Hagley Museum and Library
Hagley Museum and Library gathers, assembles, and displays information and history on American industry, especially the history of the du Ponts and their contribution to American industry. Hagley Museum and Library is operated by a private nonprofit educational corporation.
Hagley Museum and Library is located in Wilmington, Delaware on the banks of Brandywine Creek; it sits on 235 acres. It is the site of the original Eleuthere Irenee du Pont black powder mills.
Brief History of the Hagley Museum and Library
In 1802, E.I. du Pont established black powder mills on Brandywine Creek. He chose the site because of the access to water for power and for shipping purposes. He built a workers village, mills, and a family home. By the end of the 19th century, the du Pont mills were the largest producers of black powder in the world.
The mills closed in 1921, and in 1952, the du Pont family established the museum. The museum includes restored mills, a workers’ community, and the du Pont’s home and gardens.
Hagley Powder Yard at the Hagley Museum and Library
The massive stone mills that produced black powder have been restored. Working models and museum interpreters show how black powder was made using water power. The interpreters demonstrate how the different machines, a water turbine and a steam engine worked.
This provides a glimpse into how the workers at the powder mills lived. There are costumed museum interpreters who help make history a live performance. The Gibbons House displays what was in their homes in the 1800’s.
This is the du Pont family home. It is a Georgian-styled structure, and it is filled with antiques, portraits, and other mementoes of five generations of du Ponts. Adjoining the house is the French garden, which was designed by E.I. du Pont over 200 years ago.
Close to the house are two other structures and exhibits, the Barn and the First Office.
The Barn showcases 19th century agricultural implements and also vehicles used in the powder yard. Located on the lower level are antique cars that belonged to the du Ponts.
The First Office was built in 1837 and was the headquarters for the company until the late 1800’s. It features the office equipment that was used during that time period.
Hagley Museum Exhibits and Attractions
Dupont Science and Discovery
Hagley Museum also offers an exhibit showing how the du Pont Corporation has changed in its 200 years. DuPont started out as a black powder producer, but today it is more of a research firm. Exhibits include a race car, space suit, and fireman suits. All of those products are tied to DuPont research and development.
How Machines Make Life Easier Exhibit
This is an interactive, hands-on exhibit that shows and explains how machines work. The exhibit includes pulleys, lever, wheels and axles, and gears. All of those machines can be manipulated by visitors.
The Hagley Library
The library is a research center that holds 34,000 linear feet of documents. The collections are open to the public, although users must register.
Visiting the Hagley Museum and Library
The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. The last bus to Eleutherian Mills leaves at 3:30 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Youth (6-14) 4.00
(5 and younger) FREE
Hagley Museum and Library
298 Buck Road East