Grand Museum Tour of Dover
See all of the museums and sites in historic Dover, Delaware!
First State Heritage Park links the city’s historic and cultural sites in a “park without boundaries.” The Welcome Center offers parking, special programming and events and a rotating exhibitions in its gallery space. The exhibits feature Delaware’s historic documents. The park is operated by a joint effort of city and state agencies. The park office is located in Rose Cottage.
Delaware is known as “The First State” because its General Assembly was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The state’s first capital was in New Castle but moved to Dover during the American Revolution. Today, Delaware’s General Assembly is housed in Legislative Hall located downtown in Capital Square. The building is open to the public and available for guided tours year round.
Established in 1993, the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art Museum houses one of the finest collections of American fine and decorative arts. Special features of the permanent collection include the only comprehensive representational American paintings collection on the Delmarva Peninsula with highlights by the Peale family, Albert Bierstadt, Gilbert Stuart, and Childe Hassam and a variety of art forms such as sculptures by Hiram Powers and images by Brandywine School illustrator, Frank E. Schoonover. The Museum also houses examples of furniture by early-American cabinetmakers such as, the Javier family of Odessa, and William Savery of Philadelphia, as well as one of the finest collections of regional silver in the country.
The Old State House was the first permanent capitol building in Dover. It was built from 1787 to 1791 in a two-story Georgian style. It was initially home to both state and county governments. The building was the home of the state capitol until 1933. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
A memorial dedicated to the Armed forces of the Korean and Vietnam War. This marker is at the intersection of Legislative Avenue and Loockerman Street on Legislative Avenue in Dover, Delaware. In honor of the fallen, but not forgotten and all armed forces who serve the United States of America
The First State Heritage Park is Delaware's fist urban "park without boundaries" located in the historic district of Dover, which has been Delaware's capital city since 1777. The park links nearly two dozen historic and cultural sites including natural areas like the St. Jones River and the 300-year-old Dover Green, which was recently named one of the participating sites in the First State National Monument (www.nps.gov/frst). The mid-18th century John Bell House located on The Green serves as an interpretive center for the park and the stating point for the free outdoor walking tours. The park is pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
Woodburn, also known as Governor's House, has a long and significant history in Dover. Most importantly, the home has served as the official residence of the governor since 1965, when it was purchased by the state. Governor's House was built in 1798 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Eldridge Reeves (E.R.) Johnson, a Dover native, founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. He was a pioneer in the recording industry and posthumously given a Grammy Award in 1985. The Grammy and many other items and exhibits are on permanent display in the Johnson Victrola Museum. Much of it chronicles the development of the sound-recording industry.
The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village opened in 1980 with a main building and fifteen historic structures to bring nineteenth century farming back to life. The museum features more than 10,000 artifacts and features both permanent and temporary exhibits that highlight the importance and modernization of agriculture and farming in Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula. More than a half million visitors have experienced the museum since its opening.
Dover International Speedway has been attracting racing fans since 1969. The one-mile concrete oval track has hosted six NASCAR races and even hosts the Firefly Music Festival, one of the largest such events on the East Coast. Its first race was July 6, 1969 when it hosted the Mason-Dixon 300. Racing legend Richard Petty won that first race. It has become known in racing as “The Monster Mile.”
The Delaware State Police was established in January of 1920, largely as a result of roads being paved. This increased traffic and speed, which made people fearful of those wanting to break Prohibition laws. It has since grown to an agency with more than 600 troopers. The Delaware State Police Museum and Education Center was created to prepare for the future by studying the past.
The Air Mobility Command Museum, located at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, has a special slogan, “Where Do Airplanes Go”, the lucky ones go to this museum. The museum is dedicated to airlift and air refueling history of the American wars. With over 9 exhibits and 25 or more planes, this museum would be a very good place to learn about how the military uses the air in all of our wars and the different types of planes that is used for what reason.
The John Dickinson Plantation and Museum celebrates the life and times of John Dickinson. Dickinson, who became known as the “Penman of the Revolution,” was active in the formation of the United States. He helped frame the Constitution and was one of the signers from Delaware. Dickinson, a lawyer, was born in Maryland in 1732 but moved to Delaware with his family when he was 7 years-old. Visitors can tour the plantation and museum with help from historic interpreters dressed in period attire.