Delaware From Railways to Freeways

First State, Second Phase

Non-Fiction - Historical
110 Pages
Reviewed on 12/16/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite

Delaware From Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler is a deep look into the history and culture of the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It’s the second volume in the Delaware History Overview series. The book is about far more than transportation, as the title may imply. The author writes about topics as diverse as inventions that originated in Delaware to the state’s role in the Civil War and its aftermath to people who helped shape the state and, in turn, the country. The book covers the time range between 1800 and 1907 and includes stories told by those who lived in that period. There are hundreds of photos, drawings, and maps and the book ends with extensive notes about the photos and additional commentary about the topics and issues that Tabler covers.

Delaware From Railways to Freeways is a fascinating book. Dave Tabler is justifiably proud of his state and its enormous place in the history of the United States, and his love for and appreciation of Delaware shows on every page. The book is not only for residents of Delaware, however. Anyone who enjoys learning about history and culture will gain much from reading it. The book will also appeal to readers with an interest in a particular topic, such as covered bridges or religious practices during that time frame. As a Pennsylvanian, I deeply appreciated reading the book because I knew surprisingly little about my neighboring state, and the same will apply to anyone who is interested in learning more about a state that is so important in the history of the United States. I highly recommend this well-researched and extensively documented book to every reader.

Frank Mutuma

Delaware From Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler provides an account of the First State, from the cypress trees that provided lumber for a wide range of uses to the Delaware birds such as the canvasback, brant, and mallard that provided inspiration for the decoy duck industry. Then came the issue of the Civil War that tore families apart, like the case of Juliette, who had to decide between supporting her husband's side or her other family's side, considering that her father had even served as a US senator. To find out more about the development journey of Delaware and the contributions of people such as W.F. Quinby and Mabel Vernon to society in general, get a copy of this book.

Delaware From Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler is wonderfully written and offers a unique way to capture readers' minds as they are informed about the First State. History books can be tedious to read, but not this one. The greatest strength of the book is the colorful illustrations, which make it not only informative but also entertaining. Dave expertly captured the development and contributions of the sons and daughters of Delaware, making the book very effective in passing on the intended message. I also believe that it can be used as a foundation for research for those interested in learning more about specific issues, such as industrialization and social issues. I recommend the book to readers who love history. I cannot wait to read something else by this talented author.

Philip Van Heusen

I never knew that Delaware, that small state of three counties, was such a pivotal force in the development of the United States of America. In Delaware From Railways to Freeways: First State, Second Phase, Dave Tabler shares fascinating facts about events that happened in Delaware from the time of the trains to the time of modern automobiles. Most Americans have heard the story of George Washington chopping down his father’s cherry tree. The only source for that famous story is found in a book by Weems, a Delaware author, on the life of George Washington. Most of us think that the old punishment at a whipping post is ancient history; however, whipping was legal and used in Delaware until 1972. What role did Alfred I. du Pont play in popularizing automobiles? Who founded the A.M.E. Church? How were the Conestoga wagons used in developing the shipping industry of Delaware? These and so many more questions are answered in this delightful book.

Dave Tabler knows how to tell a story. He is a communicator who keeps the reader’s interest, and as such, his book Delaware From Railways to Freeways is the most fascinating book I have ever read on the nineteenth-century history of Delaware. Dave not only presents interesting facts but weaves those facts into attention-grabbing stories. This book is as easy to read as it is entertaining. Even if you are not from Delaware, you will enjoy learning about the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The state is geographically located to be a commercial hub and shipping, railroads, and highways have paved the way. I would love to see each state in the Union produce a book similar to this one. It would be great learning that is both fun and interesting.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Delaware is a beautiful state with a great deal of history and amazing features. It’s a good place to live and to visit. Delaware From Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler offers full-color and black-and-white images of some of the best that Delaware has to offer and you’ll get descriptions and history conveyed in an easy-to-understand way. No slogging through old-fashioned history books for you. If you want to learn something, you’ve got to really enjoy it and the short stories and descriptions in this book are a great way for you to do exactly that.

Did you know about the founding of the Wilmington Whaling Company? Harriet Tubman’s Tilly Escape? Have you ever heard of Dr. Annie Jump Cannon? These are all things that you’re going to learn in Delaware From Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler. I liked the way everything was laid and how every page has an image because it helps you actually visualize everything that is being discussed. There’s even information in the back that tells you more about the photographs that are used, including where they came from and some background that really helps you feel like you’re right there, experiencing it all. Some of the detail is fun and whimsical, some of it is heartbreaking and tragic, and all of it is history. And all of it is important to know. Just take a look at this book and you’ll be surprised at what you find out.

Alma Boucher

The history of Delaware is fascinatingly explored in Dave Tabler's book, Delaware From Railways to Freeways. It is the second book of a trilogy that explores lesser-known facets of Delaware's history. This book is a goldmine of fascinating information on the individuals, locations, and concepts that have influenced Delaware. It is a treasure trove of knowledge, covering everything from the rise of freeways to the growth of railroads. The book offers historical perspectives on the methods of production and the significance of the early Delaware artifacts. It highlights the geographical significance of certain structures and landscapes while also providing noteworthy coverage of the expansion of the state's transportation network. The state's representation of religion, business, the arts, agriculture, family life, and medicine shows how items and landscapes contain echoes of various periods of history.

Delaware From Railways to Freeways takes the reader on a fascinating tour through Delaware's less-known past. Dave Tabler has woven the correct amount of social history, geographical locations, and random artifacts together with related threads. This book significantly contributes to our knowledge of Delaware's rich history. The unique photos are captivating and eye-catching. Each photo has a brief caption, and nearly every photo has a reminder to visit a later page in the book where more information about the image can be obtained. The layout offers a comprehensive and engaging pictorial history and explores the facts that gave Delaware a unique place in history. The contents are entertaining and offer glimpses of little-known aspects of American history. This book is a gold mine for anyone interested in American history.