewes in 1967. The one-story wing section is an early 1700s farmhouse, with cypress shingles, a sleeping loft and original woodwork. The larger part of the house is newer, but not by much. It was built onto the original house around 1740. The lovely house, graced by boxwoods and other landscaping, is used as an art gallery featuring the works of Tricia Hurt, a painter who lives and works in Lewes and Key West, Fla.

Next to the gallery is the Thompson Country Store, a gray-blue frame house built around 1800 in Thompsonville, Del., and used as a store from 1888 to 1962, when it was moved to the Complex.

The inside of the store is delightful, featuring shelves of such canned items as Dixie Maid Syrup and Buck’s Banquet Hall Minced Meat. Next to the counter are the pigeonholes used by the post office, and opposite them are shelves of more items, including an unusual box of tubes to hold eggs.

“We’re trying real hard to preserve what we have,” explains Judy Roberts, who leads a tour of the Complex. The Lewes Historical Society was formed in 1961, and uses private donations, fees from activities and an inheritance windfall to move, restore and preserve these old properties.

Behind the country store is another old house, the Ellegood House, a two-story farmhouse originally built in Sussex County, Del., around 1824. The house is used today as a gallery selling country crafts and Christmas items.

Next is the Blacksmith Shop, a one-room early 19th-century cedar-shingle structure. And next to it is the Early Lewes Plank House, which may be the oldest building still standing in the Lewes area. The small one-room house, made of square logs and mortar, was built on Pilottown Road by one of the first settlers, who was apparently Swedish, according to the construction style. The exact date it was built is unknown. The house is simple, dominated by the fireplace at the back. There is one tiny bed just right of the door, and a small loft above it.

Behind the Plank House is the small, white Greek Revival Doctor’s Office, which was built around 1850 by Dr. David Hall on Savannah Road across from Second Street. It was moved twice to new locations in Lewes before finally coming to the Complex last year. The two-room house holds some old medical utensils and cabinets, and is being restored.

Roberts, one of the leaders in this restoration effort, lives across from the Complex in Shipcarpenter Square, a one-block development made up of about two dozen 18th- and 19th-century buildings moved to the site and then restored. The Roberts house is a cypress-shingle, story-and-a-half home, built in 1800 about five miles outside Lewes.

“What we have here,” said Roberts, indicating the Complex and the rest of Lewes, “is real. It’s not a reproduction like Williamsburg. It’s all so real!”

A visit to Lewes isn’t complete without a drive or walk out Pilottown Road, the waterfront street that is a continuance of Front Street west of the Inn at Canal Square. The road leads past more historic homes and enters the vast marshlands near the bay. On the canal side is a small monument, almost hidden by the thick bushes used to landscape it. On this spot, more than three centuries ago, Capt. deVries established his ill-fated whaling colony.

The rest, as they say, is history. THE CAPE ESCAPE — Lewes is about 125 miles from Washington. Take U.S. 50 east over the Bay Bridge, then Route 404 east to Georgetown, continuing east on Route 9/404 to Lewes (follow the signs for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry).

The Lewes Historical Society buildings are open for tours June 18 to Sept. 1; tour hours are 10 to 3 Tuesday through Friday, 10 to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Self-guided tours are $4, guided tours $5. Buy tickets at the Thompson Country Store in the Complex at Third and Shipcarpenter streets.

For tours by appointment from Sept. 5 to Oct. 15, call the Lewes Chamber of Commerce (302/645-8073). The cost of these tours varies, depending on the length; a $20 nonrefundable deposit is required.

Special events in Lewes this year include the Zwaanendael Heritage Garden Tour from 10 to 5 on June 23. Tickets are $6, and include a garden market, tea and lecture. Call 302/345-8073.

The historical society holds its annual Craft Fair from 10 to 4 on July 14 and the Antique Fair and Flea Market from 10 to 4 on Aug. 4. Both events are at the Complex. Admission is $1 donation. In the Dunes: Winds of War

WHEN YOU STAND on the top of one of Cape Henlopen’s 83-foot-high World War II concrete watchtowers, you can understand the importance of the cape to shipping along the Atlantic coast. From this wind-swept perch you can view giant tankers and freighters traversing the bay and the Atlantic. North is a thin strip of vegetation marking the coastline of New Jersey. On the east tip are a cluster of tiny blips signaling Cape May’s presence. South and west are the 3,300 acres of state parkland, the tiny Fort Miles military base and the Naval Reserve Training and Recruitment Center. And farther south are the high-rises of Rehoboth Beach. Three miles to the west, Lewes can be seen as only a small smudge of buildings hiding in the trees.

