Fort Delaware State Park

Delaware City, Delaware

Access to Fort Delaware is by ferry.

Living History


During your trip to Fort Delaware, be sure to visit all of the areas that have been restored and talk to the people you see there. Take a tour to:

The Enlisted Men's Building

Visitors' Center
The Visitors' Center houses a model of the island (circa 1864), artifacts, and a brief orientation video. Pick up program information and talk to a docent about the day's activities.

Enlisted Men's Mess Hall and Kitchen
Take a peek inside the kitchen to see where food was prepared for up to 100 soldiers at a time in the kitchen.

Ordnance Room
All of the weapons-related supplies were examined, repaired, and stored in this room.

Issue Room
Everything a soldier may have needed to perform his duties, except weaponry, was stored in the Issue Room.

It was sometimes safer to visit the infirmary for minor ailments and avoid the contagious diseases like smallpox and malaria present at the main hospitals.


The Officers' Building

Staff Offices
All of the fort's paperwork went through here at some point. As the nerve center of the fort, these offices could be quite busy.

Officers' Kitchen
Find out how much work went into cooking for an officer and his family, and what kinds of food they enjoyed.

Visit the laundry and meet one of the fort's laundresses. She'll show you how to wash clothes in the 19th-century way.

Officers' Quarters
Take a look at the social side of Fort Delaware when you visit the Officers' Quarters and see how the "upper class" of the army lived.

The soldiers at the fort could find books and newspapers in the library, and join in lively discussions.


POW Barracks

Venture down the path outside the fort to see how the POWs lived. Listen to Confederates talk about their lives as prisoners.


Other Areas of the Fort

Blacksmith's Shop
Visit the bustling shop, where blacksmiths are working iron for the engineers at the fort.

8-Inch Columbiad Gun
This gun is especially important because it not only watches over the POW camp, but also defends the canal entrance in Delaware City.

Sally Port
The main entrance to Fort Delaware, the sally port could be completely locked down by closing the doors. As you can imagine, this was a busy place.

32-Pounder Seacoast Gun
Guns like this one defended the river passages to Wilmington and Philadelphia. Artillerymen trained hard to make sure they were always ready for action at a momentís notice.