William Henry Harrison Ross
Delaware's 27th and
youngest governor from
1851 - 1855
Following his term as governor, Ross began construction of this Italian Villa style house. This was a popular 19th century architectural style.
This structure evolved from the original brick two story Federal style house built by the John Tennent family. Tennent purchased this land about 1776 and sold it to the Governor's father in 1836. A wooden section of the original structure is located in the back right corner.
To celebrate completion of their home, Governor and Mrs. Ross hosted a house warming part October, 1860.
Governor Ross was instrumental in extending the railroad from Dover to Seaford. He took advantage of this economic opportunity to ship goods to the city since the rails passed through the middle of his 1398 acres. A small "whistle stop" railroad station was constructed across from his house.
Can you identify three characteristics of Italian Villa style structures?
· A three story tower: the Victorian answer to air conditioning
by promoting air circulation throughout the house
· Arched windows and doors
· Decorative brackets under the eaves
The Interior of this thirteen room house features:
· Many Ross family furnishings and memorabilia
· Other Victorian Period furniture, artwork, wall coverings, lighting, and interior wooden shutters
· Original, detailed engraved ceiling moldings and medallions
· Personal objects interpreting everyday 19th century life
The Seaford Historical Society owns and maintains 20 acres of the original plantation.