Introduction to Newark, Delaware
The Delaware city of Newark is located in New Castle County, 14 miles southwest of Wilmington, 44 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 57 miles northeast of Baltimore, Maryland. Incorporated as a city in 1951, Newark is situated in the northern part of the state and is home to the University of Delaware.
First settled in the 1690s, Newark's history was significantly influenced by the growth of the University, whose origins can be traced to a small colonial school that moved to the area from nearby Pennsylvania in the middle of the 18th century. The school was called Newark Academy, and in 1833, the state of Delaware granted a charter to a new school called Newark College. The two schools merged the following year, assuming the name Delaware College. In 1921, the school was renamed the University of Delaware. Today, much of the city's economy is tied to the presence of the university. Once a big home to manufacturing industries, Newark in recent years has seen many of its mills and factories replaced by restaurants, shops, student apartments, and condos.
Located on the campus of the University of Delaware are two interesting museums: the Paul R. Jones Collection of African-American Art and the Delaware Mineralogical Museum. The Iron Hill Museum, operated by the Delaware Academy of Science and located just south of the Newark city limits, is the area's primary resource for the study of local history including displays and exhibits of the region's Native Americans. Historic sites in Newark include Cooch's Bridge, site of the only battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on Delaware soil, and also the site of the first battle in which the Stars and Stripes were flown. Also in Newark is the Hale-Byrnes House, site of the historic meeting between General George Washington and his staff following the Battle of Cooch's Bridge and before the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania.
Events in Newark include the Winterfest, during which Main Street bustles with the sights and sounds of the holidays. The event, which takes place in early December, features caroling, roasted chestnuts, carriage rides, window decorating, ice carving, and more. Recreational sites include the White Clay Creek State Park (hiking, fishing) and the Pond Performance Center (ice skating).
Nearby Wilmington has many attractions of its own, including the following:
- The Delaware Art Museum: 12,000 works of art, including the largest display of pre-Raphaelite English art in the United States.
- Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts: Located on Wilmington's Riverfront, this gallery focuses on contemporary visual arts.
- Delaware History Center: Explores the 200-plus years of Delaware history.
- Kalmar Nyckel Foundation: Re-creation of the three-masted ship which brought the first 24 Swedish settlers to the Delaware Valley in 1638.
- Rockwood Museum: A restored rural Gothic mansion, surrounded by a park with hiking trails.
- Bellevue State Park: Facilities include picnic areas, fitness trails, garden paths, and winter ice-skating.
The Newark sports scene centers around collegiate athletics at the University of Delaware, whose Fightin' Blue Hens do battle in a number of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, and soccer. Nearby Wilmington is home to Minor League Baseball's Wilmington Blue Rocks, a class-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Plenty of major league action can be found within easy driving distance of Newark in both the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore. Philadelphia teams include:
- Major League Baseball: Philadelphia Phillies
- National Football League: Philadelphia Eagles
- National Basketball Association: Philadelphia 76ers
- National Hockey League (NHL): Philadelphia Flyers
- American Hockey League (AHL): Philadelphia Phantoms
- Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL): Philadelphia Kixx
- Major League Lacrosse (MLL): Philadelphia Barrage
Baltimore teams include the following:
- Major League Baseball: Baltimore Orioles
- National Football League: Baltimore Ravens
- American Basketball Association (ABA): Baltimore Pearls
- Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL): Baltimore Blast
- Major League Lacrosse (MLL): Baltimore Bayhawks
Baltimore is also home to the U.S. Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame.