property owned by the late Evald and Eleanor Streed off Wilson
Road is to be part of the Cloutier Complex in Talley-Day Park.
The farm was acquired as replacement for parkland being used for
the new county library off Foulk Road.
Jon Husband, a manager in the New
Castle County special services department, said a determinatuion
how the farm will be 'interpreted' has not yet been made nor is
there a timetable for opening the 10-acre tract to public
access. But he added
general terms, it is slated to become both a nature-education
and an historic resource.
"It is going to be preserved in a
way that will enable our children and their children and
grandchildren to share in our proud farming tradition while
enjoying open space," said Second District County Councilman
Robert Weiner, who has played a prominent role in advancing the
three-prong development of the park complex..
Nearing completion are several
active-recreation components, including basketball, tennis and
bocce courts, picnic area, playground and a dog-roaming area.
Construction of the building which will house 'New Castle County
Library - Brandywine Hundred' -- as the new library is to be
known -- is somewhat ahead of schedule as a result of the mild
winter. It expected to be finished by the end of 2002 and
furnished and equipped for use during the first half of 2003,
Streed (facing the camera) describes life on his family's
farm to County Executive Thomas Gordon and Councilman
Robert Weiner during a tour of the property. Parts of the
barn behind Streed date to the early 1800s.
Streed property will provide a distinct counterpoint to the
intensive uses in the rest of the park, he added. The two areas
will be separated by a hedge row and a permanent stormwater
management pond landscaped as a water feature. There will be no
vehicle access between the areas, but they will be connected by
be very unusual to have this very serene property adjacent to a
very well developed park," Husband said.
Executive Thomas Gordon said the idea is to create a
multi-purpose facility under county auspices for Brandywine
Hundred that will be comparable to Carrousel Park in the Pike
several others got a first-hand insight into the farm and farm
life on a recent tour arranged by Weiner and conducted by
Husband and Carl Streed, Evald's brother. He, too, grew up
there, moving away when he and his wife, Evelyn, were married in
1947. Evelyn Streed also participated in the tour. They now live
in Haddonfield, N.J.
Streed brothers' father, also Carl, bought the farm in 1911 from
John Warren. The original farmhouse burned down and was replaced
in 1928 by the existing house where Evald lived until shortly
before his death last autumn. There are several other farm
outbuildings on the property, including a barn, parts of which
are believed to date back to about 1820.
the senior Carl Streed nor Evald Streed were full-time farmers.
The former kept his job at the Pullman Co. railroad car factory
in Wilmington and the latter retired as a vice president of
Delmarva Power & Light Co., now Conectiv Power. Evald Streed was
responsible for the stringing of high tension lines across the
Delaware River from the Salem, N.J. nuclear generating station.
generation were what was known as truck farmers. The
present Carl Streed recalled riding with his mother, Annie, as
she sold vegetables and fruit along a so-called huckster route
through several Wilmington neighborhoods. What is now known as
Wilson road was then a narrow dirt road known as Bird Road. A
wood-plank bridge spanned Shellpot Creek, which courses by the
farm, he said.
recalled by name the families which lived on farms along the
road. Those properties have given way to suburban development
and, in fact, part of the Streed property was sold and is now
the Nordic Dell community. "Had the county not acted, this would
all have become [residential] development," Weiner noted.
the Streeds' outside activities were in the city. There
maderegular trips into town for shopping and recreation. He and
his brother attended Wilmington High School and the family
belonged to the Swedish Baptist church on Vandever Avenue, the
predecessor of the present Grace Baptist.
Streeds are of Swedish heritage but unconnected with the
original Swedish settlements in the Delaware Valley. When their
father emigrated from Scandinavia he went first to Minnesota.
to say that he arrived in this country with an overcoat and $10
and that, shortly after he got here, somebody stole the
overcoat," Carl Streed said.
Interestingly enough, the elder Carl Streed began life as Carl
Ericksen. His son explained that, when he entered the Swedish
army, a sergeant 'named' him Strid to avoid confusion with
several other Ericksens. That is a common surname in his
came through Ellis Island, a clerk wrote it down as 'Streed'
because that's how the pronunciation sounded," he said.
had changes imposed by agents of two governments, the
final family name is likely to be preserved for many years to
come. Gordon said the farm portion of the park will continue to