Wilmington banker Joseph Shipley erected Rockwood in 1851 as a reward for a life’s worth of hard work. He built it as a retirement estate, a place to escape after many years of business in Wilmington. Since it was where he intended to live out the rest of his days, Shipley made sure Rockwood was an oasis, modeling it after English countryside estates.
Rockwood would go on to be a long-time family home after Shipley passed away, before it eventually became a museum. Today, you can visit Rockwood Museum and Park to learn more about Shipley, the Bringhurst family who lived in Rockwood for 70 years, and about life in early-1900s Wilmington and surrounding regions. The mansion now plays host to period furniture, photos, and other artifacts designed to give guests a glimpse into life at the time.