Trustees Projects

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Historical information from the "Blue Book"
Academy chartered 1801. Drawing by B. Latrobe 1804. Courtesy Delaware Public Archives
"The very first appropriation of funds in 1798 was for eductional purposes. For a time all the funds of the trust were devoted to the erection and maintenance of the New Castle Academy. Later the Arsenal Building on the Green (then a one story building) was taken by the Trustees and Trustees and rebuilt and here the Trustees established the New Castle Institute. The Trustees then opened and entirely supported all the public schools of the town until 1875, when the Board of Education was created.... About 1931, when William Penn was built, the State appropriation was not sufficient without serious curtailment of the plans. The value of the building was secured by the aid of the Trustees to the extent of $20,000."
Penn-Seaboard Steel. Courtesy Hagley Museum & Library
"Between 1903 and 1915 the Trustees, at the earnest request of the citizens, took steps to provide employment for citizens of the town. By providing sites and other material aid to the extent of upwards of $26,000, the Brylgon, Baldt [later PennSeabord, now Twin Spans] and Tropenas [later Am. Manganese on River Rd] Steel Companies were located in New Castle and for many years furnished employment to a large number of inhabitants"
"In 1939 the Trustees, for the sum of $25,000 purchased the large tract on the River front, known as the Battery, for a park and public playground. It was subsequently deeded to the City." In this c1900 photo (courtesy D. Reese) shad nets are drying. Also on this site: the Deakyne coal yard, the remains of the coal loading pier, in the distance the city gas plant and Tasker Steel.

The Old Town Hall (1826). Painting by Robert Bird c1826 courtesy U.Penn Library ...
Old Library   Penn Farm (1798-1828) From the National Register nomination   "The Penn Farm was one of ten farms established in the 1790s by subdividing the 1000 acre tract of land known as the New Castle Common. In 1792 the Trustees created a ordinance which created guidelines for sub-dividing and leasing the farms including minimum sizes of the planned farms."

The Trustees have been heavily involved in fire fighting in the town. As noted by Erv Thatcher and Ken Sturgis in History of The Goodwill Fire Company, in 1819 the Trustees of New Castle Common purchased an engine for the protection of the town. The first fire company was the Union company, followed by the Penn and finally the Goodwill Company. Of 24 members of the Union company, 14 served as Trustees. The fire engines of both the Union and Penn companies were stored on the ground floor of the Town Hall for years.