Victorian Preservation Association - Not Just Victorians, But All Vintage Homes

Historic House Museums in Deleware

We try to keep this list of historic house museums for Deleware current, but it is best to check directly with the museums for their hours and other information. If you know of a historic house museum in Deleware that should be listed here, please use our submission form to let us know about it.

Claymont

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Robinson House

1 Naamans Road
Claymont, DE  19703
Phone: (302) 792-0285

Year Built: 1723
Admission Price: Call for details
Hours: Call for details

The c.1723 Robinson House, located just yards below the Pennsylvania state line on the "Kings Highway" of the Revolutionary War period, has had a most illustrious past, including visits by Generals George Washington, Lafayette, "Mad" Anthony Wayne (a relative of Mrs. Robinson), "Light Horse" Harry Lee, and many members of the Continental Congress (meeting 20 miles up the highway in Philadelphia). They visited for refreshment & friendship as they traversed the Highway and Caesar Rodney changed horses there as he rode to Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Dover

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John Dickinson Plantation

340 Kitts Hummock Road
Dover, DE  19901
Phone: (302) 739-3277

Year Built: 1740
Admission Price: Free
Hours: Wed-Sat, 10am-3:30pm

The Dickinson Mansion, which opened to the public in 1956, has stood for over 250 years, welcomed over 100,000 visitors, and echoed with interpretation of Delaware's history and John Dickinson for 37 years.

Lewes

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Maull House

542 Pilot Town Rd.
Lewes, DE  19855
Phone: (302) 645-7670

Year Built: 1741
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: See their website

Milford

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Parson Thorne Mansion

501 N.W. Front St.
Milford, DE  19963
Phone: (302) 422-3115

Year Built: 1730
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: 1st Weekend of each month, May-Oct

This historic building lies within a 1,750 acre Duke of York land patent called Saw Mill Range granted to Henry Bowman in 1680. The first known resident of this portion of the tract was Joseph Booth, who purchased 510 acres from the Bowman family in 1730. The center brick section of the present structure was built by John Cullen after his purchase of 263 acres in 1746. Reverend Syndenham Thorne, an Episcopal clergyman who was instrumental in Milford’s development, bought the property in the 1780s and is interred on the grounds. John M. Clayton, United States Senator and Secretary of State under President Zachary Taylor, spent a portion of his boyhood here. Members of the Clayton family lie at rest nearby as well. This was also the home of philanthropist Col. Benjamin Potter and Dr. William Burton, Governor of Delaware during the early years of the Civil War. Col. Henry Fiddeman, founder of the First National Bank of Milford, came into ownership of the mansion in 1858 and changed the Colonial Georgian architecture to Gothic Victorian. The Draper family purchased the property in 1916. In 1961, the building and grounds, then known as Silver Hill, were conveyed to the Milford Historical Society by J. Richard Draper. The Parson Thorne Mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

New Castle

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Amstel House

2 East Fourth Street
New Castle, DE  19720
Phone: (302) 322-2794

Year Built: 1730
Admission Price: Adults $4, Children $1.50
Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12-4pm

Among New Castle’s few surviving early colonial buildings is the elegant brick, early Georgian mansion, the Amstel House. Built in the 1730s by the town’s wealthiest landowner, Dr. John Finney, the house is graced with original woodwork, fine architectural details and open hearth. Its early fanlight and central hallway were among the first uses of these features in the town.

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Dutch House

32 East Third Street
New Castle, DE  19720
Phone: (302) 322-2794

Year Built: 1690
Admission Price: Adults $4, Children $1.50
Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12-4pm

Facing the Green, the diminutive Dutch House traces its origins to the late 17th century when New Castle was the bustling port for Dutch, English, Swedish, and Finnish settlers and traders.

Image Needed for ID: 205

Read House and Gardens

42 The Strand
New Castle, DE  19720
Phone: (302) 322-8411

Year Built: 1801
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors $6, Children $4
Hours: Wed-Fri 11-4, Sat 10-4, Sun 11-4

Located in the heart of Delaware's Colonial Capital on the Delaware River, three miles south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Read House and New Castle offer a walk through the past. Built in 1801 by the son of one of Delaware's signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Read House exhibits the height of Federal grandeur. This 22 room, 14,000 square-foot, mansion was the largest house in Delaware when built, and cost George Read Jr. nearly $12,000 to complete (approximately $2.5 million today). Elegant and spacious family bedrooms contrast with cramped servants bedrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchen.

Newark

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Hale-Byrnes House

606 Stanton-Christiana Road
Newark, DE  19713
Phone: (302) 998-3792

Year Built: 1750
Admission Price: Contact Museum
Hours: 1st Wed of the month, 12-3pm

The Historic Hale-Byrnes House was the site of a Council of War on September 6, 1777, five days before the Battle of the Brandywine. The house was built during the eighteenth century. The oldest section dates back to c.1750; the service wing was built in 1773.

Seaford

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Governor Ross Mansion and Plantation

1101 N. Pine Street
Seaford, DE  19973
Phone: (302) 628-9500

Year Built: 1859
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The Seaford Historical Society has fully restored this rare brick home. The Italian-Villa style Victorian features a three-story tall entry, ornate plaster ceilings, Moroccan ventilation, beautiful furnishings and even a hidden safe. Once the home of Governor Ross, the mansion is a testament to Southern living.

Wilmington

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Nemours Mansion and Gardens

Route 141 and Alapocas Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
Phone: (302) 651-6912 • Toll Free: (800) 651-6912

Year Built: 1907
Admission Price: $15
Hours: Tue-Sat 9-3pm, Sun 12-3pm

Alfred duPont married Alicia, his second wife, in 1907 and loved showering her with gifts. By far the grandest of these was the spectacular new house that he built for her on a 3,000-acre plot of land in Wilmington. He hired Carrere and Hastings, a prestigious New York architectural firm, to design the mansion in the late-18th-century French style that Alicia adored. Alfred named the estate Nemours, after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. While looking to the past and his ancestors for inspiration, Alfred also ensured that his new home was thoroughly modern by incorporating the latest technology and many of his own inventions.

Image Needed for ID: 209

Old Swedes Church & Hendrickson House Museum

606 Church St
Wilmington, DE  19801
Phone: (302) 652-5629

Year Built: 1690
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

Built in 1690 by Andrew Hendrickson, a Swedish farmer who had settled near Chester, Pennsylvania. The house was moved to this site in 1958 and restored.

Image Needed for ID: 210

Rockwood Park & Museum

610 Shipley Road
Wilmington, DE  19809
Phone: (302) 761-4340

Year Built: 1851
Admission Price: Adults $5, Children $2
Hours: Wed-Sun 10-2pm

Rockwood is a 150 year old estate that is now a public park featuring a six acre historic garden and a mansion with a museum. Joseph Shipley, a Quaker merchant banker, built Rockwood between 1851 and 1854 to reflect the beauty of an English county estate. The mansion is a wonderful example of Rural Gothic architecture. In the museum, you will find the rooms restored to the way they looked in 1895, the Gilded Age of the Victorian Era. The Museum reflects the way the Bringhurst Family, descendants of Shipley, lived in their early years at Rockwood.

Winterthur

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Winterthur

5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, DE  19735
Phone: (302) 888-4600 • Toll Free: (800) 448-3883

Year Built: 1928
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early America and the du Pont family’s life here. Its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among the country’s best, and its research library serves scholars from around the world. We invite you to visit and explore this place of beauty, history, and learning.

Victorian Preservation Association - P.O. Box 586 - San Jose, CA 95106-0586 - Email:info@vpa.org

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