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Indian Mission United Methodist Church

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1921. DE 5 and Road 48, northwest of Fairmount

The Nanticokes are the only cohesive Native American tribe surviving on the Delmarva peninsula. Long a center of their culture, this Gothic Revival frame church replaced a simple chapel of the 1880s that had been built by a splinter group of Indians who left nearby Harmony Church when an African American minister was hired. That period saw a separatist movement rise within the Nanticokes, who had previously been assimilated into the larger black community. Another center of tribal life is the Nanticoke Indian Museum (DE 24 at Road 5). Built by the state as Harmon School in 1921, it closed in 1964 and was converted to a museum in the 1980s. The school was meant to educate both African Americans and Indians, but many of the separatists refused to attend and instead founded nearby Indian Mission School (rebuilt 1948).

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Indian Mission United Methodist Church", [Harbeson, 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, 279-279.

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