18th Century Historical Markers in Delaware
For a complete listing of markers (listed alphabetically by the titles given below), see the Delaware Public Archives
New Castle County I Kent County I Sussex County
MARKERS IN NEW CASTLE COUNTY
ROBINSON HOUSE [NC-2] -- Built about 1723, on land patented by Governor Andros to Swedes and Dutch in 1675. Acquired by Thomas Robinson 1749. Robinson killed in Indian warfare 1766. Washington, Anthony Wayne, Lafayette, and "Light Horse" Harry Lee were guests here. Across road Jasper Yeates established flour mill which operated two centuries.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. US 13. Several feet south of the Block House, on road at right, is the Robinson House, now known as Naaman’s Tea House.
ENCAMPMENT OF CONTINENTAL TROOPS 1777 [NC-7] -- Delaware and Maryland regiments, consisting of 1500 men, under command of General William Smallwood, upon order of General Washington, encamped in this vicinity December 21, 1777, to prevent occupation by the British and to protect American interests. Smallwood remained here several months.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Lovering Avenue, Wilmington, north side of street, in block west of Broom Street.
WASHINGTON’S FORTIFICATIONS [NC-49] -- This ridge was fortified by Washington’s army September 7 and 8, 1777, with cannon as thick as they could stand. Upon learning of the fortifications a part of British Army, then approaching from Iron Hill, took another road, halting at Milltown.
LOCATION: De 7, 5 miles from Wilmington, east side of road.
COOCH'S BRIDGE [NC-41] -- The Americans at Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, September 3, 1777, were stationed along road between here an Aikentown (Glasgow). They had a post at Cooch’s Mill which stood on west side of creek, where severe fighting occurred. Skirmishing began near Aikentown and continued over Iron Hill to Welsh Baptist Meeting House.
LOCATION: South Old Baltimore Pike, Newark
BRITISH POSITION [NC-42] -- British and Hessian regiments were advancing along this road September 3, 1777, when "pretty smart skirmishing" occurred between them and the Americans. British and Hessian armies progressed until their lines extended from Aiken’s Tavern (Glasgow) to Iron Hill and across the Christiana, where they remained for five days.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Two miles South of Cooch’s Bridge west side of Highway Newark to Middletown.
CAESAR RODNEY’S CAMP, 1777 [NC-48] -- In this vicinity was the Noxentown camp of Delaware militia under command of Caesar Rodney, September, 1777, when British under Howe invaded northern Delaware from Head of Elk on their march to Philadelphia. From near here Caesar Rodney was in correspondence with Washington before and after Battle of Brandywine.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. North side of Road running east from Newark to Middletown Highway at Noxon Town Lake.
DUNCAN BEARD [NC-72] -- Delaware lock-maker of great distinction and silversmith lived and labored here for about thirty years until his death in 1797. Was a prominent member of Old Drawyers Presbyterian Church. Made contract with State of Delaware in 1776 for Manufacture of gun locks.
LOCATION: 1.4 miles southeast on Delaware 299 from intersection with US 13 in Odessa.
GUNNING BEDFORD, JR. [NC-6] -- 1747-1812. Member of Continental Congress and of Annapolis Convention. A framer of United States Constitution, which Delaware was first to ratify. Appointed first District Judge of Delaware by President Washington. Purchased this property 1793 as country home, naming it "Lombardy". Buried at Tenth and Markets Streets, Wilmington. Reinterred 1921 at Masonic Home.
LOCATION: US 202, north side, 0.3 mile west of Foulk Road [DE 261 ] New Castle
LAFAYETTE [NC-51] -- General Lafayette enroute to Virginia, to command expedition against Benedict Arnold, landed 1500 troops here, with cannon, stores, and ammunition, March 2, 1781. Council of Maryland issued warrant to impress carriages, teams and drivers for his use at Christiana Bridge and vessels, hands, etc., at Head of Elk.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Wilmington and Elkton turnpike South at Crossroads - East side of Highway North end of Christiana Bridges.
