This longtime Smyrna landmark was constructed by Robert Holliday in the late 18th century. The first known residents of the home are believed to have been the family of his daughter, Susannah Holliday Wilson. The origin of the name “The Barracks” is uncertain, but records confirm that it was known as such from an early date. After being sold by the Wilson family in 1818, the property changed ownership on several occasions during the following four decades. One owner of note was Presley Spruance, United States Senator from Delaware (1847-1853). From 1859 until 1905 the home was the property of James P. Hoffecker, a prominent local druggist. During his ownership the building was renovated and expanded to include a store for his place of business. In 1863, Smyrna became the headquarters for the enrollment of Union troops in Delaware, and on August 12 of that year the state’s first Civil War draft lottery drawing was held on the front porch of The Barracks.
Following many years of use by a variety of businesses, the adjoining store was removed in 1975. On December 10, 1981, The Barracks was formally conveyed to the Duck Creek Historical Society. It became the Smyrna Museum in 1989.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Smyrna, located at 11 South Main Street