Leave your mark on history! Come stand where our country began!
As former Governor Michael Castle famously said:
"Delaware was the whole country for five days."
And the ratification took place in The Golden Fleece Tavern located on The Green in Dover, Delaware. The site is currently home to the Parke Building which was originally built as the Capitol Hotel in 1830 to replace The Golden Fleece. A commemorative marker celebrates Mrs. Elizabeth Battelle whose tavern bill proved to be the authentication needed to determine where the historic signing took place.
As recounted in the commemorative book for the Bicentennial of the ratification, The Golden Fleece, written by James B. Jackson, the handwritten slip of paper concerning the payment to Mrs. Battelle confirmed where the historic ratification occurred on that phenomenal day--December 7, 1787. The ratification document is also available on the Delaware Archives site. Official plaques detailing these document and providing official recognition of The Golden Fleece hang on the Parke Building under a replica of the original Golden Fleece Sign.
And now, visitors can walk on this historic site surrounded by art and local souvenirs as it is home to the Parke Green Galleries and The Delaware Store. Parke Green features the work of Jan Crumpley and N. Taylor Collins as well as featured artists in the main galleries named after historic Dover women, Annie Jump Cannon and Mabel Lloyd Ridgely. Advid history buffs, they will fill you in on all the local history.
As Taylor Collins, one of the artists at Parke Green likes to say:
# 1 - Delaware may be small, but we started it ALL.
To commemorate your visit, you can sign a tag and hang on the infamous wire and willow free-form mobile sculpture. You can write anything on your tag that you choose as it will hang with other visitors from around the world who have entured to our humble beginnings as a country.