Millville now has a new town seal to showcase the town’s history — and its present, in the Great Pumpkin Festival.
“Mayor [Gerry] Hocker and I were having a conversation, and I asked if he noticed we had purchased a State of Delaware flag, which had been budgeted for,” recalled Debbie Botchie, town manager. “He said, ‘Yes. You know what I would like to see? Us to design our own flag.’”
Botchie said that Hocker said he didn’t understand the town’s current seal.
“I laughed, and I said, ‘I don’t either!’” she reacalled. “So Mayor Hocker asked me to design a new one.”
Botchie contacted Lance Fargo at Coastal Cat Printing to help her design the new seal.
“Debbie said she was on a budget, so instead of us presenting her with a number of different creative options, I said, ‘Let’s just sit down and try to zero in on what you really want,’” said Fargo. “We got to the finished product more quickly, but it was also more cost-effective.”
Botchie said she wanted the new seal to embody the town and its history. The new town seal showcases half of a mill wheel, with a sloop in front of it.
“We know of two saw mills that were in Millville and their locations. I definitely wanted something to represent the mill. A steam mill was operated by Capt. Peter Townsend in the late 19th century,” explained Botchie. “Our history also says that sloops and schooners were built in this area, just a little north of us, by Holt’s Landing. They were shipped out on White’s Creek. The sloops were designed to be very narrow to navigate these waterways. The first sloop built was built by Elisha Dukes in 1888, named the Ethel Dukes.
A fun fact that Botchie shared was that Millville was almost named Dukesville because of Elisha Dukes.
The seal also depicts a fish, which Botchie said represents the waterways in the town, which were important to the town’s residents throughout the years.
“Because we have the waterways here, residents depended a lot on the fishery to set their table. It wasn’t the poultry industry for Millville — that began in Ocean View, way after.”
The seal also features two Native American arrowheads and feathers, representing the town’s original settlers.
“Many beautiful Indian artifacts were found along White’s Creek right here in Millville when they were excavating to put in the Creekside development. We don’t have those artifacts in hand. We do have a box full of Indian artifacts that were discovered by Millville By the Sea on one of their parcels that’s near the water.”
Botchie added that Chuck Ellison of Millville By the Sea has donated the artifacts to the Town, which is working with Salisbury University to preserve them, and that eventually they will be displayed in the council chambers.
Another feature of the seal is three pumpkins, which represent the town’s Great Pumpkin Festival, as well as its agriculture.
“I wanted something different,” Botchie said of the seal. “I went to a lot of town Web sites and noticed that there were a lot of towns that had the blue hen chicken. I wanted ours to be unique. I think we’ve pulled that off.”
Botchie said the design process from start to finish took approximately two weeks, and the Town plans to fly a Town of Millville flag soon, as well as update the Town’s letterhead, and eventually have the council members outfitted in polo shirts with the new seal embroidered on them.
“Everyone was pleased with it. Now we have a seal where we know what everything is and its significance to the town.”
She added that seal will also be featured on banners along Route 26, once the roadway improvements project is completed.
“Once the Route 26 project gets finished, we will have Christmas lights, which our residents have so wanted, and we will have banners with the seal on it. And then we’ll also have Pumpkin Festival banner, as well.”
Botchie said that it was a pleasure to work with Fargo, who has been doing printing jobs for the Town for six years — from bags for the farmers’ market to flyers for the Great Pumpkin Festival.
“He is just so talented, and we had a lot of fun working together,” Botchie said. “He could have just gone to his design team and said, ‘Do something for Millville.’ Instead, he sat with me while we went over the history and he just started sketching.”
Fargo, who also did some work on the Town of Bethany Beach’s seal a number of years ago, said the process was an enjoyable one and that he, too, is happy with the final product.
“It came together pretty quickly,” he said. “It was a pleasure.”
To learn more about Millville’s history, visit the town’s Web site at www.millville.delaware.gov. For more information on Coastal Cat Printing or to contact Lance Fargo, visit www.coastalprint.com or call (302) 537-1700.