If your name was duPont, your wish was their command

Real Estate Agent with Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate

William duPont,  Jr. was born in a 16th C manor house in Surrey, England. MontpelierHe grew up in Montpelier, the 1760's Virginia home of President James Madison. So if you  get the idea that he felt architecturally and well as financially privileged, you would probably be right.

I considered these facts as I visited nearby Bellevue State Park outside of Wilmington, Delaware.  William duPont, Jr. had inherited his father's estate here in 1928. Begun in 1855 by wool Woolton Hall merchant Hanson Robinson, the manor house was a Gothic Revival mansion with crenelated towers. This would not do for duPont, who painstakingly removed all exterior signs of the Gothic features, and turned (albeit awkwardly) it into a version of Montpelier.

Bellevue HallThe estate also reflects the interests of William and his first wife, Jean Liseter Austin, who were into horses big time. Today, Bellevue houses Wellspring Farm, a teaching and riding facility. It also has extensive public  tennis courts, reflecting the interests of William's second wife, Margaret Osborne,  a tennis champion.

The family could not support this extensive property when duPont died, so in 1976 it was given to Delaware State Parks (after prying it from 2 heirs who didn't want to let go). Today you can hike,Bellevue interiior fish, ride a horse, play tennis, engage in art classes, and listen to summer concerts here. Oh, and you can Bellevue horsealso rent the historic home for weddings or other celebrations. The inside is not going to look like what you expect, but the rooms are grand and I seem to remember a secret passage somewhere inside.

Looking for historic and older homes in Delaware or nearby Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania? Contact Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource.


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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty 914-419-0270 (NY), kat@thehousekat.com, (MT) 406-270-3667, more information to be provided shortly - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

It sounds as though this is still beautiful property!

Feb 09, 2017 12:12 PM #1
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Many of the rich people of years gone by were far richer than today's rihc in today's dollars

Feb 09, 2017 12:20 PM #2
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Sounds like with a few more marriages there would be something for everyone with regard to the properties activities!  It's great to see New Castle county preserving so much of their history and offering up the space for the public enjoyment.

Feb 09, 2017 12:40 PM #3
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I think the State stepped in to round out the opportunities for just about everyone!

Feb 09, 2017 12:43 PM #4
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

It is a great part of our publicly accessible properties. The kids at Mount Pleasant go there for photos in the mansion before the Prom. We've held a lot of events by the water, too, and I've enjoyed concerts in the park there. LOVE that it's right here!


Feb 09, 2017 02:18 PM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Carolyn. Wow, this home sounds really great and a place I would enjoy visiting.

Feb 10, 2017 06:18 AM #6
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Carolyn, I always loved history and historic homes, great that it has been preserved. Here in Los Angeles too many get into the way of the Bulldozer.... Endre

Feb 17, 2017 12:59 PM #7
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
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