open weekdays administratively and by appointment
April 2 through October 29.
For group tours, call for availability and reservations.
At this time, Greenbank Mill is not charging any set fees for admission. We do ask that visitors consider donating to the Mill for the upkeep of our grounds and facilities and to allow us to continue providing the community with quality services and educational programs.
500 Greenbank Road
Wilmington, DE 19808
From I-95 take 141 North to Route 2 West (Kirkwood Hwy.). At third stop light take a right onto Route 41 North (Newport Gap Pike). At the bottom of the hill, just past the Wilmington & Western Railroad, take a right onto Greenbank Road. Drive past the mill, the parking lot is on the left, just after you recross the Wilmington & Western Railroad tracks.
Living History Tours and Programs
Visitors are invited to join the millers, textile workers, wives and children who live and work at Greenbank Mill. Step into the historical laboratory at Greenbank Mill and Philips Farm to experience the past. Meet the people who lived and worked at Greenbank Mill during the Early Republic (1790-1830). Discover how people in the new nation coped with military threats, economic challenges, and changing technology while defining what it meant to be an “American.” Free admission for educators.
The American Revolution won political independence but economic independence was achieved in the mills and factories. The Sheep to Shawl series follows the processing of wool from the back of the sheep to the back of man, focusing on shearing, wool preparation, spinning, or dyeing.
Scenes From Daily Life
Scenes From Daily Life introduces visitors to the daily tasks that forged revolutionaries into Republicans. In the Philips farmhouse, lie on a rope bed, perform simple tasks using period lighting, and discover what Miller Philips kept under the floorboards. Experience the work required to grow and prepare food in Feeding the Republic. Discover the role of plants in everyday life by exploring the heirloom gardens (Kitchen, Specimen, Medicinal, and Dye). Learn about cooking techniques and recipes. On baking days make bread in a wood-fired oven. In Amusements, join the Philips Family during their leisure activities including games, dancing, and crafts.
Tours include the gristmill restoration, the Madison Factory textile mill, the Philips House, and the 19th century farm with heritage livestock.
Foods, Fibers, and Farming
Follow the journey of two agricultural products from raw materials on the farm to finished goods from mills. Learn about Greenbank’s heritage sheep and participate in preparing wool for spinning and weaving. Complete the journey by trying on 19th century clothing. Examine the tools and techniques used to plant, cultivate, and harvest wheat. Grind grain by hand and compare the technique to the machinery in the gristmill. Then transform the flour into a food product.
From Sheep to Shawl
Learn how wool is sheared from the back of the sheep and finished into a piece of cloth using 19th century methods and equipment. This program includes hands-on activities with Greenbank’s heritage flock of sheep and discussions of the uses and care of sheep. Optional craft kits for stick weaving and drop spindle spinning are available.
Tea and Tour
Join the Philips Family for tea and sandwiches in the 1794 miller’s house. Learn about the history of tea in America as you enjoy its pleasures. Then take a tour of the mills and farm.
On the Farm
A program for preschool and kindergarten giving an overview of a day in the life of a colonial child. Visit with the sheep, compare items used in Colonial times with those used now, play games and dress in period clothing.
Greenbank Mill: 300 years of Delaware History
Learn about Greenbank Mill’s rich history reflecting local reactions to state, national, and international events. Then tour the gristmill restoration, the Madison Factory textile mill, 19th century farm and livestock.
Resurrecting the Greenbank Mill
An introductory slide presentation recounts the 30-year effort to save one of Delaware’s historical treasures. Following the presentation, tour the historic site with a better understanding of the buildings, machinery, and hidden treasures that the average visitor never sees.
Girl Scout Programs
During the year several programs are specifically offered to Girl Scouts. Call for dates, availability, and registration.
- Listening To the Past
- Digging Into the Past
- Women’s Work
- Foods, Fibers, and Farming
- From Sheep to Shawl
Greenbank Mill has developed partnerships with several Delaware schools, presenting activities designed to complement classroom studies. Over 800 students participated in such programs in the spring of 2003.
A program example: A “Colonial Day” was organized with Brandywine Springs Elementary School. Greenbank Mill volunteers in period clothing manned ten stations designed to teach the children about life in colonial America. Groups of students rotated through the stations, learning about the colonial home, industries, and occupations. In addition to seeing livestock and spinning demonstrations, they wove on looms and discussed clothing from the period. Demonstrations of metal casting and carpentry introduced the children to 18th century technology. The students also met people from the past, discussing apprenticeships with a miller, drilling with a militiaman, and learning the art of measuring land from a surveyor.
Please inquire about building an educational partnership between Greenbank Mill and your school.