By: Katie Wilson, Conservation Assistant at Delaware State Parks
If you have walked the Pondside Nature Trail around Killens Pond State Park, you have probably walked right past the Charles Tilton site without knowing it!
Charles Tilton was probably a freed slave who owned land, livestock, and several buildings near the mill pond (now part Killens Pond State Park) around the turn of the 19th century.
Charles Tilton lived near the millpond at Killens Pond State Park
He was one of the wealthier landowners in Kent County at the time. No buildings still stand at the Tilton farm today, but we have been able to piece together information from what remains underground and in the archives. Reading historical documents, such as the 1800 census records, tax assessments, and the estate inventory, combined with the information from archaeological excavations in the 1990s help us imagine more accurately what life looked like for Tilton and his family. Based on what we do know, the Tilton house probably looked something like the one pictured below.
Charles Tilton’s house probably looked something like this!
To learn more about Charles Tilton and see actual artifacts from the excavations, keep on eye on the programs at Killens Pond State Park!