After years of wondering what was hidden behind the civil war cannons south of Newark, Delaware, I finally got a spot on a tour of the Cooch's Bridge Historic Site.
The homestead and 10 acres were donated to the State Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs a few years ago by the Cooch family. The 1769 house has been owned by the family since it was built, and being Delaware, I have been acquainted with a couple of them for years.
It was the site of the Sept. 1777 Revolutionary War battle (details here). There is a lot of conserved land still owned by the family and farmed by tenant farmers. The homestead still contains many original outbuildings in addition to the stucco over brick home (large picture is river facing side of house) on the Christina River (the land is heavily wooded and I was not brave enough to climb down the river bank and actually see the water.)
Two of the outbuildings include a beautiful smokehouse and large ice house. The State is presently working on restoring the interior of the house and it is not open to the public. Archaeologists are investigating lots of interesting questions and have found 4000 year old Native American artifacts.
A big mystery is where the 30 Colonials who lost their lives are buried. I remember hearing that a letter was found from a wife who was looking south of the site after the battle for her husband's remains. Nothing definitive, though.
In the early 1900's, a memorial was placed on the main road but all that was available was Civil War cannons, so no original artillery here. And the story about this being where the American flag was first flown is totally fanciful. It also is interesting that the Cooch family was away during the battle and General Cornwallis occupied the house for about a week. Guess I would have also found it a good time to take the family elsewhere!