Old State House
Family-Friendly Patriotic Sites
The story of America is on display in Delaware. Approximately 400 years of history unfold before you at the state’s most historic and patriotic sites. Feel like you are taking part in the debate over the Constitution or helping to defend the country from German U-boats as you learn the past of The First State.
Fort Delaware – Take a ferry from Delaware City across the Delaware River and back through time to Fort Delaware. The Civil War-era fort was once a prison for captured Confederate soldiers and southern sympathizers. It also protected the ports at Wilmington and Philadelphia. History is always alive at the fort. Soldiers, blacksmith, laundresses and more are around to help transport you to 1864.
Old New Castle – Amble down the cobblestone streets of Old New Castle past colonial-era re-enactors, and envision the town as it was starting in the 1600s – a bustling port on the Delaware River. Stores and restaurants mix the modern with the historic, which includes sites like the Dutch House, the Amstel House and the Old Court House, which served as Delaware’s first capitol and state house. The town celebrates Separation Day each June in honor of Delaware’s separation from Pennsylvania and Great Britain.
First State Heritage Park – All of the central part of Dover, Delaware’s capital, is like one big museum. Tour the Old State House. Explore the Delaware Public Archives. Or stop at the former site of the Golden Fleece Tavern, where Delaware ratified the Constitution. Find your way over to Legislative Hall, Delaware’s capitol building. If lawmakers are in session, you can head up to the gallery on the second floor to see Delaware history being made.
John Dickinson Plantation (AMC Museum) – Meet the “Penman of the Revolution” at the John Dickinson Plantation outside Dover. Walk through the home of a founding father, a member of both the First and Second Continental Congress and a signer of the Constitution, which is largely as it was when he lived there. After you discover the plantation, drive across the street to the Air Mobility Command Museum and uncover the history of US military air transport.
Fort Miles – Imagine looking out over the waters of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean hunting for German U-Boats. That’s exactly what soldiers did at Fort Miles during World War II to protect the Delaware Bay, River and the cities along them. Marvel at the massive guns and huge watch towers, which you can still climb to the top of. They make up one of the largest and most heavily armed fortifications ever built on the East Coast. Fort Miles is within Cape Henlopen State Park, so make sure to enjoy its natural beauty while you’re there.