LONG HOOK FARM [NC-12] -- Formerly residence of Major Peter Jacquett, distinguished officer of Delaware Line in Revolution. Born here 1755, died here 1834. Buried at Old Swedes’ Church, Wilmington. Land originally owned by Jean Paul Jacquet, Vice Director and Chief Magistrate of New Netherland on the South River 1655-1657.
LOCATION: US 13, 1.1 miles south of Christiana River, west side of highway.
LONG HOOK [NC-103] -- Home of Major Peter Jaquett, Hero of the Revolution
Comment: Named for its location on a prominent curvature of the Christina River, Long Hook was home to several generations of the Jaquett family. The first to settle in this vicinity was Jean Paul Jaquett, a French Protestant who served as Vice Director and Chief Magistrate of New Netherlands on the South River (1655-1657). It was here that Major Peter Jaquett was born on April 6, 1754. A distinguished officer of the Delaware Line in the American Revolution, Major Jaquett was a participant in many of the war’s most important campaigns. Twice wounded, he was by the side of both Colonel Haslet at Princeton and Baron De Kalb at Camden when they were mortally wounded. Following the war Major Jaquett returned to his boyhood home, where he resided until his death in 1834. Many distinguished persons, including George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, are said to have visited here.
LOCATION: Wilmington - West side South US13, approximately 1 mile south of the US13B/Christina River Bridge.
MEETING HOUSE [NC-76] -- Religious Society of Friends
Comment: Grew from Newark Meeting established 1682. Present house is third in this vicinity. Friends School begun here in 1748 has operated continuously. Among 3,000 buried in yard are founders of Wilmington, John Dickinson, "Penman of the Revolution", and Thomas Garrett, leader of Underground Railroad on Delmarva Peninsula.
LOCATION: Wilmington -- in meeting house yard, 4th and West Streets.
MEETING PLACE OF WASHINGTON’S OFFICERS [NC-50] -- The general officers of American army September 6, 1777, were directed to meet at the brick house by White Clay Creek and fix proper picquets for the security of the camp. Recorded in order book by Captain Robert Kirkwood.
LOCATION: 5.5 miles south of Wilmington, State Route 7 at intersection of Ogletown Road (Route 4).
NEW CASTLE [NC-30] -- Colonial capital until until 1777. Indian village Tamakonck, place of beaver. First town laid out in Delaware. Dutch "Fort Casimir" 1655. English "New Castle" 1664. Home of three signers of the Declaration, George Reed, George Ross, and Thomas McKean.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Corner of Washington Avenue and River Road. Seven miles from Court House Square.
PENCADER CHURCH [NC-58] -- Organized by Welsh Prebysterians prior to 1710. First called Welsh Tract church. Name soon changed to Pencader, a Welsh term meaning "chief chair or seat". British sick and wounded were brought to the church after Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, September 3, 1777.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Route 40 to Elkton 0.7 miles west from Route 13 North side of road at Glasgow.
WELCH TRACT CHURCH [NC-40] -- One-fourth mile southwest is old Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Meeting House. Congregation organized in Wales, 1701, settled here, 1703. A cannon ball passed through Meeting House during Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, September 3. 1777.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. 2.5 miles South from Newark, West Side of Newark to Middletown Road at Intersection of Baptist Church Road.
ROBERT KIRKWOOD [NC-34] -- Born 1756 on farm adjoining this church. Senior captain of Delaware Battalion of Continental Army after Battle of Camden, S.C., 1780. Distinguished throughout Revolution for undaunted bravery and devotion to cause of liberty. Brevetted major 1783. Killed in battle with Indians 1791 near Fort Recovery, Ohio, his thirty-third engagement.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. DE 2, Lincoln Highway - North side of Highway adjoining cemetery - White Clay Creek Church, eleven miles west of Wilmington.
