History of Winterthur

 
1800 Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, sons Victor Marie and Eleuthère Irénée, and their families arrive in America.
 
1802 The du Pont family settles in the Brandywine Valley. E. I. du Pont establishes gunpowder manufactory, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
 
1810 E. I. du Pont purchases four tracts of land forming the nucleus of what later becomes Winterthur.
 
1834 E. I. du Pont dies and leaves the property to his children.
 
1837 Jacques Antoine Bidermann, and his wife, Evelina, a daughter of E. I. du Pont, purchase the property from the other siblings and begin construction on a 12-room house. They name it Winterthur after Bidermann's ancestral home in Switzerland.
 
1839 Jacques Antoine and Evelina du Pont Bidermann move into the house at Winterthur.
 
1863 Evelina du Pont Bidermann dies.
 
1865 Jacques Antoine Bidermann dies.
 
1867 Gen. Henry du Pont (brother of Evelina) purchases Winterthur from his nephew James Irénée Bidermann (son of Jacques and Evelina) for his own son Col. Henry Algernon du Pont.
 
1876 Col. Henry Algernon and Pauline Foster du Pont, who married in 1874, settle at Winterthur.
 
1877 Louise Evelina du Pont is born to Col. Henry Algernon and Pauline Foster du Pont.
 
1880 Henry Francis du Pont is born to Col. Henry Algernon and Pauline Foster du Pont.
 
1889 Gen. Henry du Pont dies; Col. Henry Algernon inherits Winterthur.
 
1899 H. F. du Pont enters Harvard.
 
1902 Col. Henry Algernon du Pont adds a new façade and library wing to the existing building at Winterthur. Pauline Foster du Pont dies.
 
1903 H. F. du Pont graduates from Harvard and begins to manage the Winterthur household for his father.
 
1909 H. F. du Pont takes over supervision of the garden and grounds.
 
1914 H. F. du Pont becomes manager of Winterthur Farms.
 
1916 H. F. du Pont marries Ruth Wales.
 
1927 H. F. du Pont inherits Winterthur after the death of his father, Henry Algernon, in late 1926.
 
1928–32 A new wing is constructed, dramatically expanding the size of the existing building.
 
1930 H. F. du Pont establishes the Winterthur Corporation as a nonprofit, educational organization, with the intent of opening his home as a museum.
 
1941 The house and collections opens on a limited basis to visitors who apply in writing for tickets.
 
1951 Winterthur opens permanently to the public on October 30.
 
1952 Winterthur Program in American Material Culture is established. First garden tour is given.
 
1961 The Visitor Center opens as a restaurant and reception area for garden tours.
 
1966 Copeland Lecture Hall opens in the Visitor Center.
 
1967 Ruth Wales du Pont dies.
 
1969 H. F. du Pont dies. The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Research Building, which houses the Winterthur Library and Archives as well as the conservation labs, opens.
 
1974 Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation program is established.
 
1978 The first Point-to-Point Race and first Christmas tour (officially dubbed “Yuletide at Winterthur” in 1979) are held.
 
1992 The new Galleries building opens, showcasing highlights of the Winterthur collection and temporary exhibitions.
 
1997 The Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur opens in the new Dorrance Gallery. (The collection was donated to Winterthur in 1996.)
 
2001 Winterthur celebrates the museum’s 50th anniversary; the Enchanted Woods children’s garden opens.
 
2002 Winterthur’s land is placed in a conservation easement with the Brandywine Conservancy.

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