Entities attached to this property are still staying and enjoying themselves.
The du Pont family is an American family descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817). The son of a Paris watchmaker and a member of a Burgundian noble family, he and his sons, Victor Marie du Pont and Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, emigrated to the United States in 1800 and invested the family money to build from scratch, one of its most successful corporations, the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company, initially established by Eleuthère Irénée as a gunpowder manufacturer. The du Ponts are one of the most prominent of American families, and have carried on the tradition of running the du Pont corporation machine.
William H. du Pont, Jr., son of William H. du Pont, was born in 1896, continued in the family company, which had diversified into a Chemical Company. He bought this original Gothic Revival castle mansion, a semi-fixer-upper and its acreage for his family. He transformed the mansion into a replica of President James Madison’s home, Montpelier, also improving the recreation opportunities, including a top-notch stable as he loved horses and tennis courts.
Tom and I visited Bellevue State Park and were quite impressed by this old du Pont estate, which was gifted to the state of Delaware in 1976. This expansive piece of property, covering 328 acres, which overlooks the Delaware River, is used as a glorious park and recreational/arts center. When the state of Delaware made this property a state park in 1976, the 3 story Bellevue Hall Mansion was completely renovated to its original glorious state of being, and the grounds as well, providing many opportunities for sports and recreation!
On their web site, they explain: “Billed as ‘A Park For All Seasons,’ Bellevue Hall mansion commands a grand view of this historic estate, and its present form reflects alterations made by William H. du Pont, Junior, which shows how the other half lived during this time. For Mr. du Pont surrounded his home with the finest facilities: tennis courts, equestrian stables, gardens, and a picturesque pond, amid woodlands and fields overlooking the Delaware River.”
Two of the du Pont’s passions were riding and tennis. Today, there are eight outdoor clay tennis courts, with a tennis professional who is available for lessons. A pro shop located by the courts, offers tennis lovers a variety of equipment. For horse enthusiasts, there is a modern equestrian facility, with indoor and outdoor arenas for riding lessons.
The park offers walking and jogging opportunities all year long, thanks to the 1 – 1/8 fitness track, an exercise trail, and hiking trails wind around to other parts of the immense estate. There are cycling paths, a catch and release fishing pond and a swimming pool to enjoy.
On our way to the main mansion, we got an eyeful on how the well-to-do lived in the first 3/4 of the 20th century, and realized how lucky the people of Wilmington and the state of Delaware are to have in their possession such a wonderfully laid-out, impressive recreational and arts facility. We walked past an outdoor stage and pavilion; a mini Hollywood bowl for musical and theatrical events, a huge equestrian compound, a swimming complex, large tennis courts, an art center, gorgeous gardens, with woodlands surrounding it all.
In front of the Bellevue Hall Mansion, is the impressive Horseshoe Garden, with a Gazebo at one end of a large green grassy lawn, landscaped with lovely floral plants and bushes, which continues up to the front door of the mansion.
Inside the Bellevue Hall Mansion: If you go to their web-site, you can take a virtual tour of the areas used for rental space. Most of the rooms on the first floor and two on the second floor are rented for group activities, special social events and activities, weddings and receptions for a reasonable price for such elegant settings, which helps in the upkeep of the place.
The first floor boasts of an “expansive central lobby with a sweeping staircase, ornate marble fireplaces, the formal Crystal dining room, a classic wood-paneled library, and a trophy room. A large portico, framed by formal columns, opens onto the patio.”
The second floor – The Chapdale room, named after one of the du Pont’s horses, is rented for small business meetings for 10 people and used a conference breakout room as well. The other room on this floor open for public use is the Rosemont Room, as a place for brides and their maids to get ready for the wedding to be held here. The other rooms, which were probably living area and bedrooms, are not used.
The third floor houses bedrooms 7, 8, and 9, and the servants’ quarters. It is not for public use, because, like the second floor living areas and bedrooms, they are haunted by unknown entities.
Yes indeed, when the staff noticed the paranormal activities happening on the second and third floors, these areas were closed to the public. There are several spirits which make the second and third floors their home.
Spectral Residents Amuse Themselves
Like entities everywhere, these spirits like to play with the lights, and electrical devices.
They also get their chuckles by moving chairs around in novel ways.
They also are a lively bunch in that they can get noisy. The living have heard laughter and screaming coming from rooms on the second and third floor.
Either reliving some fond memories and /or some horrible moments in their life on earth.
Yes – Apparently so.
No one knows who these entities are and why they haven’t gone to the other side. Not much is written about this branch of the du Pont family/their servants or about the history of the mansion before William du Pont Jr. bought the place. There has been no psychic research done here, but the staff knows what they saw and heard on the second and third floor, and it is why these sections of the house aren’t used.
800 Carr Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19809
Bellevue Hall Mansion, owned by The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, can be found off of HWY 95, by taking the Carr Road exit. Turn left and go to Bellevue Park Road, turn right and follow the signs. Mansion tours are offered periodically.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr