Memories…pressed between the pages…
by Cate Murway
Maple Beach has great views. “At night Burlington is just beautiful”.
In the 1920s, sand was trucked in to the Bristol Rohm and Haas plant to create "Maple Beach" along the Delaware River for employee social activities. A small golf course even existed at the site. The riverfront properties in a 300-acre residential area is known as Maple Beach, protected by a decades-old earthen levee which was constructed to protect against the 100-year storm.
Doris Elizabeth [Wright] Foster, Tullytown Grade School, BHS ‘32/ Northeastern RN Hospital /Penn State still resides on the picturesque Delaware riverside.
“There were about 28 houses down here.” Rohm and Haas bought the homes up when the owners were ready to sell.
Doris’ plethora of memories were readily shared.
Her mother was good friends with Katherine [Gallagher] Hawkes, the mother of authoress, Anna Katherine Hawkes Hutton, “The Pennsylvanian: Joseph R. Grundy”.
They moved into the Hawkes’ home on Maple Beach when the Hawkes family moved into their estate in Edgley.
Her father, who was on the Board of Directors at the William Penn Bank, and Charlotte Landreth Melville’s father, David Landreth V played tennis.
Her cousins, Republican Borough councilman and candidate for mayor, James and his wife, Dorothy [Lovett] Douglass knew Senator Joseph Grundy very well.
Her Uncle Bill and Aunt Lillian [Wright] Lovett owned the last farm on Mill Creek and the Parkway to sell to Levitt when he was building Levittown.
Doris and her late brother, John were born in Tullytown to George White Wright and Laura Elizabeth [Bachofer] Wright. They grew up on Main Street across from Moon’s Store. John worked summers at the Penn Valley Farm and then worked in the Plexiglas division at Rohm and Haas. Their Grandmom, Laura Bachofer resided with them.
They lived through the Depression and the Great Influenza Epidemic that began in the spring of 1918.
The spread of the disease was propelled by international travel, much of which involved troop movements in 1918 because of WWI. Estimates of flu deaths are typically around 50 million.
Everyone was very sick and she recalls that so many people perished that the wakes were held in their homes.
Her dad attended Rider College for business. He worked as a station agent for the PA RR, first at the Princeton Station and later he was transferred to the Arsenal in Tullytown before finally working in Cornwells. A special benefit was that her family enjoyed free train passes.
“My mother’s people were from Germany. My mom actually didn’t work but she taught the piano before she was married.”
A Dr. Huntsman delivered Doris and she was named after the baby doctor’s wife who was her mother’s piano teacher.
Her mother was a good cook and “she always had everything in place all the time.”
Their food was prepared on a coal stove. “We went to Kings Farm quite a lot and always got vegetables there.”
She loved having hotcakes for breakfast and waffles on the weekend.
“Wonder why we never had eggs. Guess Daddy didn’t like them.”
Her Mom made “ground ham” and cheese sandwiches that she especially enjoyed.
On school days, she had tomato soup and an ice cream cone every day for lunch.
Mr. Frisbee on the first block of Mill Street was Doris’ piano teacher but she really just loved to sing. Every summer, since her dad was a school director, they could keep the "Victrola" [copyrighted name] when school was out. She remembers standing on a stool and listening and singing to marches, her favorite! There were 3 grades in each room in her elementary school.
Childhood memories made her smile. She played pinochle with her cousins, and jacks and hopscotch. Her best friends were her cousin, Grace Bachofer and her classmate, Ellen Leigh.
The Post Office had selections of penny licorice and hard candies and she vividly recalls the yummy smells from the neighborhood bakery.
Her favorite colors were always blue and red.
“I had curls until I was 12.”
She still has the doll with the rich human hair
from her first haircut.
The individual strands that one can style
are inserted in the finely sculpted porcelain head.
It was her mother’s doll and it is 112 years old.
“She needs to be restrung.”
Doris never had a bike. She rode her cousin, Dorothy’s bike but a dog bit her, so she only roller-skated from then on. She remembers going up on “the high railroad bridge” and skating down and jumping off when a car came.
N. Snellenburg & Company, commonly known as Snellenburg's, had a Punch and Judy show and Wanamakers had the beautiful organ and her parents always took them into Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving.
They would travel to Ocean City, NJ in the summer.
She saw Judy Garland perform in a musical in the Grand Theatre in the early 1930’s, and watched the late escapologist and magician Harry Houdini [1874-1926] as he took the stage in the Earle Theatre in Philadelphia.
