Photo: Hedgelawn, U.S. Route 301, Middletown, New Castle County. Built for William P. Cochran, a peach farmer, in 1856, this house represents the prosperity of the peach farming industry in this area. Jack Boucher, photographer, 1982, for HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey).
Delaware Counties & County Seats
When people reminisce about where they grew up and called home, chances are that particular places come to mind: the local school, the fire station, the drug store on the corner, a favorite store. These places remind them of the people who lived and worked there. Whether they still reside in the community where they grew up or only return to visit, they look for the landmarks that are familiar and meaningful to them as they walk down the street or drive along a road. The legacy of the past defines our communities for ourselves and for our children as special, recognizable places. It is largely through the physical presence of these reminders of our history that the contributions of past Delawareans are remembered and celebrated today.
Indeed, we are justly proud of our past and our historic buildings and landscapes. Our historic places are often the sights that attract visitors to our communities. One of the main reasons individuals vacation in a region or a state is to sightsee. People travel to the City of New Castle to feel surrounded by the 18th and early 19th century, when it was an important port and governmental center. The revitalization of downtowns often depends upon successful preservation efforts that draw tourists to the area.
Delawareans and their visitors can see and touch the unique heritage preserved in historic buildings, rural landscapes, small town streetscapes, and maritime environments. They can visit archaeological sites and catch a glimpse of forgotten pasts. Today, more and more Delawareans are recognizing the need to protect their heritage and to integrate their historic places wisely into the continuing development of their state.