In Delaware, we’re proud of our history. As the first state to ratify the constitution in 1787, Delaware holds a unique place in American history. Prior to being the first state in the union, Delaware played a memorable role in the American Revolution. Legend has it that Betsy Ross’s flag was flown for the very first time during the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in 1777 – the only Revolutionary skirmish to take place on Delaware’s soil. After the Revolution, Delaware continued to make history. The first Methodist church was established in Delaware. The same goes for the first concrete highway, the first steam engine train, and the first John Deere tractor. Rehoboth Beach even hosted the country’s first beauty pageant in 1880, featuring celebrity judge Thomas Edison.
Towns like Odessa and New Castle give their visitors a real taste of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll find authentic period homes, metal works, textiles, and arts. New Castle, the site of William Penn’s landing in America, is home to Winterthur and Nemours Mansion, original estates of the DuPont family. New Castle also has the Brandywine River Museum and Hagley Museum. The Brandywine River Museum is an art museum housed in a 19th century mill that features the collections of local artists N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth. The Hagley Museum is a tribute to all things DuPont. It’s even located inside of an old DuPont gun powder factory. Step inside and learn about Delaware’s own captains of industry.
Delaware is still making history today. Every year, you can take part in the process by participating in Milton’s Horseshoe Crab Festival. Each May, thousands of horseshoe crabs descend upon the beach to perform their mating ritual. The 450-million-year-old creatures have survived asteroid strikes and ice ages. Horseshoe crabs are biological marvels that inspire awe simply by being alive. At every Horseshoe Crab Festival, Delaware adds another chapter to one of the greatest survival stories in Earth’s history.
Delaware has so much to offer, and becomes that much more exciting when you realize that there is history wherever you look. From the DuPont family’s expansive estates, to revolutionary heroics, and scientific phenomena, you can’t take a step in Delaware without being swept away by who and what paved the way before you.