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.

Preservation Delaware Logo

 

Division welcomes new staff member … and bids farewell to a valued colleague

November 25th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of November 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs welcomed Rachel Wootten as its new volunteer-services coordinator, and bid farewell to Horticulture Team manager Ken Darsney.

Rachel Wootten comes to the division from the Multi-Cultural Community Center in Milford, Del. where she worked as an assistant to the executive director, and where she volunteered in providing after-school help for at-risk youth. A 2012 graduate of the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in human rights, she spent a year in Cameroon, West Africa, where she volunteered for service as a community development officer with United Action for Children, a community-based, nonprofit organization that provides a nurturing environment for the effective growth and development of young people. During her service with that organization, Wootten coordinated a group of international volunteers who administered a “school-on-wheels” program that provided remote villages with educational services.

Rachel Wootten

Rachel Wootten

Originally from Maryland, Wootten grew up in Lewes, Del. and now lives in Houston, Del. As the division’s new volunteer-services coordinator, she will be working to recruit, and fully utilize the talents of, a dedicated cadre of volunteers who can help the agency preserve Delaware’s historical legacy.

In December 2014, Ken Darsney will open a new career-chapter as horticultural supervisor for the Nemours Mansion and Gardens, a 300-acre country estate once owned by the businessman and philanthropist Alfred I. duPont. Located north of Wilmington, Del., Nemours features a classical French-style mansion and one of the largest French formal gardens in North America.

Ken Darsney

Ken Darsney

A member of the division staff since June 2011, Darsney’s responsibilities included management of the Horticulture Team as well as hands-on horticultural and arboricultural work. Under his leadership, the Horticulture Team compiled an impressive list of accomplishments including transformation of the grounds at Buena Vista and Woodburn; the establishment of new beds at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes and at Delaware’s copy of the Liberty Bell in Dover; and the ongoing care of horticultural displays at a wide variety of state-owned properties including Belmont Hall, the John Dickinson Plantation, Cooch-Dayett Mills, Fort Christina and the New Castle Green. The division sends its best wishes to Darsney as he begins service at one of the most prestigious formal gardens in Delaware and the nation.

The Long Walk at the Nemours Mansion and Gardens.

The Long Walk at the Nemours Mansion and Gardens.

 

Arsenal opens as home of the New Castle Historical Society

November 25th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In a grand-opening ceremony on Oct. 18, 2014, the New Castle Historical Society welcomed visitors to its new headquarters in the Arsenal building located at 30 Market St. in New Castle, Del. Leased to the historical society by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the building will be used for office- and collections-space, as well as a venue for events and private parties. Division director Tim Slavin was on-hand for the ceremony which was conducted by historical society executive-director Michael Connolly.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs director Tim Slavin (left) speaking at the opening of the Arsenal. Listening is Michael Connolly, executive director of the New Castle Historical Society.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs director Tim Slavin (left) speaking at the opening of the Arsenal. Listening is Michael Connolly, executive director of the New Castle Historical Society.

Part of the New Castle National Historic Landmark District, the Arsenal was constructed in 1809 as a one-story windowless building used by the United States government as a storage place for weapons and ammunition. By the 1830s, the building no longer served its original function and was instead used for a variety of purposes including housing for troops from Fort Delaware, as a hospital during a cholera epidemic and as offices for several federal government agencies including the Custom Service and the departments of revenue and engineering. Transferred to the Trustees of the New Castle Common in the mid-1800s, the building was enlarged to two stories in 1855 for use as a school. It served as the New Castle High School until 1930 and was later used for offices and a restaurant.

Bennett Room in the New Castle Arsenal.

Bennett Room in the New Castle Arsenal.

Between 2012 and 2014, the division completed a number of capital improvements at the Arsenal including repairs and/or replacement of floors, drywall and partitions; new carpeting and painting; the installation of a new drainage crock in the basement; improvements to the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and alarm systems; the installation of new plumbing and lighting fixtures; and the repair and repainting of exterior shutters. The completion of these enhancements and the lease of the building to the New Castle Historical Society will ensure that the Arsenal functions as a much-needed public venue in the historic city that serves as a focal point in the First State National Monument.


