Current division-sponsored displays

February 26th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

In addition to sponsoring exhibits and special programs at sites across Delaware, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs creates small displays that provide a brief accent on different aspects of history and culture. Less formal than exhibits, these displays are generally comprised of less than 20 items and provide a compliment to the primary activities available at museums, historic sites, libraries, government buildings, visitor centers and other public places.

William D. Willis photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft, part of the display “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis” at Legislative Hall.

William D. Willis photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft. Part of the display “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis” at Legislative Hall.

Following are the division-sponsored displays that are currently on-view at sites across Delaware:

  • March 4, 2015 thru spring 2016
    “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis”
    Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit. Free admission.

On view over the course of a year, the display will be presented in three succeeding segments, each featuring a different selection of images from The William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection. The Willis collection includes more than 600 photographs taken by the Dover, Del. native during military service in Western Europe between 1943 and 1945 including images of crash scenes and battle-damaged military aircraft, photos of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and aerial views of villages in Normandy, France. Willis also photographed the daily procedures of base life as well as United Service Organizations (USO) shows featuring celebrities such as Jack Benny and Ingrid Bergman and a concert by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. This large photographic collection, of which only approximately 20 images will be featured in each segment of the display, surfaced after Willis’ death and was brought to the division’s attention which accepted it into the permanent collections of the state of Delaware in 2012.

William D. Willis was born on June 14, 1919 in Dover, Del. After graduating from Dover High School in 1939, he worked as a mechanic in an automobile-repair shop in his home town. On May 16, 1941, he entered active duty in the U.S. Army where he received training in Army Air Forces motor mechanics at Fort Devens, Mass. Pfc. Willis served as a mechanic for a year after completing his training and was then transferred to the position of photographic technician with the 9th Photo Technician Unit, taking and developing pictures and handling various phases of laboratory work pertaining to negative processing. He departed for the European Theater of Operations on Aug. 9, 1943 and served there until Sept. 26, 1945. For most of his service, he was attached to the 20th Fighter Group at Kings Cliffe, England.

Photograph of William D. Willis.

Photograph of William D. Willis.

  • Thru April 14, 2015
    “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance”
    Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. Free admission. 302-645-1148.

Display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter fashions that reflect the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman as depicted in the “Downton Abbey” television series. From the collections of the state of Delaware.

 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.

  • Thru April 19, 2015
    “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance”
    The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055.

Display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter fashions that reflect the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman as depicted in the “Downton Abbey” television series. From the collections of the state of Delaware.

  •  Ongoing
    Sculpture by Charles Parks
    New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

The display 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.

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.

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.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs seeks horticultural manager

February 26th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the position of Conservation Technician Manager.

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. Go to the following for additional information on position requirements: http://www.jobaps.com/DE/sup/BulPreview.asp?R1=022515&R2=MGCA06&R3=200600

Applications must be submitted on-line at the Delaware Employment Link. The job posting is open from Feb. 26 to March 11, 2015.

Thank you for your interest in employment with the state of Delaware. Refer to the Delaware Employment Link for application process and status. Please no phone calls.

Following are photographs of some of the state-owned natural resources managed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Horticulture Team.

Landscaping at the Buena Vista Conference Center in New Castle.

Landscaping at the Buena Vista Conference Center in New Castle.

Legislative Mall, Dover.

Legislative Mall, Dover.

Landscaping outside the Zwaanendael Museum, Lewes.

Landscaping outside the Zwaanendael Museum, Lewes.

Parterre garden at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence, Dover.

Parterre garden at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence, Dover.

Delaware State Historic Preservation Office recent accomplishments

February 25th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

On Feb. 25, 2015, the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office released a report on some of the most significant accomplishments that it has achieved during the past year. A unit of the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the office administers a broad range of federal and state programs that identify, register and help to preserve Delaware’s historic places and unique cultural identity.

Go to the following to read the report.SHPO Cover 2015 compressed

National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., March 2-4, 2015

February 18th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

Historic preservationists from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. from March 2 to 4, 2015 for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, an annual gathering that promotes sound federal preservation policy and programs. Sponsored by Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, activities will include sessions on key preservation-related issues capped off by visits to Capitol Hill for meetings with members of Congress.

National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week 2015 logo

 

Division unveils updated geographic information system for Delaware’s historic properties

February 16th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

By Alice Guerrant, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist and Historic Properties Research Center manager.

