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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997
 

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A chapter of Rehoboth Beach Afro- American history heade For a quarter century between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, the Elephant Hotel on Church Street in West Rehoboth offered some of the only seasonal rooms available to Afro-Americans who came to work for the summer. John T. Allen, a hardworking and enterprising man who owned the Elephant Hotel, also owned and operated the Wayside Inn, next door and on the same proper- ty. During those years the Way- side Inn, the Bloody Bucket and the Dew Drop Inn - all within a couple of blocks of one another - stayed busy as bars and dance halls serving primarily Afro- American customers. Today none of them exists. On Sunday, Aug. 17, Butch Emmert will sell to the highest bidder the one acre parcel where ivy and heavier brush now cover the remains of the Wayside Inn and Elephant Hotel. The property is one of four being sold by Em- mert to help settle the estate of John T. Allen. The properties tes- tify to the man's hardworking na- ture. The other three include: a 69 foot by 160 foot piece between Joy-Gallo Real Estate and the Sussex Family YMCA on Church Street; a 4.5 acre piece adjacent to Delmarva Power and Light's property on Bay Vista Road; and a six acre piece on Sussex Road 285A [the Jimtown Road]. "He worked hard and owned a lot of property," said Walter W.L Harmon of John Allen. "He did masonry work, pumped out cess pools, did carpentry and mowed lawns, hauled a lot around the beach area -just about anything he needed to do to make a living, and he made a good living. "The Elephant Hotel was a place for people who came here from all round to work on the beach. Some of them was cooks, some waiters, some worked at the Comer Cupboard, some at the Av- enue, the Henlopen Hotel and oth- er places. The Wayside Inn was sort of a beer garden. I'd go up there on summer evenings every once in a while. Mr. Allen, my uncle-in-law, took ill eventually and wasn't able to keep it in oper- ation. He just give it up and leased it out to some others. It was a place all of us could go and for auction BAREFOOTIN' Dennis Forney have a good time." Harmon's daughter, Waynne Paskins, also remembers the Way- side and the Elephant. "I was young during their heyday. Our school was across the street, where the YMCA is now. [The school was eventually moved around the comer, near the Com- pany Store, where it now serves as home to Rehoboth Pre-School.] We weren't allowed to go there but I remember fancy cars and women dressed in fancy clothes. It looked as though people were having a good time." Beatrice Allen, whose mother, Pauline, operated the hotel for some years, remembers a big, two story house where rooms were rented out. "People stayed there through Labor Day. And there were cabins out back that my grandfather [John Allen] rented out as well. He was a handyman who took care of his own places and lots of others. I was very close to him. I grew up in his house and was there when he passed - on Feb. 2, 1970." Beatrice's son, Paul, remembers working around the Elephant Ho- tel with his grandmother, Pauline. "I stayed there occasionally with my grandmother; she passed a couple of years ago. I remember it was also called the Pink Ele- phant but I don't know why. It was shingled with brown - maybe pinkish brown - shingles. They were an odd color. Maybe that's how it got its name, but I never re- ally knew. I think there were about 11 rooms and five cabins. Most of the people who stayed in them were from Florida and knew Continued on page 8 Innls Form photo Nature makes daily claims on the remnants of the Wayside Inn and Elephant Hotel on Church Street in West Rehoboth. CAPE GAZ]gT31E,'riday. Augamt 16 Ammt @1,cltSSt7 -q 7 NEW LISTING Bed & Breakfast Rehoboth ~ Oceanblock THE BEACH HOUSE In ground poo] 10 guest rooms 8 have private baths Large innkeepers quarters Off-street parking New hot water heating system New domestic hot water system New TV in each room A/C & heat in each room Freshly painted Well run with repeat business GREAT LOCATION Showings arranged for prequali- fled purchasers. One of a kind! 16 Hickman St. - 3 W Top floor 2 bedroom condo, heat & A/C. Ocean view deck. $119,500 Call Doug 205 Federal St Milton Five bedroom Two bath Victorian home One-of-a-kind Large yard New oil forced air heater B & B allowed Very special Asking $139,500 17B Delaware- Rehoboth Three bedroom condo. Second floor, recently remodeled. $127,000 NEW ..0NSW, UCTION IN IClN$ CIEIC COUNTRY CLUB L.Z-I i I I " r-F==lq 127 Kines Creek Circle Three bedrooms, two baths, 1900 sq. ft. plus screened porch g cedar (leek. Two car garage, sol- id hardwood fleering in LR, DR,. foyer, kitchen & den. Berber carpet ie bedrooms and 12" tile ie baths. PrHtaiood cedar sidiug, heat and central A/C. Very tasteful ou a bright corner lot eear pool & clubhouse. (hthodral ceiling in great room & master bedroom with master bath with tub & shower. Includes full golf membership. Early Autumn completion. $295,000. 123 Breezewood Drive Four bedroom, two bath Cape Cod on large lot. Two car garage & studio. $149,900 6 Baystrand - Dewey Good condition. Fur- nished, good income.. 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath. $165,000 Doug Davis Associate Broker RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach 926-DOUG (Direct) 1-888-926 BOUG (Toll Free) Fax 9.26-0970 - www.dougdavis.com