History of Wilmington

The region that is now Wilmington, Delaware was settled by Peter Minuit, former Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam, on March 29, 1638 as the Colony of New Sweden. Wilmington is the first permanent Old-World settlement in the Delaware Valley, and the place where the first log cabins were built in America. Multi-national and multi-lingual from the beginning, the first group of 25 settlers included Swedes, Finns, Dutch and Germans, and a black freedman from the Caribbean known as "Anthoni, the Black Swede."

Situated between the deep-water, slow-moving Christina River and the shallow, rapidly flowing Brandywine River, the city's economy developed from fur trading and agriculture, to milling (grain, paper and then gunpowder), to ship and railroad car manufacturing, to modern chemical and banking industries.

Today in Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley

Centrally located between Washington, D.C., and New York City, it is said that more than one-third of the nation's population lives within a half-day drive of Wilmington, Delaware. The area also has the moniker of “Corporate Capital of America” due to the large number of Fortune 500 companies that are incorporated here.

Millions of out-of-state shoppers visit the area annually to take advantage of the zero percent sales tax in Delaware. The Delaware lodging tax is 8% to 10% and the rental tax is 2%, among the lowest in the nation.

Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley offers hundreds of RESTAURANTS - with James Beard-nominated chefs, regional specialties, and the birthplace of the one-and-only Capriotti's Bobbie. Greater Wilmington has more than 6,000 hotel rooms, and our meeting facilities, large and small, regularly play host to corporate meetings, reunions, associations, traveling sports leagues, and group tours.