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The Towers

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Late 18th century. 1891 remodeling. 101 N.W. Front St.
  • The Towers (Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs, Dover, Del.)

This house's occupants have included poet John Lofland (the “Milford Bard”) in 1808–1838 and, later, Governor William Burton, whose wife occupied it until 1885. Her daughter, wealthy widow Rhoda B. Roudebush, returned from New York to undertake extraordinary Queen Anne–style transformations. The frame house became a riot of roof-shapes, window types, shingle patterns, and decorative details. One end of the dwelling has a storybook turret and a red-brick chimney with black bricks that spell “1783” (the supposed original date of the house) and “1891,” along with a checkered pattern cleverly alluding to glazed-header colonial brick-work. Interior woodwork is elaborate, including a sycamore-wood coffered ceiling in the music room. Late-nineteenth-century architecture was rarely mentioned in the WPA Delaware Guide (1938); this was an exception, but only because of its association with Lofland. At that time, it was painted red and green. As part of a transformation in the mid-1980s into a bed-and-breakfast, it received a dazzling scheme of pinks and purples, which landed it in the popular book by Elizabeth Pomada, America's Painted Ladies (1992). Fender-benders sometimes occur on the street as drivers slow down to stare.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "The Towers", [Milford, 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, 244-244.

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