Ansel Adams or Earl Brooks? Click here to read more about the controversy in which Earl Brooks' photos may have been mistaken for those of Ansel Adams. Brooks lived in Arden for decades. Mark Taylor says: "For those interested, there is a photo of Earl Brooks in my Arcadia book on Arden. Earl was one of the official photographers of the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and moved to Arden shortly thereafter, first opening a studio in the Arden Craft Shop, and later in Wilmington near 9th and Market street. In 1961, he sold the business, and retired to sail his 34-foot schooner, Boomerang, in the Caribbean. He died in West Haven, Conn. It would be great to see that diary. He and Frank Stephens were, apparently, bitter enemies."
Arden Craft Shop Museum
Afternoon with the Artist: One Sunday every month, a local artist displays their work at the Craft Shop Museum.
The Ardens are a tight, energetic community with a strong tradition of personal involvement, family participation, artistic endeavor, culinary sharing, open fields, dense woods, boulder-strewn streams, and a century-old history of progressive politics. Active as we are in the present, we are active as well preserving the rich history of the people who went before us.
Arden was founded in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price based on the Single Tax philosophy of Henry George, a political economist whose ideas were popular in America in the late 1800s. The land was and still is owned in common. Residents do not pay taxes on the houses they own but rather on the land they rent. In 1922, Ardentown was founded along similar lines, as was Ardencroft in 1950, when it also encouraged a racially-mixed community. Together, the three municipalities are called "The Ardens" but most residents think of their community as a single entity, "Arden."
The name "Arden" comes from the wooded retreat described in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" and the community has been a retreat since it was founded. Theatre is and has been a mainstay, as have the arts, crafts, concerts, weekly community dinners, the annual Arden Fair, and a dizzying array of activities residents have pursued ever since families started spending their summers here, the dads coming down by train on weekends.
Vintage Glass Slides: Click here to see the first slide we've digitized. This is a scene at the Field Theatre, when the trees were still quite small.
Bringing The Past Forward
The Arden Craft Shop Museum is located at 1807 Millers Road and is open to visitors on Sundays, 1:00-3:00 p.m., and Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Click here for directions.
Click here to see the Historical Society of Delaware website for the Arden Centennial Exhibit in 2000.
Mark Taylor's book, Arden. There was a book signing and publication party at the Arden Craft Shop Museum on Sunday, June 6, 2010. As part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series, this book on Arden was compiled by Mark Taylor, president of the board of directors of the Arden Craft Shop Museum. The book contains over 200 images of Arden spanning the years from 1900-1940.
Arden Secretary: 302 475-3516