Division seeks two historic-site interpreters, a part-time maintenance mechanic and a horticulturalist

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for two museum/historic-site interpreter positions and one part-time maintenance mechanic position. Job applications are available by going to the links below or by going to the Delaware Employment Link.

Museum historic-site interpreters are the division’s front-line connection with the public, adding a human face to Delaware history. Through tours and special programming, they provide in-depth information about Delaware’s historic places and help bring the people and events of the past to life. Application opening date: April 30, 2015. Closing date: May 6, 2015.

The Physical Plant Maintenance/Trades Mechanic I (part-time) is responsible for completing basic repairs in several trade fields and performing routine preventative maintenance and repair work at the semi-skilled level. Application opening date: May 1, 2015. Closing date: May 7, 2015.

Beginning at midnight on May 2, 2015, the division will also be seeking qualified applicants for the position of Conservation Technician III who will be responsible for the management of the state’s natural resources and for activities which include, but are not limited to, garden installation and maintenance, grass cutting, tree trimming, snow removal and overall grounds and greenhouse maintenance. Applications will be available on the Delaware Employment Link beginning at midnight on May 2, 2015. Closing date: May 8, 2015.

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The value of volunteering in historic preservation

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

Listed below are three articles that demonstrate the important role that volunteers play in historic preservation efforts across the nation:

Celebrating the Value of Main Street Volunteers
National Main Street Center, Washington, D.C.

Students Working in Local Historic Preservation
Teachinghistory.org, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

The Value of Volunteers
Texas Historical Commission, Austin, Texas

Go to the following to learn more about historic preservation and other volunteer opportunities with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and with Preservation Delaware. Division volunteer projects have included research and analysis of archaeological artifacts, archaeological fieldwork, preparation of National Register nominations, archival research and preparation of various materials for educational programs.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs volunteer Kent Slavin assisting with the analysis of artifacts from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs volunteer Kent Slavin assisting with the analysis of artifacts from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck.

 

 

Archaeological symposium at the New Castle Court House Museum on May 9, 2015

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, will present “The Early Colonial Delaware Valley—An Archaeological Symposium.” Now in its eighth year, the symposium is dedicated to building a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the cultures that existed in the Delaware Valley during the early period of European colonization.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

The symposium will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Craig Lukezic at craig.lukezic@state.de.us or call 302-736-7407.

Go to the following for a complete symposium schedule.

Employees and volunteers recognized at division all-staff meeting

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

On March 30, 2015, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employees and volunteers gathered for an all-staff meeting to review recent successes and examine future plans. Held at the Buena Vista Conference Center near New Castle, the meeting featured an in-depth session that focused on disaster-preparedness and planning sessions for each of the division’s teams.

As part of the day’s activities, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock recognized division director Tim Slavin for 20 years of service to state government. Bullock and Slavin then presented awards to division employees and volunteers who had made an outstanding impact on the division and the people that it serves. Extra Mile awards were presented to Buena Vista staff member Ryan Cardwell and volunteer Carolyn Apple, while Biggest Impact awards were presented to Michael Cinque of the Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, and Alan Roth of the Zwaanendael Museum staff. Slavin also recognized four new employees that had joined the division since January 2015—Greg Buchman, Chris Conley, Amanda Goebel and Gene Modzelewski.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin (far right) addressing the all-staff meeting on March 30, 2015. Photo by Howard Fulcher.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin (far right) addressing the all-staff meeting on March 30, 2015. Photo by Howard Fulcher.

 

Division volunteer saves World War II photo collection

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

In 2012, Carolyn Apple, a Dover-area emergency medicine physician, was involved in a casual conversation with George Nicholson, one of her patients, when the subject turned to a large collection of World-War-II-era photographs that Nicholson’s wife was preparing to throw in the trash. A history buff, Apple agreed to temporarily take the collection until a proper home could be found for it. While reviewing the photographs, Apple realized that they were not simply soldier’s snapshots, but rather, high-quality documentary photographs taken by a talented photographer or group of photographers. Thus began Apple’s passionate stewardship of the William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection.

