Ross Mansion and Plantation
This 1,389-acre property includes an 1859 Italianate-style mansion, a Gothic Revival honeymoon cottage, a historic slave quarter and a number of other outbuildings. Begun in 1856, the Ross Plantation was the home of former Delaware Governor William Ross. The romantic approach to the Italianate mansion was a typical style for wealthy homes. The Ross Slave Quarter was built sometime between 1856 and 1860, and housed fourteen enslaved people when it was in use.
This was a noticeably large number of slaves at this point in Delaware’s history as a slave state, when most farms had units of three to six slaves at the most. As a large plantation with a large population of enslaved African Americans, the Ross Plantation represents a settlement type that was not common by the time it was built shortly before the Civil War. The property is well preserved and is open regularly for guided tours and special events.