Division to offer programs at the Dover Public Library

December 22nd, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Beginning in January 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering a variety of public programs at the Dover Public Library located at 35 Loockerman Plaza in Dover. The programs, which will include first-person historical interpretation, lectures and children’s activities, are part of the division’s outreach efforts in communities across the state. All programs, which are listed below, are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the division at 302-744-5055 or the Dover Public Library at 302-736-7030.

Division historical interpreter Dennis Fisher will be performing in the program “Lost By One Vote” on Jan. 10, 2015.

Division historical-interpreter Dennis Fisher will be performing in the programs “Lost By One Vote” on Jan. 10, 2015 and “The Doctor Is In” on June 19, 2015.

The launch of the division’s Dover Public Library programs will coincide with the opening of “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963,” a traveling exhibit that will be on display at the library from Jan. 10 to Feb. 20, 2015. The exhibit explores two great moments in American history—separated by 100 years—when individuals united and took courageous steps to fulfill the promise of democracy. The grand opening of the exhibit will take place on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will include an 11 a.m. performance of “Lost By One Vote,” a program in which division historical-interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware.

In addition to the public programming, a large number of art works from the collections of the state of Delaware are currently on display in the library including several paintings by Hispanic artists from the Norma Varisco de García Collection which was donated to the state of Delaware in 2012.

“Boya Nayel” by Michel Angel Guzman, Puerto Rico, 1984. From the Norma Varisco de García Collection of the state of Delaware. The work is currently on display at the Dover Public Library.

“Boya Nayel” by Michel Angel Guzman, Puerto Rico, 1984. From the Norma Varisco de García Collection of the state of Delaware. The work is currently on display at the Dover Public Library.

Upcoming division-sponsored programs at the Dover Public Library include:

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
“Lost By One Vote.” Division historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware. 11 a.m.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015
“Local Profiles of Courage for the Struggle for Freedom.” Three-part program beginning with a lecture at the Dover Public Library on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, followed by the “Tales of Slavery and Freedom” walking tour and ending with a “Freedom Tour” at The Old State House that highlights the lives of James Summers and Samuel D. Burris. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive Underground Railroad program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade based on the book of the same name by Jeanette Walker. 2 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
McLane and Washington.” Living-history theatrical performance by division historical interpreter Tom Welch exploring the relationship between General George Washington and Col. Allen McLane, the Revolutionary War hero from Duck Creek (Smyrna, Del.). 7 p.m.

Friday, April 17, 2015
‘Over There’: How Victor’s Musical Industry Influenced the Nation During World War I.” Two-part program begins with a lecture on the contributions of the Victor Talking Machine Company to the war effort to be presented at the Dover Public Library, followed by a presentation at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Victor’s World War I era recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
“The Story of Dinah.” Program explores the life and craft of Dinah Patten, an accomplished spinner and enslaved person owned by the John Dickinson family. A hands-on activity will accompany the program in which the audience learns how to prepare wool for spinning. 2 p.m.

Friday, June 19, 2015
The Doctor Is In.” Living-history theatrical performance by division historical interpreter Dennis Fisher exploring the life and times of Dr. James Sykes, an 18th to 19th-century Dover physician. 7 p.m.

 

 


First State National Historical Park to be created

December 19th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In a ceremony held at the New Castle Court House on Dec. 18, 2014, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and U.S. Rep. John Carney celebrated the imminent creation of Delaware’s first national park which will shine a spotlight on the state’s early Dutch, Swedish and English settlements and its role in the events leading up to the founding of the United States as a nation.

Proposed sites of the First State National Historical Park.

Proposed sites of the First State National Historical Park.

Earlier in the month, the U.S. House of Representatives, followed by the U.S. Senate, passed legislation that authorizes the First State National Monument to be renamed the First State National Historical Park and expands the current national monument to include park sites in all three counties of Delaware. The language that was passed mirrors bills introduced by Sens. Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Carney—the First State National Historical Park Act of 2013. The approved legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Created in 2013, the First State National Monument is comprised of three historic areas including the state-owned New Castle Court House and Green which are administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs; the Woodlawn property in the Brandywine Valley; and the Dover Green. Monument headquarters (currently closed to the public) are located in the Sheriff’s House, a former division property that was transferred to the federal government in 2013 as part of the process of creating the national monument.

