Background: West Loockerman Street
in downtown w:Dover, Delaware,
Author Tim Kiser

Living in Delaware

Delaware - The First State

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Delaware

Delaware USA Map
Delaware USA Map

Delaware earned the nickname "The First State" due to the U.S. Constitution being first ratified by the state of Delaware and has has a political heritage full of pride. Contrasted with the many contributions the state has made to the US Government, Delaware is just 2,000 sq. miles in area, ranking it 49th in size in the United States based upon overall area.

However, the 780,000 Delaware residents live by their motto of, "Liberty and Independence." Fishing, farming and manufacturing are major Delaware industries. Relocating to another state carries with it many challenges. However there are adventure also; fortunately Delaware has much to offer. The beautiful natural coastline, rich history, excellent infrastructure , friendly people, make moving to Delaware a genuine pleasure.

Henry Hudson, sailing under the Dutch flag, is credited with Delaware's discovery in 1609. The following year, Capt. Samuel Argall of Virginia named Delaware for his colony's governor, Thomas West, Baron De La Warr. An attempted Dutch settlement failed in 1631. Swedish colonization began at Fort Christina (now Wilmington) in 1638, but New Sweden fell to Dutch forces led by New Netherlands' governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1655.

England took over the area in 1664, and it was transferred to William Penn as the lower Three Counties in 1682. Semiautonomous after 1704, Delaware fought as a separate state in the American Revolution and became the first state to ratify the Constitution in 1787.

During the Civil War, although a slave state, Delaware did not secede from the Union.

Climate

Delaware's has a moderate year round climate. Average monthly temperatures range from 75.8 to 32.0 degrees. Average temperature in the summer months is 74.3 degrees. Around 57% of the days are sunny.

Demographics

  • Delaware Geography, Facts and History
  • Delaware Facts & Trivia
  • Delaware Flags
  • Famous People from Delaware
  • Delaware Timeline
  • Delaware Official Song
  • Education

    Delaware Colleges. Delaware is home to ten colleges and universities, comprising five public and five private higher education institutions. With degrees spanning a range of disciplines and study platforms, the state’s schools and programs should appeal to students across all majors.

    Economy

    Delaware's agricultural output is made up of of poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products and corn. Its industrial outputs include chemical products, processed foods, paper products, and rubber and plastic products. Delaware's economy typically outperforms the national economy of the nation.

    Flora and Fauna

    Delaware State Flower - Peach Blossom
    Delaware State Flower - Peach Blossom

    Delaware State Tree - American Holly
    Delaware State Tree - American Holly

    Delaware State Capitol Building
    Delaware State Capitol Building

    The mixture of northern and southern flora in Delaware reflects its geographical position. Common trees include black walnut, hickory, sweetgum, and tulip poplar. Shadbush and sassafras are found chiefly in southern Delaware. Five plant species were listed as threatened or endangered as of August 2003 1997.

    Mammals native to the state include the white-tailed deer, red and gray foxes, eastern gray squirrel, muskrat, raccoon, woodcock, and common cottontail. The quail, robin, wood thrush, cardinal, and eastern meadowlark are representative birds, while various waterfowl, especially Canada geese, are common.

  • Delaware State Bird (Blue Hen Chicken)
  • Delaware Official State Flower (Peach blossom)
  • Delaware State Tree (American Holly)
  • Government

    The Delaware Legislative Hall is the state capitol building of Delaware located in the state capital city of Dover on Legislative Avenue. It houses the chambers and offices of the Delaware General Assembly. It was designed in the Colonial Revival architecture style by E. William Martin and Norman M. Isham, and built 1931-1933, with wings added 1965-1970 and 1994

    Delaware's elected executives are the governor and lieutenant governor (separately elected), treasurer, attorney general, and comptroller. All serve four-year terms. The governor, who may be reelected only once, must be at least 30 years old and must have been a US citizen for 12 years and a state resident for six years before taking office. Voters in Delaware must be US citizens, at least 18 years old, and permanent state residents. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of Delaware Official Website
  • Attractions

    Although the state of Delaware may be small - only Rhode Island is smaller - but it packs plenty into a small area. Historic homes date from the mid-1600s, and three estates that you can tour chronicle the rising fortunes of one of America's wealthiest industrialist families. One of these, Winterthur, is now America's premier museum of decorative arts, and another outstanding collection is not far away, in Wilmington's excellent Delaware Art Museum. The state's visitor attractions are not all history and culture; some of the finest beaches on the Atlantic coast stretch almost the entire length of the Delaware coast, providing summer playgrounds for residents of Washington, D.C., Wilmington, and Philadelphia.

    Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse
    Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in Delaware Lighthouses in the state of Delaware as identified by the United States Coast Guard. The first lighthouse in the state was erected in 1769 and the last in 1925 (ignoring automated towers erected later); the oldest active light is the Fenwick Island Light.