The tower is one of nine on the cape, built when the Fort Miles Military Reservation, a harbor entrance control post, occupied the area to keep watch over the shipping lanes. During the war soldiers manned the towers to watch for enemy ship and U-boat activity.

Off these shores more than 400 Allied vessels were sunk by German submarines during the war. The survivors of those attacks often were brought to the bases on the cape. One of the final actions of the war with Germany took place here five days after V-E Day when the U-858 submarine surrendered on May 14, 1945. The sub and its crew were taken to the harbor in Lewes.

After war’s end the military base shrank, and this tower and others were abandoned. The coastal artillery were removed, their massive concrete bases left to stand or used as the foundation for a walkway over the dunes.

The violent past is out of place in this serene landscape. There are sand dunes here; the one on the Fort Miles base called the Great Dune towers between 30 and 40 feet above sea level. Once it was higher, but the Army bulldozed it into shape.

“The dune used to move 60 feet a year in the late 1950s and ’60s,” says Mike Kennedy, naturalist at Cape Henlopen State Park. “We believe most of it is pretty much stabilized now. It’s moving only five to eight feet a year west now.”

The Great Dune will officially become part of the park in the fall when Fort Miles is closed and its 96 acres are annexed by the state. The dune will add another natural attraction to the park, which already has three miles of ocean beach, 1.5 miles of bay beach, miles of hiking trails, camping facilities, numerous recreation facilities (a fishing pier, a nine-hole Frisbee golf course, tennis, basketball and softball), and the Seaside Nature Center, a one-story building housing salt-water aquariums filled with some of the animals, reptiles and fishes native to the cape.

“The aquariums have native species of fish and invertebrates,” says Kennedy. “We have crabs — spider crabs, blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, lady crabs — and fish. We have some examples of hog chokers, flounders, bluefish menhaden, sea robin and sea horses.”

The park also offers a wide variety of nature programs. This year there’s a Friday night program called Highlight of Cape Henlopen, a slide slow “telling the park visitor what to do while they are here,” Kennedy says. The show is at 7 Fridays at the Seaside Nature Center.

At 10 Saturday mornings the park offers a children’s story hour with tales of the sea, while daily at 10 and 2 are “tank talks — a way to get acquainted with the creatures of the aquariums,” according to Kennedy. “And then on Tuesday and Thursday at 2 we have a program called seaside seining, where we catch large fish in our nets along the bay shoreline and then discuss their role in the bay ecosystem.”

The programs are free, but Delaware residents must pay a $2 per car entrance fee ($4 for out-of-state residents).

The nature center also offers birdwatching every Monday at 7, according to Kennedy. “We see the endangered piping plover, peregine falcons, many migrating shore birds, the different types of terns — five different species — as well as about five or six different species of gulls.”

Posted in Delaware, Lewes, Nature, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Lewes Businesses for Better Bags


Plastic bags are the second most common beach litter in Delaware after cigarette butts. In 2017 the University of Delaware master’s seminar called Debating Marine conservation created a program called Businesses for Better Bags. The students partnered with the Fashion and Apparel Studies department and designed a reusable bag for local businesses to sell.

Horseshoe Crab Lewes Logo out to sea   The students designed the bag, sourced a bag made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles, yes, it’s washable. The design is the state of Delaware with a horseshoe crab marking Lewes  In conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the UD students’ initiative was written up in Parade magazine which is inserted into national newspapers. The students’ website received a huge number of hits with a sizeable interest in purchasing the bags.

They presented their Businesses for Better Bags initiative for which they received funding from the Sea Grant program to provide the seed money to launch the purchase of recyclable bags. The goals of the program are to reduce the number of single use plastic bags being used in retail establishments. The program has been designed to be sustainable and continue once initial Sea Grant support has expired. The Historic Lewes Business district is the pilot program for this. In hopes that all of Delaware will eventually adopt this program.

 The bags are now available in many of the Historic Lewes retail businesses with the Businesses for Better Bags logo. The students ordered over 1,500 bags and in turn Historic Lewes Business will sell them for $10. The Lewes chamber will sell them online or 302-645-8073 for $20 plus shipping.

