The Seaford Historical Society is currently raising funds to build a new and much-needed multipurpose facility on the grounds of the Gov. Ross Plantation. Named after Gov. Ross’ train station, the new building will not be a replica of the original Ross Station, but will try to capture some of the architectural details of the original. Care will be taken to preserve the Grand Entrance and vistas of the drive to the Ross Mansion and the Mansion itself.
The new Ross Station at the Governor Ross Plantation will provide the entire region with:
- * Space for educational activities and exhibits for the SHS teaching and mentoring programs for children, students, seniors, and the general public.
- * A venue for society functions, business retreats, weddings, history conferences, expositions, and other community events.
- * A welcome center with rest room facilities to accommodate bus tours and groups.
- * Increased tours of the Ross Mansion, grounds, slave quarters, and the historic setting that the Plantation provides.
- * Outdoor settings for use with tents, for photography and the opportunity to enjoy the lovely Plantation grounds.
The Seaford Historical Society received a $16,000 planning grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a matching pledge of up to $400,000 from Mr. Ross Claiborne, the great grandson of William H.H. Ross, former governor of Delaware from 1851-1855.
The Seaford Historical Society is nearing the goal for the new Ross Station. Some final details and specs for the building are being completed and permits are being granted at every step of the way.
The Capital Campaign has raised over one million two hundred ($1,200,000) dollars for the new Ross Station and will continue until we have the full amount needed for the building, the parking lot, the paving, walkways, landscaping and furnishings.
We still have approximately $50,000 to raise, and that enables a contingency fund. We recently completed the match for the $400,000 gift that Mr. Ross Claiborne gave us as a challenge grant, through grants, contributions and the generosity of the City of Seaford, led by Dolores Slatcher; Sussex County led by Michael Vincent and our State Legislative delegation led by Danny Short, and participated in by Bryant Richardson. We have had major grants from the Longwood Foundation, the Welfare Foundation and the Crystal Trust. A grant from the US Department of Agriculture through a Rural Development Program Planning Grant helped to begin this journey.
Individuals, organizations and business in the greater Seaford Delaware area have given most generously! Donations have totaled over $150,000, so far. Contributions are still coming in and so gratefully received. All of you have been noted and we thank you!
We are hoping to be able to break ground in the late spring and have the building basically finished in 6-8 months. This schedule will depend on getting all of our permits, selecting a builder, completing both the drive, parking and walkways and furnishing the interior for use.
We thank each and every person and group, organization and business, foundation and government entity for helping to build what will be a great venue and addition to the entire Western Sussex area and indeed the State of Delaware and beyond.