Kent Countians will get a rare look at 48 historic homes and buildings during the “Historic Homes of Kent” countywide house tour, held Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, in conjunction with Dover Days. Homes in Smyrna, Dover, Camden, and Milford will be open to the public.


Tours through some of the Capital City’s most stately and historic homes have been a staple of Dover Days for years, but for 2010, there’s something new.

For the first time, homes and buildings not only in Dover but also in Smyrna, Camden, and Milford will be open for the public to visit over a two-day period.

It’s part of the Historic Homes of Kent house tour. Individual tickets for each town are available for $15 each, but for $30, lovers of history and fine architecture can visit all 48 homes.

The ticket actually is a 21-page booklet containing photographs of each building, a short history and location map. Tour participants will need to carry the booklet with them as they visit each home.

Generally, homes in Milford will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, while Camden homes will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 2; the churches listed will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Buildings in Smyrna will be accessible from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 2.

In Dover, open times differ throughout the weekend, so it’s advisable to check on what you want to see beforehand.

Although her home on Lake Como, Smyrna, is not quite 40 years old, Ellen Sayers and her husband Ron have opened it to the tour, continuing a tradition they started while owning an older home in town several years ago.

“I think they asked us to do it so they could have more variety,” Sayers said, adding she feels sometimes people are looking at the various homes to get decorating ideas for their own homes.

The Sayers home features an Oriental garden, a koi pond and lacquered hardwood kitchen cabinets made by the same firm that crafts dashboards for Ferrari automobiles.

There’s also something a little unusual.

“We’re probably the only house on the tour that has a moose hanging in the kitchen,” Sayers said. Nicknamed “Leroy,” the moose has an antler spread of at least 5 feet and is too big for most rooms, she said.

“We needed a big wall to put it on, and the kitchen and family rooms have cathedral ceilings, so that was the place for it.”

There is no order in which the homes should be visited, said Robin Coventry, director of special events and public relations for Kent County Tourism.

“Each town has chosen a specific day for ease of travel,” Coventry said. “You have to pay close attention to the schedule or you may miss a property you really want to see.”

Locally, tickets are available from Kent County Tourism , 435 N. DuPont Highway, Dover; Knight’s Fine Jewelry, 240 Camden-Wyoming Ave., Camden; and Delaware Bay Trading Company, 102 S. Main St., Camden.

Dover historic buildings
Woodburn, the Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway
Bailey/King House, 49 S. Bradford St.
The Century Club, 40 The Green
The Old State House, The Green
Old Christ Church, 501 S. State St.
John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road
Little Creek Inn, 2623 N. Little Creek Road

Smyrna historic buildings
Belmont Hall, 512 N. DuPont Blvd.
Sayers Residence, 617 W. Lake Drive
Smyrna Opera House, 107 S. Main St.
Dr. John M. Clifton Townhouse, 40 S. Main St.
Smyrna Museum and Plank House, 11 S. Main St.
Sprucewood/Enoch Spruance Mansion, 21 E. Commerce St.
J.R. Clements Mansion, 56 W. Commerce St.
Smyrna First Presbyterian Church, 118 W. Commerce St.
Delaware House, 34 N. Main St.
Victorian Town House/Dr. Daniel Mansion, 106 N. Main St.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 20-24 W. Mount Vernon St.
The Lindens, 652 N. Main St.
St. Josephs Chapel Center for Community Service, 355 W. Duck Creek Road
Thomas Davis House, 221 Thomas Davis Drive, Clayton
Clayton Train Station, 101 S. Bassett St., Clayton

Camden historic buildings
Brecknock, 80 Old Camden Road
Spruce Acres, 110 N. Main St.
Mary O. Caulk House, 109 N. Main St.
The Edmondson House, 102 N. Main St.
Fruitland Grange, 311 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave.
Morningstar Congregational Church, 255 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave.
Bible Fellowship Church, 201 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave.
Camden Friends Meeting House, 122 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave.
Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, 20 Center St.
James McClyment House, 14 S. Main St.
Edward Heite House, 21 S. Main St.
Cameron House, 22 S. Main St.
The House by Sweat Pea’s Tree, 39 S. Main St.
Edward Cole House, 102 S. Main St.
Star Hill AME Church, 357 Voshells Mill Road

Milford historic buildings
Walnut Knoll, 600 N. Walnut St.
The Towers, 101 N.W. Front St.
James M. Hall Home, 105 North St.
Parson Thorne Mansion, 501 N.W. Front St.
Milford New Century Club, 18 Church St.
Vaules-Greer Home, 200 Lakeview Ave.
Jesus Love Temple (Schine Theater), 106 S. Walnut St.
Causey Mansion, 2 Causey Ave.
Milford Museum, 121 S. Walnut St.
William A. Humes Home, 206 S. Walnut St.