Picture of First State Heritage Park

First State Heritage Park


About the Park

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware's first urban "park without boundaries" linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. It is a partnership of state and city agencies under the leadership of Delaware State Parks.

Featured Program: First Lantern Tour of the Season: Presbyterian Churchyard

Meet important figures from Dover’s history among the weathered and waiting tombstones. Tour space is limited; please call (302) 739-9194 to reserve your lantern. Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Add to Calendar 6/4/2020 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: First Lantern Tour of the Season: Presbyterian Churchyard Meet important figures from Dover’s history among the weathered and waiting tombstones. Tour space is limited; please call (302) 739-9194 to reserve your lantern. First State Heritage Park


First Saturdays in the First State

On the First Saturday of each month, we want to welcome citizens and guests of Dover with a series of thematic programs and events. There is something new every month! Programs at all First State Heritage Park sites. Check the calendar for details. While the major park attractions are open throughout the week, a variety of special programs and events are developed at each site for the first Saturday of each month, some buildings, like Governor's House at Woodburn and Courtroom# 1 at the Kent County Courthouse, are only open to the public on this day or by appointment.

Market Fair

Man in colonial costume talks to his horse at Market Fair takes place each November

First State Heritage Park's 18th Century Market Fair brings the past to life each November, with woodworkers and weavers, horners, blacksmiths and brewers, charlatans and shepherds, soldiers, seamstresses, soapmakers and more displaying their skills and their wares on Dover's historic Green.

First State Heritage Park Sites

The Welcome Center is located within the Delaware Public Archives building.

Welcome Center & Galleries

The Welcome Center offers free parking, information about First State Heritage Park programs and events, a gallery of changing exhibits on Delaware history and a rotating display of Delaware's founding documents.

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit the Welcome Center

Family Fun Nights

Biggs Museum of American Art

406 Federal Street

This independent, non-profit museum boasts an outstanding collection of 18th- through 21st-century Delaware and American fine and decorative arts.

Tuesday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Visit Biggs Museum

$10 General Admission. Free for all members.

Call (302)674-2111 for other rates and discounts

wodburn building exterior

Woodburn and Hall House

151 Kings Highway

Woodburn, the home of Delaware's governors since 1965, was built around 1798. Next door is the Victorian-era Hall House, which serves as the Governor's guest house.

Tours 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month.

Tours at other times available by appointment.

Call (302) 739-5656. Visit Woodburn

constitution of the state of delaware title

Delaware Public Archives

121 Martin Luther King J. Blvd. North

Delaware's Public Archives, one of the oldest archives in the country, contain materials from the 17th century to today.

Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Center

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2nd Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit Delaware Public Archives

colonial dressed tour guides and group on sidewalk in front of John Bell house

John Bell House

43 The Green

The oldest wooden structure on The Green serves as the interpretive center for the First State Heritage Park, where visitors can learn about the history of Dover and take thematic walking tours around Dover’s historic Green.

Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Walking tours leave hourly from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

exterior view of Johnson Victrola museum. It's a large 2 story building with a red roof and red front door

Johnson Victrola Museum

375 S. New Street

A premier collection of its kind, displaying sound recording industry items dating from the 1890's through 1929. The museum honors Eldridge Reeves Johnson of Dover, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901.

Wednesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and by appointment for groups

Visit Johnson Victrola Museum

view from above looking down on raised seats in front of legislative hall

Legislative Hall

411 Legislative Avenue

A Georgian-style structure that has been home to Delaware's General Assembly since 1933.

Free guided tours: Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

First Saturdays and select holidays: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Group tours require advance scheduling. Please call (302) 739-9194. Visit Legislative Hall

exterior view of state house

Old State House

25 The Green

Delaware's first permanent capitol building completed in 1791 on Dover's historic Green. The State House was the home of Delaware's General Assembly until 1933.

Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Visit State House Museum

Upcoming Events

Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED

Thursday, May 28, 2020

8:00 AM

Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults).

Add to Calendar 5/28/2020 8:00:00 AM 5/28/2020 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults). First State Heritage Park

Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED

Friday, May 29, 2020

8:00 AM

Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults).

Add to Calendar 5/29/2020 8:00:00 AM 5/29/2020 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults). First State Heritage Park

Lantern Tour: Historic Methodist Cemetery - CANCELLED

Friday, May 29, 2020

8:00 PM

Travel among ornate grave markers to hear of traditions from the past with historical characters in this revised program. Call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will not be rescheduled. $10 per person. Meet at the Johnson Victrola Museum parking Lot- 375 S. New Street.

Add to Calendar 5/29/2020 8:00:00 PM 5/29/2020 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Lantern Tour: Historic Methodist Cemetery - CANCELLED Travel among ornate grave markers to hear of traditions from the past with historical characters in this revised program. Call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will not be rescheduled. $10 per person. Meet at the Johnson Victrola Museum parking Lot- 375 S. New Street. First State Heritage Park

Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED

Saturday, May 30, 2020

9:30 AM

Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults).

Add to Calendar 5/30/2020 9:30:00 AM 5/30/2020 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED Begin your journey at First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, offering exhibits, information, and free parking, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Delaware Public Archives are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.: the John Bell House (offers guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), The Old State House, the Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and the Johnson Victrola Museum are open. Legislative Hall is open for free guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (photo ID required for adults). First State Heritage Park

Walking Tour: Heroes of the Revolution - CANCELLED

Saturday, May 30, 2020

10:00 AM

Free. Tours leave from the John Bell House, 43 The Green, on the hour and last about 45 mins.

Add to Calendar 5/30/2020 10:00:00 AM 5/30/2020 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Walking Tour: Heroes of the Revolution - CANCELLED Free. Tours leave from the John Bell House, 43 The Green, on the hour and last about 45 mins. First State Heritage Park

Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED

Sunday, May 31, 2020

1:30 PM

Open 1:30 to 4: 30 p.m.: Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and The Old State House.

Add to Calendar 5/31/2020 1:30:00 PM 5/31/2020 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Tours and Exhibits - CANCELLED Open 1:30 to 4: 30 p.m.: Biggs Museum of American Art (admission fee) and The Old State House. First State Heritage Park

Map and Directions