New Castle Historical Society 
30 Market Street
New Castle, DE 19720

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New Castle Historical Society
30 Market Street
New Castle, DE  19720




Mike Connolly, Executive Director


 Help Us Preserve and Share

New Castle's History and Heritage 

The last couple of years has made it imperative for all of us to be flexible and be prepared to embrace change as we maneuvered our way through the challenges of the pandemic. Museums and cultural organizations have been especially challenged during this time due to their limited resources. The New Castle Historical Society has been particularly adept at adjusting to new circumstances, and has taken time to evaluate our public programs and exhibits, and look for new opportunities to improve the services we offer to the public.

 As we near the end of the year, we are struck by both the number and quality of the programs and events that the New Castle Historical Society offered in 2022. In terms of public programs and exhibits, it has been the busiest year that we have ever had. In addition to our winter lecture series, Annual Garden Party and Hauntings in History tours, we started an active historic foodways program with hearth cooking demonstrations on select evenings and Saturday afternoons at the Amstel House. We introduced the Amstel Live series of six interactive history events which have proven to be very effective at attracting new audiences to the Society. We brought live musical performances into our garden spaces for the first time as part of the Fourth Friday Art Loop in June. Fezziwig’s Ball returns in December reformatted as a dinner/dance event that has proven so popular that it sold out in a week!

Local history exhibitions returned to the Old Library Museum this year with “The Perfection of Travelling,” a well-researched exhibition about the travel experience in early America between 1651 and 1851. We also re-imagined our annual mourning exhibit in the Amstel House in October. In December, we are stepping beyond the usual “Colonial Christmas” decor at the Amstel House to look at the holiday traditions of three significant time periods in the house’s history – the 1780s, the 1860s, and the 1920s.

This year we worked more closely with partnering organizations in our community. We worked with the Read House & Gardens to host a conference session in early April on historic landscapes for landscape architects. In May, we hosted a portion of May Market for Arasapha Garden Club, and will host their annual wreath making workshop at the Arsenal in December. In July, we offered a summer history camp in conjunction with the other New Castle museums, the National Park Service and the New Castle Public Library. The Chautauqua History Festival in September was the result of a partnership with the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs. We were happy to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of the consecration of Immanuel Church in October by hosting a day of programs at the Arsenal. In December, we will once again be working with the New Castle Presbyterian Church to bring the traditions of the holiday season to life during The Spirit of Christmas on December 10.

We want to continue to offer these programs and more in 2023, but we need your help to do that. Maintaining this level of programming in a small institution like ours is very difficult because our resources – people, time and money – are very limited. We ask you to help us continue sharing New Castle’s heritage, and educating the public about our history by making a contribution to the New Castle Historical Society today. Your generous gift will make valuable historical experiences like the ones we offered in 2022 available for residents and visitors year after year.

Thank you very much for supporting history preservation and education through the New Castle Historical Society. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!