delaware: nemours estate

Nemours Estate is the 300-acre estate of the late industrialist, financier and philanthropist Alfred I. du Pont (1864-1935).  He rose to wealth and fame through his work in his family’s Delaware-based gunpowder manufacturing plant, at that time E.I. du Pont Nemours Co., formed in 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware.  Today, the company is commonly known as DuPont and was formed by the merger of Dow Chemical Company and DuPont on August 31, 2017.

Within 18 months of the merger the company was split into three publicly traded companies with focuses on agriculture, materials science, and specialty products. The merger has been reported to be worth an estimated $130 billion.

DuPont is depicted in the movie released in November of this year: Dark Waters.  The movie, according to NPR, follows the real-life legal battle by Robert Bilott (played by Mark Ruffalo) “against DuPont over the release of a toxic chemical into Parkersburg, West Virginia’s water supply, affecting 70,000 townspeople and hundreds of livestock.”

After an acrimonious departure from the family business and a brief decline in his personal fortunes, Alfred I. du Pont embarked on his own business: land investment and banking in Florida.


Nemours Estate

Alfred built the mansion on 3,000 acres in Wilmington for his second wife, Alicia, who he married in 1907.  Designed in the 18th-century French style, he named it Nemours after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. The original mansion included the latest technology and many of Alfred’s own inventions; today it has 77 rooms.

The grounds boast the largest formal French gardens in North America. I strolled around the 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns on a warm and sultry June day.


gardens at Nemours Estate


Nemours Estate


Nemours Estate


gate at Nemours Estate

At the far end of the Long Walk, lined with Japanese cryptomeria, pink flowering horse chestnuts and pin oaks, I found a large reflecting pool. The pool holds 800,000 gallons of water and takes three days to fill.


The Long Walk at Nemours Estate


Nemours Estate & The Long Walk

Around the pool are Art Nouveau-style classical mythological statues representing the Four Seasons.  They are by French-born American sculptor Henri Crenier (1873-1948).


mythological statues


fountain in the pool


Nemours Mansion


Nemours Mansion


Nemours Mansion


Nemours Mansion


Nemours Mansion


Nemours Mansion


Looking back up at Nemours Mansion

By the time I left Nemours Estate, it was after 2:00 and had started sprinkling.  I was famished, so I stopped at Hollywood Grill where I had an apple, walnut, romaine, tomato, cucumber, and blue cheese salad topped with shrimp.


Shrimp Salad at Hollywood Grill

After my late lunch, I began my drive back home, welcomed by Maryland at 3:30, driving past Rising Sun and Cecil College, over the Susquehanna River, past Gunpowder Falls and through the Baltimore Tunnel, while Bob Dylan serenaded me with “Ballad of a Thin Man.”  I didn’t cross back into Virginia until 5:40, exhausted from a full day of wandering through New Castle, Swede’s Church and Nemours Estate.

*Steps: 9,804, 4.15 miles*

*Thursday, June 6, 2019*


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

In my case, my intention was to look for thematic possibilities during my trip to Delaware.  As Nemours Estate is so beautiful both inside and out, I thought I’d focus on the grounds and interior.

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post as photos and to write less than 1,500 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, December 11 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, December 12, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first, second, and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!

Thanks to all of you who shared posts on the “photography” invitation.