Photo of interpreters reading the Declaration of Independence

Administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits and special programs, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there.

Museum admission is free and open to the public and reservations are not required. However, in order to keep everyone safe in keeping with CDC recommendations, face masks are required for all people over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status.

Following is information on visiting the museums:

John Dickinson Plantation

340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, DE 19901

Photo of the log’d dwelling at the John Dickinson Plantation
Log’d dwelling at the John Dickinson Plantation. The building is a reconstruction of the type of housing inhabited by the enslaved people at the plantation as well as its tenants and indentured servants. The site’s mansion house is in the background.

The John Dickinson Plantation is the boyhood home of John Dickinson, known as the “Penman of the Revolution” and a framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution. Dickinson wrote about freedom and liberty for all while continuing to hold human beings in bondage. The plantation shares the stories of the Dickinsons; the tenant farmers; the trades people; the indentured servants; the free and enslaved people; and the families who lived, labored and died on the land. The museum is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

Hours: Tuesday: Grounds open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday: Visitor center and grounds open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday: Mansion, visitor center and grounds open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone: 302-739-3277

Web: https://history.delaware.gov/john-dickinson-plantation

Johnson Victrola Museum

375 S. New St., Dover, DE 19901

Photo of displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum
Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum

Founded in 1967, the Johnson Victrola Museum details the origin of recorded music. Exhibits showcase the life and legacy of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, a pioneer in early sound recording and co-founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone: 302-739-3262

Web: https://history.delaware.gov/johnson-victrola-museum

New Castle Court House Museum

211 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720

Photo of the New Castle Court House Museum
New Castle Court House Museum

Built in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active courthouses in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this landmark has played many pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, tours at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, tours at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tours meet at the front entrance to the museum.

Telephone: 302-323-4453

Web: https://history.delaware.gov/new-castle-court-house-museum

The Old State House

25 The Green, Dover, DE 19901

Photo of the House of Representatives chamber in The Old State House.
House of Representatives chamber in The Old State House. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the oldest state-house buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. It features an 18th-century-style courtroom, governor’s and county offices and chambers for the state legislature. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sunday, tours at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Telephone: 302-744-5054

Web: https://history.delaware.gov/old-state-house

Zwaanendael Museum

102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE 19958

Photo of the Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum. Photo by Cindy Dolan

Inspired by the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, the Zwaanendael Museum commemorates the founding of Delaware’s first European settlement by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Its programs provide a showcase for the Lewes region’s maritime, military and social history.

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Telephone: 302-645-1148

Web: https://history.delaware.gov/zwaanendael-museum

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