This month Rockwood Museum, at 610 Shipley Road in Wilmington, Del., celebrates its Irish connection. The Bringhurst family, who occupied this 19th century country estate around the turn of the century, had ties with Ireland through the eldest daughter, Bessie, who married an Irishman and went to live in his castle. Bessie arranged for many Irish immigrants to come to Rockwood as household servants.
In 1899 a St. Patrick's Day party at the mansion made society page headlines in the Wilmington papers. The mansion is decorated now as it was for that event: The dining room table is dressed to carry out the Irish theme, the parlor is set up for St. Patrick's Day party games, and many other rooms of the mansion reflect the Bringhursts' interest in Ireland.
Tours of Rockwood are available Tuesday to Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Seasonal theme teas will be held on the third Saturday of each month from March to June and September to October. An Irish tea will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The cost is $4 per person, and reservations are required. Call (302) 761-4340.