Walk back into a time when life was more gracious. Explore a complete Victorian Italianate mansion with a slave quarter, several outbuildings, and spacious grounds. Learn what life was like before the Civil War, why a popular Delaware governor was smuggled to England with a Federal warrant out for his arrest, and how the “War of Northern Aggression” changed life forever.
See the only documented log slave quarter in the State of Delaware. Enjoy 20 acres of the original 1,398 that include a granary, stable, smokehouse, and corn cribs. Explore a “Honeymoon Cottage” likely built from a pattern book and located on the property.
The Seaford Historical Society has fully restored this rare brick home. The Italian Villa style mansion features a three story tower, original, engraved ceiling moldings and medallions, beautiful Victorian Period furnishings, and even a hidden safe. Once the home of Governor Ross and his family, the mansion is a testament to Southern living.
William Henry Harrison Ross was the Democratic governor of Delaware from 1851 to 1855. Extremely popular with the people, he was instrumental in bringing the railroad into Southern Delaware. Trains running daily to Philadelphia vitalized the economy as farmers switched crops from wheat and corn to higher priced tomatoes, strawberries, peaches and other perishables. Ross became a local hero.
But Governor Ross was also a slave owner and Southern sympathizer. When war broke out between the states, Delaware sided with the North. Ross supported the Confederacy. He had to flee to England. Today, his mansion stands as a grand reminder of the pre-Civil War life and an elegant time long gone.
Located just a few blocks from downtown across the road from the Seaford Industrial Park and next to the city’s recreation area with a play ground for children, the Governor Ross Plantation & Mansion is open regularly for guided tours and special events. Check the home page's calendar for fairs, Civil War encampments, craft shows, special music events, teas and other activities, including the spectacular Victorian Christmas events. The mansion is especially decorated for the season.
Finally, this beautiful location is available for weddings, graduations and private events (including period based youth theme parties). Contact the Seaford Historical Society at (302) 628-9828 for more information about renting the grounds.
The Ross Mansion & Plantation
is located at
23669 Ross Station Road
formerly 1101 N. Pine St. Ext.
Seaford, Delaware 19973
(302) 628-9828 (Society Office)