AMSTEL HOUSE

(Dr Finney House)

2 East 4th Street, New Castle, DE

New Castle, Delaware 19720

(302) 322-2794

Status: Former Residence; Heritage Museum

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This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Pubdog at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide.


History

Jan Roeloff deHaes was the first owner of the property. He was one of the first settlers in what was then known as Fort Casimir when it was first settled in 1651.

He passed the property to his grandson sometime around 1800. By 1807 it is recorded that a small brick house sat on the property. This house was demolished when the Amstel House was built.

Dr John Finney bought the property in 1738 and built the house which stands there now.

When he died 1774 the property and house passed to his daughter: Anna Dorthea.

Anna rented the house to Nicholas Van Dyke the seventh Governor of Delaware and a prominent figure in the bid for independence. As such the house had a number of famous guests including George Washington.

In the 1780’s Kensey and Anna Johns lived in the house waiting for theirs to be built.  Anna was Van Dyke’s daughter and Kensey was a member of the Constitutional Committee that ratified the Constitution making Delaware the first State.

The house underwent some renovations in 1905 but otherwise has been left alone.

In 1935 a group of citizens raised enough money to buy the house and protect it. This was the first preservation done in the town and the group evolved into the New Castle Preservation Society.

The house is now a museum containing many things that belonged to it’s famous former owners.

 

Paranormal Activity

The ghost of a 5 year old girl is seen in the house. Her name is Anna but she is not Van Dyke’s daughter – but possibly her granddaughter – who died from an illness.

There is also a male ghost who likes to open and close windows and doors. He’s also known for floating things through the air right in front of witnesses. What isn’t known is his identity: it could be Dr Finney himself or maybe Van Dyke.

A woman’s transparent apparition is seen by a window on the second floor seeming to be looking out at the view. Many people believe this is Anna Dorthea choosing to stay behind to keep her daughter company.