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Middletown Life

Middletown Life Summer/Fall 2022

Aug 12, 2022 03:08PM ● By Tricia Hoadley

Middletown Life Summer/Fall 2022

Letter from the Editor:

The return of the Old Tyme Peach Festival will be a highlight of the summer in Middletown, and we wanted to highlight the efforts that are underway to reintroduce this popular tradition after two years lost to the pandemic.

Middletown Life caught up with Brian Rickards, the Old Tyme Peach Festival Committee Chairman, to talk about the planning for all the events and activities that will take place at the festival on Aug. 20. A large and enthusiastic crowd will no doubt enjoy the festival’s return.

In our photo essay, we feature some scenes from a previous Old Tyme Peach Festival.

This issue also features a story about Sully’s Irish Pub at the Witherspoon, which is a Middletown time capsule. Writer Gene Pisasale looks at the history of the tavern that was originally constructed by David Witherspoon, including stays by not one but two future Presidents who found it a good place to visit. Thomas Jefferson lodged there on June 20, 1775 on his way up to a meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. After he helped the colonies win the Revolutionary War, George Washington dined at the Witherspoon on April 30 and May 19, 1784, purportedly on his way to a meeting of the Order of the Cincinnati, of which he was President. Of course, those visits are only small parts of the storied history of the tavern.

We also highlight the arrival of Michelle Hummel as the new executive director of Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce. Hummel brings almost 20 years of sales, marketing, technology, and management experience to the new position.

We also have a story about five years of beer and service at Volunteer Brewing Company, one of the Middletown area’s more distinctive businesses. This year, Volunteer is marking its fifth anniversary with a new home, expanded brewing equipment, and a very different brewing scene in Middletown. Where once Volunteer stood alone in offering innovative craft beers on a very limited scale, today there are four breweries in the immediate area – Crooked Hammock, JAKL and First State Brewing in addition to Volunteer. Middletown is now a destination for beer lovers from Delaware and well beyond.

We also offer a look at a new exhibit presented by the Middletown Historical Society. Using a diary and a photo album compiled by two area teenagers a century ago as its compass, the Middletown Historical Society is introducing a new exhibit that will take visitors back to life in Middletown during the 1920s and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Everett Theater.

We hope that you enjoy the stories in this issue of Middletown Life, and we look forward to bringing you the next issue in the spring of 2023.

As always, we welcome comments and suggestions for stories to highlight in a future issue of Middletown Life.


Randy Lieberman, Publisher

[email protected], 610-869-5553

Steve Hoffman, Editor

[email protected], 610-869-5553, Ext. 13

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