We hope that you will help support our efforts in reducing the usage of single use plastic bags. With the hopes of a Plastic Free Delaware

lcoc-flyer_biz for better bags

What is so special about the Lewes, DE reusable bags and the Businesses for Better Bags Program?

-The bags are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, and are washable as well as recyclable all produced and printed in the USA.

-The average family will bring home almost 1500 single use plastic bags each year. These bags are used for on average 12 minutes, but have a life expectancy of 1000 years.

-Plastic bag productions is environmentally damaging requiring substantial amounts of water and petroleum. Paper bags are not the answer either since they fossil fuels, water and higher transportation cost.

-Plastic bags are the 2nd most common for of Delaware Beach trash. Due to their lightweight and durable design many blow out of landfills into natural environments, causing the deaths of 100,000 marine animals annually. It also blows into bodies of water and gets caught in boat motors and into farmers fields getting tangled into the farm equipment.

-This was a project of the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment for their Marine Conservation Course.

– Historic Downtown Lewes is the First Town in the First State to implement the pilot program to encourage Lewes businesses and patrons to reduce their dependency on single use bags. There are 16 Downtown Historic Businesses on board with the project to date.


Visit ​Biblion, Blooming Boutique Accessories, Deanna’s, Inn at Canal Street, Just Lewes, Kids’ Ketch, Lewes Gifts, Lewes Gourmet, Lewes Wear, Piccolino, PUPS, Puzzles, Sand N Stones, Shorebreak, Treasures, and Vintage Underground to buy your bag for $10 and support the local stores who put the environment first!

-This is a sustainable program supported by Delaware Sea Grant and the Green Team Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lewes, Delaware, Lewes Chamber of Commerce and designed by fashion students at University of Delaware.

To learn more about this project

This is a video that was produced by WRDE talking about this very subject.




Posted in Delaware, History, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Uncategorized

Caesar Rodney life oneof history and mystery

Yesterday at Sand N Stones we were talking about Caesar Rodney.  There was a statement made…. When was the last time, you got on your horse, and rode up to Philadelphia 30 plus hours in the cold rain, with cancer  to break a tie, which impacted this great nation in profound ways?

Tucked inside of a report that I did on this great Delawareian, was a newspaper article that I saved from The Delaware State News dated Sunday, July 3, 2011 Vol 111, No. 333 titled Rodney’s Life one of history and mystery by Jamie-Leigh Bissett.

His Dover- for Delawareans, Caesar Rodney is the star of Independence Day.

legendary ride to Philadelphia and tie breaking vote in 1776 are firmly rooted in Delaware and American history.

But there are details of his life to much speculation – including what he looked like and the health problems he endured.

Rodney never posed for a portrait and historians tell us he kept part of his face veiled because of cancer – what he once called “that horrid and most obstinate disorder” – on his face.

“Because there are no documented portraits of Rodney, which is unusual for someone of his prominence, we don’t know what he physically looked like, “ said Russ McCabe, former state archivist and Delaware historian.

Through his words John Adams pained an unflattering picture of Rodney. “He was the oddest-looking man in the world” Adams one wrote. “He is tall, thin and slender as a reed, and pale; his face is no bigger than an apple.”

Actor Tim Parati is someone who has experienced the challenge of portraying Rodney. When he hot the role of Rodney in the HBO miniseries “John Adams” in 2008, he turned to the internet and immediately read Adams’ quote.“I said, ‘Really?’ Oddest looking man?” Mr. Parati remembered with a chuckle. “I was shocked to find out he had cancer of the face and I was worried what that was going to entail as far as wardrobe and makeup was concerned.”

Mr. Parati and the costume designer later found out that the kind of cancer Caesar Rodney had was not known, nor how long he suffered or what it specifically was about his face that caused Mr. Adams to declare him the “offset looking man in the world?”

Mr. McCabe wonders why Rodney never sat for a portrait. “If his head was in fact the size of a large apple, it might explain why there are no portraits of him, said Mr. McCabe. But with his popularity, you would think he could find an artist who would have depicted him in a positive light.”


Though there were no formal pictures of Caesar Rodney done during his lifetime, presumably because of the scars that were caused by his face cancer, this portrait was created in the 19th century.

