|Autumn in Winterthur Museum and Country
Estate in Delaware
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Breathtaking beauty of autumn foliage in the 1,000-acre du Pont Estate known as Winterthur Museum and
Country Estate in Delaware.
The premier Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania was created by Pierre S. du Pont and the maintenance and
the operation of the Longwood Gardens for public visit are supported by the Longwood Foundation from the du
Therefore, on November 7, 2011, after touring Longwood Gardens, we drove south on the beautiful
Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway (i.e., Route 52 or Kennett Pike) for 7 miles to reach Winterthur Museum and
Country Estate to enjoy spectacular autumn foliage in another one of the du Pont family estates in Delaware. It
is located at 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware. Phone: (800) 448-3883, (six miles northwest of
Wilmington, Delaware ).
Map: Click here to see an interactive Google Map showing location of Winterthur Museum and Country Estate
Du Pont Dining Room on the 5th floor. In the years when Winterthur was the site of many festive house parties,
the Du Pont Dining Room was the setting for delicious meals—the table decorated with beautiful, historic
pieces and the flowers specially selected. A detailed description of how Henry Francis du Pont entertained his
guests in this dinning room and other rooms can be seen at the following website:
The majestic and lavish mansion in Winterthur Estate has become the Winterthur Museum with 175 "period
rooms" in 9 stories/floors. It is now the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early
America life and the du Pont family’s life here. It is known worldwide for its preeminent collection of 85,000
American antiques, USA Today named Winterthur as one of the country's "10 great places of historic
proportions" and Budget Travel called it "one of the 10 grandest mansions in America." (Usually, period rooms
are interpreted as snapshots in time, whether it be 1776, 1865, or 1920. Each room is arranged, designed,
and decorated to a specific era. )
Formerly the childhood home of Henry Francis du Pont, the 175 room mansion is located in a 1,000 acre
preserve of meadows and woodlands. Sixty acres of gardens around the home are landscaped to showcase
the beauty of the seasons as they pass. Du Pont's fascination with horticulture led him to design the many
gardens around plants and flowers which bloom in profusion at different times of the year.
Montmorenci Staircase - This oval spiraling staircase was acquired from a plantation home in North Carolina
named Montmorenci. The graceful lines have a refined elegance.
The Reflecting Pool in Winterthur Estate - Originally used as du Pont’s swimming pool and then the site of the
first wedding held at Winterthur for Pauline Louise du Pont, the reflecting pool has becomes a dream site for
wedding ceremony. Brides have dream of an entrance as dramatic as walking down the stone staircase and
into the lush poolside area. Allow your guests more time enjoying the outdoors and sweeping views by having
your cocktail hour poolside.
Marlboro Room used for afternoon tea and family gatherings. It features woodwork from an 18th-century
Maryland house as well as 18th-century furniture primarily from Philadelphia. Portraits of early du Pont family
members are displayed with paintings by Charles Willson Peale. After dinner, the male guests of Henry
Francis du Pont would retire to the library or the Marlboro Room where they would enjoy cigars and drinks.
One of the most remarkable plant specimens in the Winterthur gardens is this huge dawn redwood
(Metasequoia glyptostroboides). This tree, which had previously been known only in fossils, was discovered in
1943 still surviving in a remote area of central China. In 1948, the Arnold Arboretum received some of the first
samples of seed to reach the outside world; in 1951, Henry Francis du Pont in turn received one of the
seedlings raised from these. Today the Winterthur metasequoia stands over one hundred feet tall with a trunk
that measures almost five feet through at chest height.
The other giant Metasequoia that I have seen is in Buck Garden in New Jersey as described on my
Travelogue web page at:
Another view of the giant Metasequoia in Winterthur.