New displays feature sculpture by Charles Parks and clothing from the Downton Abbey era

November 25th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently created a display of sculpture by the noted Wilmington artist Charles Parks, and a display of fall and winter fashions from the time period depicted in the “Downton Abbey” television series.

Bust of Richard Nixon by Charles Parks. The work is currently on-display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Bust of Richard Nixon by Charles Parks. The work is currently on-display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

The display of Sculptures by Charles Parks, currently on-view at the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., features depictions of noted historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. The works compliment the familiar statue of William Penn, also created by Parks, which stands in front of the Arsenal building on Market Street in New Castle. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Statue of William Penn by Charles Parks. The work is on display on Market Street in New Castle, Del.

Statue of William Penn by Charles Parks. The work is on display on Market Street in New Castle, Del.

Over the course of a prolific 50-plus-year career, Charles Parks created more than 500 sculptures for individuals, public parks and plazas throughout Delaware and across the United States. His numerous honors and awards include a Gold Medal for Exemplary Contributions to the Arts from the state of Delaware (1973), the Watrous Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design, the Meiselman Prize for Classical Sculpture from the National Sculpture Society, the Gold Medal from the National Sculpture Society Annual Exhibition and the Tiffany Foundation Award for Creative Sculpture. In 2011, Parks and his wife donated more than 300 of the sculptor’s works to the state of Delaware including bronzes, plasters, woodworks and over 250 fiberglass works ranging in size from eight inches to nine feet from various periods in Parks’ career.

Currently on view at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance,” features a display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter fashions that reflect the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman. The museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 1 to March 31; and Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Section of the display “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Section of the display “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

“Simple Pleasures” is the third in a series of displays exploring the time period between 1900 and the 1920s—the era depicted in the popular television series “Downton Abbey.” Drawn from the extensive collections of the state of Delaware, the displays feature a wide range of Delaware-related apparel, accessories, art and artifacts. A display of women’s fall and winter fashions and sporting attire, also named “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance,” is currently on view at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover, Del. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to –4:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

The display “Dress for Success: The Edwardian Gentlemen’s Wardrobe and Accessories,” featuring objects of adornment, fall and winter sporting attire, fashion and accessories for male grooming, is currently on view at Legislative Hall, located at 411 Legislative Ave. in Dover. Due to limited visitation hours, guests should call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

Admission for all the displays noted above is free and open to the public.

 

Winter-holiday-themed events among the 15 special programs at division sites in December 2014

November 17th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of December 2014, the museums and historic properties administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 15 special programs including eight winter-holiday-themed activities. A full schedule of events is listed below. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Buena Vista mansion will be hosting an open house on Dec. 13, 2014.

Buena Vista mansion will be hosting an open house on Dec. 13, 2014.

Highlights of the month include “Nutcracker Storytime,” a condensed version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite presented by the Ballet Theatre of Dover. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

On Saturday, Dec. 13, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., one of Delaware’s most historic homes—the Buena Vista Conference Center south of New Castle—will be decorated for the holidays and will be offering special tours, plus ornament-making activities for children. Intrepid travelers can then make the short trip to old New Castle for the annual Spirit of Christmas in New Castle which includes activities at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Finally, on Dec. 6 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dover’s John Dickinson Plantation will present “Handmade for the Holidays,” hands-on programs in which visitors can learn to create a sachet with herbs and spices (Dec. 6) and create a plaster ornament (Dec. 20).

John Dickinson Plantation historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow demonstrating plaster casting.

John Dickinson Plantation historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow demonstrating plaster casting.

Special events, December 2014
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in brown.

