News Release

NPS Issues Decision on Sheriff’s House Rehabilitation and Use Plan

Front of the Sheriff's House in Historic New Castle.
Front angle of the Sheriff's House in Historic New Castle.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: August 1, 2018

Contact: David Blackburn, (302) 544-6363

The National Park Service has issued a decision regarding the future of the Sheriff’s House at First State National Historical Park and concluding the park’s environmental assessment (EA) planning process. The decision document, known as a Finding of No Significant Impact, or “FONSI,” describes the alternatives considered, the alternative selected for implementation, and the rationale used to make the selection. The FONSI also describes the mitigation measures that will be taken to ensure the protection of natural and cultural resources and the quality of the visitor experience at the park.
Built in 1857, the Sheriff's House historically served as both the home of the sheriff and as the administrative site for the attached prison which, together with the adjoining New Castle Court House, served as the center of New Castle County's justice system. This structure is all that remains of the first county prison in Delaware.
The building ceased functioning as a prison in 1901 though it continued to function as a temporary lock‐up at various times for decades afterward. Subsequently used as office space, a social club, and police station, the building was vacated nearly twenty years ago. Today it houses the central heating and chilling plant serving the New Castle Courthouse next door. The Sheriff's House was donated to the NPS by the State of Delaware in 2013.
The FONSI for the environmental assessment for the Sheriff’s House Rehabilitation and Use Plan will be available for public review at A printed copy will also be available for review at the park offices in the New Castle Court House Museum.

Last updated: August 7, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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