The industrial expansion of Brandywine Hundred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was largely reflective of national trends in the growth and development of heavy industry.  As large corporations moved to locations outside of major cities, some industrialists recognized the benefits of providing a living environment for workers close to factories. Through the efforts of the Worth Steel Corporation, the community of Hickman Row was constructed to serve as segregated housing for the company’s African American workforce. Many residents were part of the great exodus of African Americans who fled the South to escape racism and pursue economic opportunity. Completed in 1919, the buildings were designed as simple brick row houses facing the street with back lots large enough to raise vegetables and livestock. These amenities made the homes particularly attractive to families who had formerly farmed and raised cattle. The intimate nature of the design promoted a strong sense of community, emotionally supporting families seeking a new life and friendships in a foreign place. When the buildings were sold by the company in 1962, many African American families continued to live here and build new homes nearby.  The Hickman Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

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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 Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at katie.hall@state.de.us..

LOCATION: Approximately 130 Hickman Rd, Claymont, Delaware.