Historic New Castle
Visitors’ Guide 2022
Welcome To The City of New Castle On behalf of the 5,500 residents of the City of New Castle, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our city! I hope you will visit our museums and parks, restaurants and shops, or attend our historic or cultural events. We take great pride in the role our city played in the earliest origins of our country and state, and we are adding to that history every year. You are part of our effort to preserve that history and grow our future. We appreciate presence here today. Enjoy your visit and come back often! Michael J. Quaranta Mayor
Enjoy the freshest and best
New Castle Has To Offer!
Table of Contents A Bit Of New Castle History Annual Events In New Castle Wayside Exhibits Places To Shop, Dine, Worship & Relax Museums Town Map Jack Markell Trail Visiting Ideas
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A Bit of New Castle History
ounded in 1651 by Peter Stuyvesant, Fort Casimir, as New Castle was first called, gave the Dutch command of all traffic on the Delaware River. Nearby Swedes considered this a threat to their claims of the area and were anxious to protect their river position. The Swedes captured the fort in 1654, renaming it Fort Trinity (Trefaldighet). A little more than a year later, the Dutch regained the fort and it became New Amstel. In 1664 the English seized all Dutch possessions including New Amstel and renamed the town New Castle. New Castle remained under English rule for the remainder of the colonial period.
In 1682 William Penn received ownership of the three lower counties of Pennsylvania consisting of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex from James, Duke of York. Penn soon found the counties determined to rule themselves. In 1704, Delaware was granted a separate legislature. In 1701, the northern curved border of the state of Delaware was drawn from a 12-mile arc fixed at the Broad Dyke in New Castle. New Castle became the colonial capital and later the first state capital. In 1777 the state capital was moved to Dover, but this did not diminish New Castle’s importance as a colonial river port. Due to the port’s central location, many of the most important people of the late 18th and early 19th centuries passed through New Castle. Packet boats bought goods from Philadelphia where they were then shipped by stage and continued by boat up the Elk River to Baltimore and Annapolis. New Castle also boasted one of the first railroads known as the New Castle and Frenchtown railroad. The original ticket office survives to this day on the battery. As Wilmington and Philadelphia grew, New Castle began to decline in importance. This was fortunate for New Castle; instead of tearing down and replacing historic buildings with modern structures, the residents renovated old homes and buildings. Today New Castle is home to many thriving businesses and several large industries. The historic district, thanks to the stewardship of the community, is a popular destination for movie, television and documentary production companies. Beloved, Dead Poet’s Society, and most recently The Abolitionists, were all filmed in and around the historic district. 5
Annual Events In New Castle Please note, all annual events and dates are subject to cancellation and/ or change. • Fourth Friday Art Loops: Each month on the 4th Friday. 5:00 8:00 p.m. Sip & snack as you walk through local galleries and shops. • Late February: Restaurant Weekend. Participating locations offer a three-course dinner for a fixed price. Reservations are highly recommended! www.historicnewcastle.com. • Saturday, March 5th: 9th Annual Attack Addiction 5K Run/Walk. www.attackaddiction.org. • Saturday, April 16th: New Castle Presbyterian Church Easter Fair. www.newcastlepreschurch.org. • Sunday, April 17th: 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service on the Wharf. 