Newark History Museum

Newark History Museum The Newark History Museum is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of the history of Newark, Delaware.

Operating as usual

In honor of the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the White Clay Creek on Paper Mill Road (near Timothy's Restauran...
11/14/2021

In honor of the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the White Clay Creek on Paper Mill Road (near Timothy's Restaurant) installed in the early hours of 11/7/2021, we would like to share some photos of the old covered bridge in the same location. This bridge was built in 1861 as a replacement for a bridge built in 1817 when the mill was owned by Thomas Meeter. In 1949, the covered bridge was replaced with a modern concrete bridge capable of handling an increasing number of automobiles and trucks. Photos courtesy of Mary Torbey. Text courtesy of Theresa Hessey's book: Photographs from the Newark Historical Society.

The Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers Through the Years exhibit is going to be taken down at the end of o...
11/12/2021
Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers through the Years

The Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers Through the Years exhibit is going to be taken down at the end of our 2021 museum season (November 21, 2021), so we have decided to turn it into an online exhibit!👮‍♀️👷🏽👩🏾‍🔬🧑🏻‍🚒🧑🏻‍🏫👨🏽‍🍳 Many thanks to the Ladybug Quilt Guild of Newark for the loan of their beautiful Hope in the Time of Covid-19 quilt. If you were unable to see it in person, or if you would like to visit it again virtually, go to this link: https://izi.travel/browse/5fb6265b-6889-40a6-8b58-697274f06367/en

Debuting on July 4, 2021, this exhibit, Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers Through the Years, was Newark History Museum's way of thanking all those who helped us through the Covid-19...

1985 ad from Kiddie World, a local toy store chain that had a location at Chestnut Hill Road. From the November 13, 1985...
11/12/2021

1985 ad from Kiddie World, a local toy store chain that had a location at Chestnut Hill Road. From the November 13, 1985 Newark Post Archives, hosted on the UD website. #FlashbackFriday

1985 ad from Kiddie World, a local toy store chain that had a location at Chestnut Hill Road. From the November 13, 1985 Newark Post Archives, hosted on the UD website. #FlashbackFriday

We only have two Sundays left in our 2021 museum season. Visit the Newark History Museum on Sunday, Nov. 14 or 21, from ...
11/11/2021

We only have two Sundays left in our 2021 museum season. Visit the Newark History Museum on Sunday, Nov. 14 or 21, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, to see these exhibits before they close: 100th Anniversary of the Newark Country Club, Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers through the Years - Featuring the Hope for Covid-19 Quilt by the Ladybug Quilt Guild, Women's Work is Never Done, and more! Free admission and free parking. Directions and more at www.NewarkDelawareHistoricalSociety.org.

Fall back in time and visit the Newark History Museum today, one of the three remaining Sundays in the 2021 season. We a...
11/07/2021

Fall back in time and visit the Newark History Museum today, one of the three remaining Sundays in the 2021 season. We are open on Sunday, November 7, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Free admission and free parking. Oh, and don't forget to set your clocks back one hour. (Photo of District School #39, 1832 - 1995, formerly located in the parking lot behind Dunkin' Donuts on Main Street.)

Fall back in time and visit the Newark History Museum today, one of the three remaining Sundays in the 2021 season. We are open on Sunday, November 7, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Free admission and free parking. Oh, and don't forget to set your clocks back one hour. (Photo of District School #39, 1832 - 1995, formerly located in the parking lot behind Dunkin' Donuts on Main Street.)

Student boarding a train in Newark. From the 1974 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #ThrowbackThursday
11/04/2021

Student boarding a train in Newark. From the 1974 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #ThrowbackThursday

Student boarding a train in Newark. From the 1974 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #ThrowbackThursday

You may have heard of The Great Pumpkin, but have you met his first cousin, The Great Pineapple? All ages can come to th...
10/30/2021

You may have heard of The Great Pumpkin, but have you met his first cousin, The Great Pineapple? All ages can come to the Newark History Museum on Sunday, October 31, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, in your Halloween costume and meet The Great Pineapple. You'll get a trick-or-treat goodie bag courtesy of the Newark Historical Society, and if you can find Edgar Allan Poe hidden in the museum you can win an additional prize. Free admission and free parking. The museum is only open four more Sundays in the 2021 season!

You may have heard of The Great Pumpkin, but have you met his first cousin, The Great Pineapple? All ages can come to the Newark History Museum on Sunday, October 31, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, in your Halloween costume and meet The Great Pineapple. You'll get a trick-or-treat goodie bag courtesy of the Newark Historical Society, and if you can find Edgar Allan Poe hidden in the museum you can win an additional prize. Free admission and free parking. The museum is only open four more Sundays in the 2021 season!

