Swedish History at the New Sweden Centre | Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard | Wilmington, Delaware



Celebrating Colonists Day 2014 are, from left, Mark Hogate, Donn Draper, Aleasa Hogate, descendant of Anders Larsson Dalbo 1640, Donna Draper's granddaughter, Bill Hutchinson, portraying Peter Minuit, and Chief Dennis Coker of the Lenape Tribe. Check out the video of Colonists Day 2012 on this page, below left.

News briefs

First State National Historic Park, the nation's newest national park in Delaware, is expanding its activities to include grants to take school children on field trips to cultural and heritage sites. Click here for more on park developments.


"The Landing of the Swedes" by Stanley M. Arthurs depicts the first contact in 1638 between the Swedish settlers and Native Americans. The meeting took place along the Christina River in present-day Wilmington.

The image is made possible through the generosity of the Permanent Collection of the University of Delaware

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New Sweden Centre

TEL 302-429-0464
FAX 302-746-6755

Email: info@colonialnewsweden.org

Mail-Business Address:
New Sweden Centre
PO Box 12001
Wilmington, DE 19850

Tours/visits by appointment:
Please call 302-429-0464
to schedule a visit


Click on the logo to go to the website of our partner, The New Sweden Alliance.

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The New Sweden Centre,
a 5013c nonprofit organization headquartered in Wilmington, De., offers educational outreach programs and historic reenactors.

Who are we?

Volunteers, educators, history buffs

What do we do?

Promote Delaware Valley's history 1638-1776 with focus on Swedish, Finnish and Lenape culture

Where are we?

As a museum without walls, we have exhibits throughout the Delaware Valley. Our main exhibit is in JA Finance Park, reaching 10,000 students yearly at Junior Achievement of Delaware, 522 Walnut St., Wilmington, DE 19801

When can I visit?

Make a reservation: call 302-429-0464 or send us an email

How can I help?

Join or donate. We always welcome new members interested in being museum hosts, reenactors, speakers or liaisons.

Click here to go to the membership page.

Click here to call up the volunteer form.

College internships

Internships are available for a variety of interests and skills. Click here for details.


Don't miss the Festival at the Fort

Colonial celebration has attractions for all ages

Everyone will find something fascinating at this year's Festival at the Fort, Sunday April 28, noon-4 p.m. The event will mark the coming of spring and celebrate colonial life in the Delaware Valley.

There will be tours of Old Swedes Church and other historic buildings, tours of the tall ship the Kalmar Nyckel and a wreath ceremony at Fort Christina Park.

There will also be special activities for children. Experience the rich heritage of the Wilmington Colonial-era cultures of the Lenape, Swedes, Finns, Dutch and English with an afternoon of fun and learning for the whole family.

All events take place along the 7th Street Peninsula in Wilmington, Del. Parking available at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, 1124 E 7th St, Wilmington, DE 19801. Proceeds will Benefit the New Sweden Centre as well as the Old Swedes Foundation, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society, and the New Sweden Alliance.

Premiere showing of video

Who Wore What When fashion show subject of film

Friends of New Sweden, you are invited to the premiere showing of the video of our "Who Wore What When" fashion show. The show was presented at the Hagley Museum. It featured clothing worn in the Delaware Valley from the colonial period up through the 19th Century. The professionally produced video captures the attire of a variety of cultures, from the Lenape to the Swedish, Dutch and English settlers.

The video will be shown this fall. The date and location will be announced here as soon as it is set.

We hope that you will be able to join us. Please RSVP with an email here.


Do you recognize this woman?

This portrait of a woman modeling a traditional outfit was painted by Louise Della Rocca in 1938 for the 300th anniversary of New Sweden. The painting was recently donated to the New Sweden Centre by Louise's daughter, Della Hankel. But we do not know if the painting was done from a live model, or whether the woman was created from the artist's imagination.

If you have any information about the painting, please send us an email: info@colonialnewsweden.org


1938 painting by Louise Della Rocca

Settlers trunks now available
for education programs

Artifacts tell story of Swedes in the Delaware Valley

Enjoy this 3:45 video, which gives an overview of the New Sweden Centre activities and features our latest program, offering settlers trunk sponsorships as hands-on educational aids to teaching history. The trunks are packed tight with objects of telling importance to the history of New Sweden. Included are animal pelts, a variety of home wares from the log cabin days, trade goods and colonial toys. For more information, send us an email.


