High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Introducing the Oldest Living Dell Rat... She's 100 Years Old Today!


Hello everyone! For those
of you who haven't "met"
me prior to this, my name
is Tom Anderson and I am
the author of Shady Dell Music & Memories.

Today, for the first time since 2010, I am stepping out from behind the curtain and shedding my Shady Del Knight persona.

I am outing myself so that you will know this is not one of my gag posts. I promise you this is not a put-on. I couldn't be more serious and I couldn't be more excited because today I bring you by far the greatest story ever told on this blog. Startling new evidence was recently uncovered which suggests that the Shady Dell is close to 100 years old, a full eleven years older than previously believed. The revelation opened up a heretofore unknown first chapter in Shady Dell history and led to the discovery of Margaret Elizabeth Brown, a little girl whose family moved into the Dell in 1913 thereby becoming its first inhabitants. The biggest and best news of all is that Margaret, a member of the Dell's First Family, is still residing in York!

What's more, today is Margaret's 100th birthday! To put it into perspective, Margaret Elizabeth Brown was born three days after the sinking of the Titanic! Margaret has received
a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama and
First Lady Michelle Obama and I hereby declare that from this day forth April 18th will be recognized and celebrated as one of the most important dates on the Shady Dell calendar!

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and followers all around the world, please join me in welcoming Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider to our Shady Dell blog family and in wishing dear Margaret a very happy 100th birthday and many, many more!

It was an exciting weekend for Margaret. On Saturday family and friends from all over the country gathered at her home for a special birthday celebration.

On Sunday, Dell owner Toni Deroche welcomed Margaret as the Guest of Honor at the Shady Dell Open House.

Margaret entered her childhood home for the first time since the Roaring Twenties.

I'll have more pictures of Margaret next week in a recap of the two day Dell Open House.

There is even more good news. Margaret has a sweet, loving and devoted daughter named Kathleen who also happens to be a gifted writer.

Beginning this Sunday, Kathleen Mae Schneider will be joining me as my special guest blogger and presenting In-Dell-ible Memories, a new and exclusive series in which she will share mother Margaret's recollections of her childhood at the Shady Dell. As each chapter unfolds you will be transported back in time to the World War I era for a glimpse of what life was like during the Dell's earliest years. You will follow Margaret and her family as they face challenges and deal with tragedies. You will view many rare, never before published photographs taken of the Dell and its first occupants.

In-Dell-ible Memories is the most significant event in the history of Shady Dell Music & Memories. It is an opportunity for all of us to get to know a remakable woman, Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider through the writing of her caring and compassionate daughter Kathleen.

Once again, happy birthday, dear Margaret! Your new friends all around the world send their love. Please join us again on Sunday as Kathleen begins your inspiring life story.

God bless you, Margaret!


  1. Dear Tom, Well, I knew that this was a very special day at the Shady Dell, and I was determined to be the first one at the party!! This post really is incredible my friend. Absolutely wonderful, and Margaret looks like such a lovely lady. I love that first photo of her! HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY TO MARGARET! How marvellous that she was able to actually go and visit the new, refurbished Shady Dell of her childhood, and to think that she hadn't been there since the 20's. This really is all very exciting, and I can imagine how thrilled you must be by it all. It will be lovely to meet Margaret's daughter, Kathleen, and hear all the stories from those far away days. As you so rightly said, it certainly puts things into perspective, timewise, when you mentioned the Titanic like that, whose fate was sealed 100 years ago just a few days ago. Brilliant post Tom, and it was so lovely to see the 'real' you again. Once again, a huge happy birthday to Margaret.

  2. Happy 100th Birthday Margaret. May your day be as lovely as you!
    From Bouncin' Barb in Daytona Beach.

  3. Happy Birthday, Margaret. Wishing you continued health and as many more as you desire. Your father did a wonderful job building that home and I was pleased to learn the garage was the first car dealership York knew. Was sorry to hear you had to move, but I can just imagine how enjoyable a life you had there, especially with home-made cheeses and raising dogs as well. Your father sounded like an amazing man, and you are an amazing woman also, from quite a large family. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us.

    A former Dell-rat.

  4. Happy 100th Birthday, Margaret!
    I was so delighted to meet you last Sunday.
    I hope you didn't get too tired out walked all around the "dell".
    You were our very special guest.
    I appreciated you and your family joining us at the open house.
    Hope it brought back some great memories.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Toni Deroche
    current owner of 1501 Starcross Rd.

  5. Amazing news Tom! How wonderful for you and all the Dell Rats to find such a treasure and meet her. Toni must be as eager as everyone else to hear about the early years of her new home. I am so excited to hear the story of Margaret and the early years of Shady Dell! Isn't it fantastic that we are still able to be surprised and find unexpected gifts and meet new friends!
    I'm glad you've re-introduced yourself to the world...I remember when you first told me where to find you! Today has been a real treasure in reading your blog! Can't wait to read Kathleen's writings of her Mother's life in the Dell
    Happy Birthday Margaret and Happy Day to you Tom!