The newly created national historical park will include all of those sites plus the following: Old Swedes Church National Historic Landmark in Wilmington, the Ryves-Holt House in Lewes and two more sites administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs—Fort Christina National Historic Landmark in Wilmington and the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover. The National Park Service will continue to make its headquarters in the Sheriff’s House in New Castle.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be one of the sites added to the First State National Historical Park.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be one of the sites added to the First State National Historical Park.

In a written statement, Sen. Carper noted, “For over a decade, I have been working with federal officials, state officials, community leaders and everyday citizens to establish a national park in Delaware. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for approving this legislation. Now, Delaware has a national park that preserves and teaches the lessons of our state’s heritage and our country’s history. I cannot wait for the day when families from all across this country and the world will plan their vacations around the First State National Historical Park to learn how Delaware helped launch the most enduring experiment in democracy that the world has ever known—the United States of America.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaking at the celebration marking the creation of the First State National Historical Park. Flanking Carper are (left) U.S. Rep. John Carney and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaking at the celebration marking the creation of the First State National Historical Park. Flanking Carper are (left) U.S. Rep. John Carney and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

For press accounts on the creation of the First State National Historical Park, go to the following:

Delaware celebrates national park…finally
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware celebrates state’s first national park
WDEL Radio, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware Officials Celebrate National Park
ABC News, New York, N.Y.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware’s long road to a National Park
Newsworks, WHYY TV 12, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Unknowns In Terms Of Funding And Personnel Await New Units Of National Park System
National Parks Traveler, Park City, Utah—Dec. 15, 2014

Delaware national park expansion clears Congress
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

First State now to be home of a National Park
WDDE Radio, Dover, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

Sen. Carper Addresses Defense Policy Bill
WBOC TV, Salisbury, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

For Delaware, a national park upgrade
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 8, 2014

Division salutes staff, volunteers, partners and friends at end-of-the-year success event

December 18th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During an end-of-the-year success event on Dec. 15, 2014, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin paid tribute to the staff, volunteers, partners and friends who helped make 2014 an award-winning year for the division.

Division staff, volunteers, partners and friends at the end-of-the-year success event on Dec. 15, 2014.

Division staff, volunteers, partners and friends at the end-of-the-year success event on Dec. 15, 2014.

As part of his presentation, Slavin noted the progress that had been made in implementing the division’s strategic plan for fiscal years 2015 to 2019 which was released on Jan. 27, 2014. Accomplishments include completion of the “common look and feel” for the division’s website, compilation of an agency-wide staff directory that identifies employees’ special skills and talents, development of a staff-recognition program, completion of a five-year exhibit schedule and the development of team budgets. In addition, development of a marketing/communication plan and implementation of the division’s disaster-preparedness plan are currently underway.

Slavin also spotlighted the numerous awards that the division had received in 2014 including four honors from the American Association for State and Local History—the  Award of Merit and History in Progress Award that the agency shared with the Delaware Historical Society for their collaborative exhibit “Forging Faith, Building Freedom: African American Faith Experiences in Delaware, 1800-1980”; the Award of Merit that the agency received for “The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World”; and the division’s successful graduation from the association’s StEPs program (Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations). The division also successfully completed the Core Documents Verification Program, a key component of its efforts to receive accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.

Division awards on display at the end-of-the-year success event.

Division awards on display at the end-of-the-year success event.

After the review of agency accomplishments, Slavin welcomed staff members who have joined the division during 2014 including Morgan Booker, Marian Carpenter, Carlton Hall, Charity Luksha, James Scott, Desiree Williams and Rachel Wootten; and presented staff service-awards to Dianna Harris for 30+ years of service, Manny Carrar and Jim Yurasek for 25+ years, Ed Gillespie for 15+ years and Michael Cinque for 5+ years.

Division accountant Dianna Harris honored for 30+ years of service to the state of Delaware. At right is division director Tim Slavin.

Division accountant Dianna Harris honored for 30+ years of service to the state of Delaware. At right is division director Tim Slavin.

