Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Explore the Historic Homes of Delaware

They stand like snapshots from a dream -- silent, but somehow speaking of a grace and dignity that has not yet been lost to time. They tell a story, one that may be decades or even centuries old, but which lives on within their walls to this day.

The historic homes of Delaware tend to not only speak of themselves, or their owners, but of the entire state and its long legacy. There are the DuPont mansions, each one a tribute to the transformational power of this family dynasty. There are the homes of Delaware statesmen and leaders, still proud to this day of helping start the state that started a nation.

Here’s a look at some of the top historic homes, heading from north to south. Tour one soon, and hear their stories yourself.

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (Wilmington): This massive mansion is home to the nation’s premier collection of American antiques.

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington): Where the DuPont Co.’s story began. Tour the mansion, see the original gunpowder mills.

Nemours Mansion and Gardens (Wilmington): Classic French-style opulence in an elegant setting.

Amstel House (New Castle): This elegant 1730s Georgian mansion is graced with original woodwork and fine architectural details.

The Dutch House (New Castle): 17th century testament to the state’s early settlers.

Read House and Gardens (New Castle): Built in 1801 by the son of a Founding Father, this reaches for the heights of Federal grandeur.

Hale-Byrnes House (Stanton): Site of the Council of War before the Battle of the Brandywine in 1777.

Historic Houses of Odessa (Odessa): A complex of five historic homes on 20 acres.

Belmont Hall (Smyrna): This magnificent Georgian mansion from 1773 is surrounded by stately trees and lovely gardens.

John Dickinson Plantation (Dover): See how a signer of the Declaration of Independence lived.

Parson Thorne Mansion (Milford): Handsome brick home dates to this town’s earliest years.

Governor Ross Mansion and Plantation (Seaford): Complete Victorian Italianate mansion with slave quarters, barns and spacious grounds.

Cannon Ball House (Lewes): Struck by a cannonball during the War of 1812.

Ryves Holt House (Lewes): The oldest standing house in the state.