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
“Hospitality Night.” 1920s holiday-themed program featuring festive décor, music, demonstrations and seasonal refreshments. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 6–9 5–8 p.m. 302-645-1148. Note additional program info and time change.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
“Nutcracker Storytime.” Ballet Theatre of Dover to present a condensed version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 5:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Dan and James.Folk duo specializing in folk-rock from the 60s and 70s. 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, Dec. 6, 2014
“Dry as a Martini: Prohibition in Delaware.” Guided tours explore how Delaware and its governments dealt with Prohibition. Stories of bootleggers, speakeasies, gangsters, politicians and federal prohibition agents of 1920s will be featured. 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, Dec. 6, 2014
A Taste of Jazz: From the Beginning.” Guided tours explore the sounds of the Jazz Age and the role played by Delaware’s native son, E.R. Johnson in jazz-music history, accompanied by early-jazz recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055. Program cancelled.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“The Victors of World War I: The Power of Music.” Guided tours will explore music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78-rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 13th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m. 302­–739–4111.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
2014 Holiday Open House at Woodburn: The Governor’s House. Enjoy guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s governor, and Hall House, the governor’s guest house. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Woodburn: The Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway, Dover. 302-739-5656.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a sachet with herbs and spices. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program at 2:30 p.m. 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277. Note time change.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First Saturday in the First State program. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Utilizing authentic clothing and objects from the collections of the state of Delaware, Ann Baker Horsey, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of collections, will discuss Edwardian and Roaring ´20s fall and winter recreational activities and their associated fashions and sporting attire that reflected the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055. Note change in program title and description.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Spirit of Christmas in New Castle. One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America will feature tours of historic homes bedecked in holiday decorations, activities at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Festivities will conclude at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. Downtown New Castle. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 302-328-3279.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays plus ornament-making activity for children. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 302-323-4430.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
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, Dec. 20, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a plaster ornament. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

“An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” exhibit to close on Dec. 7, 2014

November 13th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 marks the last chance for visitors to enjoy the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware.” The exhibit, on display at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dover, Del., has been open since Oct. 16, 2013. Operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris.

Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris.

Planned and created by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Management Organization and the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, the exhibit explores the First State’s role in the pre-Civil War network of secret routes and safe houses used by black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. Focusing on two Delawareans who played important roles in this illegal and clandestine enterprise—Samuel D. Burris and Thomas Garrett—the exhibit explores the actions of a number of brave people who made principled decisions to follow their consciences rather than what they viewed as the unjust laws of the state and nation.

About Samuel D. Burris …
Born on Oct. 16, 1813 in the Willow Grove area near Dover, Del., Samuel D. Burris was the educated son of George Burris, a free-black man. As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Samuel D. Burris is known to have successfully led several enslaved people from Maryland and Delaware to freedom. After an 1847 attempt to bring a young woman, Maria Matthews, out of Kent County, Del. to Pennsylvania, Burris was found guilty of aiding in the escape of a slave and was fined, sentenced to prison and thereafter sentenced to be sold into slavery. After being “purchased” for $500 by Wilmington abolitionist, Isaac S. Flint, he was taken to Philadelphia where he was reunited with his wife, children and friends. He continued to work for the abolitionist cause until his death in San Francisco in 1863.

About Thomas Garrett …
Thomas Garrett was born on Aug. 21, 1789 to a prominent Quaker family in Upper Darby, Pa. After moving to Wilmington, Del. where he was an iron merchant, Garrett operated as the stationmaster on the last stop of the Underground Railroad in Delaware, collaborating with a number of noted conductors including Harriet Tubman and Samuel D. Burris. He is credited with helping over 2,500 fugitive slaves escape to freedom. In 1848, Garrett was tried in Federal District Court meeting at the New Castle Court House under the jurisdiction of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. After being convicted of trespass and debt for aiding and abetting in the escape of runaway-slaves, Garrett was fined several thousand dollars resulting in his financial ruin. Nonetheless, he continued to work for the abolitionist cause. He died in Wilmington in 1871.

Thomas Garrett

Thomas Garrett

 

Zwaanendael Museum to close at noon on Nov. 6, 2014

October 29th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will close at Noon on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 for Return Day, a ceremonial holiday held on the Thursday after Election Day in Georgetown, Del. Return Day features the announcement of Delaware’s election results and has become an occasion for extensive festivities. The Zwaanendael Museum will return to its regular hours of operation on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.

