2. Finally in November 1923, the Village of Arden agreed to extend Millers Road 150 feet so that it would connect with Ardentown. Now we know why the intersection of Millers Road, Walnut, and Lower Lanes has such an odd connection.
3. Fiske Warren, a Boston manufacturer and energetic Georgist, provided the funds for the Ardentown land purchase. In return for his investment, he received the leases to a number of the properties. We have a letter from May 1929 which identifies him a holding 45 of the approximately 120 available leaseholds.
4. In the very early days, the leaseholds were not taken quickly enough to provide the funds for the Trustees to repay Warren for his investment. It was reported that Warren took the remaining 30 leaseholds and paid the funds to the Village, so the Village could pay him.
5. To complete this unusual business arrangement. Warren hire Elizabeth Ritter to build houses on the leaseholds. And if we believe the reports, Warren provided the money to Ritter for the construction. New residents leased the land from the Trustees and paid Warren for the mortgage on their house. There is an advertisement in March 1930 for New Homes in Ardentown, built by E. B. Ritter. They sound very nice with 6 rooms, bath, heat, electric range, and a garage – and they are only 600 feet from the Arden Station.
6. In 1926, the Trustees of Ardentown saw to the planting of 217 dogwood trees in the village. They also order another 200 maple, linden, and elm trees. At the time there were about 50 houses in town
7. The roads in Ardentown were, of course, originally all dirt and cinders and quite muddy. In the early 1930s the Village rented a stone crusher, hauled rocks from the Naamans Creek, and laid down a foundation for the road. They paving was done by the WPA in 1935. When the “women of the village” found out that many of the workers had walked from Wilmington without breakfast, they made sure to provide coffee for them.
8. The Blue Boar Inn occupied the ground floor of the old Harvey barn and the Inn and the Village had a difficult relationship over the years. As could be expected there were complaints about the behavior of the Inn’s customers, the loudness of the music, and the late-night opening hours. At one point, Ardentown became the only town in the state to set stricter opening hours, specifically for the Blue Boar, than those established by the ABC. The owner of the Blue Boar naturally defended the patrons and pointed out that in order to have a profitable business, the Inn needed to be open to welcome customers. During the 1970’s and beyond, the battle went on for some years in and out of court. The only piece of memorabilia we can find at the Museum, besides some newspaper articles, is an empty match book cover from the Blue Boar Inn. That seems a very quiet reminder.
9. In 1998, the Delaware Department of Transportation sold 30 acres of land between I 95 and the railroad tracks to the Village of Ardentown for $1. This property was combined with six acres already under the control of the Trustees and it became known at the Sunnyside Nature Preserve – an excellent use for “unusable public land.”
10. The earliest Ardentown land rent chart we have found is from 1924 – it was in the Ardentown Leasehold Book given to the ACSM by the Trustees. The rents charged were adjusted by factors such as corner locations, proximity to parkland, and access over a finished highway. At that time the base land rent per 1000 square feet was $ 1.65.