1:00 p.m. NC Lions Club Easter Parade on the Green. • Friday and Saturday, May 6th & 7th: Arasapha Garden Club’s May Market. www.arasapha.org. • Saturday, May 21st: A Day in Old New Castle: A New Castle tradition; America’s oldest home & garden tour. Featuring the Kalmar Nyckel and may other activities. Go to www.historicnewcastle.com. • Friday & Saturday, June 10th & 11th: Separation Day Celebration. This unique event celebrates Delaware’s Birthday, when we “separated” from Great Britain and Pennsylvania on June 15th, 1776. Start the day with a parade in the morning, vintage market, music, and rides in Battery Park, with our signature fireworks at 9:30 p.m. by the Delaware River. www.separationdayde.com • Sunday, June 12th: St. Anthony’s Day Celebration. • June -August: Wednesday Night Concerts in Battery Park. www. historicnewcastle.com. o 6/15/2022 Ashley & the LimesTones Classic Rock, Alt, Blues o 6/22/2022 Chesapeake Brass Band Brass o 6/29/2022 Rick & Connie Oldies, Country o 7/6/2022 Olivia Reynolds Country, Rock o 7/13/2022 Cindee & Chip Acoustic Eclectic Covers o 7/20/2022 Jimmy Pritchard Blues 6
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7/27/2022 8/3/2022 8/10/2022
Trinity Acoustic Group Yacht Rock, Easy Listening Kona Shame Blues, Classic Rock Cherry Crush Dance, Classic Party
• Sunday, August 28th: Outdoor Antique Show in Battery Park. www.dfshows.com • Dining in the Street: Benefits the New Castle Senior Center. Check the NC Senior Center website for information on this event. www. newcastleseniorcenter.com. • Saturday, September 24th: Annual Art on the Green in Battery Park. Come to Battery Park for this 51-year-old tradition hosted by the New Castle Lions Club. www.artonthegreende.net • Saturday, September 24th: First Annual Belgian Beer Fest. Be on hand for the Inaugural New Castle Belgian Fest. www.historicnewcastle. com. • Saturday, October 1st: River Towns Ride & Festival. www. rivertownsfestival.com • Saturday, October 1st: New Castle Sailing Club Beach Clean Up. www.newcastlesailingclub.org • Last Week of October: New Castle Lions Club Halloween Parade 6:30 p.m. Date to be determined. • Fridays and Saturdays in October: Haunted History Tours. For additional information contact the New Castle Historical Society at 302322-2794 or visit their website www.newcastlehistory.org. Saturday, November 26th: Small Business Saturday www. • historicnewcastle.com Saturday, December 10th: Spirit of Christmas & A • Dickens Experience. www.newcastlepreschurch.org/spirit; www. newcastlehistory.org.
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Places to Shop, Dine, and Relax
Historic New Castle, born of the river, home to tall ships and cobbled streets; a refuge reached by land or water. These business are listed coming West from the wharf #1 Jessop’s Tavern 114 Delaware Street 302-322-6111 www.Jessops-Tavern.com Mon-Thurs: 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Fri-Sat: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm Sun: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm The building housing Jessop’s Tavern was originally built in 1674. The dishes echo American food history, reflecting the English, Dutch, and Swedish presence in this region. The beer selection has 300+ Belgium bottled beers, 21 draft offerings. #2 Nora Lees 124 Delaware Street 302-322-7675 www.noralees.com Tues –Thurs: 12:00 –9:00 pm Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 10:00 pm Sun: Noon - 8.00 pm Quaint New Orleans–inspired bar and eatery, supplying Cajun and Creole classics in a festive atmosphere.
#4 Mo’zArt Gallery 1 E. 2nd Street (302) 753-5386 @dmymd47 Artist Dennis Young set up his charming gallery in the heart of Historic New Castle. His works are wide-ranging and include a selection of town scenes. #5 Terry House, Bed and Breakfast 130 Delaware Street. 302-784-1720 www.terryhouse.com Contact them by email for reservations. 1860 Victorian Bed & Breakfast. Spacious rooms, private baths. Great views of both the park and Delaware River, viewed from the Porch and the second floor balcony. Located within walking distance of museums, shops, the Wharf, and restaurants.
#6 Cobblestone Antiques 200 Delaware Street (302) 438-2172 www.cobblestone#3 Empire Nutrition - Smoothie & antiques.business.site Juice Bar Wed. – Sat. 11:00 am – 5:00 pm 125 Delaware Street @EmpireNutritionDE (check their Sun. 12:00 – 5:00 pm Located right in the town square of Facebook page for hours) A nutrition club with some delicious Historic New Castle, Cobblestone Antiques offers a great selection of healthy meal replacement shakes, energy teas, protein waffles, protein high quality antique and vintage items at the lowest prices! coffees & fat burners.
