“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Kent County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Hall House

The First State Heritage Park at Dover

Hall House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
1. Hall House Marker
Inscription.  The land on which Hall House stands was originally part of the Woodburn property. In 1885, Thomas Wilson, Jr. purchased an acre from his uncle living in Woodburn and built this house, which was completed in 1887. In 1983, during the administration of Governor Pierre S. du Pont IV, the State of Delaware purchased the house to expand guest and meeting facilities for Woodburn.

The interior has three floors that include a vestibule, entrance hall, two parlors, dining room, kitchen and seven bedrooms. During the administration of Governor Thomas R. Carper, one of the greatest achievements of First Lady Martha Carper was the renovation of Hall House, which was in a state of disrepair. Under her direction, The Friends of Woodburn staged a designer showcase event that brought together Delaware interior designers, artists, and landscape professionals to transform Hall House into a delightful Victorian treasure.

Hall House is open for tours by appointment.
302.739.5656 or

Erected by The First State Heritage Park
Hall House image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
2. Hall House
The house was named Hall House by First Lady Elise du Pont to honor Delaware's 36th Governor, John Wood Hall, who served from 1879-83. The grandson of the governor, Frank Hall, owned this house from 1918 to 1953.
Click or scan to see
this page online
at Dover and The Friends of Woodburn, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1885.
Location. 39° 9.71′ N, 75° 31.383′ W. Marker is in Dover, Delaware, in Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of Kings Highway SW and Pennsylvania Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Kings Highway SW. Located next to Woodburn - the Governor's Residence. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dover DE 19901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Woodburn: The Governor's House (a few steps from this marker); Woodburn (within shouting distance of this marker); Richardson and Robbins Complex (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Annie Jump Cannon (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wesley College (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dover (approx. ¼ mile away); Bishop Richard Allen (approx. ¼ mile away); World War II Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
Also see . . .  First State Heritage Park. Delaware State Parks (Submitted on June 26, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
Martha Stacy Carper image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
3. Martha Stacy Carper
First Lady of Delaware from 1993 to 2001
Interior Descriptions image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
4. Interior Descriptions
A departure from the Victorian theme reflected in most of the house, the kitchen was thoroughly modernized to fully serve the entertainment function of Hall House.

The stained glass window in the entrance hall was commissioned for Hall House. It features an etched Great Seal of the State of Delaware within a diamond, as well as several state symbols such as the Blue Hen, the Lady Bug, the American Holly Tree and the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.
Interior Descriptions image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
5. Interior Descriptions
Changes made to the parlor during the designer showcase renovation included placing a portrait of Governor Hall above the mantel.

The furniture suite in this third floor bedroom originally belonged to Annie Jump Cannon (1853-1941). Cannon, a nationally known astronomer, grew up in Dover at 34 S. State Street, now the official residence of the Wesley College President.
Hall House Architectural Details image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, June 23, 2011
6. Hall House Architectural Details
Hall House combines several eclectic styles of mid- to late-nineteenth century Victorian architecture, including elements of Queen Anne and Stick.

The spacious wrap-around porch, with its spindle work detailing, is a characteristic feature of the Queen Anne style. It was used throughout the day as a room, as an escape from the heat of indoors, and as a place to retire after dining to socialize with both family and passing neighbors.

Also a feature of the Queen Anne and Stick styles are the multiple ornamental surface textures. Wooden slat siding is combined with patterned rounded edge shingles, plain squared edge shingles, and patterned stick work. During the administration of Governor Michael N. Castle (1985-92), paint analysis was undertaken and the exterior was returned to its original colors.

Other architectural details are the trusses seen under the gables, the brackets under the eaves, and the lattice work on the front porch.

As glassmaking technology improved during the nineteenth century, windows were no longer limited to small pieces of glass glazed into frames. Using glass as a decorative element as opposed to just letting in light, large windows were surrounded by multiple smaller panes.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 25, 2011, by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. This page has been viewed 699 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 25, 2011, by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 30, 2021