23 Interesting Delaware Facts: Exploring the First State’s Rich Heritage

Delaware is an interesting and unique state with a rich history and fun facts. As it is such a small state, it usually goes unnoticed in the United States, even by several Americans. 

However, overlooking this state, Delaware means missing out on a particular place that has maintained its natural beauty while remaining diversely and densely populated.

Delaware has an amazing balance that few places can pull off. It is so impressive that even Thomas Jefferson thought it the jewel of the East Coast.

So, in this article, we will discuss some interesting facts about Delaware.

  1. The second smallest state in the United States
Delaware is the second smallest state in the US

Delaware has an area of about 1982 square miles, which makes it the second smallest state in the United States, while Rhode Island is smaller than Delaware.

Despite being the sixth least populous state, Delaware is the country’s sixth most densely populated state, with a population of 508 people per square mile.

  1. It is known as the Blue Hen State

Delaware is famous as the Blue Hen State after its state bird, the Delaware Blue Hen. It is not a distinct species but a blue-feathered variety of the famous American Gamecock.

Also, the Blue Hens is the mascot for the University of Delaware, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources even keeps a flock.

  1. Delaware is located north of the Atlantic Coastal Plain
Delaware is north of the Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a specific region in the eastern United States that runs from Florida to New Jersey.

It has a low elevation and reaches 40 to 70 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It includes marshlands, swamps, and even the fertile, loamy soil found in much of Delaware.

  1. First State National Historical Park displays the multicultural past of Delaware

First State National Historical Park was initially known as First State National Monument when it was developed in 2013. This impressive park is a collection of sites across the famous Delaware Valley, including several Pennsylvania locations. 

It chronicles settlements by Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, English, and German immigrants and also their early relationships with Native Americans.

  1. The First State Heritage Park celebrates the origin of this state
First State Heritage Park celebrates Delaware's origin

This state, Delaware, was the first delegation to ratify the new Constitution of the U.S. in 1787, following the Revolutionary War. This earned it the nickname “The First State.”

In Dover, the First State Heritage Park celebrates this and some other tidbits about the facts and history of this state. 

  1. The Delaware River starts in New York
The Delaware River starts in New York

The Delaware River begins in New York’s Catskill Mountains prior to heading south and eventually emptying into Delaware Bay. It creates part of the border between New York and Pennsylvania and all between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Also, Delaware Bay is a vital estuary in the eastern part of the United States. It encompasses about 782 square miles between Delaware and New Jersey.

Also, its shores are mainly salt marshes and mud flats.  Like the Delaware River, Delaware Bay got its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr.

  1. Delaware borders the Atlantic Ocean

Delaware has around 28 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. This stretch contains attractive, sandy beaches and also cool beach towns.

The ocean in this region is warmed by the Gulf of Mexico’s warm stream, making it a perfect place for swimming in summer and early fall.

  1. Each spring, Horseshoe Crabs cover Delaware beaches
Horseshoe Crabs cover Delaware beaches

Horseshoe Crabs are an ancient species; their fossils date back 480 million years. However, these creatures are not crabs, but a lot closer to creatures like scorpions and spiders.

Thousands of these unique species crawl into the beaches of Delaware each spring to lay eggs. These eggs are very important for shorebirds and migrating waterfowl.

  1. Colonial Blue and Bluff: The state colors of Delaware

Another interesting fact about Delaware is how it got its official state colors. Buff is a golden Beige, while Colonial Blue is a rich, royal blue color.

This color combination was inspired by a uniform worn by General George Washington, and both of the colors featured on the license plates of Delaware.

  1. The highest elevation in Delaware

This state of the U.S., called Delaware, is a relatively flat state with no significant hills or even mountains. This state’s highest point is just 448 feet, found on Ebright Road, located near the border of Pennsylvania.

The only other state of the United States with a lower high point is Florida, as this has a height of only 345 feet.

  1. The state herb of Delaware
The state herb of Delaware

Sweet Goldenrod was recognized as the of official state herb Delaware in the year 1996. It is a fragrant and anise-scented plant common in the southern and eastern parts of the United States. This plant benefits native bee populations and can even be used to make tea.

  1. The state butterfly of Delaware

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has been Delaware’s official state butterfly since 1999. The male butterflies are yellow with black stripes, while the female ones have additional blue coloring under their wings.

