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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Little Known Histories of Newark, 1758-2008

Shops and Trades

Nineteenth-century shops and trades were located in close proximity on Main Street, providing Newark residents, students, and the growing College with goods and services. Shopkeeper William Russell's daybook notes the sale of Greek lexicons and Latin grammars as well as wood and coal. Blacksmith Gilbert Chambers kept accounts for individuals as well as Delaware College in the 1890s.

Daybook for William H. Russell's store in Newark, Delaware, between the years 1825-1838.
Account Books, Ledgers collection.

Account book for blacksmith shop of Gilbert W. Chambers in Newark, Delaware, for the period 1890-1899.
Account Books, Ledgers collection.

(Powell's Ice Cream, Oysters, and Clams, Confectionary and Cigars)
Receipt, Powell's Ice Cream, Oysters, and Clams, February 16, 1918.
Powell family papers.

The story of Powell's Ice Cream epitomizes the story of family businesses in Newark. George Powell (1860-1909?) began selling oysters and ice cream on Main Street in 1887 (the bottom line for this odd combination was that both popular products required ice). A decade later, he purchased a building from J.L. Lewis to establish Powell's Restaurant at 35 East Main Street. Serving the community within a ten mile radius, Powell's was constantly supplying orders of ice cream and oysters for the College, individuals, churches, schools, and various local festivities.

(Opening day, Powell's Ice Cream Plant store)
Advertisement, 1950.
Powell family papers.

George Powell was an active member of Newark's rapidly-growing community. He was a trustee of Newark United Methodist Church and a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, elected Great Sachem of the Delaware tribe in 1901. His son Walter R. Powell (1886-1978?) carried on the business after returning from World War I, expanding his small lot with real estate investments around town. Powell's was sold to James H. Skinner in 1950.

Receipts, orders, and ledger of accounts, 1905, 1914, 1918.
Powell family papers.
Gift of Walter R. Powell

Advertisement, 1950.
Powell family papers.
Gift of Walter R. Powell

Two photographs of Powell family members sporting on Main Street, including one (enlarged) with industrial-sized ice cream paddle and an axe used to chop ice.
Powell family papers.
Gift of Walter R. Powell

(Claringbold bottle)
Glass beer bottle,
circa 1910.
Delaware realia

Thomas R. Claringbold, who owned an establishment on Main Street where he sold "intoxicating liquors," protested the Town of Newark tax assessor's valuation of his property, which considered the advantages of his situation and capacity for earning profits. The Supreme Court of Delaware ruled for the Council of Newark, allowing that "the existence of [Claringbold's] license was a fact that the assessor might consider in making a valuation of the defendant's real estate."

Glass beer bottle Registered: Thomas R. Claringbold, Newark, Del., circa 1910.
Delaware realia collection.
Gift of L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin

In the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware : Thomas R. Claringbold, defendant below, plaintiff in error, vs. The Council of Newark, plaintiff below, defendant in error ... [Delaware? : Council of Newark?, 1914 or 1915]

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