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As part of Return Day festivities on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, state and local officials participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the rededication of the recently restored Old Sussex County Court House located at 10 S. Bedford St. in Georgetown, Del. Owned by the state of Delaware and managed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the property recently underwent a $307,000 rehabilitation that included both a major exterior-restoration and interior refurbishment of the site’s first and second floors. These improvements were funded by appropriations from the state of Delaware’s Minor Capital Improvements and Equipment program.
The building was originally constructed in 1791 after the Sussex County seat was moved from Lewes to Georgetown in order to provide a more centralized location for county governmental and judicial functions. In 1837, the structure was moved from its original location on Georgetown Circle to make way for the current court house which still occupies the site. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Old Sussex County Court House is still used occasionally for special court functions. It is now leased to the Georgetown Historical Society which opens it for public visitation at various times throughout the year.
Recent improvements to the property include removal of all the wood-shingle siding on the exterior of the building; repointing of the masonry chimneys; repair of existing wooden windows, doors and raised-panel shutters; repair of the existing wood-shingle roof where needed; application of liquid-membrane waterproofing to the existing metal cupola-floor; restoration of the chime for the cupola’s bell; refurbishing of all existing metal window-, shutter- and door-hardware; painting existing wooden windows and doors; staining new exterior wood-shingle siding; stabilizing interior plaster walls where needed and whitewashing all interior plaster walls; and the application of an oil finish on all interior woodwork exclusive of the floors.