William E Walsh purchased the lot in January 1930 and it is assumed that the structure, originally housing two stores with family living quarters above, was completed before the tenth anniversary of the fire, as the date of 1930 was seen for years in the topmost arch. The original tin letters spelling out WALSH, placed horizontally below the arch, perpetuate the use of the name of the original owner who sold the property in 1953, five years before his death.
The Walsh Building was constructed in 1930 on a lot that had been vacant and used for carnivals sponsored by the Lewes Fire Department after buildings located in that section of Second Street were destroyed by fire in December 1920.
An enterprising businessman, William E Walsh served Lewes as mayor some years after constructing the building. He was a native of the area who was “into” bicycles just prior to the advent of the motor car and dealt in both types of vehicles until he saw that the car was here to stay. In addition to selling Cadillacs, Buicks and Chevrolets, his trade over the year included furniture, appliances, oil burners and motor boats. Another credit to his expansive approach is the present-day Lewes Fire Department building – the original structure was Mr. Walsh’s place of business for the automotive trade.
Following the 1953 transfer of ownership of the Second Street building, the two store units were merged into one for a continuing tenant, the A&P Store, which carried on business there for most of the next quarter of a century. After that supermarket closed its business at the location, another grocery chain conducted business there until late 1981, when the vacant building seemed larger than life while, to many, it appeared the prophet of doom.
During 1982, a group of entrepreneurs reviewed possibilities for revitalization of the well-constructed building situated on land extending from Second Street through to Third Street. They envisioned boutique-type shops, an eating place and expansion of the number of apartments in the second story of the building.
As possibility became reality, new life flowed into the building, and, consequently, into the business district. Today, upon entering 108 Second Street, one sees an antique shop, a beauty shop and an insurance office. The eye is captured by the largest unit which features authentic antique lighting fixtures with the brass and crystal a-twinkle
Dave was employed by the previous owner of Jerry’s Seafood when we first began operations in May 2005. I instantly knew that he was a “keeper,” and as such, employed him in the capacity of assistant restaurant manager during the next 15 years, up until the time of his passing in April 2020, he remained a reliable, loyal, trustworthy and honest employee. He was my rock! Not a day went by that I didn’t call upon him to put out a fire, find solutions and solve problems. He was calm and “kept his cool” at all times.
Upon hearing that he had cancer, I felt like a piece of me got lost, and during the three years that he battled the disease, he took it like a true soldier, working until almost the end, much of the time in great pain. He just didn’t give up!
But cancer, being the killer that it is, finally sent him to his final resting place. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, I feel as though I have had an arm cut off. There is no other person in this world that could ever replace him, he was that special. Rest in peace my great friend and loyal employee.
- Chris Becker, Owner of Jerry’s Seafood