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MARKER DATABASE
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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Delaware Facts and Figures

 

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on July 17, 2024

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Delaware ranks 36th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Delaware is a state in the United States of America located in the American Northeast. It is also in the Mid-Atlantic region. Delaware is some 2 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 967 thousand people. The state is divided into three counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Delaware we have discovered historical markers in 71 cities and towns lying in 68 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,499 historical markers in Delaware, by our count. We have cataloged 1,499 historical markers and 159 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,632 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Delaware marker in the database, Return Day, was added July 1, 2006. It was photographed in Georgetown in Sussex County. The last one added was submitted on July 6, 2024, and titled DO NOT USE -- Worthland World War II Memorial. It is in Claymont in New Castle County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Delaware was erected in 1872. It was this one: Ferris Brinchurst, and one of our correspondents found it in Wilmington in New Castle County on February 9, 2024.

Delaware Historical Topics
288 • Churches and Religion
282 • Industry and Commerce
220 • Colonial Era
206 • Settlements and Settlers
196 • Waterways and Vessels
155 • Education
149 • African Americans
129 • Architecture
117 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
115 • Government and Politics
    ... and others ...

Delawareans don’t want to forget their Churches and Religion history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Delaware about Churches and Religion—288 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Industry and Commerce with 282 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Churches and Religion topic was Gravesite of Bishop Peter Spencer (1779-1843) and His Devoted Wife, Annes, added September 20, 2007. It had been erected in 1988 in Wilmington in New Castle County. The last one submitted was submitted on July 4, 2024, and titled The Big Quarterly. It had been erected in Wilmington in New Castle County. The earliest marker erected with the Churches and Religion topic that we have listed was erected in 1899. It is In Memory of John Hendrickson, Sr., found in Wilmington in New Castle County on June 1, 2021.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Delaware? What we know is that African American Medal of Honor Recipients Memorial is the most viewed entry in the database from Delaware since it was added in 2009. It is located in Wilmington in New Castle County. This year so far, the most viewed Delawarean entry is located in Smyrna in Kent County. It is "First in the World".

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Delaware county with the most historical markers listed in this database is New Castle County, with 847 of them. It is followed by Sussex County with 509 markers. The Wilmington area of New Castle County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 428. In Sussex County the area with the most markers, 121, is Lewes.

Historical Markers in These
Delaware Counties
847 • New Castle County
509 • Sussex County
276 • Kent County

Checking the database for the city or town in Delaware with the most markers we again find Wilmington at the top of the list with 428 markers in or near it. It is followed by Dover in Kent County with 156 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 19801 at the top of the list with 191 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 19801 is assigned to Wilmington DE.) It is followed by ZIP Code 19958 with 122 markers. (19958 is assigned to Lewes DE including the Lewes Beach delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Delaware Cities and Towns
428 • Wilmington
156 • Dover
145 • Newark
121 • Lewes
59 • New Castle
46 • Seaford
46 • Milton
44 • Delaware City
42 • Georgetown
41 • Laurel
    ... and others ...

Getting back to New Castle County, the first marker added to the database from there, Gravesite of Bishop Peter Spencer (1779-1843) and His Devoted Wife, Annes, was added September 20, 2007, and was also the first one submitted in all of Delaware. It was erected in 1988 in Wilmington. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Delaware—was uploaded on July 6, 2024, and is titled DO NOT USE -- Worthland World War II Memorial, in Claymont. The earliest marker erected in New Castle County that we have listed was erected in 1872. It was Ferris Brinchurst, found in Wilmington on February 9, 2024.

Latest entry from Delaware. Click to go there
By Carl Gordon Moore Jr., May 29, 2024
Latest Entry from Delaware
“DO NOT USE -- Worthland World War II Memorial”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Dover. The first: The First State Heritage Park of Dover, was added November 15, 2007. The last: KC-10A added on April 20, 2024. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1912: The Delaware Line, added on November 19, 2007.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Delaware Public Archives is currently in charge of the familiar blue and gold or black and brass official historical markers found all over the state and the Delaware Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the Historic Markers Commission, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1931, and we have 573 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Delaware. Click to go there
By Charles Quandt, September 20, 2017
A Delaware Public Archives Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Tourist Attractions? Or Something Off the Beaten Path?

Delaware offers both and there is plenty of history to check out. If you live in or are visiting Delaware, hit the road and check out places where something of interest once occured, or where famous or infamous people once stood. Our database can help you find some of these places. And perhaps you’ll find some we don’t know about and will take the time to photograph them and add them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Jul. 17, 2024