Last weekend, Joe and I got to spend the weekend with his family at the beach in Delaware. Being that we are not big “beach people,” we decided to spend our Saturday exploring nearby Dover. It turned out to be a good thing that we had made our plans, since the beach wasn’t too accommodating due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Hermine.
We chose to visit three sites over the course of our day – the Air Mobility Command Museum, the Delaware Agricultural Museum, and the John Dickinson Plantation. All three turned out to be good choices.
First stop was the Air Mobility Command Museum, where we learned about the four different missions of this particular command: cargo hauling, in-air refueling, presidential detail, and conveying fallen soldiers. Our tour guide was an Army veteran who had flown helicopters in Vietnam, and he was full of great stories about both the planes and the service. Admission and the tour were free.
The picture above shows the inside of the hangar; they have quite a few planes outside the building, as well. None of the planes were open that day due to the impending hurricane, but we were able to walk around and read about them. This was Joe’s favorite of the places we went to that day.
Our next visit was to the Delaware Agricultural Museum. This includes some indoor exhibits along with an outdoor village comprised of several old buildings that have been brought to the location. The village included a church, a school, a barber shop, a general store, and a wheelwright/blacksmith shop, as well as an old farmhouse with a few outbuildings. You can walk in all of the buildings, and there was a blacksmith on the premises when we visited who gave Joe a nail that he made while we watched.
Indoors was an assortment of old farm implements, a collection of wood carvings, a miniature train display, and the log house shown in the picture above, along with a variety of other exhibits. It seemed a little bit jumbled to me, but I think it would be a good place to introduce children to some history in an interesting way. Admission was $5 each with our military ID.
Our third and final stop was my favorite of the day – the John Dickinson Plantation. It started at the welcome center with a short video about John Dickinson, who was a signer of the US Constitution (although he abstained from signing the Declaration of Independence because he didn’t think the timing was right). Following that, we were sent up to the house where a couple of guides in period clothing were waiting to show visitors through the house.
The main house was originally three stories, but was rebuilt as a two-story after a fire in the early 1800s. The section in the middle was a large dining room, which was added on and used like we would a family room. It was later divided to include a pantry and an office. The smallest section was yet another addition that was originally a summer kitchen. The volunteers currently have it set up as a workroom with a loom and such.
The house was charming, and the grounds were very pretty. The guides were also very knowledgeable and engaging. Even better, admission was free.
In between our second and third stops, we made a slight detour for lunch at McGlynns Pub, where we had a couple of great burgers and fries (mine were sweet potato, yum!). All in all, it was an enjoyable and informative day in Dover.
How do you like to spend your summer holidays – relaxing on the beach or exploring like we do? Leave a comment and let me know.