Hagley Museum and Library

Northern Delaware's Brandywine Valley certainly has plenty of great attractions that visitors can enjoy. Among them is the impressive Hagley Museum and Library, which is found resting along the banks of Wilmington's Brandywine River. It was here that E.I. du Pont founded a gunpowder mill in the early 1800's, and it was the first place in the U.S. where the du Pont family built a home and gardens. The main mansion and gardens here are simply spectacular, and should you be interested in learning a little about U.S. technology and business, you can peruse the manuscripts, documents and other publications in the Hagley Library. The Hagley Museum and Library offers tours for visitors that feature an array of exhibits and demonstrations.

Hagley Museum history can be felt everywhere you turn here. The grounds are strewn with vestiges of the property's gunpowder production days, from restored mills and mill equipment, to unrestored mills and machinery-filled workshops. The Eleutherian Mills du Pont home offers a wonderful Brandywine River view, and the antiques and decor certainly detail the kind of opulence enjoyed by generations of the du Pont family. The botanical gardens are a joy to stroll during Hagley Museum Delaware trips, and you can also check out the old office and barn that are found near the main residence. Part of the fun of visiting the Hagley Museum and Library is the chance to examine the 19th century farm equipment and tools. If you like cars, you'll love the lower level of the Barn, where you can find an exhibit based on the du Pont company's car manufacturing operation. Among the relics found here are a 1928 du Pont Phaeton. An interesting Detroit Electric car is surely worth checking out as well.

The Powder Yard is a neat Hagley Museum Delaware attraction, exhibiting mills and waterwheels. In the early days of Hagley Museum history, waterpower was pretty much the way to get things working, as electricity was still a bit off. Hagley Museum Delaware tours are a great way to learn about the things that early American companies dealt with. At the Powder Yard, you can see demonstrations aimed at showing how the different machines and mills functioned. The Worker's Hill is of considerable interest, and here you will also find live demonstrations with costumed workers that give insight into Hagley Museum history. Found at the Worker's Hill exhibit are the Gibbons House, where workers' families resided, and an early 1800's schoolhouse where the workers' children got their education. Gunpowder was the first industry that the du Pont family engaged itself in, so not only is Hagley Museum history interesting in terms of the direct property, but also in the bigger scheme of things. Today, the Du Pont company is the second largest chemical company in the world, and at the Hagley Museum and Library, you can view science and technology exhibits that are a great compliment to the more historical gunpowder exhibits.

The Hagley Museum Library is a wonderful research center, where guests are welcome to peruse the many great documents and publications found here. The Hagley Museum Library was founded in 1953 by a du Pont family member by the name of Pierre. Over time, the library would become more and more prestigious, and in 1985, it was inducted into the Independent Research Libraries Association. If you are coming to the Hagley Museum Library for the first time, you'll need to get a research card to be able to access the exhibits and resources. If you are going to spend a few hours here, you might choose to bring a lunch with you. There is a staff lounge on-site where visitors are more than welcome to relax for a bit. There are some regulations to follow when accessing the Hagley Museum Library archives, so take care to make sure you are leaving things as you find them. Group tours of the Hagley Museum and Library are a great way to enjoy your time spent here, or at least some of it. The Brandywine Valley's history is very much influenced by the du Pont family, and since they began their operations at Hagley, it gives insight into many of the other attractions found in northern Delaware.

There's so much interesting stuff here to examine and explore, so you'll want to schedule at least a few hours to appreciate it all. The Hagley Museum and Library is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. between the dates of March 15 and January 1. During the winter, there is a single guided tour offered on weekdays, while the weekends see normal hours. Some of the different exhibits have hours all their own, so you'll want to check ahead to make sure you'll get to see what you want to see. Admission is just over $10 for adults, with a $1 discount for seniors and students. Kids 6 and under get in free, while those between the ages of 7-14 get in for around $5. The Hagley Museum and Library is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. On the second Saturday of the month, you can also access the Library from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Since Delaware's high season for tourism is the summer, you might experience decent crowds then, but even at its busiest, you likely won't find yourself vying with crowds or waiting in line. If you're in northern Delaware visiting, you really should consider a stop at the Hagley Museum and Library. It's a good time and not too expensive, making it worth of inclusion on your list of Delaware things to do.

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