The Cleaver House
At the Crossroads of Commerce
In 1834, Joseph Cleaver built this house near the river and what was then the region's biggest port. He called it Linden Hall. As one of Port Penn's best-known merchants, he hoped to dominate the trade between the Delaware River and the farmlands of southern New Castle County.
A symbol of the Cleaver family's importance to the area, the house was fashioned as two urban townhouses. The Cleaver family lived in the northern section of the house with its large entrance hall, elegant staircase, and marble fireplace surrounds. The southern portion of the building served as Cleaver's office, dry goods store, and storehouse. This section later served as the town's first post office.
Changing Times in Port Penn
Following construction of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (c.1829) a few miles to the north, major shipping began to bypass Port Penn. The town still managed to provide local agricultural producers with a convenient method to export their goods. The port began to lose its competitive advantage with the advent of the railroad. Today Port Penn is known as a fishing village.
Erected by The Village of Port Penn.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1834.
Location. 39° 31.004′ N, 75° 34.591′ W. Marker is in Port Penn, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is at the intersection of Congress St. and Market Street, on the right when traveling north on Congress St.. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Penn DE 19731, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mary Porter Darrach House (within shouting distance of this marker); W.H. Miller House (within shouting distance of this marker); Commodore's House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Hubbs House (within shouting distance of this marker); W.H. Miller Rental Property (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Harper Carey Store (about 300 feet away); Thomas Price House (about 400 feet away); Market Square (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Penn.
More about this marker. Left Photos The wharf on the Delaware River, directly east of this site, gave Port Penn much of its economic livelihood.
Center Photo Linden Hall was among the most important structures in Port Penn. Pictured here are Samuel B. Cleaver, Catherine Cleaver, Sarah B. Cleaver, Henry Cleaver, Mr. Eaton, W.S. Eaton and Mr. Lockerman, with the horse "Dan." Photo dated November 28, 1877.
Map List of Port Penn markers.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,171 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 3. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 4. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 5. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.