Celebrating Mrs. Mary Jarrell: 100 Years Strong
On September 16, 2017, a large gathering of family and friends will celebrate Mrs. Mary Jarrell’s 100th birthday in the Ballroom of Noble’s Pond, Delaware’s premier retirement community.
“Having her party at Noble’s Pond is very significant for her and for our entire family,” says Dr. T. Noble Jarrell, one of Mrs. Jarrell’s four children. “Our mother was born in the farmhouse that once stood on this property, part of what is now Noble’s Pond, and she still has strong ties to this land and the community.”
Already in the late 1600’s, Mrs. Jarrell’s Welsh ancestors moved to colonial America and established themselves in the Philadelphia area. In the mid-19th century, her grandfather, Owen Evans, owned and operated a dry goods and notions store in downtown Philadelphia, just three blocks from where John Wanamaker would later open his large retail emporium. With Wanamaker’s ever growing dominance in Philadelphia’s retail marketing world, Owen knew his children’s futures would not be running his dry goods store. So, the Evans family needed to look for other ways to make a living.
At the time, one appealing opportunity lay 80 miles south of Philadelphia, growing peaches on the Delmarva Peninsula. It was a booming industry, especially after railroad tracks were laid down the middle of Delaware in the mid 1850’s. For a good profit, farmers were shipping fresh peaches north to the big cities by the train loads.
Right along those tracks, a short distance from the Cheswold train depot, the Evans family found the perfect farm for their peach orchards. Owen would stay on in Philadelphia but his older children, now young adults, hopped on the train going south and started a new life.
By 1991, Dr. Jarrell, Owen Evans’ great-grandson, inherited the farm and, in 2005, he sold a large portion of the farm to Harry Miller III, the developer of Noble’s Pond.
Mary Jarrell has fond memories of growing up on the family farm. In addition to farming, her father and brother ran a sawmill. She remembers churning butter with her mother and grandmother, who also gave her a love for quilting and embroidery.
She loved living in an area surrounded by woods and wildflowers, and still is especially fond of the majestic beech trees and ‘Indian White’, with white flowers that turn red by evening.
After college, Mrs. Jarrell became an elementary school teacher in Smyrna (DE). While living upstairs from McSwain’s Pharmacy there, she met Noble Jarrell, the cousin of a fellow teacher. (In the 1940s, teachers could not be married and had to live in the school district where they taught.) Mrs. Jarrell resigned from her teaching position and married Noble in 1943. Their family grew to include their children, Noble (Jerry), Bruce, Bob and Bess, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Jarrell fondly recalls her time growing up here, and especially the good times with her mom and grandmother. She even remembers how one farmworker, Dukes, would wrap his feet in burlap to walk through the snow, and how he would always keep a potato in his pocket to ward off rheumatism.
As the matriarch of her family, she is very proud of her children and grandchildren and their accomplishments, and enjoys reminiscing about the many highlights she shared with them, including trips to Wales, England, and the Grand Canyon.
Even though she has always been busy raising her family and her career as a teacher, assistant principal, and county reading supervisor, Mrs. Jarrell acquired – and continues to pursue – two major passions: crewel embroidery and hooking rugs. To this day, she wins blue ribbons at State Fairs, and she has been featured in national trade magazines for her beautiful rugs and embroidery work. On July 27, 2017, Delaware Governor John Carney presented her with the Delaware State Fair’s “Superintendent’s Award” in honor of the many awards won over the years at the fair.
“My eyes and my hands are still working fine,” she says. “I grew up in a beautiful part of Delaware, surrounded by beauty – and beauty still inspires me.”
Please join all of us at Noble’s Pond in congratulating Mrs. Jarrell with her 100th birthday. We are honored that she is celebrating it so close to the place where she was born in 1917.
Award-winning Noble’s Pond is Delaware’s premier 55+ community, located on almost 300 acres of peaceful farmland near Dover, the state’s charming capital with its fine restaurants, culture and history.
The well-designed community offers top amenities, including a beautifully appointed clubhouse, a large outdoor pool, bocce courts, a putting green, tennis and pickleball courts, a five-acre pond with a pier and observation deck, and a healthy community garden.
Visit Noble’s Pond Welcome Center, Clubhouse and Model Homes on Mondays – Saturdays from 10am – 5pm and on Sundays from noon to 5pm. For more information call 1.888.222.0030 or visit https://www.noblespondhomes.com.