The brick house front is five bays wide and three stories tall, surmounted by a flattened gable. The crown of the gable is flattened to form a widow’s walk, accessed by a projecting stair tower to the rear of the walk. The house is wide but shallow, one room deep with two rear wings projecting to the north, which were built before the front. The interior plan is oriented around a central hall, flanked by parlors on either side. A stair rises from the hall, and is flanked by bedrooms on the second and third floors. Extensive interior woodwork is located primarily in the entrance hall and the west parlor. The interior was renovated during the Victorian era, but was restored in the 1920s.
n 1684 William Penn granted a 600 acre parcel of land to Henry Pearman who named his property Pearman’s Choice. Thomas Collins purchased 91 ½ acres of the original grant in 1771 from John Moore. At that time there was a house on the property that was referred to as “The Manor House near Duck Creek”. Collins finished building the Georgian house, as it stands today, in 1773 and named it Belmont Hall. Although the brickwork appears to suggest that the entire house was constructed at the same time, family history and architectural evidence indicate that Collins enlarged the dwelling by building the large front of the house. He connected the old and new parts of the house after making extensive improvements to the two older rear wings – a kitchen and a dining room with bedrooms above.
Thomas Collins held a wide variety of public office in Delaware, ranging from a Kent County Sheriff to Governor of the State. While still a Councilman, Thomas Collins invited the Assembly (Committee of Safety) to meet at Belmont Hall in 1776 since Tory and British hostilities had made it too dangerous to meet in Delaware’s first capitol city, New Castle. Thus Belmont is called the first meeting place of the Delaware Assembly (legislature).
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