Nature June 29, 2017
The Delaware Park That Will Make You Feel Like You Walked Into A Fairy Tale
The best part about exploring Delaware is that you never know what you’ll run into! The Auburn Heights Preserve in Yorklyn is an example of the fairy-tale worlds that you can find here, if you just open your eyes…
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The unique Auburn Heights Preserve is located at 3000 Creek Road, Box 36, Yorklyn, DE 19736 and contains a beautiful mansion and Marshall Steam Museum.
The Preserve is open year round for public events and private tours. To schedule a tour, call (302) 239-5687.
The historic mansion was completed in 1897 and now contains the largest collection of operating steam cars in the world.
The collection is owned and operated by the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve. In the mansion, which is often open for public tours, you'll find antique furnishings that will take you back to another time, long before modern technology took over.
The Preserve is a lovely place to explore on foot.
There are a few miles of trails that wrap around the preserve, showing off gorgeous gardens and views of Red Clay Creek and Auburn Valley.
But the best way to get around Auburn Heights is by steam engine!
The property at Auburn Heights has a long history of steam engine appreciation! It was originally built to overlook the Marshall Brothers Paper Mill in Yorklyn, Delaware. The youngest child growing up in the mansion, T. Clarence Marshall, was inspired by the steam power he witness at his family's mill, and built his first steam car by the age of 19.
The youngest Marshall worked with the Stanley Motor Carriage Company in the early 1900s, and he owned several of their cars at that time. As he got older, he began collecting vintange steam cars. His son, Tom Marshall, began working to expand his father's collection, and is responsible for adding the 1/8-size steam engine railway. In the 1970s, the "Magic Age of Steam" exhibit was opened to the public by Tom Marshall. By 1997, Tom had founded the "Steam Team" of enthusiasts and collectors to maintain the vehicles and steam engines. That "Steam Team" has turned into the non-profit group, "Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve", which operates the museum that is on the property, as well as all of the cars and railroad. Tom and Ruth Marshall donated the Auburn Heights property to the State of Delaware in 2008.
The well-loved engines are available for public rides during special Auburn Heights events.
Be sure to check out the
Auburn Heights Program Calendar
for more information on hours and events at this historic park. The Friends of the Auburn Height Preserve also seek volunteers, so if you have a passion for history, engineering or just want to learn more, contact them. You'll learn how to operate the steam machines and help preserve a huge part of Delaware history.
The best part about strolling Auburn Heights Preserve is that you never know what you'll see!
Where else can you wander down a trail and run into an early 1900s steam engine automobile? Visiting this park is truly like stepping into an entirely new world.
So take a day to explore this often overlooked Delaware park - it is a magical place to spend an afternoon!
Be sure to check out more of Delaware’s hidden wonders this summer – like these
10 Hidden Places In Delaware Only Locals Know About. Address: 3000 Creek Road, Box 36, Yorklyn, DE 19736