Volunteer-service certificates were awarded to Arnold Leftwich for 697.5 volunteer hours, Charolenne Shehorn (609 hours), Kent Slavin (606 hours) Howard Fulcher (602 hours), Jim Schilling (407.5 hours), David Perlmutter (294 hours), Laura Herbin (218.5 hours), Gene Modzelewski (157 hours), Caroline Dworkin (115 hours), Carolyn Apple (114.5 hours), Valarie Shorter (87 hours) and Larry Watkins (83.5 hours). Ed Gillespie, the division’s physical-plant maintenance supervisor, was also honored as the Delaware Department of State’s Employee of the Third Quarter, and former staff members Ken Darsney and Jenna Reynolds were thanked for their service.

Division volunteers honored at the end-of-the-year success event. (From left) Larry Watkins, Valarie Shorter, David Perlmutter, Carolyn Apple, Laura Herbin, Jim Schilling, Caroline Dworkin, Gene Modzelewski, Arnold Leftwich and Howard Fulcher. Division director Tim Slavin is at the far right.

Division volunteers honored at the end-of-the-year success event. (From left) Larry Watkins, Valarie Shorter, David Perlmutter, Carolyn Apple, Laura Herbin, Jim Schilling, Caroline Dworkin, Gene Modzelewski, Arnold Leftwich and Howard Fulcher. Division director Tim Slavin is at the far right.

Division partners and friends who were recognized were Yancey and Dave Hillegas and Kevin Phillips of the Bethel Historical Society; Florence Davis, Nancy Jodlbauer and Jim Whisman of the New Castle Historical Society; Michele Restucci, Deanna Rishell and Sarah Zimmerman of the First State Heritage Park; Kendel Jones and Dr. Akwasi Osei, former members of the State Review Board for Historic Preservation; Pat Lawson a trustee of the Hebron Methodist Protestant Church that has been nominated for placement on the National Register of Historic Places; and Danielle Patton, Bill Rieker and Kevin Wright of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

 

 


Division gets help for improvements at historic Darley and Hale-Byrnes houses

December 18th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In recent months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has received assistance from a variety of sources for repairs and improvements at two state-owned properties that are administered by the division—the Darley House located at 3701 Philadelphia Pike in Claymont and the Hale-Byrnes House located at 606 Stanton-Christiana Road in Newark.

Darley House

Darley House

Darley House
At the Darley House, Delmarva Power installed a line, at no charge to the state, which can be used for delivering natural gas to the site. As part of the installation process, the utility company worked closely with division staff and the property’s tenant, the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation, to accommodate archaeological monitoring at this National Register of Historic Places-listed site that once served as the home of noted 19th century illustrator Felix O. C. Darley.

Thanks to efforts by state Rep. Dennis E. Williams, Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility conducted an energy audit at Darley House. Williams then led efforts in the Delaware General Assembly that resulted in funding for a variety of improvements at the site including air sealing, weather stripping, chimney pointing, insulating select areas of the building and replacement of several incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Willams also helped secure funding for the construction of a fence along the property’s northern boundary and a connecting path from the adjacent property’s parking lot to Darley House.

This assistance was particularly helpful as it took place during a time when the division was already involved in repairing the property after a spring hail-storm damaged the house’s siding, wood trim, flashings, gutters, and main and porch roofs.

Hale-Byrnes House
The Delaware Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, a nonprofit historic-preservation organization and tenant at the Hale-Byrnes House, sponsored repairs to the brick pathway and stairs leading from the parking lot to the house’s front entrance. These improvements will help to ensure safe access to this National Register of Historic Places-listed home built in 1750 and used in 1777 as a meeting place for Gen. George Washington and his staff between the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware and the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania.

Hale-Byrnes House

Hale-Byrnes House

 

Jenna Reynolds to leave division employment

December 17th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is bidding farewell to exhibit-arts specialist Jenna Reynolds who will depart the agency on Dec. 31, 2014 to take the position of administrative/creative assistant at the Freedom Worship Center in Milford, Del.

Jenna Reynolds

Jenna Reynolds

Reynolds began working for the division in 2002 as an administrative specialist at the agency’s former office site at Rose Cottage in Dover. She subsequently served in the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team where she was involved in exhibit planning and design; and in the graphic design of division reports, posters and advertising. Reynolds also held primary responsibility for the design and maintenance of the division’s website, and was a member of the Community Engagement Committee that has been working in recent months on the development of a comprehensive marketing plan for the agency.

