New Castle, DE: First Capital of the First State
Welcome to historic New Castle, Delaware, presented by Insight Guides. My name is Katherine and I’ll be your guide. This tour takes approximately one and a half hours to complete, not including any time spent touring museums or any buildings. You can stop at any time and start again at the same spot later. You can follow the route on your phone or simply listen as I guide you from one sight to the next. I’ll be giving you clear directions and the audio will automatically start playing when you get close to the next sight on the tour. Don’t worry if you need to skip a sight as the tour will pick up at the next location.
Overshadowed by historical heavyweights like Philadelphia and Boston, New Castle's critical role in the settlement of North American and the road to independence is often overlooked. The Dutch, Swedes and British tussled over this spot in the Delaware River. William Penn first stepped onto the land granted to him by King Charles here. It's been a busy port and rail head, and rivaled Wilmington as the center of Delaware's economy and manufacturing. At one point, there were plans to make it a northern version of Williamsburg. Instead, New Castle became a small city that maintains its historic roots and atmosphere without becoming a museum.
Today, we'll explore New Castle's history – the explorers, the preachers, the merchants and the seafarers. We'll talk about education in the colony, devastating fires and airborne bootleggers. We'll visit Delaware's Independence Hall and a unique library building.
Many of New Castle's streets and sidewalks are brick and cobblestone. They are uneven and often treacherous, particularly when wet or covered with leaves, so watch your step. Traffic is usually light, but use crosswalks when available and always be aware of your surroundings. Parking is free on side streets and at Battery Park, where our walk begins and ends.
Now let's discover New Castle!
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