Carolyn Apple in front of the display, “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis.”

Carolyn Apple in front of the display, “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis.”

In searching for a home for the photographs, Apple approached the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which agreed to accept them into the collections of the state of Delaware. Apple then volunteered to process the collection, documenting and preparing each photo for safe storage and unraveling its subject matter through painstaking Internet research. Working eight to 10 volunteer hours per week for 18 months, Apple gradually began piecing together the collection’s history. What she found was the story of an ordinary soldier who had done extraordinary things with a camera and developing equipment.

It turned out that the collection contained over 650 photographs taken by Dover, Del. native William D. Willis and his colleagues who served as official military photographers during service in Western Europe between 1943 and 1945. The collection includes images of crash scenes and battle-damaged military aircraft, photos of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and aerial views of villages in Normandy, France. Willis and his colleagues 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.

Photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft from the William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection.

Photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft from the William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection.

Apple also learned the personal history of Willis who was born on June 14, 1919. 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 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.

William D. Willis during service in World War II.

William D. Willis during service in World War II.

Willis arrived back in the United States on Oct. 3, 1945. Initially, he continued taking photographs after returning to Dover and his job as a mechanic. However, as he became increasingly involved in his father’s automotive-repair shop, he dismantled and sold his photographic equipment and went to work in the family business. Willis was married but had no children. He died in 2001. After his passing, his collection of World War II photographs came into the possession of his sister, Mrs. George Nicholson. It was through Mrs. Nicholson that the collection passed to Apple and then to the state of Delaware.

Once the Willis photographs had been safely accessioned into the collections of the state of Delaware, Apple was determined that a sampling be put on display for the enjoyment of the people of Delaware. Working with the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, she took the lead in developing “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis,” a display that is currently on-view at Legislative Hall, located at 411 Legislative Ave., in Dover, Del. Because of the large number of photographs in the collection, the display will be presented in three succeeding segments, each featuring a selection of images that document different aspects of military life as seen by Willis and his colleagues.

According to Marian Carpenter, the division’s curator of collections management, the Willis display—and the collection itself—would not exist had it not been for the extraordinary efforts of Carolyn Apple. As Carpenter noted, Apple was “deeply involved in every aspect of the project from processing the initial donation of the collection to researching, documenting and curating photos; writing exhibit text; and assisting in the installation of the exhibit in Legislative Hall. … During the whole process, she never said that she couldn’t do something. Instead she said, ‘What do you want me to do.’ Her energy helped to make this display what it is today.” On March 30, 2015, division director Tim Slavin recognized Apple’s contributions when he presented her with the agency’s Extra Mile Award.

Carolyn Apple accepting the Extra Mile Award. (Form left) Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock, Apple and Tim Slavin, director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Photo by Howard Fulcher.

Carolyn Apple accepting the Extra Mile Award. (From left) Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock, Apple and Tim Slavin, director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Photo by Howard Fulcher.

 

Division welcomes seven new employees

April 29th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the next few weeks, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be welcoming three new employees, augmenting the four new members who joined the division family in recent months. Following are profiles of these talented individuals who are helping the division in its efforts to save Delaware history.

Scheduled to begin work on May 4, 2015, Conservation Technician Manager Betsy Gant’s responsibilities will include management of the division’s Horticulture Team and supervision of contracted projects, as well as hands-on horticultural and arboricultural work. Prior to joining the agency, the Dover, Del. resident owned and operated Gardening Matters, her own landscaping company. She has worked as an estate caretaker at Reward Farm in Chestertown, Md., and as an agricultural-science research technician for the United States National Arboretum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Salisbury University and a certificate of graduation from Longwood Gardens’ Professional Gardener Training Program.

