A historic house leaves, then returns to the family. The story of the Chambers House begins in 1775 when Benjamin Chambers bought 250 acres of land and set up a sawmill on nearby White Clay Creek. His son Joseph built this house about 1820 following Benjamin's death. After 1841, the house and land changed hands many times, but none of the new owners belonged to the Chambers family until 1927, when a distant relative of the original owners bought it. The new owners, Mary Chambers Folwell and her husband, P. Folwell, started a dairy farm on the land. They also made changes to the house at various times during their ownership. In 1959, the house and land were sold to E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, which planned to build a dam on White Clay Creek. When public protests stopped construction of the dam, the property was donated to the State of Delaware. The area became a part of White Clay Creek State Park. Today the Chambers House is the park's nature center.
"Stairways" The simple Quaker style of the Chambers House is found on other homes in this area built in the early 1800's. The original house was made of stone. The addition on the side was added in the late 1800's, and was renovated during the early- to mid-1900's. In 1985, State Parks restored and preserved the house. Because one staircase is in the old stone house and two more in the addition, the Chambers House was once known by the nickname, "Stairways."
Things to Know About the Chambers House:
· The farmhouse was located here to take advantage of the fertile land and the water power from the creek to run gristmills and saw mills.
· It is built from locally quarried rock, just like the ones seen near the creek.
· Today you enter through the back of the house via the basement. The front of the house faces north where the entrance road is located.
· A winding staircase connects all three levels of the original stone house.
· The original house is largely unchanged, including the early floors and woodwork. All additions were carefully completed to preserve the architecture of the structure. This allowed it to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.