MORT's OLD HOUSE


Let it snow,let it snow LET IT SNOW!
~Roger~Mort's son, playing trumpet
accompanied by ~Mim~ Mort's daughter, on the electronic keyboard. Hopefully the quality of this recording can be improved in the future.

Mort bought this property in 1937 from a lady named Mrs. Cullany. It was said she had a candy store in the east end, which we always referred to as the "store room". This picture was taken sometime between 1937 and 1956, because 1956 was the year he closed in the porch.

My first memories of this home were "Wish Dad would hurry up and fix it up!" It took all his time during our years of growing up to make a living. My Uncle Albert lived with us, as well as my grandmother Ada. I remember Albert did some of the carpentry work inside; building a closet in my bedroom, for one thing.
I was busy with my school work, attending Miss Mabel's School,
MORE about Miss A.Mabel Reynolds
practicing my piano lessons, instructed by Ann Samples Wilson, (Mrs. John Wilson), and the typical things a young girl would find to do. I remember playing house was always a favorite. Dad usually had "stuff" he was working on laying around the back yard, and seemed like I could, with my imagination activated, create all I needed to pretend, for example, I was making a salad from the plantin leaves growing in the yard. Something no doubt was handy to make a bowl, a table and,of coarse a stick always made a suitable spoon.In those days children found ways to entertain themselves.
One incident stands out in my mind very vividely. The old tree in the back yard, during a wind storm, fell down on a shed Dad had built to store his furniture, furniture pieces,and materials he used in his furniture restoration. He cut up the fallen tree, and since the shed couldn't be salvaged, it was necessary to dismantle it. Dad rigged up a rope with one end tied to the shed and the other to his car, he began to bring down the already partly shattered structure. I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on, but when I heard Dad say, "Ola, pick up that rope and pull on it", I perked up my ears. Being the obident wife, she picked up the end of the rope and gave a big yank on it! Immediately with the most ungodly crash that one could imagine that shed came falling to the ground. There is no doubt that Dad brought the shed just to the point where a small tug was all it was going to take to bring down the chosen object. Is it occuring to you the feeling of power my mom must have had, and the amusement my dad must have gotten from it??

THE McCARDELL HOUSE -- 16 WEST MAIN STREET

If ever an old house could write its autobiography, the most interesting history could probably be told by this house that has stood at 16 West Main Street for the last 137 years, most recently owned and occupied by the Mort McCardell family. We know for a fact that this frame house was originally built on the S. W. corner of Center Square and could well have been the first structure on the site of two store buildings that would follow. The present one being occupied by Second Hand Roses - Consignment Shop (previously Broomell's Video Store). Local historians have always referred to subject house as the Krewson House. As told personally to Mort McCardell in the 1930's by Mrs. Clinton White whose maiden name was Krewson and also by Mrs. Kate Taylor Kirk (daughter of historian Isaac Taylor) both of whom recalled the date of 1952 when this building was moved on rollers from the corner of West Main and S. Queen Streets to its present location on 16 W. Main. We may never know what events this building witnessed while on the corner nor how long it was there, but in its present location it could recall the tragedy of the Civil War, the incorporation of the town of Rising Sun in 1860, the burning of the original stone tavern on the National Bank site in 1869, the rebuilding on the site of a 60 room hotel, the Maryland House and its subsequent burning in July 1872. That same year the corner stone of Janes Methodist Church was laid - and it burned too on June 13, 1921. Across from the McCardell house the National Bank was erected in 1874 which operated there until 1925 when it was torn down and replaced by the present bank building. In 1880 another great fire destroyed the store building on the corner ofW. Main and S. Queen where the Krewson house originally stood. It was replaced by the present Second Hand Roses building which was the home of The American Store before it moved to its present location in 1962. Also, across subject house the Dinsmore brothers built an impressive garage for the Chevrolet agency, which also burned in the 1940's. Another interesting neighbor immediately to the East was the little town Jail that was later (1916) moved to the corner of Pearl and Mount Streets when the double brick house replaced it only to be partially burned soon thereafter. Although my mother had told me that a family name Zeigler (relatives of Mrs. John Hindman) operated a bakery in the Krewson House before the turn of the century, my first recollection was in 1912 to 1915 when Mrs. Culleny had a very modest store where my main interest there was the penny stick candy, sourballs, peppermint plaits etc. for kids, as well as soap (Octogan & Ivory) coffee, molasses, etc. for adults. As the stick candy and sourball business was fading out, part of the store space was shared by a senior citizen named "Daddy Grand" for a cobbler shop. During the late '20s Squire Benjamin Briscoe held Magistrate's Court there. In 1937 activity in this building greatly increased when Jesse W. Lawson established therein Rising Sun's first Southern States Feed Store. The whole building was stuffed with bags of dairy feed and the open porch displayed the usual farm supplies. Many (?) may recall that Southern States soon expanded to a newly constructed building in the rear of the Maryland House which building was later replaced by the present Sun Pharmacy built by Jay Brinsfield, presently owned and occupied by Mr. Tom Connelly. This brings us up to 1938 when the old Krewson House was purchased by Mort and Ola McCardell. Mort's carpenter skill and his love of wood and antique furniture developed into an antique restoration business, the quality of which became known throughout all of Cecil County. His work is still the standard to be emulated by all others in the restoration business. Presently from the outside, the building admittedly is not impressive, but the interior with its raised and beveled paneling around the original staircase is most impressive. From the length of this article on the McCardell House it would seem that the writer gets "carried away" with this old building and its history. If it seems that way - so be it. I've loved the house as well as it recent owners. The McCardell house was torn down in 1990 to make room for a parking lot for NBRS Financial. Bill McNamee (Bill's history was updated 5-13-2007) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
Bill McNamee was a very good, in fact, life long friend of Dad. One day Bill dropped by and spent a few minutes in the kitchen with Mom. She was feeling down about the house renovation being so slow. Bill said, "Ola, sit down at that window there facing the street, and let me know if you ever see anyone with which you would want to change places". I would think Mom probably felt better right then.
My brother, Roger, during these days was doing his own thing, and the only time I ever saw much of him was at meal time. One could be sure he'd show up on time for that 'cuz Rog loved to eat. He was never really fat, but was a little stout when he was about eleven or twelve. When he really got into learning to play baseball, he acquire a very healthy look.
While I was learning to tackle the keys, Rog took on both the saxaphone and trumpet. Someone got the bright idea we should play together in church. Of coarse, this meant plenty of practice, TOGETHER. Dad said it was quite frustrating to try to get us in the house at the same time, much less practice. He said, "IF ONE OF US WAS COMING IN THE BACK DOOR, THE OTHER WAS BOUND TO BE GOING OUT THE FRONT!" we did manage to come up with something maybe a total of a dozen times in our maturing years.



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