The Smyrna Museum Complex is owned and operated by the Duck Creek Historical Society. This Georgian brick structure was erected by George Wilson in the late 1790’s. The original configuration, three rooms long and one room deep, was architecturally known as a Modified Quaker Hall and Parlor Plan. It contains one interior end wall fireplace, along with a back-to-back fireplace sharing a wall between the hall and parlor. In 1808 the house was assessed as “the Barrix.” In 1810 the spelling had been changed to “the Bare Ox,’ and by 1818 the building was known as “The Barracks.” That name continued until 1989 when it became the SmyrnaMuseum. The first lottery drawing for a Delaware state draft of soldiers to serve in the Civil War was held on the front porch on August 12, 1863. Around the turn of the century the house was completely revamped to include the addition of the Greek Revival front porch, an attached kitchen, and a High Victorian Drug Store wing, along with major interior changes. In the 1970’s the drug store addition was torn down.
In 1981 “The Barracks” was deeded as a gift to the Duck Creek Historical Society by Mrs. Marianne Webb Faries, whose father had served as the treasurer of the organization for nearly a quarter of a century. Since that time, the Duck Creek Historical Society has sought to rehabilitate the structure in order to show the changing architectural styles. Most of the furnishings give evidence of the changing social periods from Early Federal to Late Victorian and are on loan to the Society by members of the Smyrna community. Through the use of loans and grants, the Duck Creek Historical Society seeks to present changing seasonal exhibits.
The Plank House, located in the back yard, was originally located on the east side of North Main Street. In 1962 it was moved to the Lindens, a house located north of Smyrna. Over the years The Plank House had fallen into disrepair. The Duck Creek Historical Society worked diligently to get possession of the building, and in 1998 and 1999, the Society disassembled and moved the building to the rear yard of the Smyrna Museum. Now completely restored, the Plank House is one of the finest examples of a local structure from the early 1700’s.
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