The Parson Thorne Mansion Highlights Milford’s History. If you enjoy touring historic places, studying architecture, or you simply want to learn more about the history of Milford, Delaware, you’ll appreciate a visit to the Parson Thorne Mansion. This spacious red brick mansion has an interesting history that dates to Milford’s earliest years.
In the 17th century, the present-day Kent County area of Milford was known as the Saw Mill Range. The original Saw Mill Range consisted of a 1,750 acre Duke of York land patent that was granted to farmer Henry Bowman in 1680, who then settled the land. Joseph Booth purchased 510 acres from the Bowman family and became the first resident of the area in approximately 1730. In 1746, John Cullen erected the original center brick section of the Parson Thorne Mansion after purchasing 263 acres of surrounding land.
The Parson Thorne Mansion is named after an important figure in the development of Milford, Reverend Syndenham Thorne. Thorne was an Episcopal clergyman who purchased the property in the 1780s. Parson Thorne helped found the town of Milford and constructed a dam that created Silver Lake.
Since Thorne’s days, several important figures in the history of Milford, Delaware and the United States have resided at the Parson Thorne Mansion. United States Senator and Secretary of State under President Zachary Taylor John M. Clayton resided at the Parson Thorne Mansion during part of his boyhood. Delaware’s Governor Dr. William Burton also resided here during his term from 1859 to 1863.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Parson Thorne Mansion is the changes in architectural style it has undergone throughout history. Under the ownership of Henry Fiddeman in 1858, the mansion’s architectural style shifted from Colonial Georgian to Gothic Victorian.
Following Fiddeman’s ownership, the Draper family purchased the Parson Thorne Mansion and grounds, and it became known as Silver Hill. J. Richard Draper conveyed the Mansion and grounds to the Milford Historical Society in 1961. In 1971, the Mansion became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today visitors can take a tour of the Parson Thorne Mansion Period on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month, May through October. Tours can also be arranged by appointment in advance. Period antiques and impressive reproductions detail the various styles used to furnish the home throughout its history. Special community events and festivals are also held at the Mansion seasonally. You can find out more about visiting the Parson Thorne Mansion by phoning 302-422-3115.
There are several hotel options in Milford and great rates can be found on HotelsCombined.com.
501 N.W. Front St.
P.O. Box 352
Milford, DE 19963