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April 5, 2005     Cape Gazette
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14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Tuesday, April 5 - April 7, 2005 CAPE LIFE Ansh Bayer, 7, from Georgetown gets a flower painted on her face by volunteer Jennifer Cronik. Steven BIIlups photos Sussex Family YMCA celebrates Healthy Kids Day The Sussex Family YMCA in Rehoboth Beach held its 14th annual Healthy Kids Day April 2. The event is part of YMCA Actiyate America, a national, long-term initiative focused on devel- oping and implementing community-based solutions to help Americans improve health and wellness. Eleanor Cordrey of READ-ALOUD Delaware, helps Cameron Baldwin with the Make-a-Book Project Tyreik Burton, 9, shows his jump rope skills. John Carter of TCB'Y of Rehoboth, offers a healthy snack to B.J. Rushim, 9, and Alliyia Harris, 10. TFC Mark Dawson photographs Abigail Buckland as part of the state police children's identification pro- gram. ;altwater Portrait Charles Jones: Milton man's maritime roots run deep By Henry Evans Jr. Charles Jones of Milton has roots that go clear to the bot- tom of the Broadkill River. The same blood that helped develop Milton's shipbuilding past runs through Jones' veins. "I'm the last descendent of ship builders, captains and ship owners who still own waterfront property in down- town Milton," said Jones, 49, about the lineage that ties him to Milton's days of sailing vessels. When it comes to talking about Milton's maritime histo- ry, there's no such thing as a casual conversation. A social worker by training, Jones' depth of knowledge about Milton's maritime past stretches the defining line between amateur historian and a trained profess!anal. "It's my family heritage, my passion and I enjoy it," he said. With his collection of original documents from Milton's shipbuilding heyday and research notes he's developed from various sources, Jones can reconstruct with vivid detail a sailing vessel's life. From how it was built from "first stand" Sussex County oaks to launching it into the Broadkill, to how much a cap- tain paid for services, there are few questions that Jones can't answer about a Milton-built ship. "My great-grandfather was Henry Burton. He was a sea captain - until he got married. His wife wouldn't marry him until he quit going to sea," Jones said on a ride through Milton when he pointed out homes his seafaring relatives built and once lived in. "Captain Daniel Burton was Henry Burton's brother. He never had children and he continued to reinvest his money in ships and farms and stores. Eventually he became extremely wealthy," Jones said pointing to another Milton home. Jones said Henry Burton's daughters married men who would also become shipping and business magnates of the day, Joseph Adkins and William Tomlinson. "Between Joseph Adkins, Charles Adkins, William Tomlinson, Henry Burton and Daniel Burton, you're talk- ing about ownership of possibly the preponderance of the ships in Milton at the time," Jones said. The fir.st documented vessel was built in Milton around 1737. By the late 1800s, about 272 ships had been built in the town. While one side of Jones' family were ship owners and captains, the other side built the vessels. "Cornelius Coulter Davidson, he went by the name C.C., was a master ship builder. His brother, my great-great grandfather, was John Davidson - he was a ship carpenter. When I was a kid, on the weekends, ! was raised by his daughter," Jones said. Hoary J. Evans Jr. photo In 1888, C.C. Davidson built the longest vessel - 185.5 Charles Jones of Milton is the last descendent of feet - to come out of Milton's shipyards, the" Martha E. ship builders, captains and ship owners who still Continued on page 15 own waterfront property in downtown Milton.