Rodney’s condition

Caesar Rodney began seeking treatment for his cancer in 1768, according to Jane Harrington Scott’s book “A Gentleman as Well as a Whig: Caesar Rodney and the American Revolution.”

Excerpts of the book were provided to the Delaware State news by Constance Cooper, chief curator with the Delaware Historical Society, “I got to Philadelphia on Saturday and on Monday applied to the doctors concerning the sore on my nose, who all upon examination pronounced it a cancer,” Rodney said in a letter to his brother, Tomas on June 7, 1768. The letter goes on to say that doctors recommended that he go to England for treatment. But because of the “growing controversy with Britain,” he never went.

Ms. Cooper considered what may have happened if Rodney went to England. “He might have stayed in England like some people had done, or after treatment he might have come back home,” said Ms Cooper. “It is one of the great ‘what ifs’ in Delaware History.”

The book says Rodney instead visited with James Hamilton, the ex-governor of Pennsylvania what had been diagnosed with a similar skin cancer.  “(Hamilton) gave (Rodney) some of his own medicines and pledged to visit Caesar every day to see if there were working ‘in the same manner as with him,” the book said.

Caesar Rodney underwent surgery to remove the “sore” on his nose in June 1768. “The doctor extracted the hard-crusted matter which had risen so high, and it has left a hole I believer quite to the bone and extends for length from the corner of my eye above halfway down my nose,” Rodney wrote.  “Such a sore must take some considerable time to cure up – if ever it does. However, since it has been extracted, I am perfectly easy as to any pain.”

And though the surgery was thought to have cured Caesar Rodney of his cancer at the time, a letter from his doctor, Thomas Bond of Philadelphia on April 26, 1770 proved otherwise. “I am greatly concerned at the return of your cancer, especially so near the eye.” The doctor wrote. He went onto describe how he was going to cover the hole in Rodney’s face with plaster for 5 or 6 days, followed by the application of a “SpermaCali” ointment and by a “dry lint.”

Ms. Scott’s book said Rodney bottled face cancer as well as asthma for the rest of his life. The book said the treatments and regular travels to Philadelphia took their toll on Rodney especially his wallet. “I am necessarily at a very considerable expense; my cash is running very low.” He was quoted as saying in 1782. “If there is any money due to me which ought to come through your hands, you will oblige me exceedingly by… transmitting it to me… as soon as possible.”

Despite the hardships, however, Caesar Rodney remained hopeful about his disease. “I am determined to persevere, it is a matter of … no less than life or death,” he said. “The doctors must conquer the cancer, or the cancer will conquer me.”

Had he lived today

Dr. rishi Sawhney, medical director of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute, said he is not sure whether Caesar Rodney died as a result of his cancer, nor does he know what kind of cancer it was.  But the fact that it disfigured his face meant that the disease was probably in the advanced stages.  He said had Rodney been alive today, his cancer would probably not have progressed to such an advance stage.

“(His) cancer could have been picked up at an earlier stage with face screenings,” Dr. Sawhney said. “Today, medical professionals examine healthy people by looking at their skin to see if they can catch the early signs of cancer before it advances or disfigures a person. But, even if it had progressed to the paint of disfigurement, Dr. Sawhney said reconstructive surgery could have done wonders for his appearance.

He said Caesar Rodney would have also benefitted from pain medicine that is widely available to cancer patients today rather than suffer like he did on his famous ride north. With no pictures available of Rodney or his face, with no official prognosis from a physician, Dr. Sawhney said he can only speculate about what kind of cancer he might have had.

One thing that is known is that Rodney suffered from some form of skin cancer of which there are two main categories: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. He said even with a picture of Rodney’s face, it would be difficult to determine the type of skin cancer because both melanoma and non-melanoma look the same to the naked eye. When a patient comes in today with skin cancer, Dr. Sawhney said a biopsy is required to make a diagnosis.

He did say that if he had to speculate, he would venture to say that Caesar Rodney had non-melanoma cancer for one simple fact: melanoma usually spreads throughout the body and even affects a person’s internal organs. “It is not common that an untreated melanoma with remain dormmate for that many years, though it is possible,” Dr. Sawhney said.

Fact versus fiction


Caesar Rodney statue in Rodney Square in Wilmington DE  Photo

Ms. Cooper said even through Caesar Rodney’s trip to Philadelphia to cast the winning vote for independence has been well documented through the years, there are some “facts’ about the ride and his life that she questions.

