A wonderful piece of information and history of our neighborhood could be found in the book titled "Neighbors of the Wilmington-Great Valley Turnpike" by Barbara McEwing. In her book, there is a section titled "The Great Silk Bubble". There, she states,  "Benjamin Franklin is reported to have stated that the soil and climate in Delaware were equal to the best regions in China for silk production. The New Castle County Silk Company purchased the George Shepherd farm near the 3-mile stone on the Wilmington Great Valley turnpike, now the Concord Pike. The tract contained slightly less than 156 acres of land was bounded by the lands of Esau Sharpley. William Sharpley, Jr., Joseph S. Derikson, George Martin, Isaac Grubb Talley, and by a branch of the Shellpot Creek. After George Shepherd's death, the farm was conveyed by his heirs to James W. Thompson by a deed dated March 25, 1837. The Silk Company acquired the title two months later.  Today's sub-division known as McDaniel Heights covers most of the old silk farm property. So intense was the interest in silk culture that nearly everyone wanted to get a stock of mulberry trees."  The mulberry tree is the only plant that the silkworm will eat. For more information check this out. The story goes on, but when you look at your yards, if you see a mulberry tree or seedling growing, it is most likely the offshoot of all those mulberry trees that were growing in this neighborhood from that time.  

- Barbara McEwing photo

- Barbara McEwing