Holy Trinity is the oldest Christian congregation in the Delaware Valley. The first Christian services in the region were led by a priest of the Church of Sweden at Fort Christina in 1640. The church building was dedicated on Holy Trinity Sunday, July 4, 1699. When the last Swedish priest, Lars Girelius, left in 1791, the congregation called Joseph Clarkson, the Anglican assistant to Nils Collin in Philadelphia. In 1795, the charter was amended to allow the calling of one “ordained according to the ordination of the Lutheran or Episcopal Church.” The church graveyard holds the burial sites of many prominent leaders and churchmen of the colonial and revolutionary eras.
Mills were once ubiquitous features of the American countryside. Mills were constructed anywhere possible to grind corn and wheat crops before they were taken to market. Abbott’s Mill, located in rural Delaware southwest of Milford, was in use from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The mill is a two-and-a-half-story frame structure. Although the superstructure of the mill has been rebuilt, it retains its original foundations. The original mill, a saw mill, was built on the site in 1795. Beginning in 1808, the mill was transformed into a gristmill, and it operated that way until 1960. A water wheel originally powered the mill, but it was replaced in the late 1800s with a water turbine. The turbine engine was int turn replaced with a diesel engine in the twentieth century. The mill is owned by the state of Delaware, and is currently leased by the state to the Delaware Nature Society, which has built a Nature Center behind the mill buildings. Nature trails run through the undeveloped land to the rear of the property. Workshops, exhibits, walking trails, courses, and other programs are run daily at the Nature Center. Abbott’s Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Links: Abbott’s Mill
John Dickinson was one of the most effective spokesmen for the colonial cause in the disputes with Great Britain during the years leading up to the American Revolution. Dickinson (1732-1808) grew up on his father’s plantation near Dover, Delaware, but practiced law in Philadelphia during the 1760’s and 1770’s. He attended the Stamp Act Congress which organized resistance to British tax policies, and his series of “Letters of a Farmer in Pennsylvania” in 1767 became the classic statement of opposition to direct parliamentary taxation of the colonies. Dickinson eventually voted against the Declaration of Independence, but remained in the Continental Congress and drafted America’s first constitution, the Articles of Confederation. Dickinson’s restored boyhood home is now preserved. along with reconstructions of other farm structures, on 18 acres of the original plantation. Living history interpreters enact the life of a working colonial plantation, including members of the Dickinson family, plantation tenants, and the family’s slaves. The visitor center contains permanent exhibits on the life of John Dickinson and the history of the plantation.
Links: John Dickinson Plantation