SAMUEL DAVIES [NC-46] -- Born here 1723. Noted Welsh minister and educator. Secured recognition of Prebysterian Church in Virginia. Predicted career for Washington whom he termed "that heroic youth". Raised funds in England and Scotland for Nassau Hall, now Princeton. Elected president of Princeton, 1758. Died 1761. House was quarters of British general, Grey September 2, 1777.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. West side of DE 71 to Kirkwood, one mile North East of Summit Bridge.
SAMUEL PATTERSON [NC-52] -- Operated flour mill one-fourth mile south. Was Captain in French and Indian War. In American Revolution was member of Boston Relief Committee, colonel of Delaware battalion of famous "Flying Camp", Brigdier General of Delaware militia and first treasurer of Delaware State. Died 1785. Buried in Presbyterian Cemetery at Christiana.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. South side of Road 336, 0.6 miles West of Christiana, at intersecton of road leading to Smalley’s Dam.
THE BEAR [NC-57] -- Near this spot stood the old Bear Tavern. Used from Colonial times until 1845, when old building was destroyed. Generals Washington and Lafayette, and many other famous people used this inn in their passage north or south to and from Chesapeake Highway.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Route 40 to Elkton, North side four miles West of Route 13.
WASHINGTON DINED HERE [NC-45] -- This house during Revolution was known as Buck or Carson’s Tavern. George Washington stopped here several times. His diary September 3, 1774, states: "Dined at Buck Tavern (Carson’s) and lodged at New Castle." The Hessian general, Knyphausen, had headquarters here September 2, 1777.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. DE 896, west side, South of Canal, New Castle.
WASHINGTON’S EARTHWORKS [NC-33] -- The American Army numbering about 11,000 encamped between Red Clay Creek and Newport September 6 to 9, 1777. Earthworks constructed for the protection of the camp are plainly visible on the edge of the hill overlooking the creek.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. North end of Bridge which crosses Red Clay Creek at Marshallton (Lincoln Highway), Wilmington.
WASHINGTON’S RECONNAISANCE [NC-53] -- Generals Washington, Greene and Lafayette came to Iron Hill, August 26, 1777, in hope of viewing British Army then landing along the Elk River. Only a few tents could be seen. A heavy storm coming up, they spent the night in a nearby farm house. LOCATION: South of Newark. Old Baltimore Pike, one mile west of Cooch’s Bridge.
WILMINGTON [NC-67] -- Founded by Swedes at Fort Christina, the First Permanent settlement in Delaware River Valley. Called Altense by Dutch 1655. Known as Willingtown 1730-1739 and as a City 1832. Washington’s headquarters here in 1777. Became County seat of New Castle County in 1881.
LOCATION: Wilmington. On Faulkland Road at State Route 48 intersection (near Silverbrook Cemetary).
OLD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH [NC-77] -- Built 1740 near Tenth and Market Streets. Presented by First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, Delaware, to the Society of Colonial Wars, in the State of Delaware, and the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, in the State of Delaware. Rebuilt here by them in 1918. Used as hospital during the Revolution. --- Pubic Archives Commission - 1959
LOCATION: Intersection of South Park Drive and West Street, Wilmington.
MARKERS IN KENT COUNTY
KC17 = CAPTAIN JONATHAN CALDWELL This farm, formerly known as Burberry’s Berry, was home of Captain Jonathan Caldwell of Colonel Haslet’s Regiment in Revolution. Tradition says Delaware soldiers received name "Blue Hen’s Chickens" from Caldwell’s men having with them game chickens, celebrated in Kent for their famous fighting qualities, the brood of a certain blue hen.