They often took Doron’s boat across to Burlington Island and went into the “crazy house”, and rode on the amusement rides, including the scenics.
Every Friday night, they would go to Mill Street to shop, especially in the Army-Navy Store and Spencer’s and then, the final stop, at Pappajian’s Ice Cream.
She is proud of being a Five Star Member of the Order of the Eastern Star, open to all female relatives of Masons. Her dad was a Mason and her Aunt Elsie Kepler was also a very active member. Doris’ gorgeous blue eyes are sparkling.
Her family was provided a desirable quality of life in a riverfront town with a rich heritage and a continually growing vibrant business base, excellent schools and a plethora of leisure opportunities.
Graduating from eighth grade was a big ceremony then since only a few from Tullytown went to high school. Money was very tight.
Doris was able to go to Bristol High by train for free since her dad worked on the RR. She came home by trolley for $.05 and would get off by Paterson Parchment and then would walk home to save the additional nickel for the rest of the ride.
Doris met her husband, George at a church supper in the Emily Methodist Church in what was then called Emily, PA. “They repaired horseshoes in Emily.”
George worked at Budd’s in the Philadelphia plant, building railroads.
He loved golf and together they went to Trenton to watch films every week.
They enjoyed playing canasta with friends and with her brother, John and his wife, Mildred.
Doris graduated from Nurses’ Training after Bristol High. She worked in Northeastern Hospital on the private floors until she turned 21and was old enough to take her state boards. She roomed in the Nurse’s Home, as that was included as part of her salary.
She and a classmate/friend, Gerta traveled to Coral Gables, Florida to do private duty nursing.
While she was away, George sent her a message that the school nurse was leaving the Bensalem District that included the five schools of Bensalem, Penn Valley, Trevose, Eddington and Andalusia.
“He advised that I come home and apply. He probably had already spoken to Mr. Faust, the supervisor.”
Doris returned home, got married and took the position as School Nurse and truant officer.
Her mother’s cousin, Louis Bachofer had a jewelry store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia and George bought her engagement ring there.
They were married in Hulmeville in the Grace Episcopal Church
and started their lives as a married couple in a new home in Andalusia.
She bought her first car, a brand new “dark color” Plymouth for $675.00 in 1935.
The war started and her husband was deferred, “He was quite important at that time.
He taught welding to about 50 women in his class.”
Many of them were to work in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and war supplies, taking entirely new jobs, replacing the male workers who were in the military.
They relocated to Trevose and then to an apartment in Somerton to be closer to his work at the plant. George drove his red Chevy but it was hard to get gas at wartime.
Doris taught at the Bristol Ministerium for 18 years in the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches.
They adopted two children, the late Dale Gordon as an infant and Mardelle Doris [Foster] DeLancey at 5 ½ months old, the sole proprietor of Pianocottage on the Delaware.
The pianist/ vocal coach specializes in individual instruction, technique, theory, college preparatory training, and has performed at the Pen Ryn Mansion during the holidays.
Mardelle was named after Doris’ friend, the secretary at the Bensalem School.
Dale served in the army and was stationed in Korea for 2 years. He retired as a police officer and died in 2004.
Doris has one grandson John DeLancey, and his wife, Jennifer.
George and Doris loved to dance, the foxtrot, jitterbug and the waltz and they also loved to roller skate.
Her parents were dancers and they would take her and her brother, John to a park in the pavilion by the dock near Paterson Parchment to dance.
Her life has been full. For what is she most thankful?
"My family first and all my friends," said Doris. "Many are gone now but I have the memories of their friendship for so many years."
She looked to celebrate her birthday.
Mardelle F. DeLancey- My mother turned 96 today. Unfortunately, doing her work out she broke her back. A bittersweet day. :) :( 12.22.10
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Mardelle F. DeLancey
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 4:00 am
Mardelle F. DeLancey passed away Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011,
at her home in Bristol Township. She was 60.
Mardelle was an accomplished Pianist and taught piano lessons
to many students over her 32-year career as a teacher.
She was founding and longtime member
of the Bucks County Piano teachers Association.
She was an also avid equestrian who owned
and showed horses for many years.
She was an active member of the Bristol Friends Meeting and was a former clerk of the meeting.
She was preceded in death by her father, George Foster and her brother, Dale Gordon Foster.
She is survived by her husband, John DeLancey; her son, John DeLancey III and his wife, Jennifer; her mother, Doris Foster; and her faithful companion, her dog, Dakota.
