Delaware Historical Society

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The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide,
non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes
Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.

Delaware History Museum

The Delaware History Museum, located in a renovated art-deco Woolworth store, features three galleries of changing interactive exhibits on Delaware history, including displays of rare items of everyday life, costumes, children's toys, regional decorative arts, and paintings. A nine-foot-tall folk-art statue of George Washington greets you at the door of the large gift shop specializing in Delaware handcrafted items, and souvenirs.

Research Library

Collecting and preserving Delaware materials for over 135 years, the Society has a rich and varied collection of books, ephemera, newspapers, serials, maps, manuscripts and photographs relating to the history of Delaware and its people.  The Society's online catalog includes books, rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, manuscripts, and photograph collections. Just click here or "Ask Caesar" below  to start your journey through the Society's online catalog. The library also holds a strong collection of materials for individuals doing genealogical research.

Read House & Gardens

Visit the Read House when exploring historic New Castle. 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.

Always interested in new technology, Read included elaborate hot-air roasting ovens and steam tables in his kitchen.

Capturing the gaiety of the Roaring '20s, several rooms in the house have been preserved as re-decorated by the Laird family in the 1920s. The rooms include a formal dining room with hand-painted wallpaper depicting scenes of New Castle and a tap room decorated like a German rathskellar.

Carefully restored and furnished using extensive documentation in 1986, the Read House ranks among the best house museums in the country.