Bonnies and Clydes? University of Delaware Blue Hen yearbook staff pose in front of the train station, pretending to put...
10/29/2021

Bonnies and Clydes? University of Delaware Blue Hen yearbook staff pose in front of the train station, pretending to put on a 1930's style robbery. From the 1973 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #FlashbackFriday

Bonnies and Clydes? University of Delaware Blue Hen yearbook staff pose in front of the train station, pretending to put on a 1930's style robbery. From the 1973 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #FlashbackFriday

A Newark Ghost Story: Murder on the Steps of Old College The facts of this story are true. The supernatural elements are...
10/28/2021

A Newark Ghost Story: Murder on the Steps of Old College

The facts of this story are true. The supernatural elements are left up to your imagination. Content warning: contains violence

The spring of 1858 brought the robins and the apple blossoms back to Newark, and the impending oratorical events brought excitement to the students of Delaware College. As was their time honored tradition, the sophomore and junior classes were preparing for the Exhibition, an evening of speeches and debate. Meanwhile, the seniors were preparing for their equally honored tradition of printing a phony Exhibition program, meant to lampoon the presenters and skewer their topics. This year the seniors had an ace in their pocket: they had an advance copy of the real Exhibition program.

Knowing exactly who would be speaking allowed the seniors to craft some specific, cutting satire. Samuel M. Harrington, Jr., the son of the Delaware Chancellor, was the author of the phony program. He called Charles duPont Breck, a member of the famous gunpowder manufacturing family, a “powder monkey.” Anthony Higgins, later to become a United States senator, was “all-gas Higgins.” When the phony program came to light, no one took the criticism more to heart than John Edward Roach. Roach was called the “Maryland hedgehog.” Harrington wrote about Roach, “If he favors any of his ancestors, we judge they are cannibals on the paternal and orang-ou-tangs [sic] on the maternal side.” For Roach, raised by his widowed mother with whom he was extremely close, that insult was unforgivable.

Delaware College occupied a single cruciform-shaped red brick building close to the western end of Newark’s Main Street. The Greek revival architecture featured a flight of 18 steps rising to a portico at the center of the second story where four Doric columns supported the roof above. The building held both classrooms and dormitories for the resident students. Inside Old College Hall the sophomores and juniors decided that the phony program would never be made public.

Shortly after noon on March 30, several of the sophomores and juniors, including Roach, pushed past a student left on guard and kicked in Harrington’s door. The fraudulent programs, found in a trunk, were stuffed into a wood stove in another student’s room. Meanwhile, the student who was left on guard duty ran down Main Street calling to his friends in the several boarding houses where they were eating. Students from both sides of the fray rushed to Old College where a fight broke out between about 20 students in the 15 square-foot, second-story room. The seniors attempted to pull the smoldering programs out of the stove. With sparks and fists flying, amid the smoke and chaos, someone noticed that blood was spurting from Roach’s neck. Roach stumbled out of the room with a knife cut to his jugular vein. When he reached the sill of the main door he collapsed in a pool blood, and died within an hour after a doctor who happened to be in the building for a Board of Trustees meeting came to his aid.

Two months later a student named Isaac Weaver was tried and acquitted of Roach’s murder. Although Weaver had been seen with a knife in his possession earlier in the day, no one had witnessed him stabbing Roach. Weaver was expelled from the college and found a job in Baltimore, MD. When he bled to death years later from a neck wound received in an explosion, many Newark residents speculated that Roach’s spirit had taken its revenge on Isaac Weaver. Roach’s spirit also had its revenge on the college. Falling enrollment and chronic funding problems drove the school to close just a year after Roach’s death, and it remained closed until 1870. Locals whispered, “Was the college cursed?”

Later Delaware College became the University of Delaware, where a single copy of the phony program can still be found in the library's special collections. Pencilled next to Roach’s name is the haunting epitaph: “First libeled, then killed.” Old College Hall still stands, and students still pass through its front door. Little do they know that they could be passing by the ghost of John Edward Roach.

This Sunday, October 31, Edgar Allan Poe will be hiding in the Newark History Museum. If you can find him, a special pri...
10/28/2021

This Sunday, October 31, Edgar Allan Poe will be hiding in the Newark History Museum. If you can find him, a special prize is yours. The museum will be open from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission, free parking, and trick-or-treat bags for anyone who comes in costume.

