Every state in the United States of America has something to offer. The state of Delaware, despite its size, is no exception. From the cities of Dover and Wilmington to its small towns to its coastline and natural areas to it history and historic sites to the great homes to its agriculture. Yes, for those of you are wondering, this state does have farms and plenty of them. What other reason would they have opened to Delaware Agricultural Museum in the capital city of Dover. Yes, the city of Dover have many great places to visit, and the Delaware Agricultural Museum is one of them. The museum honors the agricultural heritage of the state. It is a great place to visit and to learn about agriculture in Delaware.
Some of you are saying. “Wow! This is interesting. I always thought that the state of Delaware was just this small state with small things, and I never knew that the state had farms. Being and agricultural museum, it is about agriculture. It is not about railroads. Therefore, I will not be taking any small step into this museum.”
I guess you are right. This museum is about agriculture and not about railroading. Does this mean that this museum has nothing to do with the railroad? The answer is no.
The Delaware Agricultural Museum is divided into two sections. The one section is the exhibition hall where tractors and farm equipment is displayed. The other section is an 1890’s village.
Let us begin with the exhibition hall. It is the first place you see after paying your admission. Yes, you see tractors and farm equipment on display just like you see at most agricultural museums. You see old milk wagons and trucks used to transport milk from the farm to the stores. You see displays from milking cows to the chicken pens to the horse and wagons. As you walk around, you will see a model train display. Yes, it is a model train display. The railroad has played a major role in farming all across the United States of America. Although much of the state of Delaware is on what is called the Delmarva Peninsula, a peninsula with Delaware, a section of the U.S. state of Maryland, and a small strip of the U.S. state of Virginia with the Chesapeake Bay on the west side and the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay on the east side, is no exception. With a railroad line extending south of Wilmington through the center of the peninsula, many of the products of the farms in Delaware were shipped by the railroad to other areas of the nation, and you see this in the display. You watch the trains pass by the barns and the cows, and you see rail cars stopped at platforms where cows and bottles of milk and other farm products are being loaded.
Some of you are saying, “Well, this is nice to see a model train display depicting the importance of the railroad to the farming and agricultural industry, but to visit this museum to see a small train display may be a bit too much.”
Well, the museum also features an 1890’s village. What is special about the village? Commonly known as the Loockerman Landing Village, it has structures that were relocated from across the state to the museum that you can tour. It features the Carney Farmhouse owned by the Carney family relocated to the museum from North Dover. It has a privy (an outhouse) from Clayton, a chicken coup, a granary from Cheswold, a wagon shed from Middletown, a barn from Felton, a corn house from Millsboro, a meat house from Smyrna, the Johnson Blacksmith and Wheelwright Shop from Staytonsville, the Silver Lake Mill from near Camden, the Mill Lane Schoolhouse from Middletown, the school privy from Clayton, Gourley’s Barber Shop from Magnolia, Saint Thomas Church from Shortly, the church privy from Burrsville, and the Reed General Store from Woodside. It also features and covered bridge, a windmill, and the reason to visit Loockerman Landing. Originally located in Woodside and brought to the museum to be a part of the museum, the Loockerman Landing Train Station.
Some of you are saying, “Did you say train station?”
We did. Sadly, you will not see a train come by as the tracks next to the train station do not connect to any other tracks, but you can go into the train station to see the waiting area and ticket office. It is here where you can see exhibits on the railroad history of Delaware and how it played an important role in the development of the state as well as the farming and agricultural industry.
So, you now have a reason to visit the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover Delaware.
The Delaware Agricultural Museum is located at 866 North Dupont Highway (U.S. Route 13) in Dover, Delaware north of downtown, south of Delaware State University, and across the street from Dover Downs and the Dover International Speedway. It is open year-round Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Parking is on site. The museum is wheelchair accessible, but some of the structures in the village may not be. There are no paved walkways in the village. You can get information about the museum to include admission and to learn more about the museum at https://www.agriculturalmuseum.org/.
Delaware may be small, but it is rich in history. It has a history with agriculture that has roots in the railroad. You can see it all with a visit to the Delaware Agricultural Museum.
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