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February 6

Old Swedes Church, at 7th & Church Streets in Wilmington, was built in 1698. It is the oldest church in the United States in continuous operation. The church was built by Swedish Lutheran missionaries, who were sent to tend to the descendants of the Swedish settlers who first landed in 1638, in what was already an English world. As such, the church has little to no Swedish architectural elements.

 

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February 7

The former Colored School 107C, on Mill Creek Road in Hockessin. The school for Blacks was built in 1920, and is tied to one of the landmark Supreme Court cases in the nation's history. Before desegregation, busing was not provided for Blacks or for schools for Blacks in the state. One student, Shirley Bulah, needed busing to get to school because she lived far away from this school. Since buses were not available for Blacks, they tried to get the school bus for Whites to pick her up. Officials refused, and Shirley's mother filed a suit. The lawsuit became Bulah vs. Gebhart, and Delaware Chancellor Collins J. Seitz overturned the segregation law. The ruling was appealed, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was combined along with 2 other cases with the Brown vs. Board of Education case which struck down segregation nationwide.

 

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February 8

Delaware's most famous baseball player was Negro Leaguer Judy Johnson. William Julius "Judy" Johnson was born in 1900 in Snow Hill, Maryland, and moved to Wilmington in 1905. His playing career spanned from 1918 to 1936, with stints for the Hilldale Club, Homestead Grays, and Pittsburgh Crawfords. Johnson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. He lived in this house on Kiamensi Avenue in Marshallton from 1934 until shortly before his death. The house was built in 1925.

 

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February 9

Even though Delaware was a slave state, there were more Free Blacks than slaves in the state. That, combined with the gradual loss of buildings of any type over time, means that there are very few slave dwellings in existence in the state. One such extant slave quarter is at the Ross Mansion in Seaford. The dwelling was built around 1855. The tiny 16x24 ft dwelling housed 10 men and 4 women.

 

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February 10

The old Sussex County Courthouse, on Bedford Street in Georgetown. The courthouse was built in 1792 after the county seat was moved here, then just a bare field, from Lewes. The courthouse was moved here in 1837 when construction of the current courthouse began, and was replaced in 1839. It served as a residence and printing office before being restored by the state.

 

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February 11

Hagley, on Christchurch Road near Montchanin. The house was built in 1795 by Jacob Broom. Broom signed the United States Constitution as a delegate of Delaware. Broom sold the house to Éleuthère I. Du Pont in 1802. The house passed down through the Du Pont family, being used by smokeless powder creator Francis G. Du Pont and others. The house still remains in the Du Pont family.

 

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February 12

Stonework in the exterior walls of Old Swedes Church in Wilmington. The church was built in 1698 by descendants of the original Swedish colonists, for the Swedes who needed a church in the now-British colony. Swedish stoneworking was used for the church, and is best-known for its distinctive use of having small stones fill the gaps in between the larger stones.

 
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