SITE OF OLD ASBURY METHODIST CHURCH [KC-56] --The roots of Methodism in this community can be traced to the organization of a local "society" in the 1770's. Meetings were held in private homes before a frame structure was built here circa 1786 on land provided by Col. Allan McLane, Revolutionary War hero and early advocate of Methodism. On May 9, 1799, the meeting house and burial ground were formally conveyed to the church trustees for 5 shillings. The Philadelphia Annual Conference was held here on numerous occasions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Francis Asbury and many other Methodist pioneers were frequent visitors. Services were held here until 1845, when the congregation relocated to a new site, and the old church was dismantled and moved. ---- Delaware Public Archives - 1996
LOCATION: Smyrna. West side of Delaware Street between Mt. Vernon Street and North Street.
BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN [KC-43] -- Richard Allen founded and became the first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816. Born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1760, Allen and his family were sold to a family near Dover in 1772. While there, he purchased his freedom, became a minister and joined the Continental Army as a non-combatant during the Revolutionary War. After returning to Philadelphia, he and Sussex Countian, Absalom Jones, founded the Free African Society in 1787. He helped organize and was elected president of the "The First Convention of the People of Colour" in 1830.
LOCATION: Loockerman Street Dover.
BELMONT HALL [KC-32] -- Built on tract of land called "Pearman’s Choice". Home of Thomas Collins, Brigadier General of Kent County Militia during Revolution and Governor of Delaware (1786-1789) who called State Convention in Dover which on December 7, 1787 was first to ratify the Federal Constitution. Thus making Delaware the first State.
LOCATION: Marker is missing. Route 13 and Road 12.
BYFIELD [KC-53] -- Near this site stood the boyhood home of Caesar Rodney, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Byfield was originally settled in the early 1680’s by Daniel Jones, Rodney’s maternal great grandfather. Following Jones’ death, it became the family seat for three generations of the Rodney Family. Caesar Rodney spent his formative years here and eventually acquired ownership of the property after the death of his mother in 1763. Upon entering public life in 1764, Rodney moved to the town of Dover. Although the property was occupied by tenant farmers, Rodney retained Byfield until his death in 1784. He is buried in an unmarked family cemetery on the property.
LOCATION: Dover - East side of Rt. 9 at intersection with Bergold Road (East of Dover Air Force Base).
CAESAR RODNEY [KC-62] -- Born on October 7, 1728 on a farm east of Dover, Caesar Rodney was one of Delaware’s most distinguished statesmen. Entering public life at an early age, Rodney held numerous local offices. He was a member of the Colonial State Assembly, and a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress. From 1774 through 1776 he was a member of the Continental Congress. During his service as a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, Rodney was summoned from his home to Philadelphia to break a deadlock in the state’s delegation and add Delaware to the list of states approving the Declaration of Independence. He was commissioned Brigadier-General during the Revolution and given responsibility for commanding the Delaware Militia. In 1778 he was elected President (or Governor) of Delaware, a capacity in which he served until 1781. He died at his home near Dover on June 29, 1784. Throughout his career of public service, Caesar Rodney was noted for his high integrity, purity of character, and patriotic leadership. In 1916 a new school for area youth was constructed. Named to honor Delaware’s patriot hero, the first Caesar Rodney High School was located on Camden-Wyoming Avenue. It was replaced by the present structure in 1967.
LOCATION: Camden - Northwest corner of Old Camden Rd./Main St. and North Rd.
CAPTAIN JONATHAN CALDWELL[KC-17] -- This farm, formerly known as Burberry’s Berry, was home of Captain Jonathan Caldwell of Colonel Haslet’s Regiment in Revolution. Tradition says Delaware solders received name "Blue Hen’s Chickens" from Caldwell’s men having with them game chickens, celebrated in Kent for their famous fighting qualities, the brood of a certain blue hen.
LOCATION: Felton. One US 13 north of State Route 12 (Midstate Road) intersection, across from Felton Elementary School.
DOVER [KC-34] -- County seat since 1680. William Penn in 1683 ordered Town site laid out and named Dover. Plotted in 1717. Temporary capitol in 1777 and permanent capitol since 1779. Federal Constitution ratified here in 1787, making Delaware first State in Union. State Constitutional Convention held here in 1791-1792, 1831, 1852, and 1897.
