1924: Music Graces Old Town Hall

A large number of clubs and civic organizations enjoyed  public support and interest in northern Delaware in the early 1920’s. The Every Evening newspaper of 1924, a Wilmington publication, contained sections for clubs and organizations. The New Century Club, for example,  was enormously popular  judging by the frequency of its appearance in Club Corner, as the news section was called. The Historical Society of Delaware, however, continued to struggle with a multiple use headquarters.  Although it owned Old Town Hall, health agencies and patriotic organizations made regular use of the building, partly due to the fact that the Society did not require the entire building for its enterprises.   In 1924, the upper floor was largely unoccupied until a new local music school was formed.

South/west room on the 2nd floor of Old Town Hall as it looks today. This is one of  two rooms used by music students in 1924.


The Wilmington Music School was founded January 15th, 1924 by the Wilmington Music Commission, a municipal organization established by the late Mayor Le Roy Harvey to provide music instruction of a high caliber to children in all income groups. During the first year, the school was housed in the two upstairs rooms, which face Market Street, in Old Town Hall. Activities were financed from money raised at a Marine Band concert at Longwood Gardens, the estate of Pierre S. du Pont. With an enrollment of 75 students in 1925, the OTH rooms became too crowded. The school moved to the 3rd floor of a building at Third and King Streets after September of that year. On September 15, 1925, the School was incorporated as a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the “musical, artistic, cultural, moral, and social interests of the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware”

Also in 1924, future Society President, Christopher Ward, who at this time was the Chair of the Society’s Publication Committee, enjoyed the fourth printing of his own satirical book “Triumph of the Nut”, first published in 1923.

A 2014 view of the north/west room on the 2nd floor of Old Town Hall which was used by the Wilmington Music School in 1924.

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