Home dates back to 1730s
After years of trying and behind the scenes legwork, Hockessin’s historic Cox/Mitchell house has finally been approved for a state historic marker.
Pete Seely, owner of the nearly 300-year-old house and farmstead, said that he was contacted by Delaware Archives Historical Markers Program Coordinator Katie Hall contacted him late in January to give him the news.
“She and [Hockessin Historical Society President] Joe Lake came out here and looked the place over and talked about where to place the marker,” Seely said, noting a spot at the front edge of the property on Old Wilmington Road.
Being approved for the marker, however, doesn’t ensure one will be installed, as it now falls to area legislators to help find cash to pay the $2,205 to have the marker fabricated, shipped, and installed.
According to Lake, that means Sen. Laura Sturgeon, District 4, and Rep. Krista Griffith, District 12.
“It shouldn’t be an issue,” Lake said. “They could always split it - $2,200 is pocket change as far as the state goes.”
It’s also up to Department of Transportation engineers to determine the best and safest location to install the marker.
Lake said the Historic Commission is planning to meet with Griffith at Quinn’s Café in Hockessin March 10 at 9:15 a.m., to discuss details about the marker funding and placement.
“Hopefully by then, she’ll have spoken with an engineer at DelDOT and will have a better idea of how things will go,” Lake said.
For his part, Seely would like to see it on the eastern edge of the property, nearer to the bend in Old Wilmington Road, rather than right at the front of the property
“I think from that side, people would see it more clearly from the road,” he said.
About the Cox/Mitchell farmstead
According to Lake, the original house (built in or around 1726) was the first location of the Hockessin Friends Meeting from 1729 until the new building was completed in 1732, just a mile or so down Old Wilmington Pike.
The land for the new meeting was also donated by the original owners, the Cox family. The location eventually fell into the hands of the Mitchells in 1869 – the same Mitchells who own Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin.
Having purchased the property from his late grandmother’s estate four years ago, Seely is the eighth generation of the family to own the property. He's a member of the Mitchell Family.
The farmstead property includes the main house and several intact outbuildings, including a barn and silo.