If you live close to the University of Delaware or are a student on campus, the Newark History Museum is a great way to spend your afternoon. The site is only a fifteen minute walk from the main campus! It is located directly next to the Newark Train Station, and when inside, you might get a glimpse of a train rushing by. In this case, don’t be afraid of the sudden, loud rush which causes the building to shake. While here, you will learn about Newark’s past social history, local schools, industries, and more. Visitors also learn about the neighboring states of Delaware which pertain to Newark’s early development and continue to influence the city today.
The front entrance of the museum is reminiscent of an old mom and pop shop, giving off an inviting and warm atmosphere to visitors. The interior of the institution is just as aesthetically pleasing as the exterior. Though the site is a two-story building, the upper level is reserved for volunteer and museum staff only. In various rooms of the site, including the restroom, images of Newark’s past are provided for visitor indulgence and inspection.
Getting There from UD: Newark History museum is a short distance from main campus located on South College Avenue. Next to the site are the “My Hall Apartments” and a bridge which leads to the main campus. To find the site, visitors must return south as if they are crossing the bridge again. To the right of the bridge is a stop sign and a small road: drivers should continue down this road to find the museum at the end of this path. Since the Newark History Museum is situated in the former Pennsylvania Railroad Station, the museum can be mistaken for a functioning train station if visitors are unaware of the site’s purpose.
Price: Free of charge
Hours: NHM is open April through November. The Museum is open on Sundays from 2-5pm or by appointment. Consult website for details
How Long to Spend: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Go Here if You: Would like to learn more about the history of the city of Newark.
Be Sure Not to Miss: The “Roaring 20s” display as well as the display of the Newark’s former educational institutions, such as the Women’s College of the University of Delaware and the early Newark High School building. The nostalgic displays on Main Street restaurants in the early to mid-20th century are especially intriguing for Newark residents who were born and raised in the city or have been residents for a significant amount of time, as well as University of Delaware students.
Know Before You Go: Next to the museum is a bike trail popular to bikers and runners, and site staff are more than happy to invite interested passers to come in and take a look around!
We Wish They Had: This museum could tell a larger story if given the opportunity to expand building space. In this case, more diverse exhibits focused on all people (from varying races, occupations and social classes) from Newark’s past are potential additions for the museum. Also, the exhibition lacked technology such as audio devices, interactive displays, slideshows, and other gadgets that allow guests to engage with the exhibits. Being that the museum is open only on Sundays, the days which the site is available to the public could be increased, as well as the amount of museum staff.
Opportunities for Additional Learning: If you are not a resident of Newark or would like to learn more about its history, the museum offers information about the city’s past histories of local businesses, buildings, past-time activities, and local education.
Special Events to Look For: Annual Past Founder’s Day Celebration gives you the opportunity to be the first to see new exhibits. The museum also participates in the Memorial Day Parade every year, on whichever date the holiday falls.
Consult the website for current hours, directions, and more details: http://www.newarkdehistorymuseum.org/