Family and friends are invited to attend her Memorial Service on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Molden Funeral Chapel Inc., 133 Otter St., Bristol, where friends may call from 1:30pm until service time at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bucks Co. S.P.C.A., P.O. Box 277 Lahaska, PA 18931.
To send a condolence or sign the online guestbook, please visit the Web site listed below. Molden Funeral Home,
Doris Elizabeth Foster
Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 4:00 am
Doris Elizabeth Foster of Bristol died at her home on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 with her family by her side.
She was 97.
Born in Tullytown, she was a lifelong resident of Bristol.
She was a five star member of the Eastern Star and a graduate of Penn State Nursing School.
Doris was a longtime school nurse for Bristol Township and Bristol Borough schools and then worked for the Medi Center (now Silver Lake Nursing Home) until her retirement.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George B. Foster and her parents, George W. and Laura E. (Bachofer) Wright; a son, Dale Foster, a daughter, Mardelle (Foster) Delancey and one brother, John Wright.
She is survived by her son-in-law, John Delancey and grandson, John Delancey III and his wife, Jennifer.
Services and interment were private.
To send a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit the Web address below. Molden Funeral Chapel Bristol
Maple Beach residents in Bristol in limbo over pending sale of open space
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Elizabeth Fisher
BRISTOL TOWNSHIP - There are lots of questions and few answers to the concerns of residents of Maple Beach, a small community made up of a smattering of houses in the shadow of the Burlington Bristol Bridge. That’s because nearby Dow Chemical wants to sell 430 acres of its adjoining property to Ecosystem Investment Partners.
The sale can’t go through without the approval of Bristol Township and Bristol Borough officials. The borough has already voted to approve the sale, but the township has not made a decision, holding off, officials say, to see whether the sale would preclude revenue-generating residential and retail development.
“The plan is still in the works but nothing is finalized,” said Justin Land, Dow’s public affairs manager.
While Dow and Ecosystems negotiate and government officials stew over the fate of what they call the last big open space in the township, families like John and Jennifer Delancey wonder how the corporate giants’ maneuvering will impact their lifestyle.
The Delanceys and their weeks-old son John live in a white house that’s been in John Delancey’s family for 73 years. His grandmother, Doris Foster, bought the house as part of a new development of 30 homes, before World War II. Delancey and his wife lived in the house and helped care for Foster until her death a few years ago.
Today, four homes remain as part of the Maple Beach community and the families who will be affected want Dow and Ecosystems to keep them in the loop about the pending sale. One concern, Delancey said, is whether the access strip of road between the river and their homes will remain open.
Although the original deeds stipulate that the residents are entitled to the use of that road, vague and unsubstantiated rumors have it that Ecosystems has other plans that could cut families off from main highways.
It’s an unlikely development but the Delanceys want to know for certain what’s going to happen.
Visitors to the neighborhood have to know where they’re going because the access road blends into the natural surroundings of dirt paths and shrubbery on the township side, and is blocked off at the end of the Mill Street Parking Lot in the borough, which owns only a tiny slice of Maple Beach. And the residents like it that way, Delancey said.
“We had some problems with people coming here to sell drugs or fight [because of its remote location], he said. “That’s why the road became private.”
Along with having a new baby and having to tackle repairs to the house because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the Delanceys are keeping close tabs on what Dow, Ecosystems and the township are doing, which, at the moment seems to be nothing, said Delancey.
The Delanceys are a young couple - he’s 37, Jennifer is 27 - and they’re happy with their neighborhood. They said they just want to see smart development and control of the access road. John Delancey said that Dow has remained in constant contact with the residents.
Ecosystems plans to use the land as conservation areas around the several lakes located within the purchase area. Plans also call for the proposed wetlands to be fed by river waters via a channel constructed from the Delaware back to the lake area. Delancey showed research that indicates the parcels could be sold to various companies such as the Philadelphia Port Authority who want to expand into city wetlands and would be required by law to “mitigate” or replace those wetlands elsewhere.
Numerous attempts by the Advance to reach both Ecosystems and Bristol Township officials were unsuccessful.
But Dow vowed that the “residents concerns are our concerns,” Land said.
Delancey said that any deal would have to include the right-of-access to their neighborhood and preservation of the natural area around the houses where deer and foxes wander at will.
“We just want a smart development and we are happy that Dow has stepped in to communicate with the neighbors. My family’s been here for 73 years and I think we should have a decent road to get to our homes,” he said.