  • Delaware Tourism
  • Amusement Parks

    Funland, Rehoboth Beach
    Jungle Jim's Adventure World, Rehoboth Beach

    National Parks

    Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Various States VA,MD,DE,DC,PA,NY
      Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!
    Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC,DE,MD,NY,PA,VA,WV
      Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
    First State National Historic Park, DE,PA
      Famous as the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was born out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley. From this beginning, the region developed a distinct character that tolerated diversity in religion and national origin and valued independence.
    Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail, MA,RI,CT,NY,NJ,PA,DE,MD,VA,DC
      In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.

    Sports

    As Delaware has no franchises in the major American professional sports leagues, many Delawareans follow either Philadelphia or Baltimore teams. The University of Delaware's football team has a large following throughout the state with the Delaware State University and Wesley College teams also enjoying a smaller degree of support.

  • Delaware Sports
  • Taxes

    Fast Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 0% - 6.6%
    • Sales tax: None
    • Property tax: 0.54% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 23 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 22 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Wilmington Dekaware Airport
    Wilmington Dekaware Airport
    Delaware Airports. The airports in Delaware are mainly general aviation airports. Delaware Airpark is one of Delaware's airports with flight training programs. Delaware Airports has state-of-the-art technology and friendly staff to assist passengers. Delaware offers tax benefits that make the visit to the state profitable.

    There are 11 public airports in Delaware and 38 private. Delaware has no heavy traffic in the state. Wilmington's New Castle Airport has three main runways, ten taxiways and multiple aircraft parking ramps, making it one of Delaware's premier airports. It is conveniently located near all the business centers of Wilmington. Delaware airports operate 24 hours a day, whatever the weather.  Delaware Airpark, which is also a public airport in conjunction with Delaware State University, offers its students flight training programs.

    Ferries

    There are three ferries that operate in the state of Delaware:
  • Cape May–Lewes Ferry crosses the mouth of the Delaware Bay between Lewes, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey.
  • Woodland Ferry is a cable ferry that crosses the Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford. >li>Forts Ferry Crossing connects Delaware City with Fort Delaware and Fort Mott, New Jersey

    Ports

    There are two shipping ports in Delaware: One at New Castle
    and the other is rhe The Port of Wilmington, a deep-water port located at the confluence of the Christina River and the Delaware River in Wilmington, Delaware, 65 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The port has been ranked as the top North American port for imports of fresh fruit, bananas, and juice concentrate, and as having the largest dock-side cold storage facility.

    Rail

    Amtrak has two stations in Delaware along the Northeast Corridor; the relatively quiet Newark Rail Station in Newark, and the busier Wilmington Rail Station in Wilmington. The Northeast Corridor is also served by SEPTA's Wilmington/Newark Line of Regional Rail, which serves Claymont, Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing, and Newark.

    Two Class I railroads, Norfolk Southern and CSX, provide freight rail service in northern New Castle County. Norfolk Southern provides freight service along the Northeast Corridor and to industrial areas in Edgemoor, New Castle, and Delaware City. CSX's Philadelphia Subdivision passes through northern New Castle County parallel to the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. Multiple short-line railroads provide freight service in Delaware.

    The Delmarva Central Railroad operates the most trackage of the short-line railroads, running from an interchange with Norfolk Southern in Porter south through Dover, Harrington, and Seaford to Delmar, with another line running from Harrington to Frankford. The Delmarva Central Railroad connects with two shortline railroads, the Delaware Coast Line Railroad and the Maryland and Delaware Railroad, which serve local customers in Sussex County.[79] CSX connects with the freight/heritage operation, the Wilmington and Western Railroad, based in Wilmington and the East Penn Railroad, which operates a line from Wilmington to Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

    Roads

    One major branch of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, Interstate 95 (I-95), crosses Delaware southwest-to-northeast across New Castle County. In addition to I-95, there are six U.S. highways that serve Delaware: U.S. Route 9 (US 9), US 13, US 40, US 113, US 202, and US 301.

    There are also several state highways that cross the state of Delaware; a few of them include Delaware Route 1 (DE 1), DE 9, and DE 404. US 13 and DE 1 are primary north-south highways connecting Wilmington and Pennsylvania with Maryland, with DE 1 serving as the main route between Wilmington and the Delaware beaches. DE 9 is a north-south highway connecting Dover and Wilmington via a scenic route along the Delaware Bay. US 40, is a primary east-west route, connecting Maryland with New Jersey. DE 404 is another primary east-west highway connecting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland with the Delaware beaches.

    The state also operates two toll highways, the Delaware Turnpike, which is I-95, between Maryland and New Castle and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, which is DE 1, between Wilmington and Dover.

    Delaware Housing and Real Estate

    The median home value in Delaware is $232,100. Delaware home values have gone up 4.8% over the past year and  predictions are they will rise 5.3% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Delaware is $144. The median price of homes currently listed in Delaware is $289,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $223,600. The median rent price in Delaware is $1,398.

    Cities and Towns

    There are three counties in Delaware and 57 incorporated places made up of cities, towns, and villages. The largest municipality by population is Wilmington with 71,442 residents, while the largest by area is Dover which covers 23.15 sq mi. The smallest municipality by both measurements and area is Hartly with 71 residents in an area of 0.06 sq mi.
  • Delaware Cities and Towns
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