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The original item was published from 4/30/2014 9:47:00 AM to 5/1/2014 12:05:00 AM.

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Executive - Press Release

Posted on: April 30, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Rockwood Museum to Open Exhibit on Servants

County Executive Thomas P. Gordon is pleased to announce that Rockwood Museum is scheduled to open a new exhibit called the “Upstairs Downstairs at Rockwood Manor: Life Through the Eyes of the Servants.”

The special opening is free and will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Tours are free on the first Sunday of every month as well.

“We often hear about the esteemed Bringhurst and Shipley families that lived in the Rockwood estate,” County Executive Gordon said. “This exhibit will give residents a unique perspective on the lives of those who lived on the estate from 1854 to 1972 as it is dedicated to the servants who cleaned, cooked and cared for them.”

The Rockwood exhibit features more than a dozen archival images of the servants taken by the Bringhurst family at the turn of the Twentieth Century. The original photographs are from the Shipley-Bringhurst-Hargraves Papers housed in the University of Delaware Archives.

Items from the Museum collection, many displayed to the public for the first time, include an ornate coal-fired cooking stove, an early electric washing machine, clothing worn by the servants, and farming tools and equipment.

“Visitors are encouraged to pick up and handle many of the artifacts,” said Philip Nord, director of Rockwood Museum. “Seeing these everyday items from the turn of the Twentieth century will inform many adult visitors of their parents’ or grandparents’ lives. Younger visitors will enjoy discovering how these objects and machines were considered modern innovations more than a century ago.”

Rockwood Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sundays 11am to 4pm. For more information call (302)761-4340 or visit


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