I’ve shared some photos and information about the importance of our local historical societies and mentioned MHS (Middletown Historical Society) briefly. I thought I would shine a brighter light on what can be found at MHS here in Middletown, Delaware. By the way it’s located in New Castle County. When in the area if you mention MHS you usually hear about the hard work they do with the “Peach Festival” that takes place here in August (I’ll discuss the festival at a later posting).
The society is physically located in one of the most historical recognizable buildings here in Middletown. The building they occupy is the Old Academy Building located at 218 North Broad Street. When you enter this building you will also discover it’s a museum with two floors of unique collections that reflect the lives of community members in years past. Currently the main exhibit on the first floor is titled “Middletown Goes to War” and is an interpretation of the service and sacrifices of our men and women in Middletown. It focuses on their sacrifices during our Nation’s wars from the Revolution through Vietnam, and beyond. Venturing up to the second floor you can still see some of the collections focusing on "Downtown Abby", Old Academy Building and education in Middletown plus the importance of peach crops in the area.
"Downtown Abbey" room on the second floor
Both found on the second floor
The archive collection is large and continuing to grow including the discovery of letters, books, photograph, artifacts and many documents. They are constantly working to archive their collection and make if available for your research needs. When conducting your research they have a comfortable large research room on the second floor with someone there to assist you in your research needs and document retrievals. One of the pride and joys of the society is the computer searchable collection of the 125 volumes of Delaware’s oldest newspaper, The Middletown Transcript. I have spent some time as a member with the society in the research room helping them to index some of their collection, along with sharing the importance of their collection to family researchers and genealogist. If you have a chance to visit your historical society I advise you to do so. They hold so much information that we as research’s can find very useful. You might just be surprised as to what you find and in turn they might be surprised what you find in their collection. Here are a few surprises that I found and yes some were a surprise to some of the members.
Miscellaneous document found in donated boxes (yes more then one) that was once in someones attic.
1914 Marriage Ledger (Yes I'm working to index this ledger and the 1915 ledger)
The research room is open to members of the society, you will find their schedule below. It the schedule below doesn't work with your schedule you can always call and set up a special appointment. (302) 378-8265 or (302) 740-5544
Every Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
1st Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. – noon
3rd Wednesday of each month from noon – 4:00 p.m.
You can find me in the research room Fridays 10-2 conducting my own research and offering assistance to those in need. So now I ask, what have you found during your visits to historical societies?