Over the 120 years that the Du Pont powder yards were in operation on the Brandywine, thousands of workers from diverse backgrounds lived, worked, and died in communities that surrounded the yards. In many ways, life in these communities was very different from life in other industrial towns. Here Irish, French, Italian, and English immigrants worked side-by-side with members of the du Pont family to make this business a success. The dangerous nature of their work created a unique bond among them that provided support during times of joy and sorrow.
During your visit to Workers' Hill you will meet numerous characters from the Hagley story including du Pont family members as well as powder yard workers and their families.
Be sure not to miss:
- The original powder yard gates where workers stopped every day for inspection to ensure they were not bringing anything into the yards that could cause a spark, leading to an explosion
- The John Gibbons House, home of the Hagley Yard Foreman where on special days you may find Mrs. Gibbons baking cookies
- The Brandywine Manufacturers’ Sunday School where Victorine du Pont taught workers’ children on Sundays for more than thirty years
- The Workers' Garden, maintained by dedicated volunteers, which grows the kind of vegetables and flowers that workers would have grown and supplies some produce to the Café
- The Upper Path woods trail that provides a scenic, shaded, short walk back to the Visitor Center.