This Sunday, October 24, the Newark Halloween Parade returns to Main Street after a 2-year hiatus. If you are on your wa...
10/23/2021

This Sunday, October 24, the Newark Halloween Parade returns to Main Street after a 2-year hiatus. If you are on your way to the parade, stop by the Newark History Museum. We will be open from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission and free parking. Directions and more at www.NewarkDeHistoricalSociety.org. Photo of the New Ark Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, ca. 1977.

This Sunday, October 24, the Newark Halloween Parade returns to Main Street after a 2-year hiatus. If you are on your way to the parade, stop by the Newark History Museum. We will be open from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission and free parking. Directions and more at www.NewarkDeHistoricalSociety.org. Photo of the New Ark Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, ca. 1977.

1979 ad for Woolworth at Newark Shopping Center. From the Delaware Newspaper and Yearbooks Archive Facebook Group. #Flas...
10/23/2021

1979 ad for Woolworth at Newark Shopping Center. From the Delaware Newspaper and Yearbooks Archive Facebook Group. #FlashbackFriday

1979 ad for Woolworth at Newark Shopping Center. From the Delaware Newspaper and Yearbooks Archive Facebook Group. #FlashbackFriday

10/21/2021

Interior view of Newark Trust Company, 1950s.

Photo is courtesy of the Newark Historical Society.

#saveoldnewark #newarkdelaware #newarkde

10/20/2021

Advertising card for the Newark Post, undated.

Photo is courtesy of the Newark Historical Society.

#saveoldnewark #newarkdelaware #newarkde

It was truly a "Ghostly Good" Halloween History Tour last night as Jim Jones led a group of history lovers to some poten...
10/20/2021

It was truly a "Ghostly Good" Halloween History Tour last night as Jim Jones led a group of history lovers to some potentially haunted places on Newark's Main Street. There are still some spots left on next Tuesday's tour. Click on this link to learn more: https://www.newarkpostonline.com/news/ghost-tours-showcase-the-spooky-side-of-newark-history/article_5b20370a-72dc-5e44-aab5-c5c408d93682.html?utm_source=newarkpostonline.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Ftop-five%2F%3Fj%26-dc%3D1634724030&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

It was truly a "Ghostly Good" Halloween History Tour last night as Jim Jones led a group of history lovers to some potentially haunted places on Newark's Main Street. There are still some spots left on next Tuesday's tour. Click on this link to learn more: https://www.newarkpostonline.com/news/ghost-tours-showcase-the-spooky-side-of-newark-history/article_5b20370a-72dc-5e44-aab5-c5c408d93682.html?utm_source=newarkpostonline.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Ftop-five%2F%3Fj%26-dc%3D1634724030&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

This beautiful Ed Herbener postcard, ca. 1906, shows the building at the intersection of W. Main Street and New London R...
10/18/2021

This beautiful Ed Herbener postcard, ca. 1906, shows the building at the intersection of W. Main Street and New London Road that now houses Wonderland. This digitized version really alows you to zoom in on the details. In the past it was Richards Meats & Groceries, Linton's Restaurant, Pappy's Pizza Parlour (not related to the Cleveland Ave. chain), and Mac Abee's Records and Tapes.

This beautiful Ed Herbener postcard, ca. 1906, shows the building at the intersection of W. Main Street and New London Road that now houses Wonderland. This digitized version really alows you to zoom in on the details. In the past it was Richards Meats & Groceries, Linton's Restaurant, Pappy's Pizza Parlour (not related to the Cleveland Ave. chain), and Mac Abee's Records and Tapes.

Today there are two great ways to enjoy Newark history:  The Newark History Museum will be open today, Sunday, October 1...
10/17/2021

Today there are two great ways to enjoy Newark history:

The Newark History Museum will be open today, Sunday, October 17, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with free admission and free parking. Only 6 Sundays left to view the 2021 exhibits!

Also today at the Hale Byrnes House, 606 Stanton Christiana Road, in Newark, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm is the
This Place Matters Lecture Series: "Photographs from the Newark Historical Society" Speaker: Theresa Hessey
$5 at the door includes coffee, tea & dessert

Today there are two great ways to enjoy Newark history:

The Newark History Museum will be open today, Sunday, October 17, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with free admission and free parking. Only 6 Sundays left to view the 2021 exhibits!

Also today at the Hale Byrnes House, 606 Stanton Christiana Road, in Newark, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm is the
This Place Matters Lecture Series: "Photographs from the Newark Historical Society" Speaker: Theresa Hessey
$5 at the door includes coffee, tea & dessert

Aerial view of the Christiana Mall on November 23, 1987. From the Delaware Public Archives. #throwbackthursday
10/14/2021

Aerial view of the Christiana Mall on November 23, 1987. From the Delaware Public Archives. #throwbackthursday

Aerial view of the Christiana Mall on November 23, 1987. From the Delaware Public Archives. #throwbackthursday

The University of Delaware Resident Ensemble Players (REP) invite you to join the Saturday Symposium: Investigating "The...
10/14/2021

The University of Delaware Resident Ensemble Players (REP) invite you to join the Saturday Symposium: Investigating "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" - Perspectives on Poe and the Play.

