“explore the daily life of a wilderness settler”
Fort Delaware is an authentic depiction of the life of the Delaware Company Pioneers who settled in the Upper Delaware Valley in 1754. A tour of the facilities includes demonstrations of early settlers' lifestyles and craft-making. A gift shop, vending area and picnicking facilities are located on the grounds. Each spring, the Fort is host to over 1000 students who participate in the Student Days program. This facility is located within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, a unit of the National Park Service. Fort Delaware is a representation of the first white settlement on the Upper Delaware River, called Cushetunk. Today’s Fort represents the development of the settlement over a thirty year period. The original settlers were farmers who came primarily from central Connecticut and were of English descent. They were searching for more land because it had become too crowded in Connecticut to suit colonial farming techniques. A group of Connecticut men formed “The Delaware Company” and became proprietors. In the traditional New England way of land distribution they owned the land and either sold or leased it to farmers moving into this frontier, these proprietors moved their families to the frontier and never sold their land. The Delaware Company purchased land from the Lenape Indians, with the first deed signed in 1754. The land purchased was a 10 mile long strip along both sides of the Delaware River (situate in modern day New York and Pennsylvania). Procedures for filing land claims were very different in the 18 th century. Also at that time, the States of Pennsylvania and New York were engaged in a boundary dispute, disputes of other colonies really didn’t matter much to those early Connecticut farmers, so they claimed the land for Connecticut! And they called their community, “Cushetunk”. To those white settlers, it sounded like what the Lenapes were calling the place. KASH-ET-UNK, or “a place of red stone hills”.
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