Historic Odessa Facts

Runaway Slave Hiding Place

In 1845, a runaway slave named Sam was hidden by Mary Corbit behind this tiny door in the attic of the Corbit-Sharp house. When local authorities came looking for Sam, they did not consider checking behind such a small door. Sam was able to continue his journey north to Pennsylvania and freedom. 

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Pineapple Garden Gate Post Caps

Colonial Revival style garden pineapple gate ornament at the entry of the Corbit-Sharp House.

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Corbit Chest of Drawers

Because the Corbit-Sharp house remained in the Corbit family until the mid-20th century, we know an exceptional amount about the home's history and furnishings. Many pieces on display are original to the house, including this chest of drawers in the guest bedroom. 

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Cornice with Mutule Blocks

Interior cornice in the Corbit-Sharp House with mutule blocks, a Georgian feature borrowed from Greek Doric architecture. Mutule blocks can also be seen in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

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Corbit-Sharp House Entrance Door

Georgian houses displayed a strict symmetry with a paneled door as a centerpiece capped by an elaborate crown or pediment. The decorative crown (entablature) and fanlight transom window are indications of the Corbit's wealth.

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Hand-Painted Wallpaper Corbit-Sharp House

This rare example of hand-painted Chinese wallpaper is from the dining room of the Corbit-Sharp House (1774). The wallpaper is a good example of the kind of unique export product made in the 18th century that helped to establish the popularity of wallpaper in England and America.

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Pomeroy and Beers Atlas

The firm of Pomeroy and Beers produced an atlas in 1868 called the Atlas of the State of Delaware. It was the first atlas ever published of the State of Delaware. The multi-page atlas included counties, major towns and cities including Odessa, DE.

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Historic Odessa Pump House

The wood water pump in front of the Historic Pump House c.1780 is indicative of the public nature of the center of town. The pump was a necessity for thirsty travelers who otherwise would have had to beg a drink from a resident or purchase it at a livery stable or tavern.

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