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History was made here: Cooch-Dayett Mills


A spotlight on one of the more than 40 historic properties owned by the state of Delaware and administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Built in the 1830s by William Cooch, the facility operated as a commercial grist mill until the early 1990s. It was acquired by the state of Delaware in 1996 and is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which, in turn, leases it to the Delaware Nature Society for the provision of educational programs. For additional information on the mill, go to the following blog by the Delaware Nature Society: Cooch-Dayett Mills: Discovering Delaware History Through Partnerships.

Photo of Cooch-Dayett Mills, circa 1910.
Photo of Cooch-Dayett Mills, circa 1910
Flour-bagging machinery inside Cooch-Dayett Mills.
Flour-bagging machinery inside Cooch-Dayett Mills

In addition to its partnership with the Delaware Nature Society, the division leases a barn on the Cooch-Dayett Mills property to the Pencader Heritage Area Association for use as a museum that spotlights the history of the Pencader Hundred area of northern New Castle County, Del. Museum exhibits include pictures and memorabilia of the Cooch family, artifacts and information regarding the history of Cooch-Dayett Mills, Native American artifacts and information on Revolutionary War activities in the area including the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge. In recent years, the association has added several flagpoles and educational signs on the Cooch-Dayett Mills grounds which help to tell the story of this important location in Delaware history.

Pencader Heritage Museum
Pencader Heritage Museum
Educational signs at the Pencader Heritage Museum help to tell the history of the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District.
Educational signs at the Pencader Heritage Museum help to tell the history of the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District.

About the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District …

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District is a complex of historic structures and sites around Cooch’s Bridge which is located on Old Baltimore Pike just west of Route 72, in Newark, Del. The district includes houses, mills, dams and sites associated with more than two and a half centuries of industrial development including the location of one of the earliest iron furnaces in America, as well as the site of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge (1777), the only battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on Delaware soil. The division maintains a monument to the battle along Old Baltimore Pike just west of the present-day Cooch’s Bridge. In 1781, American and French armies, under generals Washington and Rochambeau, passed through what is now the district on their way to Virginia where they were engaged in the Battle of Yorktown, the decisive battle of the American Revolution. The 680-mile trip from Rhode Island to Virginia is commemorated in the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail.

Cooch's Bridge battle monument
Cooch’s Bridge battle monument

For additional information on the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District, go to its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

For additional information on iron mining and smelting in the Cooch’s Bridge area, go to the Iron Hill Museum website.

 

 


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