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, December 8, 2018
Ever wonder what Fort Delaware is all about? Come find out in this special program! We will talk about how Fort Delaware was built, and why, and about its special use during the American Civil War. Free. Grass Dale Center, 108 Reedy Point Rd, Delaware City, DE 19706, USA
Saturday, January 26, 2019
This lecture-style program is a great introduction to the American Civil War. We will talk about how the Civil War started, and what the legacy of the war is today. This is a great program for those that would like to learn about the Civil War, but don't know how to get started. Free. Grass Dale Center, 108 Reedy Point Rd, Delaware City, DE 19706, USA
Saturday, February 9, 2019
The Civil War is one of the most cataclysmic events in United States history. Could you stop it before it started? Find out in this choose-your-own-adventure style program! This one is great for families. Free. Grass Dale Center, 108 Reedy Point Rd, Delaware City, DE 19706, USA