About the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage
The purpose of the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage is to collect, preserve, research, and present for public enrichment the history and heritage of Delaware’s African Americans. The Mitchell Center is located on the Delaware Historical Society’s Wilmington campus and features the exhibition, Journey to Freedom in the Delaware History Museum.
About the Read House & Gardens
The George Read II House & Gardens, overlooking the Delaware River in Old New Castle, is a National Historic Landmark owned and operated by the Delaware Historical Society. Through indoor and outdoor tours, community gardening, exhibitions, artistic collaborations, and other vibrant programming, we welcome visitors to explore the wonders of its historic architecture and grounds. The 14,000-square-foot mansion was built between 1797 and 1804 and formal gardens were added in 1847–48. It remains a premier example of Philadelphia Federal-style architecture.
George Read II was the first U.S. Attorney for Delaware, and his father was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as a governor, U.S. senator, and chief justice in Delaware. Under the stewardship of Phillip and Lydia Chichester Laird in the 20th century, the house and grounds became a model of the colonial revival movement and appeared widely in American lifestyle and design publications. The Delaware Historical Society assumed ownership of the site upon Lydia Laird’s death in 1975 and undertook a state-of-the-art restoration and furnishing campaign during the 1980s.