LOCATION: Dover. On US 13A (North State Street) north of Silver Lake in front of The Blue Coat.
HOME OF ALLEN McLANE [KC-59] --For many years this home was the property of Colonel Allen McLane, statesman and hero of the American Revolution. Born in Philadelphia August 8, 1746, McLane had moved to Delaware by 1769. His military career began when he was commissioned as an officer in the state militia in 1775. After the outbreak of the Revolution, McLane volunteered to raise a company of troops, investing much of his inheritance in accompanying expenses. During the course of the war he was an active participant in many major engagements including Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, and the siege of Yorktown. His bravery and enterprise were rewarded in 1777 when he received his captain’s commission from General Washington. He was one of the first to suspect the loyalty of Benedict Arnold, and is said to have played a significant role in convincing the French to blockade the Chesapeake in 1781. He was a member of the Order of Cincinnati. For many years he was active in the affairs of church and state, serving as Speaker of the state Housing of Representatives, member of the Privy Council, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and U.S. Marshall for Delaware. He was delegate at Delaware’s historic Constitution Ratification Convention in 1787, and a long-time advocate of the Methodist Church. Following his return from the war it is believed that the McLane family rented a home at the southwest corner of Mt. Vernon and Market Streets. On December 23, 1785, Allen McLane "Merchant" received a deed from Thomas Wilds for a parcel of land including the lot where his house stands. Among the members of the family moving to the home was McLane’s infant son Louis, later a distinguished member of Congress, Minister to England, and United States Secretary of State. McLane maintained homes here on his farm until he moved to Wilmington following his appointment as Port Collector in 1797. He retained ownership of this property until selling it in 1828, one year prior to his death.
LOCATION: 40 West Mount Vernon Street.
HOME OF JOHN DICKINSON [KC-33] -- "The Penman of the Revolution" Member of Delaware Colonial and State Assemblies. Member of Continental Congress, Annapolis Convention, and Philadelphia Federal Constitutional Convention. Signer for Delaware of Articles of Confederation and Federal Constitution. Governor of Delaware and President Second Delaware Constitutional Convention.
LOCATION: South Dover. On Kitts Hummock Road - south of the Dover Air Force Base - 0.8 mile off Interstate 113 (State Road 1).
HOME OF JUDGE THOMAS WHITE REFUGE OF FRANCIS ASBURY [KC-46] -- Near this site stood the home of Judge Thomas White, member of the Colonial Maryland legislature and Delaware House of Assembly, Chief Justice of the Kent County Court of Common Pleas, and delegate to the Delaware Constitutional Conventions of 1776 and 1791-1792. This was also the boyhood home of his son, Samuel White, U.S. Senator from Delaware 1801-1809. Here the future Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury, found refuge during the tumultuous Revolutionary War years of 1778-1780. While living with the Whites, Asbury developed the ideas that would shape the future of American Methodism.
LOCATION: Southside, Rt 59 (Whitleysburg Rd), approximately one mile southeast of the intersection of Rt 12 and Whitleysburg Rd.
LOOCKERMAN HALL [KC-60] -- In 1723 Nicholas Loockerman purchased 600 acres of land known as "The Range". Following his death in 1771, the property passed to his grandson Vincent Loockerman Jr. Evidence suggests that he built the Georgian-style mansion known today as Loockerman Hall soon after inheriting the property. A member of the early Revolutionary-era Committee of Inspection, and County Militia, Vincent Loockerman Jr. died on April 5, 1790. On August 24, 1891, 95 acres of the old plantation where slaves had once toiled were purchased for the purpose of establishing the "Delaware College for Colored Students". Loockerman Hall became the center of the campus, serving variously as a dormitory, classroom, and administration building. In 1971 the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.
LOCATION: Dover. Center of campus of Delaware State University - west side U.S. 13