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Prior to the establishment of Penn's Philadelphia, New Castle was center of government.After being transferred to Penn, Delaware's Swedish, Dutch, and English residents used to the relaxed culture of the Restoration monarchy grew uncomfortable with the more conservative Quaker influence, so Delaware petitioned for a separate legislature, which was finally granted in 1702. New Castle again became the seat of the colonial government, thriving with the various judges and lawyers that fueled the economy.In June the town holds its annual Separation Day celebration.In the City of New Castle, many small and historical neighborhoods are within the city limits.The Dutch regained the town in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War but it was returned to Great Britain the next year under the Treaty of Westminster.In 1680, New Castle was conveyed to William Penn by the Duke of York by livery of seisin and was Penn's landing place when he first set foot on American soil on October 27, 1682.
Thus the Delaware Memorial Bridge was built as an intrastate span by Delaware, without financial participation by neighboring New Jersey.Later, New Castle became the eastern terminus of the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad, the second-oldest rail line in the country, launched in 1828 with horse-drawn rail cars, then converting to steam power when an engine was purchased from Great Britain in 1832.The line traversed the Delmarva Peninsula, running to the Elk River, Maryland, from where passengers changed to packet boats for further travel to Baltimore and points south.So, the many buildings of historic New Castle look much as they did in the colonial and Federal periods.New Castle has a tradition, dating back to 1927, of tours of historical homes, churches, and gardens.
These tours, called "A Day in Olde New Castle", are usually held on the third Saturday of May.