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Hagley Museum and Library
|Nearest city||Wilmington, Delaware|
|Area||235 acres (95 ha)|
|NRHP reference No.||84000819|
|Added to NRHP||November 13, 1966|
The Hagley Museum and Library is a nonprofit educational institution in Wilmington, Delaware. km²) along the banks of the Brandywine Creek, the museum and grounds include the first du Pont family home and garden in the United States, the powder yards, and a 19th-century machine shop. On the hillside below the mansion lies a Renaissance-revival garden, with terraces and statuary, created in the 1920s by Louise Evalina du Pont Crowninshield (1877–1958).Covering more than 235 acres (0.95
In 1802, French immigrant Eleuthère Irénée du Pont founded black powder mills on the banks of Brandywine Creekafter purchasing the property in 1801 for $6,700. He chose the location for the river's tumble over the Fall Line which provided power, timber and willow trees (used to produce quality charcoal required for superior black powder), the proximity to the Delaware River (on which other ingredients of the powder – sulfur and saltpeter – could be shipped); and the quarries of gneiss which would provide building materials for the mills. The E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company's black powder factory became the largest in the world.
In 1921, the mills along the Brandywine closed and parcels of the property were sold. Plans for a museum were established 31 years later, on the occasion of the DuPont Company's 150th anniversary in 1952.
Hagley historians only know that the name was already in use well before E.I. du Pont expanded downstream from Eleutherian Mills in 1813 by purchasing the land that became the Hagley Yards. An 1813 document refers to the land as Hagley and it had been called Hagley as early as 1797, when its owner, Philadelphia Quaker merchant Rumford Dawes, applied for insurance on buildings that were said to be located in a place called Hagley on the Brandywine. Dawes had acquired the property in 1783. Since the name Hagley did not appear on the documents transferring ownership at that time, it seems likely that Dawes gave this name to the Brandywine location.
It seems likely that Delaware's Hagley was named for an English estate that was well known in the second half of the eighteenth century. It is likely that Dawes chose the name based on an English narrative poem entitled The Seasons by James Thomson. Hagley Hall was the seat of Thomson's patron the Baron Lyttelton, and the poem's description of a sylvan dale is strikingly reminiscent of the Brandywine Valley. The Seasons was popular in Philadelphia at the time that Rumford Dawes acquired and named Hagley. The English Hagley estate is located in the West Midlands countryside about ten miles southwest of Birmingham.Perhaps coincidentally, Delaware's Hagley is about 8 miles south of Chadds Ford Township, officially known as Birmingham Township before 1996.
At about the same time, Hagley Plantation on the Waccamaw River in South Carolina got its name when the owners, who were admirers of English culture, chose the name Hagley to remind them of the well-known parkland of that name near London.
Opened in 1957, the Hagley Museum features exhibits and demonstrations that show the connections between early industrial technology and early American history, focusing on the histories of the du Pont family, DuPont company, explosives and gunpowder, and innovation (through a large collection of American Patent models).There are indoor and outdoor exhibitions, along with restored mills, a workers community, and the home of du Pont with an attached garden.
The Museum also explores personal stories of the 19th-century DuPont Company employees, how they lived, and how their lifestyles changed along with new machinery and new production methods.Visitors can ride a narrated bus tour, through the Powder Yard Trail and is the only way to the home.
Hagley's library houses a major research collection of manuscripts, archives, photographs, pamphlets, and books documenting the history of American business and technology. A member of the Independent Research Libraries Association, the library serves scholars from this country and abroad. Holdings include 37,000 linear feet in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, 290,000 printed volumes in the Imprints Department, 2 million visual items in the Pictorial Department, and more than 300,000 digital images and pages in the Digital Archives Department. The library and archival collections owned by Hagley are open to the public for research; a catalog and partial digital archive are available online.
The library includes Hagley's intellectual heart: the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, which coordinates Hagley's interactions with the world of scholarship in the fields of American economic, business, and technological history. The center offers a scholar-in-residence program and competitive fellowships, and organizes seminars and historical conferences.
On the property is the home of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont who built the Georgian-style home and surrounding buildings and gardens to serve as a center for familiar and business life. The home was inhabited by five generations of the du Pont family, with many pieces of furniture, American folk art, and family pieces brought from France. Other buildings that are a part of the complex are a barn, the "First Office" of the Company, Lammot du Pont Workshop, and the garden.
