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Center Friends Meeting House

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1796. 1870s porch. Center Meeting Rd., east of Centreville
  • Center Friends Meeting House (W. Barksdale Maynard)
  • Center Friends Meeting House (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

Delaware's first Quaker meetinghouse west of Brandywine Creek was established in this vicinity in 1690. It was called “Center” for lying between New Ark Union (now Carrcroft, northeast of Wilmington) and Old Kennett Meeting, Pennsylvania. The current one-story brick structure has a tall sloping roof and a porch with thin posts and brackets. It is divided inside by a wooden partition in the usual Quaker manner and contains early benches, wainscoting, floors, and stoves (the only source of heat). Rustic-looking sheds outside are divided into stalls for horses, each post supported by a rock. Weathered benches on the little late-nineteenth-century porch overlook rolling countryside. At the rear of the meetinghouse is a graveyard in which markers were forbidden until 1850. The meetinghouse was essentially abandoned from 1907 on, until the growth of the suburbs and renewed interest in Quakerism led to its reopening in the 1950s. Centre Grove School (1854), across the road, operated until 1932.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Center Friends Meeting House", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 59-59.

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