Historic Houses of Odessa
PO Box 697
Main Street
Odessa, DE 19730
(302) 378-4119 • 378-4050 Fax

Places Nearby:
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Wilmington & Western RR
Delaware Children's Museum
Delaware Center for Contemporary Art
Delaware Art Museum
Rockwood Museum
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Other States:

In the 19th century, the village of Cantwell's Bridge was a vital grain shipping port. Aspiring to the fame of the wheat-exporting Ukrainian seaport, the village changed its name to Odessa in 1855. Today visitors to this picturesque village can enjoy much of that old atmosphere and stroll down the tree-lined streets past many restored and preserved 18th and 19th century homes.

Three houses in particular and a 19th century brick hotel -- now a gallery -- are known as The Historic Houses of Odessa. Owned and operated by Winterthur, the houses are in good hands.

  • Brick Hotel Gallery: This beautiful building showcases a permanent exhibit, Nature Tamed: Belter Furniture 1840 - 1860, a collection of high-style Victorian furniture by John Henry Belter.
  • Corbit-Sharp House: William Corbit, a Quaker, was a prominent resident and successful tanner. In 1772 he began building an elegant Georgian house. It was later restored by H. Rodney Sharp, who gave the house to Winterthur in 1958. The house is furnished with objects once owned by the Corbit family or made by Delaware craftsmen.
  • Wilson-Warner House: Corbit's brother-in-law, David Wilson, lived here in 1769. He later had to sell the house and contents at auction. Today the house is furnished according to the inventory at the 1829 sale.
  • Collins-Sharp House: One of Delaware's earliest structures, this house is used for special programming.

Visitors can enjoy a Guided Tour of one or all of the houses. Walking tours of the neighborhood are also offered. Throughout the year a variety of special events attract families from all around. The annual Decoy Festival is really something special, with exhibitions, demonstrations by master carvers, and musical entertainment. Call for a current calendar.Group Tours (20 or more) are welcome and can enjoy simple tours, extended tours and demonstrations, and even dinner. School Groups can enjoy a wonderful program beginning with a board game at school. Corbit House Clue introduces students to characters, places and artifacts that they will encounter at Odessa. At the Historic Houses, the program continues with a hands-on examination of 18th and 19th century artifacts, a participatory hearth cooking activity, a walking tour of the landscape and architecture of Odessa, and a guided tour of the Corbit House. The 2-hour program can be adapted for most grade levels and can even be extended to a full-day tour.

Hours: Open March - December. Tuesday thru Saturday 10am - 4:30pm and Sunday 1 - 4:30pm. Mondays by reservation.. Last tour begins at 3:00pm. Closed January and February, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Group and school tours year-round, by appointment.
Adults $10.00 Children under 5 FREE
Seniors $8.00 Students $8.00
Groups: $8.00 per person.
Group Reservations: Groups should reserve about 8 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Local restaurants. Groups may picnic on grounds.
Handicapped Access: Limited. Call
Directions: I-95 South to Rt. 202 South to Rt. 13 South to Odessa. Turn left onto High St., follow sign. Just east of Rt. 13. About 60 - 90 minutes south of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.