New Castle, Delaware
Community History and Archaeology Program 

Typed notes of Jeannette Eckman (1947)
With permission of Delaware Historical Society

Jefferson House
River Side of the Strand Between Delaware and Harmony Streets
Original Plots B-1 and B-2 now the Jefferson Apartments and Land Adjoining slunk Delaware Street

The first owner of the bank lot directly bordering the north side of Delaware
Street between the Strand and the river had a breadth of 54 feet an the Strand
in later deeds it was narrower by 10 feet, probably because Delaware Street was
widened. It was a separate property from the lot adjoining it on the north until
1775 when the original corner plot, B-1 and the original plot B-29?? adjoining
it on the north aide, became one property in fee possession of Jobs Van Gesell,

Who the early Dutch owners were, of the property across the Strand facing the
original 54 foot corner lot, cannot be certainly determined from available sources
Martin Gerritsen, in New Castle from the early Dutch period, seems to have owned
the greater part of It when the English came In 1664, and probably earlier. James
Crawford acquired a narrow strip next Delaware Street in 1667. Gerritsen cultivated
a farm on the Christina (where he was drowned while out In a canoe, October 1679).
The 500-acre farm was owned In equal shares by Gerritsen John Askue, and Michael
Brown. Askew owned the house and lot next door to Gerritsen on the west side of the
Strand and it Is likely that the river shore In front of their adjoining Strand
properties made a convenient landing site for the loading and unloading of produce
and supplies from and for their farms. Askew had other farms close to New castle.