PARSON THORNE MANSION
This historic building lies within a 1,750 acre Duke of York land patent called Saw Mill Range granted to Henry Bowman in 1680. The first known resident of this portion of the tract was Joseph Booth, who purchased 510 acres from the Bowman family in 1730. The center brick section of the present structure was built by John Cullen after his purchase of 263 acres in 1746. Reverend Syndenham Thorne, an Episcopal clergyman who was instrumental in Milford’s development, bought the property in the 1780s and is interred on the grounds. John M. Clayton, United States Senator and Secretary of State under President Zachary Taylor, spent a portion of his boyhood here. Members of the Clayton family lie at rest nearby as well. This was also the home of philanthropist Col. Benjamin Potter and Dr. William Burton, Governor of Delaware during the early years of the Civil War. Col. Henry Fiddeman, founder of the First National Bank of Milford, came into ownership of the mansion in 1858 and changed the Colonial Georgian architecture to Gothic Victorian. The Draper family purchased the property in 1916. In 1961, the building and grounds, then known as Silver Hill, were conveyed to the Milford Historical Society by J. Richard Draper. The Parson Thorne Mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
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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: On the grounds in front of mansion, 501 NW Front Street, Milford.