Civic News

We can’t stop looking at these vintage photos of Wilmington’s Triangle neighborhood

The descendants of beloved builder Charles Forwood shared his photos with us.

The corner of Van Buren and West 19th. (Photo from the Maryanne Forwood Collection)

Late last year, I received an email from one of my neighbors on our community mailing list. It was fascinating.
That note contained photos of our neighborhood from when the homes were new and the roads were still dirt. They were noted as taken during the early 1900s, and the best estimate I have is some time before 1921. I know this because my house was built that year, and it’s missing from photos snapped where it currently stands.
Here they are.

The Triangle, Wilmington, DE

I live in a neighborhood in Wilmington called the Triangle. It’s nestled between 18th, Baynard and Broom, up the hill from the Brandywine Zoo. We’re relatively new to the area, approaching two years this summer. I’ve never lived anywhere that offers this level of pride of ownership before.
Almost everyone takes excellent care of their homes, and each place is packed with the character that comes from more than a century of age. People here love the neighborhood.
The email from my neighborhood listserv was one that sent my wife and I on a tear flipping through photos. Time slipped away as we studied each house, considering its state and surroundings today.
Wilmington was founded in 1638. These photos show homes built more than 200 years after the city’s founding and 100 years before today. A good portion of them were constructed thanks to the work of builder Charles Forwood, a man who lived on Baynard Avenue and worked in city government for years.
Our neighborhood’s mailing list came by the photos through the descendants of Forwood. They visited one of the homes in the Triangle, told the story of their great great grandfather, Charles Forwood, and shared the photos you see above.
I reached out to them seeking permission for this story, and they asked that I credit the pictures to Maryanne Forwood‘s photo collection. Then they pointed me to an article and a poem about their great great grandfather.
Yes. A poem.
The article comes from One-Two-One-Four, a paper published in March 1924, focused on the building trade. I’ve included both below. The article pages have been linked to their full-size versions for easier reading.
Charles Forwood - Poem
One-Two-One-Four - 1 One-Two-One-Four - 2

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