First Lady Carla Markell welcomes guests to Woodburn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, for a free open house including performances, cookies and hot chocolate.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, First Lady Carla Markell will welcome guests to Woodburn: The Governor’s House for its annual Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Guests will be treated to home-baked holiday cookies and hot chocolate while enjoying the holiday decorations on tours of Woodburn and Hall House. Both Woodburn and Hall House are decorated annually by volunteers from the Potpourri Club of Dover using greens collected from the property and antique toys from the State’s collection.
The Booker T. Washington Chorus will also provide live holiday musical selections starting at noon.
Woodburn is located at 151 Kings Highway, Dover, and the event is free of charge.
Governor Markell is the ninth Governor of Delaware to officially reside at Woodburn. Woodburn was purchased by the State of Delaware in 1965 and became the Governor’s House. The Georgian mansion, built around 1790 is considered to be one of the finest examples of late-eighteenth century architecture in Delaware, and is an excellent example of local craftsmen’s joinery talents. The interior is particularly notable for its surviving detailing, including a broad, open pine staircase and full interior paneling. With its Flemish Bond façade, Woodburn is an imposing house, set within spacious grounds and gardens.
The house was built by Charles Hillyard, III around 1798. Hillyard bought the land at a sheriff’s sale for one hundred and ten dollars. At the time of purchase, the estate measured approximately ten acres and was located outside the town limits of Dover.