Relic from Earlier Time Watches Over Former New Castle County Prison Farm Property

Driving up McKennan Church Road the other day a rusting, old metal tower and a dilapidated concrete block building at the Delcastle Golf Course caught my attention. So on the sunny day in mid-April I snapped a few photos as abandoned structures, survivors from earlier times, often get my attention.

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Rusting old tower at the Delcastle Golf Course.

The excellent weblog, the Mill Creek Hundred History Blog (MCHHB) had a post about the history of land. The New Castle County Farm occupied the property from about 1915 to 1968. During those years, convicts from the nearby New Castle County Workhouse labored in the fields. In 1970 the county golf course opened on the site. Click here to read the MCHHB blog post about Delcastle Farm. I also talked to the receptionist and she too mentioned that the place had served as a prison farm, but didn’t know history or purpose of the tower.

So this rustic relic from the past apparently served as an observation platform for the Delcastle Prison Farm. If anyone has any additional insight on the structure, please feel free to share it.

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The Delcastle Golf Club with the old tower in the background.


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5 Responses to Relic from Earlier Time Watches Over Former New Castle County Prison Farm Property

  1. Scratch Ashley says:

    Might be something to look in to. Here in Kent County MD a tower that looks amazingly like that existed to watch WWII prisoners that were housed on local farms

    • Mike Dixon says:

      Thanks. When I first saw it I thought it was an airport tower, but then I saw from the Mill Creek Hundred blog, the story about the prison farm. By-the-way, is the Nike Missile Base still there?

  2. Scott Palmer says:

    The building in the picture was actually a milkhouse, and the tower was likely a combination water tower and watchtower. There’s a picture of the building in a 1919 magazine article, but the tower is slightly different. The one (barely) there now must have replaced the older one. I also just put up another post about the earlier (pre-prison farm) history of the site. Most interesting fact — the barn (which is now just a few walls) and maybe the house that are there were built in the 1790’s by a guy from New Jersey who had been convicted and sentenced to death in 1778 as a Loyalist. Luckily for him, they ended up only taking his property, not his life.

  3. mike says:

    My family moved into Parkwood on Duncan Road in 1959. I remember this structure was a water tower.

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