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Delaware Archaeological Museum (Old Presbyterian Church)

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Old Presbyterian Church
1790. 1949–1950 restoration, Albert Kruse. 316 S. Governor's Ave.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

The Dover plat of 1717 set this lot aside as Meeting House Square, and already a log church (c. 1715) stood here. This brick former church was still new when Delaware's constitution, drafted by John Dickinson, was ratified inside in 1792. The Square was spoiled by a gas works in the late nineteenth century, not removed until the 1950s. In 1923, the congregation started meeting elsewhere and, in 1947, sold the building to the state, which opened the Delaware State Museum here three years later (today it houses the Delaware Archaeological Museum). Kruse replaced the boxy steeple with a Colonial Revival cupola. Inside, the outstanding feature is the circular stair to the gallery. In the churchyard stands a monument (1841, incorporating a tablet of 1783) to Revolutionary patriot Colonel John Haslet, killed in the Battle of Princeton and reinterred here from Philadelphia. A brick Sunday School building (1880) contains a museum that includes carpenter's tools and sections of Wilmington's early wooden waterpipes.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Delaware Archaeological Museum (Old Presbyterian Church)", [Dover, 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, 251-252.

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