Delaware is known for its place in America’s history. As one of the original thirteen colonies, it goes back about as far as the country does. With roots like that, there’s bound to be national monuments all over. The New Castle Court House Museum is indeed a national monument. Built in 1732, the New Castle Court House served as Delaware’s first court and the state capitol. It is home not only to a museum featuring the ability to walk around and see the restored building in all its glory, but a tour around it and the surrounding area that tells the tale of some of Delaware’s finest history.
Where better than a courthouse to learn about Delaware’s government and unique laws? Delaware has one of the richest histories out of all the fifty states, and much of this started in the courtroom. In 1776, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties declared their independence from both Pennsylvania and England, creating the Delaware State. This all happened at the courthouse, and the following case took place there too. Since then, Delaware has had a rich history of keeping that well-earned independence, a firm believer in grounding the area in culture and law that set it apart from its surrounding states. All of the tour guides from the museum are eloquent and informed, briskly walking you through a crash course of the goings-on, so don’t worry if you’re not exactly a history buff. They’re plenty willing to take questions and stop and slow down if you need it.
Delaware is also the home of some very different history, and tumultuous time in our nation’s past. As a stop on the Underground Railroad, the court house has plenty of stories of triumph and freedom (and loss, heartache, and tragedy). The tour memorializes this particular stop, telling stories of both those who helped along the way and the slaves who managed their escape despite the obstacles along the way.
If you’re at all interested in the country’s history, the New Castle Court House is an important part of it. Those first governments that made up the individual states eventually became the representative democracy we know today, and each bit counted to make it what it is. Plus, it’s beautiful to look at. They really don’t make them quite like that anymore.