The first was the famous silk veil that he wore during his ride to “prevent” upsetting onlookers. I’ve never seen documentation about him wearing a mask or a veil. Maybe that is more legendary than anything else, “she said.

Mr. Parati said costume designers on the set, who worked tirelessly to make sure everything was as authentic as possible, had trouble with Rodney’s legendary scarf. “There are no formal portraits of him, so it was hard to tell what he had done, so we went with the green scarf. We went with what we had,” he said.

Mr. Parati said little was known about how he would have worn the scarf. “At first, we wrapped it around my head, but it looked like (Jocob) Marley from (Charles Dickens’s novel “A Christmas Carol”) – like I had a toothache or something. It was too comical, so we went with the more fashionable head wrap,” he said. “With any movie, you do take some artistic license. We did as much research as we could about what would look best for the production and for the costume design.”

Mr. Parati said makeup artist also painted “cancer spots” and scars on the left side of his face to demonstrate Rodney’s cancer.

Mr. McCabe said Ms. Cooper could very well be right about her supposition what there is no proof that Rodney actually wore a silk veil.  “There is no first-person documentation about the veil so she may be right” he said.

Mr. McCabe said the “funny” thing about Caesar Rodney, one of the most well know figures of his era, is “so much of his story seems to be thinly veiled in myth or half-truths.”  “For whatever reason,” he said, “the level of knowledge of his life doesn’t equal the prominent figures of his era.”

Mr. McCabe said there is another legend surrounding Caesar Rodney’s famous ride to Philadelphia that has be debated throughout history. As the story goes, Rodney made a 30-hour trip leaving for Philadelphia from Dover after he heard that Delaware delegates Thomas McKean and George Read were deadlocked on the vote for independence.

As a kid Mr. McCabe said that he heard that Rodney actually began his ride from Sussex County where he had been romancing a lady.

Another “did he?” Or “didn’t he? Questions about Rodney’s ride was, did he make his way north in a thunderstorm on horseback like the famous picture depicts, or did he instead make the trip in a carriage? “It was probably a combination of bot,” McCabe said. “As the story goes he left his home outside Dover in a carriage, but made the vote in his boots and spurs, so perhaps the last leg was on horseback.

225px-Delaware_quarter,_reverse_side,_1999 (1)

Caesar Rodney pictured on the commemorative Delaware quarter.

Rodney’s death

Another possible misconception, Ms. Cooper said, is the cause of his death on June 26, 1784 at the age of 57. No one knows whether he died as a result of his cancer, Ms. Cooper said. “No cause of death was given other than he was in frail health,” she said.

Mr. McCabe said not only was Caesar Rodney’s life veiled in so much mystery, so too was his death. In his last will and testament signed March 27, 1787, Caesar Rodney asked that his bother Thomas, “erect a good substantial brick wall” enclosing the family burial ground at the old Byfield Farm “in the same manner as burial ground are usually enclosed” within 24 months of his death using money raised out of the “rents and profits of my real estate.” This however, was never done.

Mr. McCabe said back in 1997, when he was charged with responsibility of placing a historical marker on the Byfield Farm, he was at the time working with a prominent Dover resident and historian, James Jackson, who was also a descendant of the Rodney family. He said it is thought that about 60 Rodney family members are buried somewhere on the Byfield farm, but because no marker was ever established, no one knows for sure where the cemetery is.

 A historical marker on the corner of Bergold Land and Del. 9 east of Dover and adjacent to the Dover Air Force Base, marks Byfield, the childhood home of Caesar Rodney, where it is believe he and about 60 members of his family are buried.

“Mr. Jackson told me that not too many years after Caesar Rodney’s death, the farm was sold out of the family for payment of debt for whatever reason,” Mr. McCabe said. “His heirs and his executors did not ever get around to doing what he asked as far as a burial place, which lead to the disappearance of any physical evidence of the Rodney family burial ground.”

He went on to say that Rodney’s place of burial has been the subject of great debate of the years and something that has contributed to the air of mystery that surrounds his life. “He’s that Carmen San Diego guy in Delaware history. Where was he and who was he? Mr. McCabe said.

