Visitors to the historic town of Old New Castle in Delaware admire the many historic homes in this deed protected area. They visit the shops with artwork, gifts, antique books and tidy small restaurants. But very few visitors know about Stonum, a home just a one mile walk away which was the mid-eighteenth century home of George Read I, one of Delaware's three Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Many years ago, I worked as a museum guide at the George Read II House, the c 1800 home of the son of The Signer in Old New Castle. A grand Federal style home, it stands next to a lot which, before a destructive fire in 1824, held the home of George Read The Signer. We had heard that the father had a "country home" nearby, but none of us had been there, nor have any of the present generation of museum people presently working in town. Stonum, as it was called, is hidden from the street by tall hedges, and only a peek is visible by anyone driving down Washington Street.
Anyone currently looking to purchase a distinguished historic home (not only is Stonum on the National Register of Historic Places, but it is only one of 14 National Landmark properties in Delaware) can thank their lucky stars that Stonum is currently available for sale. The original millwork remains, and it is stunning.
Excellent documentation from the 1936 Historic American Building Survey photos shows much of what we see today in Stonum (except for paint colors) still remains. Recently, a wall was removed from a previous use as 3 apartments, and the original stairway to the second floor was found to be much as it was in George Read I's time.
Stonum, located at 900 Washington Street in New Castle, is now available for $449,500, proudly offered by Carolyn Roland, Your Older Homes Resource for Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.