Is your house listed on the National Register of Historic Places? How long ago was that house down the street built? What did the area look like 50 years ago? Now there’s a new way to find answers to these questions.

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is pleased to unveil the updated version of its Cultural and Historical Resource Information System (CHRIS), a Web-based geographic information system (GIS) on historic properties that are located in the state of Delaware. This new edition of CHRIS is more comprehensive, interactive and faster than the original version that was launched in 2009.

The opening page for CHRIS.

The opening page for CHRIS.

The new version of CHRIS was developed as a collaborative project involving division staff, the Delaware Department of State and GeoDecisions, an information-technology company that specializes in geospatial solutions. Additional assistance was provided by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

National Register locations in Delaware from the updated version of CHRIS.

National Register locations in Delaware from the updated version of CHRIS.

Aerial image of a National Register-listed property.

Aerial image of a National Register-listed property.

The public side of the new CHRIS, shown in the images above, delivers information on Delaware’s National Historic Landmarks and National Register-listed properties, with a quick reference-table pop-up and attached nominations and photographs that can be viewed on-line or downloaded to your computer. In addition, forms and reports on non-confidential properties are available (archaeological-site locations are confidential).

As with the previous system, cultural-resource-management consultants; some academic researchers and private non-profit organizations; and federal-, state- and local-agency staff members that are planning projects can apply for passwords that will allow them to look at the full range of information, conduct research and view archaeological reports. For the first time, the system allows people who survey historic properties to interactively map and upload forms, making for more rapid review and posting of new information.

Getting the new system up and running is only the first step. Since our goal is to have most of the Historic Properties Research Center holdings available on-line, there is still much work to be done: mapping properties, scanning and converting documents, and uploading new information. There may be opportunities for you to help out. For now, just try out CHRIS and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

National Women’s History Month events among 13 special programs sponsored by the division during March 2015

February 12th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of March 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 13 special programs at sites across the state. Eight of these programs will be presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month. A full schedule of events is listed below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

The achievements of Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws will be explored in the program “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community” on March 26, 2015.

The achievements of Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws will be explored in the program “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community” on March 26, 2015.

Highlights of the month include “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community,” a History Coffee-Hour lecture in which Dr. Cherritta Mathews discusses the impact of her mother, Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws, an educator and former vice president of Delaware Technical Community College. Matthews herself went on to become one of the first students to end segregation at Dover High School in 1954. The program will take place on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

Throughout the month, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present “A Woman’s World,” a series of programs that explore the daily responsibilities of 18th-century women and the domestic skills that they were expected to possess. “A Woman’s World” programs will take place between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on March 7, 21 and 28.

Historic-site interpreters Vertie Lee (left) and Barbara Carrow portray two of the women who lived and worked at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Historic-site interpreters Vertie Lee (left) and Barbara Carrow portray two of the women who lived and worked at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Finally, on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, will present “Louise du Pont Crowninshield—Historic Preservation Pioneer” a presentation by Kim Burdick, advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on the life of the well-known preservationist and sister of Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur. Crowninshield helped lay the groundwork for what would become America’s historic-preservation movement, and her efforts helped preserve the historic town of New Castle.

Designated by joint resolutions of the United States House of Representatives and Senate and proclaimed by six American presidents, National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor and celebrate women’s lives and historic achievements. Each year National Women’s History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme. For 2015, the theme is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