Ed Gillespie named Department of State Employee of the Third Quarter

December 17th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

On Oct. 27, 2014, the Delaware Department of State announced that Ed Gillespie, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ physical-plant maintenance supervisor, had been selected as Employee of the Third Quarter. Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock presented the award certificate to Gillespie during the division’s end-of-year success event on Dec. 15, 2014.

Presentation of the Department of State Employee of the Third Quarter award to Ed Gillespie. (From left) Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock, Gillespie and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin.

Presentation of the Department of State Employee of the Third Quarter award to Ed Gillespie. (From left) Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock, Gillespie and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin.

According to the nomination letter, submitted by one of his co-workers, Gillespie’s “work ethic and positive attitude, even during emergency situations, has been an example to his team.” In May 2014, the division’s physical-plant maintenance superintendent went out on extended medical leave and Gillespie stepped into the breach by accepting leadership of the Preservation-Maintenance Team. During that time, Gillespie not only made sure that daily work assignments were completed and emergencies situations addressed, he also found time to mentor two new employees in electrical and heating-venting-air-conditioning procedures.

On multiple occasions, Gillespie has worked into the night and on weekends when emergencies have arisen at division-administered sites. During a single period in August 2014, he was confronted with concurrent electrical emergencies at the Johnson Victrola Museum and at Woodburn, the Governor’s House. In a deliberate and clear-headed manner, Gillespie took control of the situation, supervising contractors and making sure that repair work was completed properly. His quick reaction and calm leadership helped protect the buildings and the people who use them.

Gillespie has served as the division’s physical-plant maintenance supervisor since April 2014. Prior to that time, he served for 10 years as a physical-plant maintenance mechanic.

The Delaware Department of State’s employee recognition program provides department employees with opportunities to be recognized for significant contributions, individual achievements and exceptional overall performance attained through their daily work and/or community service.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs seeks horticultural manager and physical-plant maintenance mechanic

December 12th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the positions of Conservation Technician Manager and Physical Plant Maintenance/Trades Mechanic III. Applications for both positions are available by going to the links below or by going to the Delaware Employment Link.

  • The Conservation Technician Manager will be responsible for, among other tasks, management of the division’s Horticulture Team and supervision of contracted projects, as well as hands-on horticultural and arboricultural work. Application opening date: Dec. 13, 2014. Closing date: Dec. 19, 2014.
  • The Physical Plant Maintenance/Trades Mechanic III will be responsible for a wide variety of tasks involved in the maintenance, repair and preservation of the nearly 90 structures administered by the division. Application opening date: Dec. 13, 2014. Closing date: Dec. 19, 2014.

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13th annual Delaware Day competition winners announced

December 10th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In a recognition ceremony held at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover on Dec. 6, 2014, Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock presented awards celebrating the work of 1,171 students from 26 schools across the state who took part in the 2014 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition. Over the past 13 years, more than 10,000 students have participated in the program.

Delaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787. Six months later, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish the Constitution as the law of the land.

Section of a Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition display created by students from Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Dover.

Section of a Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition display created by students from Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Dover.

Sponsored annually by Delaware’s secretary of state, the Fourth Grade Competition encourages students to study the Constitution and to discover Delaware’s role in its writing and ratification. Students’ observations are presented in a four-panel display format that incorporates prose, poetry, artwork, songs and political cartoons. Each display is reviewed for factual accuracy, spelling and creativity.

Section of a display created by students from the Learning Express Academy in Newark.

Section of a display created by students from the Learning Express Academy in Newark.

Questions for this year’s competition required students to specifically study the Philadelphia Convention, Article I (the legislative branch), Article V (the amendment process) and Article VII (the ratification process). Since a congressional election was held in November 2014, students were also asked to compare and contrast today’s direct election of senators with the process originally established in the Constitution by which senators were elected by state legislatures. Understanding today’s election process required students to study the 17th Amendment which was ratified by 36 states in 1913 and by Delaware in 2010.

Section of a display created by students from Richard A. Shields Elementary School in Lewes.

Section of a display created by students from Richard A. Shields Elementary School in Lewes.

Each of the competition’s winning schools was recognized with a Signer’s Award named for one of Delaware’s five signatories of the U.S. Constitution. The Signer’s Awards for the 2014 competition are the George Read Award to the William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School in Wilmington; the Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award (tie) to Bunker Hill Elementary School in Middletown and North Star Elementary School in Hockessin; the John Dickinson Award to North Dover Elementary School; the Richard Bassett Award to Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford; and the Jacob Broom Award (tie) to Christ the Teacher School in Newark and the Wilmington Friends School.