CR’s lasting legacy

With all the mystery that surrounds Caesar Rodney, his life and his cancer, one thing is for sure, according to Mr. McCabe: “I honestly believe if you had to give the title of ‘Mr. Delaware’ to just one person, it would be Caesar Rodney,” he said. Not just because of the distinction that he was a signer of the distinction that he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but because he had such a distinguished career.”

Mr. McCabe said even through Caesar Rodney will never be forgotten, he believes Delaware’s founding father deserves to have a place where people can go to publicly remember him. “At some point in time, I am hopeful that there is an effort undertaken to mark his grave,” he said. “He choose to lie in an unmarked grave, and with what he achieved. That is something that could be done and should be done.”

Written by Staff writer Jamie-Leigh Bissett for the Delaware State News published Sunday July 3, 2011

A monument in memory of Caesar Rodney can be found within the walls of Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Dover on the corner of State and Water Streets. The marker reads “Statesman, soldier and signer of the Declaration of Independence.”

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Posted in Delaware, Delmarva, History, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Uncategorized

Our Delaware

This week is Delaware Week, being Delaware Day is December 7th. I have not posted much about the fascinating history that this First State has to offer, and I am blessed to have a retail shop in the First Town in the First State.

I thought that I would include the words to our State Song today…

Our Delaware

Oh the hills of dear New Castle,

And the smiling vales between, When the corn is all in tassel,

And the meadow lands are green;

Where the cattle crop the clover,

And it’s breath is in the air,

While the sun is shining over

Our beloved Delaware.



Oh our Delaware! Our beloved Delaware!

For the sun is shining over Our beloved Delaware,

Oh our Delaware! Our beloved Delaware!

Here’s a loyal son that pledges

Faith to good old Delaware.


Where the wheat fields break and billow,

In the peaceful land of Kent,

Where the toiler seeks his pillow,

With the blessing of content;

Where the bloom that tints the peaches

Cheeks of merry maidens share,

And the woodland chorus preaches

A rejoicing Delaware.


Dear old Sussex visions linger,

Of the holly and the pine,

Of Henlopen’s jeweled finger

Flashing out across the brine;

Of the gardens and the hedges

And the welcome waiting there

For the loyal son that pledges

Faith to good old Delaware.


From New Castle’s rolling meadows,

Through the fair rich fields of Kent

To the Sussex shores hear echoes

Of the pledge we now present;

Liberty and independence

We will guard with loyal care,

And hold fast to freedom’s presence

In our home state, Delaware

Words by Geo. B. Hynson, Music by Will S. Brown and 4th verse by Donn Devine

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Posted in Antique Bottles, beachcombing, Bone China, Delaware, Delmarva, Glass, Lewes, Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Sea Glass – Old Glass touched by the Sea

by Michele Buckler – Sand N Stones- 112 Front St.  Lewes, DE

Long ago before we became “Green” conscious, we use to throw large portions of trash into bodies of water. Few ever gave a second thought to what happened to the trash once it got there. It would roll around in the sea for many years, some would break down and disappear, and others would wash back up on our shores.

1422653737984-444228751Beachcombers use to walk the beaches and pick up glass seeing it as liter from long ago, others collected it, intrigued by its colors and shapes. It was not until Richard LaMotte wrote “Pure Sea Glass” in 2004, which told us of the value, where the glass could have come from, about the colors and the rarity of those colors.In 2009 he came out with a supplement to his book called “Pure Sea Glass Identification Cards, and in 2015 The Lure Of Sea Glass.

Genuine or  Natural “Tide Tumbled” Sea Glass (also known as beach glass, mermaid’s tears, and Old Salts, Salties, many other names) is formed when any piece of glass (mostly bottles, tableware, windows, insulators, marbles, bonfire glassship wrecks, etc.) made their way into large bodies of water. The waves breaking them down, turning glass into shards, usually in triangular shape. The currents would move the glass over sandy surfaces smoothing the edges. Over several decades, the acidity of the water would give it a frosting turning glass into sea glass. It takes 50+ years for the acidity to eat away enough glass to make seaglass.

Many people are wondering why it is getting harder to find sea glass; there are different theories about this. More things are made of plastic today instead of glass. Some say it’s because most beaches have a carry in carry out policy. Can you remember when there were trash cans on the beaches? We are doing more recycling so we are not polluting as much as we once did. The process of beach restoration is pumping the sand from way out covering up the glass,  there are also more beaches that are manicured, so they collect the shells, stones and sea glass, and use it for other purposes such as driveways. Most people say it is because more people are collecting it.

