Hands-on History

Life at the Gibbons House – Grade K-3

Step back to a time when cast iron stoves were used for baking and clothes were wrung through a wringer. The Gibbons House was the home of the Hagley foreman. Students will participate in daily nineteenth century activities, such as baking cookies, doing laundry, and dressing in period clothing. Students will also take part in short lessons in the Brandywine Manufacturers’ Sunday School, which provided schooling for mill workers’ children.

  • Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
  • Group Size: 20-50
  • Cost: $7 per student
  • Curriculum Standards, Common Core: DE, PA, MD, NJ

Payment for this program is required one week in advance.

The Factory System Workshop – Grades 2-8

Take your place on an assembly line to make powder keg labels. During this hands-on workshop, students learn about the development of the factory system during the Industrial Revolution. Every student gets a job on our production line making labels for powder kegs and preparing them for shipping.

  • Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Group Size: 12-60
  • Cost: $7 per student
  • Curriculum Standards, Common Core: DE, PA, MD, NJ

For a longer program, or to accommodate a larger group, we recommend combining with the Life at the Gibbons House tour or Industrial America tour.

Nineteenth Century Day – Grades 4-6

Recreate daily life in a nineteenth century mill community. Students experience daily routines in the 1800s through activities that showcase the roles of children, women, teachers, and powdermen. Student will be able to compare between life in the twenty-first century and life more than a hundred years ago. Activities are centered on Hagley’s Workers’ Hill community and the powder yards.

  • Time: 4 hours, including lunch
  • Group Size: 25-100
  • Cost: $8 per student

Payment for this program is required one week in advance. Pre- and post-visit lesson guide available

Industrial America – Grades 6-12

Experience the rapid changes and innovation of the Industrial Revolution. The Hagley powder yards and mill communities were a microcosm of this era of technological growth and societal changes. Students on this walking tour discover the impact of mechanization, immigration, and American expansion through the eyes of real people who worked in and lived near the powder yards in the 1800s. Each student receives a biography of either a du Pont family member or mill worker and will actively participate as they visit sites throughout the powder yards.

  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Group Size: 12-75
  • Cost: $6 per student
  • Curriculum Standards, Common Core: DE, PA, MD, NJ

For a longer program, or to accommodate a larger group, we recommend combining with the Factory System Workshop or Mill Owners’ World.

Mill Owners’ World – Grades 9-12

Step into the lives of the du Pont family by visiting Eleutherian Mills. When E. I. du Pont founded his company, he also built his home close to the powder yards to share the work and risk of his new venture. Students take an up-close tour of the residence, the First Office, barn, and restored E.I. du Pont garden. This tour requires the use of your school bus on site.

  • Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Group Size: 12-50
  • Cost: $6 per student
  • Curriculum Standards, Common Core: DE, PA, MD, NJ

For a longer program, or to accommodate a larger group, we recommend combining with the Industrial America tour.

Summer in Industrial America – Ages 4-12

Bring your summer camp, youth group, or students to Hagley for fun on the Brandywine. Children will experience home, work, and play in the 1800s through a series of hands-on activities that include building water wheels, bucket brigade, nineteenth century chores and games, and paper crafts.

  • Time: 2 hours, June-September. We recommend morning tours to avoid intense summer heat.
  • Group Size: 15-75
  • Costs: $6 per student

SPEND THE DAY AT HAGLEY… combine two programs for a full experience! Some combinations are suggested above, but other combinations are possible. All combinations tours are $8 per student.

To find out more about education programs at Hagley, contact Education Program Manager Jeff Durst at (302) 658-2400, ext. 285 or jdurst@hagley.org. To reserve a tour, contact Group Tour Manager Bonnie Wirth at (302) 658-2400, ext. 259 or bwirth@hagley.org.