STARS to Visit Fort Christina and Old Swedes Church
As STARS continues to study the Delaware Constitution and history of Delaware, we will be taking a trip to visit some sites of Delaware's early history on Wednesday August 10th. We will travel as a group up to Wilmington and will make our first stop at Old Swedes Church https://oldswedes.org/
The history of Old Swedes Historic Site dates back to 1638, when Swedish and Finnish settlers arrived on the Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip and established Fort Christina in what is now Wilmington, Delaware. Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church was constructed 1698-1699 to serve the Swedish community that remained in the English colony of Pennsylvania after Swedish Lutheran missionary Erik Björk arrived in 1697. Standing the test of time, Old Swedes Church is one of the very few surviving remnants of the New Sweden Colony in the Delaware Valley, and one of the oldest structures in Delaware. It has borne witness to many major events in U.S. history, including the American Revolution, World Wars I & II, and many more. Many individuals significant to local and national history are buried here.
From Old Swedes Church we will proceed to Fort Christina. When the Swedes arrived in Delaware Bay (fort Christina) on March 29, 1638, aboard the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip they landed at a spot along the Christina River at a stone outcropping which formed a natural wharf, known as "The Rocks." Captain Minuit selected the site on the Christina River near the Delaware as being optimal for trade in beaver pelts with the local Lenape. He also considered the site easily defensible, and he ordered the construction of an earthwork fort around the Rocks which became Fort Christina.
We should also be able to view the Kalmar Nyckel if she is in port!
Following our trip into the past, we will return to present day and enjoy lunch along the Wilmington Waterfront at Big Fish Grill on the river and return home to Sussex County with hopefully a tale to tell and wiser for the trip.
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