Learn Colonial history, walk or bike the Woodlawn Trails, or visit the New Castle Court House – all part of the First State National Monument.
History is coaxed out of the past and brought to within reach of today’s travelers at the newly created First State National Monument, a package of three sites that combine to tell the story of how the state of Delaware was born many decades ago out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley.
Comprising three historic locations within New Castle and Kent counties, the First State National Monument touches on tales that are central to America’s story – including the debates over Colonial allegiances and slavery, and the crucial role this new land’s rivers and natural resources played in our economic growth.
In the northern part of the state, two sites in New Castle County – Woodlawn, and the New Castle Court House Museum – are both National Monument attractions. Visitors can stroll the trails of Woodlawn’s still-forested countryside along the historic Brandywine River, home to the Native American Lenape tribe that were its first residents and to the Wyeth family of artists who still paint its beautiful landscapes. At the 1732 Court House -- one of the oldest surviving examples in the nation – abolitionists faced trial for their beliefs, and Colonial-era delegates broke ties with Pennsylvania and Great Britain, creating the state of Delaware.
In the capital city of Dover in central Delaware, the National Monument focuses on The Green, a Colonial-era public square surrounded by old homes, museums and historic attractions. It was here that Delaware voted to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and where special events are still held throughout the year, including Old Dover Days, Spring and Summer Performing Arts Series, 4th of July festivities, and Caroling on The Green. Benches and beautiful old trees shade this historic site and is within walking distance to stores, restaurants, and other historic sites in the capital city.