Press Releases

House will potentially be home to Kent County Historical and Underground Railroad Museum 

CAMDEN, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today gathered at Brecknock County Park with Kent County officials to announce a $500,000 grant to help restore the Goggin Manor House. The funding for the renovations will pave the way for potentially using the home for a historical museum in the future. The park and house are owned and maintained by Kent County Levy Court, and the house is currently in need of renovations to allow for general public access.

Carper, Coons, and Blunt Rochester secured this funding through the omnibus appropriations bill passed in March. Delaware’s congressional delegation has secured nearly $100 million for Delaware communities and projects up and down the state.

Brecknock Park sits on 86-acres and is an historic farm and millpond site adjacent to the Isaac Branch stream corridor. It was given to Kent County by the estate of Elizabeth Howell Goggin. The land that now includes Brecknock Park was first granted to Alexander Humphrey in 1680. Subsequent owners John Clayton Jr. and Joshua Gregg and Thomas Hanson operated a grain mill on the property where the foundation still remains to this day. The Manor House was built during four major construction periods beginning in the 18th century through the late 19th century. This house is constructed of brick and frame and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I am proud we could secure the funding to help restore the Goggin House and  preserve Delaware’s role in the history of our region,” said Senator Carper. “Brecknock County Park is one step closer to becoming a tourism driver to the area, inviting visitors from all over to stop and learn about Kent County’s important role in the Underground Railroad and life in America dating back to the 1700s.”

“The echoes of a rich past and architectural heritage reverberate all throughout the First State, but few areas have defined Delaware’s history as much as the Goggin House, with its connection to the Underground Railroad and heritage as the home of our first governor,” said Senator Coons. “The Kent County Levy Court has put decades of work into restoring and upgrading the Goggin House, and I’m hopeful and excited to see the progress that will continue to be made with this additional federal funding.”

“The historic Goggin House is a principal fixture in Kent County that deserves to be shared with all who come to Delaware,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I’m proud to work alongside my counterparts in Congress – Senator Carper and Senator Coons – to deliver this federal funding that will help Kent County Levy Court make the long-overdue renovations to the Goggin House to preserve its historical and cultural significance for generations to come.”

“This funding for renovation efforts of the Goggin Manor house at Brecknock County Park will allow Kent County to establish additional programming for our community, and access to a long treasured historic home,” said Jeremy Sheppard, Kent County Levy Court, Director of Community Services. “Future interpretation of this house and surrounds will allow citizens to engage with Kent County’s past.”

On behalf of Kent County Levy Court, and the residents of the County, I’d like to thank the congressional delegation for the funding that will allow us to further renovate the Goggin House,” said Jody Sweeney, Commissioner, District 5, Kent County Levy Court. “In the 13 years that I have been on Kent County Levy Court, it has been my desire to have a Historical Museum in the heart of an area where we know there was Underground Rail Road activity; and the funding you’ve provided brings us one step closer to making that historical museum a reality.”

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