goggin mansion

The historic Goggin Manor House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo: WBOC) 

CAMDEN, Del.- Plans to renovate the historic Goggin Manor House are facing financial uncertainty.

The home, located at Brecknock Park, has been under Kent County's care for about three decades. 

Friends of Historic Camden President Daniel Ridgely tells us the home's final owner, Mary Goggin, passed away in 1994 and left the grounds to Kent County in her will.

Ridgely notes a vision for the future stated in the will, saying "the agreement was that the county would preserve the land and house for educational and recreational purposes." 

Around January 2023, the county secured a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service to preserve the Goggin House and matched the amount, totaling $1 million. WBOC reported on plans to transform the Goggin House into a museum, and highlight the property's connection to the Underground Railroad.

However, commissioners discussed defunding the project at a Kent County Levy Court meeting this month.

Some questioned whether the matching grant is worth the investment and raised concerns regarding the adequacy of $1 million to prepare the site for public enjoyment.

The Levy Court postponed their decision following public comments. Ridgely emphasizes that the Friends of Historic Camden will now need to explore other funding options, and hopes the grant funding will not go to waste. 

"This opportunity only comes once in a blue moon, and it's a promise made decades ago," Ridgely stresses.

For regular visitors like Shakia at Brecknock Park, the Goggin Manor House holds an untold story.

"I have always gravitated toward it," she shared. "I notice at night it still stands out from afar, and I just wonder about its history."

With no set date for the Levy Court to revisit the project, the Friends of Historic Camden are urging the county to conduct a study to determine the full renovation cost.