Sussex County Delaware
Governor Ross
The Governor Ross Plantation in Seaford Delaware

Civil War Era Plantation

Governor Ross Planation, Seaford, Delaware

The Governor Ross Mansion north of Seaford on North Pine Street is a brick Italian Villa style structure featuring a three-story center entry. Built in 1859, the plantation includes rebuilt log slave quarters that are the only remaining slave quarters as far north as Delaware.

Governor William Henry Harrison Ross was born in 1814 in Laurel and served as Delaware governor from 1851-1855. He died in Philadelphia in 1887. He was a leader in Sussex County agriculture, politics and business. He was instrumental in extending the railroad south from Dover to Seaford.

A Southern sympathizer, Governor Ross aided the Confederate Army during the Civil War and fled to England during the height of the war.

The original 1,389-acre property was once part of Maryland and known as Grape Vine Thicket. In 1836, the owner, James Tennent, sold the property to Caleb Ross, who later willed it to William, his son.

The property is now owned and operated by the Seaford Historical Society. It is open for tours the fourth Sunday of each month from 1-4 p.m. or by reservation other times. Admission is $2 per person with historical society members and students 18 years of age and under admitted free. Reservations can be made at 302-628-9500.

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