NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, USA
The historic town of New Castle, Delaware was established in 1651. The
great thing about New Castle is that it's all real, not a colonial
creation. It is where you'll find great examples of colonial, Dutch
and Federal architecture that are actually lived in by 21st century
people, going about their daily lives as people have been doing in New
Castle for quite a long while. They don't dress in colonial costumes
and act at life, at least for 364 days of the year. Old New Castle
Day, held on the third Saturday in May, is an exception.
The New Castle Historic District is an area approximately 4 by 5 blocks
square in the center of town with about 500 historic buildings that
date from c. 1700 to 1940.
The town is where William Penn landed in the New World. A marker on
the corner of The Strand and Delaware Street tells us he landed on
October 27, 1682, proceeded to the fort and performed "livery of
seisin", a common law ceremony transferring possession of lands. The
ceremony in 1682 involved Penn taking a key, he was given "1 turf with
a twig upon it, a porringer with river water and soil, in part of all".
The road into Old New Castle is Delaware Street, a tree-lined street with
original bricked sidewalks that are, in places, being torn apart by
tree roots so watch your step. The street is lined with homes, bed and
breakfasts, shops, a tavern or two and townhouses that date back to
the to 1700s and earlier.
Delaware street opens into the Green where you'll find the Old Court
House, built in 1732. The Court House was the place where the state's
colonial assembly met from 1732 until 1777 when New Castle was
The Green, and the town itself, was laid out in 1651 by Peter Stuyvesant,
the Dutch Governor. It was the place where whatever was happening at
the time happened, and where the old jail and gallows were located. It
was also where "grand fairs" were held and the site of the weekly
markets. Today, it's a great place to park your car and explore the
town on foot. On 2nd Street, a quaint, dappled cobblestone
thoroughfare, behind the Court House, is one of the oldest
Presbyterian churches in the country.
On the other side of the Green, on 3rd Street you'll find the Dutch
House, a late 17th century home furnished in the style of New Castle's
early Dutch settlers.
The Amstel House on 4th Street is a colonial brick mansion, built in the
early American Georgian style of architecture by Dr. John Finney. The
house is furnished to reflect 18th and 19th century life in New
Castle. The woodworking and architectural detailing is original.
The Old Library on 3rd Street, is built in the shape of a hexagon and in
the Victorian style. Inside is an exhibit on New Castle's history.
The George Read II House and Garden at 42 The Strand, is "the grandest
mansion and oldest garden in New Castle." The house was completed in
1804 by the son of George Read, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence. Owned by the Historical Society of Delaware it is run as
a living museum. It is a showcase of the decorative arts of the
Federal period. You'll see an iron balcony, marble window sills,
trompe-l'oeil decoration, elaborate woodwork and plaster detailing.
If you want to spend a lazy afternoon watching the world go by at Battery
Park along the Delaware river From the park, the view of the Delaware
River is panoramic. To your left, you can see the Delaware Memorial
Bridges in the distance.
There is also an old ticket office for the Frenchtown Railroad, one of
the first in America, near the park. It was moved there in the 1950s.
The railroad was built in 1832 using granite sleeper blocks supporting
wooden rails covered with iron straps. It was part of a water-rail-
water route from Philadelphia to Baltimore and connected New Castle to
the Elk River. Some of the granite sleeper blocks can be seen along
the water's edge near the Wharf and a section of the strap rail can be
seen near the old ticket office.
As for climate in New Castle, Delaware, February is normally the coldest
month with temperatures between 16 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit. July is
usually the warmest month with temperatures between 63 and 85. The
most rain usually falls in April with 8.24 inches for the month and a
total of 51.46 inches for the year. The most snow usually falls in
February with 3.3 inches for the month and a total of 7.8 inches
for the year.
I hope you enjoy this trip to New Castle, Delaware.
MAP - DELAWARE AND NEW JERSEY
I LIVE IN SWEDESBORO, NJ - 15 MINUTES FROM NEW CASTLE
GETTING TO NEW CASTLE
WELCOME TO NEW CASTLE
WILLIAM PENN GUEST HOUSE (BUILT 1680)
THE OLDEST BUILDING IN TOWN. WHEN PENN FIRST STEPPED FOOT ON AMERICAN
SOIL, HE WALKED TO THIS HOUSE, WHERE HIS FRIEND AND LOCAL MAGISTRATE
LIVED, AND SPENT THE NIGHT.
OLD COURTHOUSE (BUILT 1732) - FIRST STATE HOUSE IN DELAWARE.
CAPITAL OF DELAWARE UNTIL 1882
OLD ARSENAL (BUILT 1651)
ARSENAL ON THE GREEN
(BUILT 1809 IN ANTICIPATION OF THE WAR OF 1812)
THE OLD LIBRARY
DUTCH HOUSE (BUILT 1651) TYPICAL OF SMALL EARLY DWELLINGS IN TOWN
AN ADDITIONAL PART BUILT ON 1700'S
STONUM HOUSE - HOME OF GEORGE READ
READ HOUSE (BUILT 1801) - HOME OF GEORGE READ II
CLOUD'S ROW (1936)
IMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH ON THE GREEN (BUILT 1703)
NEW CASTLE ACADEMY, ON THE GREEN (BUILT 1789)
GUNNING BEDFORD HOUSE (BUILT 1730)
LESLEY-TRAVERS MANSION (BUILT 1855)
OLD NEW CASTLE DAY
ORIGINAL WINDOW SHUTTERS
A LOOK DOWN THE STREET
BED AND BREAKFAST (DATING BACK TO 1860)
PENN'S PLACE COFFEE SHOPPE
SUPPOSEDLY HAUNTED HOUSES
NEW CASTLE-FRENCHTOWN RAILROAD TICKET HOUSE -BUILT 1832
NOW LOCATED IN BATTERY PARK
DELAWARE MEMORIAL BRIDGES
THERE ARE TWO BRIDGES, ONE GOES EACH WAY
ON THE WATER
HURRICANE SANDY 2012
A STREET AND WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO DRIVE THERE
DELAWARE AIR NATIONAL GUARD
NEW CASTLE AIRPORT
CONVENIENCE STORE, COMMON IN DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSES FOR SALE (OLD SECTION)
HOUSES FOR SALE (NEW SECTION)
This is a MelloMarsha creation
I do not take credit for the pictures
Thanks to the respective photographers