New Sweden Centre 'Museum Without Walls'

Exhibits on display throughout region

Dear Friends,

  2013 was a year of transition for the New Sweden Centre. While we may no longer enjoy the use of our own space at the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard, we are making a smooth transition into a Museum Without Walls. We have already established partnerships with several local museums.

  • Our Captain Mannequin and colonial fireplace set are now located at the in the Delaware Military Museum at 1st Regiment Rd, Wilmington, DE 19808.

  • Our Swedish Lady and child, plus many of our kitchen items, are now located in the Hendrickson House in Wilmington, DE.

  • Our "Explore New Sweden" panels are now located in the Swedesboro-Woolwich History Museum in Swedesboro, NJ.

  • Our model of Fort Christina is now on display at the Redding City/County building, 800 N. French St., Willmington.

  • We are also serving as the "Non Profit Brand" in JA Finance Park, utilizing the Colony to Community panels as a temporary exhibit until we can create a new, youth focused exhibit at the Junior Achievement Center (JA) in Wilmington DE. This facility serves Salem County, NJ and New Castle County, DE and reaches approximately 10,000 students yearly.

  • Our Cabin corner and fireplace, Black Anthony, and our educational materials are now available for loan.

  • We are actively marketing the book, Africans in New Sweden by Abdullah R. Muhammad

  • We have a nice collection of colonial tools, old but not period historical, we would like to loan to another museum. We will have some of the miniature Historical figures to loan out.

  • We offer a traveling exhibit: "Colony to Community: The Story of New Sweden." This display, developed by the American Swedish Historical Museum, is now available for your conference or special event highlighting local history. Send us an email for more information.

  We are continuing to work with Old Swedes Foundation, the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society and the New Sweden Alliance in the annual celebration of the landing of the Swedes to be held at Fort Christina Park in Wilmington on April 17.

  Anyone interested in assisting us please get in touch. 302-429-0464 or e-mail us at info@colonialnewsweden.org. Feel free to call Education Director Aleasa Hogate at 856-678-5511


Colonists' Day 2012

Enjoy this five-minute video of the 2012 celebration and day's activities.

The hand of friendship extended at the ceremony celebrating the 374th Anniversary of the landing of the Swedes and Finns at "The Rocks" in Fort Christina Park at Colonists' Day, April 14th, 2012. Bill Hutchinison, left, in the persona of Peter Minuit, greets Dennis Cokerchief of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, Inc.

375th Anniversary Conference presentations now online

Lu Ann De Cunzo of the University of Delaware talks about the struggles the early settlers faced in the Delaware Valley in this online view. Her presentation is one of many from the 375th New Sweden Anniversary Conference now available here. The conference was held Nov. 8-10 at the university. The above link will bring up a web page listing the available talks with links to the recordings.

Peter Minuit, founder of New Sweden,
named to Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

The story of New Sweden

This seven-minute video quickly tells the story of the founding of New Sweden. It is a condensed version of a 26-minute video that is available in our web store for anyone who would like to make it part of their education or interpretive program.

The story of Black Anthony

Click here to learn about Antoni Swart, the African who lived in New Sweden. This 10-page slide show is a synopsis by Abdullah Muhammad of his recently published book: Africans in New Sweden, The Untold Story. The book is now available for order in our store. Click here for ordering information.

New brochure

We're excited that we have a new brochure of New Sweden sites throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. There’s a map to show the locations and contact details for each location/organization are listed on the reverse side. Feel free to print off your own copy!

Traveling exhibit

One of our recent ventures was to support the current traveling exhibit called “Colony to Community: The Story of New Sweden” This display, developed by the American Swedish Historical Museum, is now available for your conference or special event highlighting local history. Send us an an email for more information.

Circle of Friendship

Participants at the New Sweden Forum create a "Circle of Friendship" around the New Sweden Heritage Monument. The tradition was started when the Pennsivlle, N.J. monument was dedicated June 6th, 2004. The ceremony honors the bond of friendship formed by the Lenape and the Swedish settlers of the 17th century. This year's forum was held June 6, marking the 5th Anniversary of the monument.