Small Museum of the Month: Rockwood Mansion
Our featured small museum this month is Rockwood Park & Museum, locatedin Wilmington, Delaware. Joseph Shipley, a merchant banker, built Rockwood between 1851 and 1854. The mansion was designed by the English architect, George Williams, in the Gothic Revival style. Shipley was an avid horticulturist, so the acres surrounding the property were landscaped in the “gardenesque” style.
Today, the museum reflects the way the Bringhurst family, descendants of Mr. Shipley, lived during the turn of the 20th century. Almost 80% of the museum’s collection is original to the Shipley/Bringhurst families, so the interior represents an authentic Victorian household. On a tour, you will encounter original furnishings, family clothing, historic photos, and memorabilia from the turn of the century through World War I that help tell the story of upper-class family life in Delaware.
The mansion is open 10am to 4pm on Wednesday through Sunday for tours on the hour. The dedicated and kind docents give unique tours of the main floor, and 2nd story bedroom areas, and garden tours are available as well. The park also contains walking trails that are dog friendly, and can be accessed from dawn to dusk.
The museum is free every first Sunday of the month. Groups of 6 or more should call ahead to schedule a tour. (302)-761-4340
You can become a member of the Rockwood Park Preservation Society (RPPS) a non-profit dedicated to preserving the historical, architectural and natural resources of Rockwood Park and Mansion.
A unique feature of this small museum is its Ghost Tours! Tours of Rockwood mansion, which was featured on the season finale of Ghost Hunters, are available almost every month. These tours visit the basement and attic of the house that are not visited during normal tours