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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 February 9, 2023

 
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 68 cities and towns lying in 67 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,194 historical markers in Delaware, by our count. We have cataloged 1,193 historical markers and 130 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,305 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another historical marker in Delaware that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. 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 February 1, 2023, and titled Veteran's Point. It is in Delaware City 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 1884. It was this one: Samuel Francis Du Pont, and one of our correspondents found it in Wilmington in New Castle County on November 15, 2008.

Delaware Historical Topics
241 • Churches and Religion
205 • Industry and Commerce
191 • Colonial Era
170 • Settlements and Settlers
140 • Waterways and Vessels
128 • Education
115 • African Americans
108 • Architecture
103 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
98 • 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—241 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 205 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 September 29, 2022, and titled Prince George's Chapel. It had been erected in 1974 in Dagsboro in Sussex 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. It is also the most viewed entry so far this year.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Delaware county with the most historical markers listed in this database is New Castle County, with 634 of them. It is followed by Sussex County with 421 markers. The Wilmington area of New Castle County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 257. In Sussex County the area with the most markers, 101, is Lewes.

Historical Markers in These
Delaware Counties
634 • New Castle County
421 • Sussex County
250 • 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 257 markers in or near it. It is followed by Dover in Kent County with 143 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 19801 at the top of the list with 136 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 19801 is assigned to Wilmington DE.) It is followed by ZIP Code 19958 with 101 markers. (19958 is assigned to Lewes DE including the Lewes Beach delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Delaware Cities and Towns
257 • Wilmington
143 • Dover
121 • Newark
101 • Lewes
56 • New Castle
39 • Delaware City
39 • Laurel
38 • Georgetown
38 • Milford
38 • Seaford
    ... 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 February 1, 2023, and is titled Veteran's Point, in Delaware City. The earliest marker erected in New Castle County that we have listed was erected in 1884. It was Samuel Francis Du Pont, found in Wilmington on November 15, 2008.

Latest entry from Delaware. Click to go there
By Adam Margolis, January 2, 2023
Latest Entry from Delaware
“Veteran's Point”

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: Site of Carlisle African Methodist Episcopal Church added on May 30, 2022. It had been erected in 2021. 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 518 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, June 8, 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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Feb. 9, 2023