Special events, March 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“The Women Who Influenced Victor.” Women’s History Month tours examine the glamorous lives of the many female artists of the Victor Talking Machine Company, accompanied by early recordings of those artists 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.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore cloth production and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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, March 7, 2015
“War of the Roses: The Suffragist Movement in Delaware.” Women’s History Month living-history theater presentation explores Delaware women who were instrumental in the national suffrage movement. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“The Minstrel Boy.” Introductory talk by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters on the life of the noted Irish tenor John McCormack, accompanied by recordings by the artist played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, followed by the headline program: “Irish Heritage Celebration—Tenor Matt Macis.” Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 S. State St., Dover. “Minstrel Boy” at 7 p.m. followed by Matt Macis. Admission charge. 302-678-5152.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
“Louise du Pont Crowninshield—Historic Preservation Pioneer.” Presentation by Kim Burdick, advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, explores the life of the well-known preservationist and sister of Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur. Crowninshield helped lay the groundwork for what would become America’s historic-preservation movement, and her efforts helped preserve the historic town of New Castle. Women’s History Month program. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, March 14, 2015
“Pi(e) Day at the Plantation.” Celebrate Pi Day by exploring pie recipes from the 1700s and baking pies 18th-century-style. 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, March 14, 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, March 14, 2015
Delaware’s Decades—the 2000s. Lecture by Bill Ayrey, lab manager and company historian from ILC Dover, who will discuss the future of space travel and space suits from the early 2000s to the present. Eighth and final installment of a 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 March 13, 2015.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Concert by Celtic Harvest. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 21, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Experience the art of water coloring, view family drawings and paint your own watercolor creation while learning how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
“History Goes Hollywood: ‘The Women.’ ” Screening of the 1939 film about the lives and power struggles of various wealthy Manhattan socialites, based on the play by Clare Boothe Luce. Program features a short discussion of Luce’s life and accomplishments before the screening. Women’s History Month program. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
“Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community.” Women’s History Month program in which Dr. Cherritta Mathews discusses the impact of her mother, Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws, an educator and former vice president of Delaware Technical Community College. Matthews herself went on to become one of the first students to end segregation at Dover High School in 1954. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore the art of paper quilling and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs seeks Curator of Archaeology

February 6th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the position of Curator of Archaeology.

The Curator of Archaeology will be responsible for the curation, management, exhibit and conservation of the state of Delaware’s archaeology collection which focuses on the Middle Atlantic region and includes prehistoric, historic and maritime resources. Go to the following for additional information on position requirements:  http://www.jobaps.com/DE/sup/BulPreview.asp?R1=020415&R2=MEAA01&R3=200600

Applications must be submitted on-line at the Delaware Employment Link. The job posting is open from Feb. 5 to Feb. 18, 2015.

Thank you for your interest in employment with the state of Delaware.  Refer to the Delaware Employment Link for application process and status. Please no phone calls.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Logo

 

Greg Buchman promoted to physical-plant trades mechanic

January 30th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During January 2015, Greg Buchman of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Preservation Maintenance Team was promoted to the position of physical-plant trades mechanic III. Buchman first came to the division as a volunteer in June 2012 and joined the staff as a maintenance mechanic later that summer. Prior to coming to the agency, Buchman worked for over 15 years in a variety of trades including carpentry, electrical mechanics, plumbing and automobile mechanics. His prior experience includes work for a number of Delaware companies including Del-Mar Appliance in Dover, Middletown Appliances and Shore Line Electrical in Kenton.

Greg Buchman

Greg Buchman

With more than 120 years of combined experience in various trades, the division’s Preservation Maintenance Team is a group of skilled professionals that can handle any challenge that comes their way in order to maintain, repair and preserve the nearly 90 structures administered by the division.

 

Steven M. Pulinka joins Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation

January 30th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

Steven M. Pulinka, a Middletown, Del. resident and curator of the Mount Pleasant Plantation in Spring Grove, Va. has recently been named to the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation.

Steven M. Pulinka

Steven M. Pulinka

Pulinka has extensive professional experience in the area of administration and restoration of historic houses, curation of decorative-arts collections and historic-property management. In 2010, he received Virginia’s Preservation Project of the Year Award for the restoration of Mount Pleasant Plantation.

Pulinka’s preservation-related activities in Delaware include service as director of Historic Houses of Odessa, then a division of Winterthur Museum, from 1986 to 2002; as the curator of historic structures for Winterthur Museum from 2002 to 2003; and as a 2003 adjunct professor at the University of Delaware where he taught a master’s level course in the Museum Studies program entitled “Preservation of Historic Structures.” He holds a Master of Arts in American Studies from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies and a teaching certificate from Millersville State University in Millersville, Pa.

The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation serves as the advisory body to the state historic preservation officer, the official appointed by the governor to oversee and implement the state’s preservation policies in accordance with federal standards. The State Review Board evaluates historic properties for placement in the National Register of Historic Places, and provides professional advice on historic preservation matters.

Division releases 2014 annual report

January 30th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has released its 2014 annual report which spotlights the awards and recognition received by the agency during the past year. Go to the following to read the full report: “Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Annual Report—2014: An Award-Winning Year.”

Cover of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs 2014 annual report.