#7 The Mercury Café and Teahouse 206 Delaware Street. Sit, Sip and Relax www.themercurynewcastle.com Wed. – Sat. 12:00 – 8:00 pm Sun. 12:00 – 6:00 pm (check their website for special hours.) Café and Teahouse located in the heart of Historic New Castle. Featuring locally roasted coffee, teas, herbal blends, delicious cocktails, craft beer, wine and vegetarian/vegan fare. #8 Landmark Antiques & Collectibles 202 Delaware Street Thurs. – Sat. 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Sun. 12:00 – 5:00 pm Don’t miss this hidden gem, they offer collectibles, vintage & antique items. Located right down the alley by the Mercury Café. #9 Fresh Faced Skin Care 204 A Delaware St. 302-689-3223 Call or check the website for appointments and hours. www.FreshFacedSkinCare.com Advanced facial treatments and products created by research scientist and licensed skin care specialist Erica Suppa. Specializing in the treatment of acne and aging. #10 The Weekly 203 Delaware Street 302-328-6005 Mon., Tues., Thurs. 10 am- 3:00 pm Website: www.TheWeekly.Press A weekly newspaper, over 30 years old, serving Historic New Castle and surrounding areas from the Old Town Hall.
#11 M & T Bank, 24 hour ATM mtb.com 210 Delaware Street & Drive Thru at 38 Ferry Cut Off #12 Booth House Tavern & David Finney Inn 222 Delaware Street 302-276-0753 www.boothhousetavern.com DFI Café: 7 Days a week 7:00 a.m. - Noon Booth House Tavern: Thurs. 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. Fri. – Sun. 11:00 a.m. –9:00 p.m. The DFI CafÃ©: The DFI CafÃ© offers coffee & tea in a bright and sunny atmosphere. Booth House Tavern: Where SmallTown Brewpub meets Historical Hangout! With a modern twist on the colonial-tavern lifestyle, Booth House Tavern is the place for everyone to gather, eat, drink, and be merry. David Finney Inn: Stay with us at the David Finney Inn! #13 Opera House Antiques & Rodney Pratt Framing & Gallery 304/306 Delaware Street (302) 525-3000 Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Fri. 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Sat. 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Sun. 12:00 am – 5:00 pm @OperaHouseArtsAntiques Opera House Antiques has a diverse mix of artists and vendors. Antique store, art gallery, picture framing, interior design, jewelry repair, and trunk repair & restoration. Stop in for unique finds. 11
#14 Oak Knoll Books and Oak Knoll Press 310 Delaware Street 302-328-7232 www.oakknoll.com Oak Knoll Books specializes in books about the production and distribution of books, and Delaware history.
#18 All Good Things 412 Delaware Street Instagram - @allgoodthingsMC Marcy and Chandler, a mother/ daughter duo curate an evolving collection of unique antiques, home decor, beautiful forever flower arrangements and hand poured candles.
#15 All Good Dogs (Coming Soon) 316 Delaware Street 302-544-4230 Instagram - @allgooddogsMC A very unique dog boutique. Special and all occasion treats, collars/leashes, apparel and doggie home decor.
#19 Garrison Deli 501 W. 7th Street (in the Garrison Apartments) (302) 501-5300 www.garrison-deli.business.site Mon. – Fri. 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Sat. & Sun. 9:00 am – 7:00 pm In the mood for a deli sandwich? The Garrison Deli is the place to go; they also offer breakfast.
