Fort Delaware is closed for the season and will reopen on April 25, 2020. Winter programs listed on our Upcoming Events calendar take place at alternate off-site locations until ferry service resumes in April. See you next spring! Posted 11/14/19
The State of Delaware deeded Pea Patch Island, located in the Delaware River between Delaware and New Jersey, to the U.S. government in 1813, and construction of Fort Delaware was completed around 1859.
Originally built to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia, Pea Patch Island also became a Union prison camp during the Civil War, housing up to as many as 12,595 Confederate prisoners of war at one time. Manned only briefly during World Wars I and II, the island and fort were finally abandoned and declared surplus property in 1944, when ownership was transferred back to the State of Delaware. Fort Delaware became a state park in 1951.
Today, costumed interpreters take you back to the summer of 1864 -- tour the parade ground, officers' quarters, barracks, kitchen, blacksmith shop and ordnance room, hear stories of great escapes, and watch as the Fort's Columbiad cannon fires a live gunpowder charge! Engage with fort historians dressed in period clothing, and hear stories of those who lived at the fort in 1864. Fort Delaware is well-known for “ghostly” activity and has been featured on Ghost Hunters and other television shows. Paranormal tours are offered in the fall.
Pea Patch Island is a summer home to nine different species of herons, egrets, and ibis. The remote marshes provide an outstanding habitat for one of the largest wading bird nesting areas on the East Coast. A hiking trail and its observation platform provide opportunities for photography and nature study. The Prison Camp Trail traverses part of this area and features a bird observation tower along the trail.
*School Group tours by reservation only on weekdays in April, May, Sept. and Oct.
*Paranormal tours by reservation only on Friday and Saturday evenings in Oct.
Ferry operates 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Ticket sales end five (5) minutes before each ferry departure time. Tickets for the last tour of the day end at 3 p.m. Please plan your arrival accordingly.
|Ferry Departures from Delaware City to Fort Delaware and Fort Mott|
|10 a.m. Continues to Fort Mott||1 p.m.|
|11 a.m.||1:30 p.m.|
|11:30 a.m.||2 p.m. Continues to Fort Mott|
|12 p.m. Continues to Fort Mott||3 p.m. Last Ferry to Fort Delaware|
|4 p.m. Return to Ft. Mott only|
|Departures from Fort Delaware to Delaware City Times listed are for tram departures from the Fort to the ferry dock|
|11 a.m.||1:30 p.m.|
|11:30 a.m.||2:30 p.m.|
|12:30 p.m.||3 p.m.|
|1 p.m.||3:30 p.m.|
|Ferry Departures from Fort Mott to Fort Delaware and Delaware City|
|10:30 a.m.||2:30 p.m. Last Ferry to Fort Delaware|
|12:30 p.m.||4:30 p.m. Return to Delaware City Only|
|Ferry Departures from Fort Delaware to Fort Mott|
|12 p.m.||4 p.m. Last Ferry to Fort Mott|
Saturday, February 8, 2020
If you were imprisoned on an island without much to keep you busy, your mind would surely turn to escape. Come find out about some of the more creative attempts to escape from Fort Delaware, successful and otherwise. This program will be held at the Bear Library. For this program, visitors are asked to register by phone or in person at the Bear Library INFO Desk (302-838-3300).