Delaware is a rising star amongst retirees for many reasons. The number one most obvious reason is its status as a tax haven for seniors. You’ll pay no sales tax, no inheritance or estate tax, and very minimal property and income taxes in this fine place. But the mild climate and numerous beaches are another draw. You can find a beach home here for much less than in more traditional retirement states like Florida. Whatever your reasons are for giving Delaware a go, you might also be interested in some of the wackier facts about this state:
1. Delaware was the first state in the Union. Delegates really jumped the gun back in 1787 and were the first to ratify the new Federal Constitution, signing up at the Golden Fleece Inn in Dover. Because of this, Delaware gets to be positioned first for many important events such as the inauguration of a new president.
2. Gung-ho Delaware was also the first to unfurl the Stars and Stripes. During their only revolutionary battle at Cooch’s Bridge on September 3, 1977, the new 13-star flag was raised.
3. Delaware has the lowest average altitude of all 50 states, only rising a mere 60 feet above sea level.
4. According to the National Science Foundation, Delaware is home to more Ph.D. scientists and engineers by percentage of population than any other state. These smarty-pants residents also hold more patents per-person than any other state.
5. Delaware is the only state that does not have a National Park – but they make up for it with several state parks and one National Wildlife Refuge.
6. All the way up until 1952, they were still whipping criminals in Delaware. Delaware and neighbor Maryland were the last two states to give up corporal punishment. The final beating at the whipping post took place in 1952, but it was not officially struck from the books until 1972.
7. Ever want to go inside a hexagon-shaped building? The Old Library Museum in New Castle, Delaware is an excellent example of whimsical Victorian style. The hexagonal building was built in 1892 and you can visit the New Castle Historical Society there.
8. Ever wonder why so many companies send you bills and junk mail with return addresses in Wilmington, Delaware? The incorporation laws here are very favorable. Approximately half of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. incorporated in Wilmington.
9. Delaware’s boundary with Pennsylvania to the north is very unusual. It’s based on a 12-mile arc that was drawn with the courthouse in New Castle at the center of the circle. It left a wedge of land between the circle and the straight border of Maryland that was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania. In 1921, the claim was settled in favor of Delaware. This circular border is the only such border in the country.
10. Delaware is the birthplace of Methodism. The Methodist Church of America organized and was formed in 1784 at Barratt’s Chapel in Frederica.