While living as small caterpillars, these creatures resemble bird droppings, which can camouflage them from predators. However, as they grow, they turn out green with eyespots resembling a snake’s.

  1. The peach blossom: Delaware’s state flower
Delaware’s state flower

This state, Delaware, used to be known as the Peach State because its orchards once accommodated almost a million peach trees. As a result, the state adopted the beautiful peach blossom as its official state flower in 1895. 

In 2009, it even went a step further to name peach pie as the official dessert of this state.

  1. Thomas Jefferson called it the Diamond State

Though Delaware is not a large state, it was still essential in the history of colonial and early U.S. Delaware was described by Thomas Jefferson as a jewel because of its vital resources and strategic location on the coast. From that time, it is gone by the unofficial name “The Diamond State.”

  1. The origin of the name Delaware

 Sir Thomas West, the 3rd Baron De La Warr, is actually the basis of this state, Delaware, the Delaware Bay, the Delaware River, and also the English name for the Delaware tribe of Indians.

Though the state, river, and bay are all named after Mr. West, he was still not the person who chose the name.

Famous explorer Samuel Argall surveyed the entire region and named its waterways after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the Governor of Virginia during that time.

  1. Delaware is well-known for its franchise tax and sales tax

Delaware is a great state for you to visit if you enjoy shopping. This state has no local or state sales tax on purchased items. Also, it is the place where almost 68% of Fortune 500 companies register their businesses.

The reason is their franchise tax is preferred to the income taxes that the state of Delaware exempts them from.

  1. Delaware only has three counties

The state of Delaware is divided into only three counties, which is actually the fewest of any American state.

Kent County includes the state capital of Dover, Sussex County is the largest one by area, which is about 950 square miles, and New Castle County, which accommodates the most populous city of Wilmington.

  1. Delaware has an official macroinvertebrate

Delaware became the first state to name a macroinvertebrate with the stonefly officially. This happened in 2005.

While stoneflies are categorized as insects, they are also part of the broader macroinvertebrate group. This insect, a stonefly, needs spotless water to thrive, making this an important statement regarding the importance of Delaware’s water quality.

  1. In Middletown, Delaware, Dead Poets Society was filmed

Another interesting fact about Delaware is that the entire Dead Poets Society was filmed in this place.

The filming location for all the classroom scenes was Middletown’s St. Andrew’s Boarding School. Also, some other sites around the town, such as the Everett Theatre, were also featured.

  1. A Swedish Church from 1698 can be seen here
A Swedish Church from 1698 is in Delaware

Old Swedish Churches were built between 1698 and 1699. During that time, the English overtook the colony of the Swedish people, but still, many Swedish remained.

A Swedish Church is still standing in modern Wilmington. Also, in 1960, another building from former New Sweden, known as the Hendrickson House, was relocated from Pennsylvania to stand next to the church.

  1. The impressive French neoclassical mansion in Wilmington
French neoclassical mansion in Wilmington

Another interesting fact about Wilmington is that it is home to a French neoclassical mansion. The famous Nemours Estate in Wilmington was developed from 1909-1910 for Alfred Irenee du Pont’s second wife.

The mansion, with an area of 47000 square fee, was created in the style of Louis XVI and even contained 105 rooms.

It got its name after a town in France, and its beautiful gardens sprawl across almost 300 acres.

  1. A unique 9/11 Memorial can be seen in Delaware

A fascinating fact about Delaware is that this state has a statue built in response to the attacks on 9/11. Three such giant “Crying Giant” sculptures were created by Artist Tom Otterness. 

In addition to one, which can be seen in Wilmington, there is even one at the Kemper Museum in Kansas City and the other one at the Museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen, The Netherlands.

  1. During the Civil War, Delaware was divided on slavery

Delaware was divided on the issue of slavery during the American Civil War. The industrial north was pro-Union; however, many people in the south enslaved people and sympathized with the Confederacy. 

Though no battle was fought on the soil of Delaware, it was still regarded as a vital buffer zone by President Lincoln.

Also, Fort Delaware was a Civil War POW camp. This fort was completed on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River in 1859. However, this fort became a Union camp for Confederate prisoners of war.

So, Delaware is a state in the U.S. that has rich history and culture, diverse wildlife, and beautiful scenarios.

At the end of this article, we learned 23 interesting facts that offer us a clear picture of this state, Delaware. You can see our website if you want to know some additional facts.

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