#16 Bridgewater Jewelers 318 Delaware Street 302-328-2101 Tues – Fri: 10 am - 6 pm. Sat: 10 am - 3 pm www.bridgewaterjewelers.com For more than 130 years, the foundation of Bridgewater Jewelers has always been a focus on superior business ethics, quality, service and fairness. #17 Zollies Jazz Cucina 414 Delaware Street 302-570-7419 www.zolliesjazzcucina.com Wed. & Thur. 3:00 – 9:00 pm Fri. 3:00 – 10:00 pm Sat. 1:00 – 10:00 pm Sun. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Zollie’s fusion kitchen! Indulge in a menagerie of flavors from the Americas and the Caribbean blended in perfect harmony at Zollie’s. 12
#20 Lady Water Ice 503 W. 7th Street (in the Garrison Apartments) 302-287-1782 Mon. 1:00 pm – 8- pm Wed. –Fri. 1:00 pm #21 Buyrite Liquors 427 W. 7th Street 302-328-8300 Mon. – Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Sun. 11:00 am – 8:00 pm #22 Chilis Fried Chicken 625 Delaware Street 302-276-0723 www.chilisfriedchicken.com Open 7 days a week 11:00 am –8:45 pm Chilis’ menu features pizza, chicken with fries, jumbo shrimp and more!
#23 Porto-Fino Pizza & Restaurant - River Plaza 730 Ferry Cutoff Street 302-322-3330 Sunday: Noon-10:00 pm Mon. 11:00 am-10:00pm Tues. - Sat: 11am – 11:00 pm www.portofinopizzarestaurant.com Since 1984, Porto-Fino’s has been a landmark in the heart of Old New Castle where friends meet to enjoy the best Italian food. #24 China East River Plaza 726 Ferry Cut Off Street (302) 325-9913 Mon. – Sat. 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Closed Sunday. #25 New Castle Spirits 738 Ferry Cut Off Street 302-322-6691 newcastlespiritsde.business.site Mon. – Thurs. 9:00 am – 11:00 pm Fri & Sat. 9:00 am –11:00 pm Sun. 10:00 am – 8:00 pm #26 Zach’s Grill 739 Ferry Cut Off Street (302) 547-9438 zachs-grill.business.site Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 am – 8:30 pm Fri. 10:00 am – 9:30 pm Sat. 11:00 am – 9:30 pm Sun. 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
#27 3 Countries Pizzeria 202 E. 6th Street (302) 322-2611 www.threecountriespizzeria.com Mon. – Thurs. 10:00 am – 8:15 pm Fri & Sat. 10:00 am – 9:15 pm 3 Countries is a family run business that features selections from Mexican, Italian, and American cuisine. They have it all! #28 Dunkin’ Donuts 905 E. Basin Road (302) 328-2259 www.dunkindonuts.com Mon. – Sun. 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. #29 Wheelys Farmstand Café 791 Frenchtown Road 302-547-9438 Wheelys Farmstand Café offers Coffee, Lemonade, Waffles, Bacon, Fried Chicken, and much more. www.facebook.com/wheelysnewcastle www.wheelysnewcastle.com www.wheelysfarmacy.com Wheelys Farmstand Café offers Coffee, Lemonade, Waffles, Bacon, Fried Chicken, and much more. #30 Domino’s Pizza 1202 Delaware Street
302-323-1515 Zach’s is a small family run business www.dominos.com that brings good food, specializing Sun. – Thur. 10:30 am – 12:00 am in classic grill food with a little twist. Fri & Sat. 10:30 am – 1:00 pm Ice cream too!
