Port Penn in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Cannery Lot
Opportunity from Change
In the changing economy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small towns looked for ways to survive. Port Penn's livelihood depended on exporting local agricultural goods to major markets miles away. The cannery and other export operations connected Port Penn's economy to trade networks throughout the country and the world.
Center Panel The W.B. & J.S. Zacheis, Inc. cannery operation stood across the street from the schoolhouse from the early 1900s until after World War II. When the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the railroad diverted most commercial shipping away from the area, local businesses adapted by packaging agricultural products for export. Peaches, tomatoes and other produce were processed, canned and exported to markets in Philadelphia, Baltimore and beyond. The cannery was a major employer in Port Penn for almost half a century.
Right Photo and Caption Port Penn's history as a working town greatly influenced the village's identity. Cannery workers were important wage-earners in Port Penn's economy. Many citizens worked in other labor-intensive occupations such as water work and farming.
Erected by The Village of Port Penn.
Location. 39° 31.041′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Penn DE 19731, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Port Penn Schoolhouse (a few steps from this marker); Market Square (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Stewart House (about 500 feet away); Floating Cabins and Skinning Shacks (about 700 feet away); Wetland Ways (about 700 feet away); The Hubbs House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Cleaver House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Port Penn Front Range Light (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Penn.
More about this marker. Left Photo Bright labels identified these tomatoes from the Zacheis cannery
Center Photo Port Penn cannery workers shortly after the turn of the century. Front row, from left: Anna Ribason, Ruth Shelton, Lillian Wuillen, Alice Saxton, Lizzie Shelton, Hattie Yearsley, Clifford Bendler and Fred Dyer. Middle row: Lottie Collins, William Dyer, Blanche Yearsley, Minnie Voshell, Sadie Conard, Anna McMunn, Earl Easton, Warren Voshell and Ward Right. Third row: Ella Johnson, Lizzie Johnson, Conard Dyer, Claude Voshell, Frank Moore, William Ellis and Samuel Kershaw. At rear: Harry Eaton and Calvin Stedham.
Categories. • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,587 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.