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 302-220-1916
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 302-220-1916
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 302-220-1916 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.

New Sweden Monument

This monument in Riverview Beach Park, Pennsville, N.J., was dedicated in 2004 to commemorate the contributions made by New Sweden. The monument is on the Delaware River, near the parking lot at the end of Pittsfield Street.


Who Wore What When video released

Documentary available for historical and educational groups

This video, based on the "Who Wore What When" fashion show in the fall of 2017, is now avaialable. The program, which showcases clothing worn in the New Sweden territory from colonial days to the 20th Century, is free for all to watch and share. Scenes from the fashion show are complemented with historical background notes and imagees. It is tailored to be of special interest to educational and historical organizations.

Seven log cabins show what a colonial Swedish farmstead would have looked like. The buildings are at the center of the completely rebuilt Governor Printz Park in Essington. Photo by Bill Moller

Farmstead established in Essington

Colonial showcase at center of renewed Printz Park

The New Sweden Farmstead Museum in Essington, Pa., has been completed and first opened for public tours Saturday, June 12, when reenactors demonstrated colonial life in the collection of log cabins. The cabins in the center of Printz Park replicate the type of farm the first Swedish settlers created in New Sweden when it was settled in the early 17th Century. Governor Printz Park sits on the ground that served as the capital of New Sweden starting in 1643.

The farmstead was originally built in Bridgeton, N.J., where it was opened in 1988 as part of celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the founding of New Sweden. The renewed farmstead brings the attraction to a waterfront location that is easily accessible to the Philadelphia and Wilmington metropolitan areas.

The village was constructed by The New Sweden Company with support from area historical groups. Covid rules will restrict access to the interior of the structures, but there is signage outside for each of the seven log buildings. For more information about the farmstead, click on this link and this link.

Governor Printz Park is on the Delaware River at Taylor Avenue and West 2nd St, Essington, Pa 19029. The park is named after Johan Printz, governor of New Sweden from 1643 to 1654. For more information about the site, click here.

Volunteers sought

If you are interested in volunteering, please click here for the application form.

Take a look into our
Museum Without Walls

Exhibits on display throughout region

Welcome to The New Sweden Centre, a museum without walls. We partner with a number of Delaware Valley institutions to present to the public our extensive collection of material that illustrates the Swedish legacy of the region.

The story begins with the very first European settlers who created New Sweden, their interactions with the Leni Lenape, and continues through the evolution of the region to the present day. The New Sweden Centre's collection includes artifacts, clothing, tools, dioramas and graphic illustrations.

The museum's collection is currently on display at these locations:

• Our Captain Mannequin and colonial fireplace set can be seen at the in the Delaware Military Museum at 1st Regiment Rd, Wilmington, DE 19808. Also at the museum, our large-scale "Colony to Community" graphic panels that tell the story of New Sweden.

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

; • Our Black Anthony mannequin is on display at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum & Library, 408 Avene of the States, Chester, Pa. 19013.

;• Our "Explore New Sweden" panels are now located in the Swedesboro-Woolwich History Museum in Swedesboro, NJ. The museum is open by appointment. Call 856-467-1889 for details.

• Our model of Fort Christina is now on display in the lobby of the Redding City/County building, 800 N. French St., Willmington, DE, 19801.

• A group of dolls in period clothing and a model of a colonial ship's boat are on loan to the Pencader Heritage Museum, 2629 Sunset Lake Road, Newark, DE. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month. Call 302-584-4570.

• We are also serving as the Non Profit Brand in JA Finance Park, with our youth-focused display "Walk Through Swedish American Globalization" at the Junior Achievement Center at 522 S Walnut St, Wilmington, DE 19801. This facility serves Salem County, NJ and New Castle County, DE and reaches approximately 10,000 students yearly.

• On permanent loan to the Historical Society of Pennsville, NJ, is a model of a Swedish church boat. The museum is located at 86 Chursh Landing Road, Pennsville, NJ 08070

Now available for loan to interested organizations

• Educational materials, designed for any organization teaching the region's history.

A large collection of colonial tools, old but not period historical.

• A Leni Lenape mannequin in colonial period clothing.

• ;Several miniature historical figures.

The New Sweden Centre is also actively marketing the book "Africans in New Sweden" by Abdullah R. Muhammad.

Finally, the Centre is a regular partner with Old Swedes Foundation, the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society and the New Sweden Alliance in the annual celebration of the landing of the Swedes at Fort Christina Park in Wilmington.

Anyone interested in assisting us please get in touch. 3302-220-1916 or send us an email Feel free to call Education Director Aleasa Hogate at 856-678-5511

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.


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.