Welcome to our Virtual Tour of Brandywine Springs Park (circa 1911)!
We begin the tour at the Entrance Archway. Patrons would've arrived at the park via the Peoples Railway (a trolley line that ran from downtown Wilmington), or the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Then, they would've passed under the Archway to enter the park.
The Archway was built in 1901 and it was an all wood structure; the bricks shown in the photos were actually painted on the structure - it did not even have a concrete footer. This was discovered when FOBS and the Archaeology Society of Delaware (ASD) did an archaeological dig at the site in 1994. The object of the investigation was to find the exact location of the Archway and determine the construction materials. We found the footer was two wooden beams sunk about 18-inches below ground in each base. The Archway was covered with electric light bulbs. This was a unique sight for people of the time since many did not have electricity in their homes. Over one hundred ceramic light bulb fixtures were found buried at the site along with several fuse blocks.
Inscribed across the top of the Archway were the words "Let All Who Enter Here, Leave Care Behind," an inscription which invited a patron to forget the pressures of the outside world, and to instead indulge in the carefree atmosphere that awaited them within the park.
The Friends of Brandywine Springs marked the site with four white posts showing where the front wall bases were located and a sign with a photo of the Archway.
Click any photo above to view a larger version.
The Brandywine Springs Entrance Archway.
The Archway at night.
Color postcard of the Archway.
Color postcard of the Archway, with the trolley tracks in the foreground and the Exhibit Hall to the left.
Today, the location of the Archway is marked by 4 white posts, indicating the front corners of both bases.