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1/18/2011
Road to park now honors Brandywine Hundred family - News Journal

By ROBIN BROWN
The News Journal

The name of the road to the Brandywine Hundred Library and Talley Day Park now honors the area's past.

New Castle County Executive Paul G. Clark last week announced the road's naming for the late Joseph Harlan Day, with an official ceremony to be held in warmer weather.

Clark said naming the road J. Harlan Day Drive "is a way to recognize a unique piece of New Castle County history."

Since the late 1700s, the Day family farm covered most of what is now the park complex. Day sold the county 20 acres in 1975, with a $1-a-year lease-back for life, and an adjoining 35 acres later were bought from the Talley family.

Long before Day died in 1981, county officials proposed naming the entrance drive for him.

But it didn't happen.

In 2008, County Councilman Bob Weiner proposed the naming after an oral history forum he organized with James Hanby Sr., also of a longtime area family, to record area elders' memories of childhood days on the farms that dominated Brandywine Hundred for generations.

Featured guest John William Day Sr., born in 1928, grew up where the soccer fields are today. In 1786, Francis Day bought the land that became part of the Manour of Rockland, "100-plus acres from the Shellpot Creek to the back of Brandywine High School," he said.

Day and others at the forum supported naming the road for his father -- and all it needed was the county executive's approval.

But again, it didn't happen.

When Clark became executive after Chris Coons' election to the U.S. Senate, Weiner brought the request to his attention. So did Jonathan Husband of New Castle County's Department of Special Services, who had talked with residents at the 2008 event.

Clark said he wanted to get it done quickly after taking office "in response to numerous requests from Day relatives and community members."

Weiner said, "I'm so pleased on behalf of the Brandywine Hundred community that, after many years, we are finally able to honor the Day family in naming the entrance to Talley Day Park as J. Harlan Day Drive. It's a fitting honor."

Weiner shares more Brandywine Hundred history at www.bobweiner.com/bhh.asp. DVDs of the 2008 oral histories are $5 from Delaware Digital Video Factory, www.ddvf.com.

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