The estate home was the first residence of the du Pont family in the United States.
Located on the property are multiple national and state ranked trees. One, an Osage orange tree was named a Co-National Champion Tree in 2011 and featured in the Delaware Forestry Service's "Big Trees of Delaware"but was partially felled by a storm in August 2020. The tree was speculated to have been over 300 years-old or planted via seeds brought back from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Two other trees felled during the storm were state champions including a 90-foottall sugar maple and a 62-foot tall shingle oak.
The Museum was featured on Mysteries at the Museum television show.
Greenville is a census-designated place (CDP) in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The population was 2,326 at the 2010 census. The CDP is an affluent bedroom community and a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware. The community is also home to Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, and many Du Pont family descendants.
Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours was a French-American chemist and industrialist who founded the gunpowder manufacturer E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. His descendants, the du Pont family, have been one of America's richest and most prominent families since the 19th century, with generations of influential businessmen, politicians and philanthropists.
Brandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware in the United States. The Lower Brandywine is 20.4 miles (32.8 km) long and is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams. The East Branch and West Branch of the creek originate within 2 miles (3 km) of each other on the slopes of Welsh Mountain in Honey Brook Township, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of their confluence.
The Du Pont family is a prominent American family descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739–1817). It has been one of the richest families in the United States since the mid-19th century, when it founded its fortune in the gunpowder business. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it expanded its wealth through the chemical industry and the automotive industry, with substantial interests in the DuPont company, General Motors, and various other corporations.
Pierre Samuel du Pont was an American entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist and member of the prominent du Pont family.
Victor Marie du Pont de Nemours was a French American diplomat, politician and businessman. He was a member of the Delaware General Assembly, the founder of the Du Pont, Bauduy & Co., wool manufacturers, and brother of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company.
Alfred Victor Philadelphe du Pont de Nemours was French American chemist and industrialist, who was the eldest son and successor of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
Eugène du Pont was an American businessman who served as the first head of the modern-day DuPont corporation.
Alfred Irénée du Pont was an American industrialist, financier, philanthropist and a member of the influential Du Pont family.
Francis Irénée du Pont was an American chemist, and manager at the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company. He was the great grandson of its founder, Eleuthère Irénée du Pont.
Louise Evelina du Pont Crowninshield was an American heiress and historic preservationist, who was the great granddaughter of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
Charles Irénée du Pont was an American manufacturer and politician, and an early member of the prominent du Pont family business. He was a nephew of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and a member of the Delaware General Assembly.
The Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a 300-acre (120 ha) country estate with jardin à la française formal gardens and a French neoclassical mansion in Wilmington, Delaware. Built to resemble a French château, its 105 rooms on five floors occupy nearly 47,000 sq ft (4,400 m2). It shares the grounds at 1600 Rockland Road with the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and both are owned by the Nemours Foundation.
The Jacob Broom House, also known historically as Hagley, is a historic house on Christchurch Road near Montchanin, Delaware. It was built in 1795 by Jacob Broom, one of the Delaware signers of the United States Constitution. The house was purchased in 1802 by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, progenitor of the prominent Du Pont family and founder of the DuPont chemical concern, who established the Eleutherian Mills below the house on the banks of Brandywine Creek. The house, which remains in the hands of Du Pont descendants, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974, for its association with Broom.
From 1802 to 1921, Eleutherian Mills was a gunpowder mill site used for the manufacture of explosives by the Du Pont family business, which was founded by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. The name also refers to the house on the hill above the mills, which was the first Du Pont family home in America. In 1952, the site became an outdoor museum, and the Hagley Museum and Library was founded.
Lammot du Pont Copeland was an American businessman. His parents were Charles Copeland and Louisa d'Andelot du Pont, who were married on February 16, 1904, at St. Amour in Wilmington, Delaware.
Brandywine Village was an early center of U.S. industrialization located on the Brandywine River in what is now Wilmington, Delaware.
Henry du Pont was an American military officer and businessman from Delaware, and a member of the Du Pont family.
IMR Legendary Powders is a line of smokeless powders which are popularly used in sporting and military/police firearm cartridges. The initials 'IMR' stand for Improved Military Rifle powder. IMR powders makes a line of various types of smokeless powder suitable for loading many cartridges for rifles, handguns, and shotguns.
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