Zwaanendael Museum hours from Nov. 1 to March 31 are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From April 1 to Oct. 31, museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

 

Zwaanendael Museum

Two additional Delaware properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places

October 29th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently received notification from the National Park Service that two additional Delaware properties—St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Harrington and the Union Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church Complex in Clarksville—have been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the United States government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation.

Located at 110 Fleming St. in Harrington, St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church is a small, wood frame, one-story structure that is the town’s only known example of vernacular Carpenter Gothic architecture. Though originally constructed for religious purposes, the building is currently owned by the Harrington Historical Society which operates it as a museum that chronicles the town’s history. The structure retains a substantial degree of architectural integrity including the original stained-glass window at the apex of the west façade, a bell tower with X-shaped cross-bracing at the southwest corner of the building, original decorative electroplated-hardware and its original board-and-batten siding.

St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church

St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church

The history of the church is deeply associated with the Rev. J. Leighton McKim who ministered to St. Stephen’s first congregation. Ordained in 1859 and assigned to Christ Church in Milford in 1862, he eventually became known as the highest paid Episcopal missionary in Delaware. As the principal donor, McKim oversaw the construction, by subscription, of St. Stephen’s Church in 1876. Though the mission existed as part of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, McKim retained personal ownership of the building and property throughout his life. Applications requesting that St. Stephen’s be established as a separate parish within the diocese during the 19th century were rejected because of its private ownership status. It was not until after McKim’s death in 1918 that ownership of St. Stephen’s was transferred to the Delaware Diocese.

Located near the Sussex County community of Clarksville, the Union Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church Complex is a grouping of buildings dating from the 19th century to the present that serves as a center of religious life and traditions in the African-American community of southern Delaware. The parcel contains the Union Wesley United Methodist Church (1959), the Blackwater School (1890), a camp-meeting ground (circa 1873) and a large cemetery. The camp-meeting ground features a circular design with a centrally placed large bower (covered but open-sided structure for worship) surrounded by the “tents” that serve as residences for the attendees of the two-week-long annual camp-meeting. The earliest surviving “tents” are small-frame, gable-roofed, two-bay wide and two-stories tall.

Early “tent” buildings at the Union Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church camp-meeting ground.

Early “tent” buildings at the Union Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church camp-meeting ground.

The building that serves as the camp’s refectory, or dining hall, is the former one-room Blackwater School which served the educational needs of African Americans from 1890 until 1922 when it was replaced by a school built by industrialist Pierre S. du Pont. Constructed under the auspices of the Delaware Association for the Moral Improvement and Education of the Colored People, the Blackwater School retains a high level of architectural integrity and is the best surviving example in Delaware of the school buildings constructed for black children during the post-Civil-War period.

The Blackwater School

The Blackwater School

 

Meet the staff of the Buena Vista Conference Center

October 29th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Featuring more than 300 events in 2013, and serving over 10,000 guests, the Buena Vista Conference Center is certainly a popular place. Called “the perfect wedding location” in Delaware Bride Magazine’s fall/winter 2013-2014 edition, Buena Vista features “lush grounds, cozy accommodations and luxe décor” that are utilized for a wide variety of functions including business gatherings and government meetings as well as receptions, parties and celebrations.

With that kind of acclaim, someone must be doing something right, and that someone (or some people as the case may be) are the conference center’s highly capable staff members. Following are profiles of these dedicated individuals who are helping to make events at Buena Vista a memorable experience.

Desiree Williams (left) and Morgan Booker

Desiree Williams (left) and Morgan Booker

Overall administration of Buena Vista is managed by Desiree Williams and Morgan Booker who work together to maintain customer relations, meet with new clients, conduct tours of the property, schedule events, process reservation agreements and billing, delegate and monitor staff duties, create and manage social-media initiatives, and oversee the maintenance and upkeep of the house and grounds.