Honorable-mention awards were presented to Booker T. Washington, Brader, East Dover, Etta J. Wilson, Gallaher, Lake Forest Central, Leasure, Lord Baltimore, Richard A. Shields, Richardson Park, Star Hill and Thurgood Marshall elementary schools; Calvary Christian, the Learning Express and St. Edmond’s academies; and St. John’s Lutheran School.

Special Artistic Merit Awards, given by the Division of the Arts, were also announced during the ceremony. Schools honored with this award were Bunker Hill, Richardson Park and William C. Lewis Dual Language elementary schools; the Learning Express Academy; and Wilmington Friends School. North Dover Elementary School received an Artistic Merit Honorable Mention Award.

“Delaware Day is a great time to learn about the important history of our state,” said Secretary Bullock. “I was so impressed with the work of the fourth graders from across the state who contributed projects to the competition, and congratulate them on a job well done.”

The 2014 Delaware Day Student Competition was planned and organized by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register coordinator Madeline Dunn in consultation with the state Department of Education. Participation by other division staff-members included service as judges of the student-developed projects, development of awards certificates and printed materials, set-up of the awards-program location and staffing at the event.

Go to the following for information about Delaware’s signers of the U.S. Constitution and a Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings associated with the signers.

 

Division to sponsor 12 special events during January 2015

December 8th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of January 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 12 special programs at sites across the state. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Commodore Thomas Macdonough

Commodore Thomas Macdonough

Highlights of the month include “Delaware’s Heroes of the Forgotten War,” guided tours exploring how three of Delaware’s military figures—Commodore Thomas Macdonough, Col. Allen McLane and Commodore Jacob Jones—helped keep the young country safe during the War of 1812, and how a Delaware statesman, James A. Bayard Sr., helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict. Tours will take place on Saturday, Jan. 3, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover.

Commodore Jacob Jones

Commodore Jacob Jones

On Saturday, Jan. 10 at 11 a.m., the Dover Public Library, located at 35 Loockerman Plaza in Dover, will host “Lost By One Vote,” a re-enactment in which Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate President Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware.

Finally, on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will present “Delaware’s Decades—the 1980s: ‘Salvage of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak,’ ” a lecture by Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum, on the 1986 recovery of the British warship DeBraak that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Admission to the lecture is free but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 5, 2015.

Special events, January 2015
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in brown.

Friday, Jan 2, 2015
Civil-War-era folk music. Performed by Covered Bridge. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“Delaware’s Heroes of the Forgotten War.” Guided tours explore how three of Delaware’s military figures kept the young country safe during the War of 1812, and how a Delaware statesman helped in negotiating the Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“The Star Spangled Banner: Then and Now.” Guided tours examine the development of America’s national anthem through time with original recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive children’s program focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped slaves escape to freedom. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Wednesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2015
“Weaving Wednesdays.” Indoor, staff-led program in which visitors will learn how to weave a blanket or rag rug. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
“Lost By One Vote.” Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 11 a.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1980s: ‘Salvage of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak.’ ” Lecture by Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum. Part six of an eight-part series exploring decades in Delaware’s history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 5, 2015.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015
“Local Profiles of Courage for the Struggle for Freedom.” Three-part program beginning with a lecture at the Dover Public Library on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, followed by the “Tales of Slavery and Freedom” walking tour and ending with a “Freedom Tour” at The Old State House that highlights the lives of James Summers and Samuel D. Burris. Partnership between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Dover Public Library and the First State Heritage Park. Programs begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 302-736-7030.

Small grants available from Delaware Preservation Fund

November 25th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Preservation Fund is currently accepting applications for funding under its Small Grants Program. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.

The Delaware Preservation Fund, a subsidiary of Preservation Delaware, is dedicated to the preservation of the historic built-environment in Delaware. The fund’s Small Grants Program supports qualified improvements to historic properties with grants of $1,000 (or somewhat larger in exceptional cases) and by offering short-term loans at below market terms for larger projects. Improvements must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

For additional information and grant-application forms, go to the Delaware Preservation Fund’s Small Grants Program.

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