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The mission of the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, Inc., is to educate the public firsthand about an American way of life that flourished at the dawn of the automotive age and to preserve the technology of historic steam transportation.
The Auburn Heights Preserve includes the Marshall family home and carriage house listed on the National Register of Historic Places, site of the first Stanley automobile dealership in Delaware; a museum building housing a collection of vintage automobiles; a 1/8 size live steam railroad operating on the property; and approximately 200 acres of surrounding park land.
To accomplish this mission, the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, Inc. strives to:
- Conduct educational tours of the property, collections, and buildings at Auburn Heights
- Teach the technology of early transportation by encouraging the public to observe, inspect, and ride the vintage cars and trains
- Initiate outreach programs for current and prospective steam car operators and owners, by creating seminars, videos, and publications that address historic steam car maintenance and operation
- Offer experiential programs and activities for all generations that inspires a lifelong love of learning and a curiosity in science, technology and history
Less than five minutes from the center of Hockessin, the Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience life at the dawn of the automotive age. The now-museum was built by T. Clarence Marshall in 1947 to house his growing collection of antique automobiles. Today, visitors can enjoy the many treasures at Auburn Heights thanks to the generosity and vision of Clarence’s son, Tom, and his wife, Ruth. In 2008, they gifted to Delaware State Parks the estate land and buildings, including a beautiful 1897 Queen Anne mansion that was the Marshall home, while donating to the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the extraordinary vehicles of the Marshall collection. The museum features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars, a 1916 electric car, and two 1930s Packards, in addition to the Auburn Valley Railroad with its 1/8th-size coal-fired steam trains that circle the property.