Presented by the College of Arts & Sciences, this program will explore the various aspects of the REP's production of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" - from literary aspects, to myths and legends about Poe's visit to Newark, to how a piece of fiction makes its way to a spine-tingling audio presentation. Panel Discussions will include:

* The Undead Poe with Tom Leitch, Professor of English
* Poe in Newark: Fact or Legend? with Mary Torbey, Curator at Newark History Museum
* From Page to Sound Stage with the REP's creative team of The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Michael Gotch, Adaptor and Director; Eileen Smitheimer, Sound Designer; and Ryan Touhey, Composer

Click here to register: https://udel.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAsf-Gopj4iE9IYd4ZcS_91z9i_JJwBOTP-

The University of Delaware Resident Ensemble Players (REP) invite you to join the Saturday Symposium: Investigating "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" - Perspectives on Poe and the Play.

Presented by the College of Arts & Sciences, this program will explore the various aspects of the REP's production of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" - from literary aspects, to myths and legends about Poe's visit to Newark, to how a piece of fiction makes its way to a spine-tingling audio presentation. Panel Discussions will include:

* The Undead Poe with Tom Leitch, Professor of English
* Poe in Newark: Fact or Legend? with Mary Torbey, Curator at Newark History Museum
* From Page to Sound Stage with the REP's creative team of The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Michael Gotch, Adaptor and Director; Eileen Smitheimer, Sound Designer; and Ryan Touhey, Composer

Click here to register: https://udel.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAsf-Gopj4iE9IYd4ZcS_91z9i_JJwBOTP-

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to help us celebrate our 40th anniversary. Also, a special thanks to Mary ...
10/14/2021

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to help us celebrate our 40th anniversary. Also, a special thanks to Mary Torbey for her fascinating presentation and all the volunteers who made the event possible.

Address

429 S College Ave
Newark, DE
19711

General information

The museum is open 2 p.m. through 5 p.m. on Sundays from April through November. From December through March, we are closed. However, we can open if you contact us to set up a private opening.

Opening Hours

2pm - 5pm

Telephone

(302) 224-2408

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Newark History Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Newark History Museum:

