The winning essay on the theme "How is living in 2003 different than 1853?"
As you sit in the horse drawn coach, a feeling of anticipation sweeps over. You listen to the rhythmic clomping of the horses'
hooves on the cobblestone road. The date is May 3rd, 1853, and you and your family are on your way to the meeting house.
Today is a very special day. Today is the celebration of the founding of he new town; Darby Borough. There shall be a large fair
today containing eating contests, horse shoes, sack races, and musicians. (Although dancing is not permitted in your society of
friends, you feel as if you could dance forever.) The Parson stands in front of the meeting house and officially proclaims the new
town. The crowd roars with glee.
This is what it would be like if you were a Quaker boy or girl living in Darby in 1853. Many events are affecting your current life, for
example, the US is currently suffering from the issue of slavery and sectionalism. In fact, Darby is a station for slaves in what is
known as the "Underground Railroad." For as long as you can remember, the Quakers in your town have been hiding slaves
who have journeyed from the south in what is known is "Freedom House". The Quakers have taken them under their wings and
nurtured then; given the jobs, food and a home.
You walk to school each day. You learn Arithmetic, Grammar, English, some Latin, and the History of your forefathers. Day by
day, more immigrants are arriving in Darby, which means the need for employment is rising. Many people work in textile
factories, or are iron workers. Some people are Blacksmiths, or others work in one of Darby's many mills which manufacture
fabric, yarn, lumber, tools, and hardware. Many of these Mills are located of Fuller Street. Since 1833, Darby has adopted a
mascot in the form of a ram. The ram is an emblem of the woolen mills in England, and was used by mill owners who settled in
Darby. Darby at this time is a growing industrial center, and an important part of Delaware County. You wonder what this town
will be like in the future... Perhaps... a hundred years from now.
You stand at half court facing your opponent. The whistle blows and the ball is up. You slap it to your teammate standing
adjacent from you. Your team, the Penn Wood Rams, wins the game by 12 points. On your way home from the game, you pass
the old Freedom House on Main St. In the eye of a visitor from out of town, this would look like a dilapidated, decrepit building. To
the eyes of someone from Darby, however, this is a place of History and magic. You continue on your way, passing Blessed
Virgin Mary Church and the Quaker meeting house. You make a stop at the Darby Public library to drop off your due books. The
letters 1743 are engraved on the side of the Library. You realize it is the date that the library opened. "Wow!" you say to yourself.
260 years is a long time.
Darby sure has changed since 1853. There is no longer slavery or sectionalism. There is now unity and peace. Darby is quite a
busy town. From McDonalds to Darby Little League, Darby has developed into a impressive Borough. Freedom House is no
longer used to hide slaves, however, worship continues each Sunday at the Quaker Meeting House. There are many Religious
groups including Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, and Jewish. There is now a major medical center, Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. Many
of our finest young men and women are serving our country as heroes in Iraq. They grew up in a wonderful neighborhood, and
Darby is proud of them.
Many changes have occurred in 150 years. We have excellent schools, a protective Police Department, a caring Fire
Department, and an understanding Local Government. What makes Darby so special are the people who occupy it. I believe that
the early Quakers would be proud of us all.
Blessed Virgin Mary School