  6. A very happy and wonderful birthday to Margaret!!!

    My mouth is literally hanging open and I can feel myself getting a little emotional. What a terrific story!

    I feel such a completeness with reading her marvelous story- words are really failing me right now.

    I see a book coming out of this, I really do. You just can't script stories like this. I hope it hits the news outlets because it deserves the recognition of many.

    You've truly outdone yourself, Tom. It's not easy to surprise me, but I think stunned is an apt word. This is my very favorite type of story to read.

    Happy 100th birthday to sweet Margaret!!!

  7. Happy 100th Birthday, Margaret! What a great occasion today is for you and your loved ones.You look amazing! Tom's excitement at having discovered you is leaping off the page and you can certainly claim the grand prize for having been the only lady in the world to have succeeded in getting him to unveil himself! He has kept the rest of us in the dark for so long we all began to suspect he had reason to hide. My goodness! Were we ever wrong! What a dashing man he is appearing at your side today! I can see the blush his charming ways have brought to your cheeks all the way from over in South Africa! May the next year of your remarkable life be filled with many wonderful surprises and much love, joy and happiness. I am looking forward to following your story.
    Hugs from Desiree xoxo

  8. Happy Birthday sweet Margaret. Your bright light brings those around you great joy. Wishing you continued health and happiness, Katherine

    Tom,Thank you for sharing your friendship with Margaret with all of us. It is a pleasure to know her through you. I look forward to reading Kathleen's celebration of her Mother in future posts. xo

  9. Happy 100th Birthday Margaret It was one of the great pleasures of my life to meet you and some of your beautiful family Sunday at the open house. May this day bring you much happiness. A Dell Rat All Ways Greg

  10. Happy Birthday Margaret from Odie Langley down in North Carolina. Your family moved into the area on 1913 which is the date of my fathers birth. He was born on May 8th. Sadly he died in 1974 but his sister who was born in 1908 is still living and doing fantastic. My Aunt Katie will be 104 this September and she has some awesome stories to tell of life when she was a little girl in a family of 13 children. I can't wait to hear some of your wonderful memories of the Dell. Again, Happy Birthday Margaret and you sure are looking fantastic and certainly do not look to be 100. You and my Aunt Katie have blessed lives and I am honored to meet you today.

  11. Happy Birthday, Margaret! You look so lovely in that pink outfit. Congratulations on receiving letters from the President and his wife and going to see your former home.

    I am really looking forward to hearing about your life. I love the stories my mother tells me of her childhood in the 1930s and 1940s, and I know I will enjoy your stories as well.

    Thank you Tom for introducing all of us to Margaret and to the history of the Shady Dell.

  12. WOW! I cannot even imagine living another 75 years! What a woman, how I'd love to sit and chat with her about her life! Thanks Tom for introducing us to her, I'm sure anyone who has held out that long must have a wonderful life worth living for so long!

    Emma x

  13. Only me again Tom! As well as celebrating Margaret's 100th birthday, I just couldn't resist coming back to say how lovely it was to see our dear friend Desiree here today. I know that both you and I have missed her very much.

  14. Happy Birthday to Margaret - the loveliest treasure of the Dell! Have a wonderful day, and wishing you good health and happiness. I'm looking forward to hearing all of her stories from another time, another place.

  15. She's so cute. A big happy 100th birthday to Margaret and here's to many many more!

  16. Happy 100th Birthday Margaret! What an honor to meet you!

    It is a thrilling adventure to read such an amazing story. If Tom doesn't start writing the screenplay for the Shady Dell, I might have to! This story begs to be revealed on the big screen! I look forward to reading In Dellible Memories very much!

  17. What a beautiful and fun Birthday Greeting to Margaret. Welcome, Margaret to the new Shady Dell, and Happy, Happy Birthday! This is an honor for all of us...we've learned so much about your childhood home. And, the rennovation has been a success-I hope you enjoyed your tour as much as we did. I will be looking forward to learning about your life in this marvelous home, as you and your daughter map out your memories for us.

    And, as for you, your picture! The photos of Margaret and her daughter are great, and, really set our minds to thinking about the magnificent Dell! Thank you so much for your gracious introductions to our newfound family!♫

  18. A very happy belated birthday to Margaret. I missed the birthday party yesterday, but will be looking forward to next years. I look forward to reading about your history at the Dell.

    Dell Rat Jerre

  19. I know I'm late (no internet service at the new house for awhile), but happy, happy birthday to Margaret. I cannot wait for the new series to begin. History has always been one of my top interests, and hearing it straight from the horse's mouth so-to-speak is even better.

    Hope you've been doing well, my friend. And might I say you look very handsome in your photo!


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