Videos


Comments

In honor of the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the White Clay Creek on Paper Mill Road (near Timothy's Restaurant) installed in the early hours of 11/7/2021, we would like to share some photos of the old covered bridge in the same location. This bridge was built in 1861 as a replacement for a bridge built in 1817 when the mill was owned by Thomas Meeter. In 1949, the covered bridge was replaced with a modern concrete bridge capable of handling an increasing number of automobiles and trucks. Photos courtesy of Mary Torbey. Text courtesy of Theresa Hessey's book: Photographs from the Newark Historical Society.
The Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers Through the Years exhibit is going to be taken down at the end of our 2021 museum season (November 21, 2021), so we have decided to turn it into an online exhibit!👮‍♀️👷🏽👩🏾‍🔬🧑🏻‍🚒🧑🏻‍🏫👨🏽‍🍳 Many thanks to the Ladybug Quilt Guild of Newark for the loan of their beautiful Hope in the Time of Covid-19 quilt. If you were unable to see it in person, or if you would like to visit it again virtually, go to this link: https://izi.travel/browse/5fb6265b-6889-40a6-8b58-697274f06367/en
1985 ad from Kiddie World, a local toy store chain that had a location at Chestnut Hill Road. From the November 13, 1985 Newark Post Archives, hosted on the UD website. #FlashbackFriday
We only have two Sundays left in our 2021 museum season. Visit the Newark History Museum on Sunday, Nov. 14 or 21, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, to see these exhibits before they close: 100th Anniversary of the Newark Country Club, Salute to First Responders and Frontline Workers through the Years - Featuring the Hope for Covid-19 Quilt by the Ladybug Quilt Guild, Women's Work is Never Done, and more! Free admission and free parking. Directions and more at www.NewarkDelawareHistoricalSociety.org.
Fall back in time and visit the Newark History Museum today, one of the three remaining Sundays in the 2021 season. We are open on Sunday, November 7, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Free admission and free parking. Oh, and don't forget to set your clocks back one hour. (Photo of District School #39, 1832 - 1995, formerly located in the parking lot behind Dunkin' Donuts on Main Street.)
Student boarding a train in Newark. From the 1974 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #ThrowbackThursday
You may have heard of The Great Pumpkin, but have you met his first cousin, The Great Pineapple? All ages can come to the Newark History Museum on Sunday, October 31, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, in your Halloween costume and meet The Great Pineapple. You'll get a trick-or-treat goodie bag courtesy of the Newark Historical Society, and if you can find Edgar Allan Poe hidden in the museum you can win an additional prize. Free admission and free parking. The museum is only open four more Sundays in the 2021 season!
Bonnies and Clydes? University of Delaware Blue Hen yearbook staff pose in front of the train station, pretending to put on a 1930's style robbery. From the 1973 Blue Hen, UD Archives. #FlashbackFriday
A Newark Ghost Story: Murder on the Steps of Old College The facts of this story are true. The supernatural elements are left up to your imagination. Content warning: contains violence The spring of 1858 brought the robins and the apple blossoms back to Newark, and the impending oratorical events brought excitement to the students of Delaware College. As was their time honored tradition, the sophomore and junior classes were preparing for the Exhibition, an evening of speeches and debate. Meanwhile, the seniors were preparing for their equally honored tradition of printing a phony Exhibition program, meant to lampoon the presenters and skewer their topics. This year the seniors had an ace in their pocket: they had an advance copy of the real Exhibition program. Knowing exactly who would be speaking allowed the seniors to craft some specific, cutting satire. Samuel M. Harrington, Jr., the son of the Delaware Chancellor, was the author of the phony program. He called Charles duPont Breck, a member of the famous gunpowder manufacturing family, a “powder monkey.” Anthony Higgins, later to become a United States senator, was “all-gas Higgins.” When the phony program came to light, no one took the criticism more to heart than John Edward Roach. Roach was called the “Maryland hedgehog.” Harrington wrote about Roach, “If he favors any of his ancestors, we judge they are cannibals on the paternal and orang-ou-tangs [sic] on the maternal side.” For Roach, raised by his widowed mother with whom he was extremely close, that insult was unforgivable. Delaware College occupied a single cruciform-shaped red brick building close to the western end of Newark’s Main Street. The Greek revival architecture featured a flight of 18 steps rising to a portico at the center of the second story where four Doric columns supported the roof above. The building held both classrooms and dormitories for the resident students. Inside Old College Hall the sophomores and juniors decided that the phony program would never be made public. Shortly after noon on March 30, several of the sophomores and juniors, including Roach, pushed past a student left on guard and kicked in Harrington’s door. The fraudulent programs, found in a trunk, were stuffed into a wood stove in another student’s room. Meanwhile, the student who was left on guard duty ran down Main Street calling to his friends in the several boarding houses where they were eating. Students from both sides of the fray rushed to Old College where a fight broke out between about 20 students in the 15 square-foot, second-story room. The seniors attempted to pull the smoldering programs out of the stove. With sparks and fists flying, amid the smoke and chaos, someone noticed that blood was spurting from Roach’s neck. Roach stumbled out of the room with a knife cut to his jugular vein. When he reached the sill of the main door he collapsed in a pool blood, and died within an hour after a doctor who happened to be in the building for a Board of Trustees meeting came to his aid. Two months later a student named Isaac Weaver was tried and acquitted of Roach’s murder. Although Weaver had been seen with a knife in his possession earlier in the day, no one had witnessed him stabbing Roach. Weaver was expelled from the college and found a job in Baltimore, MD. When he bled to death years later from a neck wound received in an explosion, many Newark residents speculated that Roach’s spirit had taken its revenge on Isaac Weaver. Roach’s spirit also had its revenge on the college. Falling enrollment and chronic funding problems drove the school to close just a year after Roach’s death, and it remained closed until 1870. Locals whispered, “Was the college cursed?” ​ Later Delaware College became the University of Delaware, where a single copy of the phony program can still be found in the library's special collections. Pencilled next to Roach’s name is the haunting epitaph: “First libeled, then killed.” Old College Hall still stands, and students still pass through its front door. Little do they know that they could be passing by the ghost of John Edward Roach.
This Sunday, October 31, Edgar Allan Poe will be hiding in the Newark History Museum. If you can find him, a special prize is yours. The museum will be open from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission, free parking, and trick-or-treat bags for anyone who comes in costume.
This Sunday, October 24, the Newark Halloween Parade returns to Main Street after a 2-year hiatus. If you are on your way to the parade, stop by the Newark History Museum. We will be open from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission and free parking. Directions and more at www.NewarkDeHistoricalSociety.org. Photo of the New Ark Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, ca. 1977.