Hagley 2021 Flood Update

In September, the Brandywine brought a historic 23-foot flood to Hagley, inundating our powder yards and Visitor Center. After the water receded, the damage left behind was devastating. We will rebuild even stronger the stone walls, fill in areas that were washed away, rebuild wooden bridges, and get the systems in our buildings back in operation, but this will take time and resources. Most importantly, everyone at Hagley stayed safe and our collections areas stayed dry. 

While we rebuild, just a reminder that Hagley is still open. Visit this page for current museum hours.

Your support for Hagley is more important now than ever, to aid us in this important work to rebuild. Despite the flood, we have much to be thankful for! 




Hagley is working to fully reopen the museum as quickly as possible with the goal of making our site better able to withstand a rising Brandywine. As soon as plans are finalized and a schedule known (taking into account supply chain issues), we’ll let you know!  

One of the most important considerations is how to make the Visitor Center less at risk. We were considering three options for the Visitor Center: 1) Keep everything in place and work on better waterproofing the building envelope. 2) Move all equipment to a newly built structure outside of the Visitor Center. 3) Some combination of leaving things in the basement and moving what could be moved up higher within the building.

We discovered that we could move at least 80% of the equipment (the most expensive equipment) upstairs within the existing structure and to outdoor locations, without having to construct an additional building to house it.    

By converting the heating system from steam to hot water with high efficiency natural gas condensing boilers, we will be able to save space and relocate basement equipment to our existing first and second floor mechanical rooms.  Changing to this system should also mean energy cost savings over time.  Also, by replacing the dry unit pump, to a submersible pump, which is smaller in size, our roped hydraulic elevator mechanics can also be relocated on either the first or second floors, sharing space with the HVAC equipment.

With most of the mechanical equipment out of the basement, we will be much better prepared for a flood as devastating as the one we faced in September 2021.

Despite the continued closure of Hagley's lower property, Hagley welcomed nearly 3,700 guests to come “Home for Holidays” for Christmas-themed tours, the fourth annual gingerbread contest, Santa Days, and more.

Thank you for your continued support, and keep watching this page and your emails for updates.







An enormous thank you to those who have donated to Hagley's Annual Fund. Your support is greatly appreciated as we rebuild from the damage brought by Hurricane Ida in September.

A special shout-out to Wilmington Brew Works, who debuted the "fruits" of their partnership with Hagley with tastings of their new peach-flavored Fruits of Eleutherian Mills cider. Wilmington Brew Works will donate a portion of their sales to support Hagley's rebuilding efforts.

LEFT: Peach Cider by Wilmington Brew Works. RIGHT: Wilmington Brew Works at the Hagley Craft Fair.


While we rebuild, just a reminder that Hagley is open daily. Staff worked quickly so that just one week after the flood, visitors could experience Hagley in a new way with the Historic Home & Garden Tour. Start at the Hagley Library, currently serving as a temporary visitor center, and see the du Pont family home, the E. I. du Pont Garden, the Hagley Barn, and the pop-up Hagley Store. Don't miss the fantastic view of the Brandywine from the Terrace.

The holiday season is coming soon, and Holidays at Hagley features Santa visits, gingerbread houses, twilight tours, and more. Admission to Hagley and most holiday offerings are free for Hagley Members. 

The lower property remains closed to visitors, but progress is being made. The patio at the Turbine Exhibition was rebuilt with bricks found scattered downstream. Thanks to our dedicated crew, not a single brick had to be purchased for the restoration.

LEFT: Turbine patio after flood damage. RIGHT: Turbine patio after restoration.


The major disaster declaration signed on October 24 includes areas affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida from September 1 to September 7, 2021. Hagley continues to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) on damage assessment.

While progress is being made, there is still much to do before Hagley can re-open the powder yards to visitors. Please keep Hagley in your thoughts as you consider your holiday charity giving.

Thank you for your continued support.



Click below to see images from the flood.