Beachcombers have found that they enjoy picking up sea glass, and displaying them in containers in their homes similar to those who enjoy gathering shells,  stones and sea pottery. Authors have written about sea glass, Artisans have found ways to incorporate sea glass in their jewelry, photographs and paintings. Others have found ways to use the glass into everyday items such as sun catchers and candles. Some enjoy trying to identify its original origins.

“When I find a piece of sea glass it is like finding a missing piece of the puzzle.”

A few people have tried, unsuccessfully, to copy “Mother Nature’s” work by tumbling or etching the glass, called Ersatz sea glass. Zrsatz sea glass (fake, faux or Earth glass) has a certain appeal to some and is less expensive to buy, but to a true collector it cannot match the beauty or value that natural sea glass has. It is one of the few man-made things that get more desirable after it has been discarded and weathered by the elements.

Most beaches have sea glass some are better than others. You can do some research and find out if there were any shipwrecks near by, or what the beach or body of water was used for? Once you have found a beach that you want to collect glass from, it is best to look for glass during a full or new moon in the Fall and early Spring at low tide. But the most important thing about “sea glassing” is don’t tell others where you find your treasures.

You can bring your Sea Glass that you have found into Sand N Stones and Michele will be happy to custom wire wrap it for you in either 14k gf, Anti-Tarnish Sterling Silver (Argentium), or a combination of both. Michele usually makes pendants, pin, or earrings out of the Sea Glass.

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page


North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA)

Richard LaMotte, Pure Sea Glass,

Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe,  “Your One Stop Sea Glass Shop!”

Your local Antique Bottle Club

Sea Glass Journal

Odysse Sea Glass

Odysee Sea Glass Directory

Sea Glass Association Network

Sea Glass Artist &  Collectors  Network

Sea Glass Lovers S.G.L. Network


Posted in Antique Bottles, beachcombing, Delmarva, Glass, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Real vs Man-Made Sea Glass


Orange Natural Sea Glass, Orange is the rarest of the sea glass colors.

I have collected sea glass since I was six-year-old. One of my biggest pet peeves is that people are selling man-made sea glass as real sea glass. Several people have come into Sand N Stones asking me if there is a way to tell the difference between real sea glass and man-made sea glass. The answer is yes and no.  If we look at the definition of Seaglass…. Any piece of glass that has found its way in a large body of water, the waves brake it up, the current tumbles it along and it is the acidity of the water, eating away at the glass that gives it the frosting that we love. It takes 50 or more years to make a piece of glass into a piece of seaglass.

The acid is what gives the glass a frosty look and gives it that nice almost “gritty” feeling, which is so desirable.  However, as we also know the acid in body of water varies from place to place. Making it a bit more difficult.

When glass is tumbled in a rock tumbler, which is one of the ways that people make so-called sea glass, it has a silky smooth feel to it, very much like tumbled rocks would.

blue-sg-101815Natural Turquoise blue sea glass wire framed pendant from Sand N Stones in Lewes, DE

Another way you can tell sea glass from man-made seaglass is the shape.  Glass fractures in a triangular like shape. It does not break in a perfect square or circle shape. If the object has been broken and it is in any other shape other than a somewhat triangular like shape you can question that it may be man-made sea glass. However, if the object has not been broken by the waves, or the glass hitting something like a rock, and it was originally round such as this brake light it could be true sea glass.  The brake light pictured is an example of that, which you can see at Sand N Stones.  Also if you find two pieces of sea glass that are identical, glass does not fracture the same twice, you want your red flag to go up, and start asking questions is this real sea glass or man-made.
Richard LaMotte who is known as the God Father of Sea Glass wrote the first true book dedicated to learning about these vanishing gems Pure Sea Glass and is know as the Bible of Sea Glass he has also published the Lure Of Sea Glass and Pure Sea Glass Identification cards.

Another good book about sea glass is CS Lamber’s book Sea Glass Hunters Handbook.  This also gives you a list of beaches broken down by State and Country where you may be able to find Sea Glass. However, I have found that sea glass is getting harder and harder to find even at some of my personal best beaches, that is why I believe “man made sea glass”  is being made.

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page