#31 New Castle Farmer’s Market 110 N. DuPont Highway 302- 328-4101 www.newcastlefarmersmarket.com Thurs.. 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Fri. & Sat. 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm The New Castle Farmers Market has been a New Castle tradition since 1954, the New Castle Farmer’s Market offers over 70 shops and restaurants. #32 Air Port Plaza Shopping Center 148 N. DuPont Highway Airport Plaza offers many shops, services and restaurants. Including BJ’s, Home Depot, Staples, Ross, WSFS & Citizen’s Banks, West Marine, Planet Fitness and more. #33 Parivaar Super Market Asian Grocery Store (Coming Soon) 148 Sunset Blvd. Specialty Grocery Store
Library New Castle Public Library 424 Delaware Street www.newcastlelibrary.lib.de.us Hours: Mon & Tues: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm Wed & Thur: 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm Fri & Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sun: CLOSED
Churches • • • •
Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green, 50 Market Street New Castle United Methodist Church, 510 Delaware Street New Castle Presbyterian Church 25 E. 2nd Street Mt. Salem Church & Cemetery 140 E. 4th Street
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Museums 1. Delaware Street between Market and East 3rd Streets. New Castle Court House Museum. The old courthouse served as the meeting place for Delaware’s colonial state assembly from 1732 to 1777 when New Castle was Delaware’s capital. 2. 42 The Strand. The Read House & Gardens. Built between 1801 and 1803 for lawyer George Read II, the Read House represented the height of Philadelphia neoclassical architecture. Inside, spacious and ornate parlors represent the lifestyles of the Read family. Third owners Philip and Lydia Laird first opened the Read House for A Day in Old New Castle in the 1920s; the Laird dining room depicts their early twentieth century style. See “Garden” descriptions. 3. 19 East 3rd Street. Dutch House & Gardens. The charming Dutch House is one of the earliest buildings in the Delaware Valley. Built between 1690 and 1710, the Dutch House is furnished to reflect the Dutch heritage of New Castle’s colonial period. The gardens include a Colonial Revival garden, a Dutch kitchen garden, and the Arasapha Native Plant Garden. See “Garden” descriptions. 4. 40 East 3rd Street. Old Library Museum Garden. The 1892 Old Library Museum, is in transition and not currently open to the public. The gardens are open for the tour, however. 5. East 4th and Delaware Streets. Amstel House & Gardens. As New Castle’s earliest Georgian mansion, the 1738 Amstel House reflects the lifestyle of the city’s elite, like Governor Nicholas Van Dyke, in the late 18th century. The house is furnished with many original family and New Castle artifacts. The 1930s Colonial Revival Garden was designed by prominent landscape architect Charles Gillette. 6. Friends of Bellanca Airfield, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the Bellanca airfield and aircraft manufacturing in New Castle. Giuseppe Mario Bellanca immigrated from Italy in 1911 and continued his passion for aircraft design here in the US. His aircraft Columbia was Charles Lindbergh’s first choice for a Trans-Atlantic crossing. Lindbergh was unable to secure the plane, but 2 weeks after that first Trans-Atlantic flight Columbia was flown non-stop from New York to Berlin (3,911 miles). Rte 273 & Centerpoint Blvd. New Castle. friendsofbellanca.org.
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The Jack A. Markell Trail The Jack A. Markell Trail completes a long-awaited connection between the city of Wilmington (including the Amtrak Station) and New Castle Battery Park. That connection consists of an off-road elevated boardwalk and paved pathways, the Wilmington Riverwalk, and one on-road section through Historic New Castle, totaling 7.9 miles. Named after former Governor Jack A. Markell, the 5.5 mile “JAM” trail connects the Wilmington Riverfront with the City of New Castle. The $26 million trail completed in September 2018 converted an abandoned freight rail line to a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path.
Visiting Ideas There’s lot to see and do in Historic New Castle. Here are some ideas depending on your time and interest:
Getting to know us:
The best place to start is the Visitor Center at The Arsenal. There you can enjoy an 8 minute video introducing you to Historic New Castle.
A Quick Sample:
Walking tours to the Dutch House and the Amstel House start at the Visitor Center.
A Closer Look
After visiting the Amstel House, you can begin a 2 ½ hour audio tour of the Historic Area on your own phone in the Amstel House garden.
Independence and High Society - Both the New Castle Court House Museum and the George Read Junior House offer one hour tours. Colonial Churches – Both the New Castle Presbyterian Church and Immanuel Church and Cemetery are open to visitors. The River Walk - Enjoy a walk along the river. Start at the Wharf and continue along the 3.7 mile (round trip) paved trail. Wayside Walk – For something entirely different, explore the six different sites explained by colorful interpretive panels. These include Fort Casimir, the Wharf (2), the Frenchtown Railroad, The Courthouse Museum, and the Sheriff ’s House. Whatever tour you choose, we hope you enjoy our many shops and restaurants.
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What's Cookin' ? Find out at the historic Amstel House! Visit the New Castle Historical Society's museums, and travel through five centuries of history. Begin your journey at the New Castle Visitor Center at the Arsenal. 30 Market Street, Historic New Castle
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