Desiree Williams began service in April 2014 having previously worked as an administrator with the Delaware Department of State. Originally from New York City, Williams attended Delaware State University on a full scholarship, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and public relations. During the course of her studies, she served as a summer intern at the Cable News Network (CNN) and at the public-relations firm Brotman-Winter-Fried in McLean, Va. The Smyrna, Del. resident is now realizing one of her career objectives by working in the field of event planning.

Morgan Booker began work at Buena Vista in July 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University in 2013 with a major in horticulture and a minor in business. While at the university, she volunteered for the Opera and Performing Arts Society of the Memorial Student Center (MSC OPAS), a student organization that presents professional productions of theatre, music and dance. After moving to the East Coast in 2013, she worked in administration, public relations and promotion for the Friends of Belmont Hall in Smyrna, Del.; and as a restaurant floor-manager and a member of the catering team at the Kitty Knight House in Georgetown, Md. The Tyler, Texas native now lives in Wilmington, Del.

Sally Shorey, a familiar face at Buena Vista, has worked at the conference center since 2001. Her responsibilities include customer relations and hospitality, and the upkeep and cleanliness of the facility’s kitchen. A life-long Delawarean and graduate of John Dickinson High School, she currently lives in Bear. Prior to joining the Buena Vista staff, Shorey worked for a local catering firm and for Chemical Bank in Newark, Del. She and her husband of 49 years have two children and three grandchildren.

Sally Shorey

Sally Shorey

Housekeepers Ryan Cardwell, Kevin Garner and Carlton Hall work hard to ensure that Buena Vista is clean and ready for the many visitors that attend events at the site. In addition to the upkeep of the house, they are responsible for the set-up and break-down of events, and assist in a wide variety of tasks including food service, hospitality, customer relations and inventory management.

(From left) Kevin Garner, Carlton Hall and Ryan Cardwell.

(From left) Kevin Garner, Carlton Hall and Ryan Cardwell.

Lifelong Wilmingtonian Ryan Cardwell received both his high school diploma and a certificate in facilities maintenance from the Job Corps Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. A member of the Buena Vista staff since June 2013, Cardwell previously worked in construction and at Sears, as well as serving as an inventory clerk for the Delaware Transit Corporation (DART) and as an account representative for Comcast.

Brooklyn-born Kevin Garner joined the Buena Vista staff in June 2013. He has studied both heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), and accounting in New York City and is continuing his studies at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington with the ultimate goal of becoming a certified public account. Prior to moving to the First State in February 2013, Garner worked for Graffiti-Free NYC, a graffiti removal service in the City of New York. He currently lives in Newark, Del.

Carlton Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Cheyney University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from Delaware State University. Originally from Salem, N.J., the New Castle resident previously worked in food service at the Glen Mills Schools, a residential facility for juvenile delinquents located in Glen Mills, Pa. He joined the Buena Vista staff in September 2014.

Mansion house at Buena Vista.

Mansion house at Buena Vista.

Located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, Buena Vista is one of Delaware’s most historic homes. The main section of the house was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849 and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937 and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the state by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a state conference center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Division seeks next-of-kin for unmarked human remains found near Hawks Nest Circle in Lewes, Sussex County

October 28th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In accordance with Title 7, Chapter 54, Section 5406(b) of the Delaware Code, the Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, hereby gives notice of the discovery of unmarked human skeletal remains near Hawks Nest Circle in Lewes, Sussex County. The remains were discovered during construction work on private property.

The number of graves, and the age, gender and ethnicity of the individuals is uncertain. At least three burials are present. Initial study indicates that at least one of the individuals is of European or African descent. The dates of the burials are unknown, but are most likely to be between 1670 and 1900. The Woolgast, Clark, Clement, Oldman, Jacobs, Clarke, Phillips, Thomas, Burton, Wolfe, Gibbons and Willard families owned the land during this time period, but there may have been undocumented inhabitants.

Any persons who have reason to believe they may be next-of-kin to these individuals or have evidence that they have relatives buried in this location should contact the Director, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 21 The Green, Dover, DE 19901-3611; telephone 302-736-7400; weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; no later than Dec. 3, 2014.