On this tour we will drive to the State of Delaware where we will visit two amazing historical sites, both built by the famous Du Pont family, and both set in beautiful natural surroundings.
To go chronologically in history we will first visit the Hagley Museum. This is a large 235 acres museum complex which essentially is four museums in one, including the first residence of the du Pont family in the United States and surroundings gardens, the site of what you used to be the largest gun powder yard in the world, a section showcasing the lives of the powder yard foremen and their families, and a large visitor center, gift shop building which also includes another museum with an exhibition called Nation of Inventors. This exhibition celebrates the American spirit of ingenuity by taking visitors on a journey from the early years of the patent system. The museum is so large that a shuttle bus will take you to some of the museum buildings.
DuPont Home & Gardens
High on a bank of the Brandywine River overlooking the original powder mills, E. I. du Pont, founder of the DuPont Company, built his home. For almost a century the Georgian-style home and surrounding complex of buildings and gardens served as the center of family and business life.
Five generations of du Pont family members lived in the house since its completion in 1803. You will receive a guided tour of the home and see it much as it was when the last family member lived there.
One of the many beautiful historical buildings on the property.
Gun Powder Yard
The first Du Pont black powder was made in these powder yards in 1804 launching one of the longest standing and most innovative American enterprises. Between the company’s founding in 1802 and 1840, the yards expanded twice to include three dams, upper and lower mill races, dozens of mill buildings, and over a mile of infrastructure, much of which can still be seen today.
You will see historic stone structures that housed the powder manufacturing process, nineteenth-century machinery, waterwheels, and turbines powered by the river, line shafts that transferred energy, a sixteen-ton roll mill, a stone quarry that supplied the building material of the yards, black powder explosion demonstrations, a coal-fired steam engine, and of course the beautiful Brandywine River. During its heyday this was the largest gun powder factory in the world.
A canal dug out to divert some of the river water to run some of the mills.
Nations of Inventors
Inside the main visitor building, we will find the Nation of Inventors exhibition that celebrates the American spirit of ingenuity by taking you on a journey from the early years of the patent system, in the 1790s, through the “golden age” of American invention, in the late 1800s.
The exhibit features more than 120 patent models.
We will enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant including non-alcoholic beverage.
The Nemours Estate is a 200-acre country estate with formal French gardens and a 77-room French neoclassical mansion in Delaware.
Nemours was created by Alfred I. du Pont in 1909–10 as a gift for his second wife, Alicia. It was named for the north-central French town of Nemours, which was affiliated with his great-great-grandfather, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours.
The tour of the mansion is self-guided with trained interpretive staff available in several rooms.
You will also have amble time to explore the largest formal French garden in North America (designed after the gardens of Versailles).
You will also find a chauffeur's garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows, lawns, fountains, pools, statues and more.