Betsy Gant

Betsy Gant

Slated to join the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team on May 18, 2015, exhibit-arts specialist Carlos Maldonado’s responsibilities will include graphic- and Web-design, as well as tasks associated with the design, fabrication and installation of exhibits at the state’s six museums and at associated sites. A graduate of Falkner High School in Mississippi, Maldonado holds a graphic-design certificate from the American Screen Printing Association. In addition to ongoing work as a freelance artist, he most recently held the position of art-room manager/graphic designer at First State Signs in Dover, Del., and before that was employed as an art director and graphic designer in his home state of Mississippi.

Carlos Maldonado

Carlos Maldonado

Beginning on June 1, 2015, Paul M. Nasca, RPA will join the division staff as curator of archaeology with responsibility for the curation, management, exhibit and conservation of the state of Delaware’s archaeological collections. Originally from Lewsiton, N.Y. and apprenticed as a cement mason, Nasca holds degrees in anthropology from the College of William and Mary (master’s) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (bachelor’s). His experience includes work as an archaeologist/collections manager for the City of Alexandria, Va.; as a staff archaeologist for the George Washington Foundation in Fredericksburg, Va.; as an archaeological conservator for the College of William and Mary; and as a field technician for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Old Fort Niagara Association.

Paul M. Nasca, RPA

Paul M. Nasca, RPA

A division employee since Feb. 22, 2015, Chris Conley serves as a physical-plant maintenance-mechanic helper with the Preservation-Maintenance Team which maintains, repairs and preserves the nearly 90 structures administered by the agency. A graduate of Lake Forest High School in Felton, Del., Conley has worked for a variety of Delaware organizations including service as a member of the installation team for Artisan’s Marble and Granite in Newark, as a machine operator for the HandyTube Corporation in Camden and as a construction worker. In 2013, he served as a volunteer with the American Legion Ambulance Station 64 in Smyrna.

Chris Conley

Chris Conley

On March 22, 2015, Amanda Goebel and Gene Modzelewski joined the staff of the Zwaanendael Museum where they serve as historic-site interpreters, the division’s front-line connection with the public. Through tours and special programming, historic-site interpreters add a human face to Delaware history by providing in-depth information about the state’s historic places, and by bringing the people and events of the past to life.

Amanda Goebel returns to the division after a stint in New York City in 2013 and 2014 where she served in database management for the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and as an audio-tour guide at Liberty and Ellis islands. Goebel previously worked as a historic-site interpreter at the division’s downtown Dover museums in 2012 and 2013. A seamstress and historical-period-clothing aficionado, she holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion history and material culture from the University of Delaware, and is currently taking graduate courses in museum studies from the Harvard Extension School.

Amanda Goebel

Amanda Goebel

Prior to joining the division staff, retired educator Gene Modzelewski served as a volunteer at the Zwaanendael Museum; and continues to serve as a member of the division’s Community Engagement Committee that is drafting a marketing plan for the agency, and as an instructor for the YMCA of Delaware’s Diabetes Prevention Program. His career in education includes service as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and Wilmington University, and as a school vice-principal and teacher. Modzelewski has also worked in sales and marketing for a variety of companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and marketing from Rider University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Wilmington University and has completed coursework for a doctorate in education, also from Wilmington University.

Gene Modzelewski

Gene Modzelewski

A Buena Vista Conference Center employee from 1994 until 2010, Mary Shaffer is temporarily returning to assist with the transition resulting from the departure of Morgan Booker, one of the site’s administrators. Shaffer will be involved in the full range of responsibilities at Buena Vista including managing reservations, assisting with events and welcoming visitors. Concurrent with her work at the site, Shaffer will continue to pursue one of her passions—helping dementia patients reconnect with their memories and live more fulfilled lives.

Mary Shaffer

Mary Shaffer

 

 

Division volunteer Catrena Moore a recipient of a Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award

April 27th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

In a ceremony held at the Dover Downs Hotel on April 21, 2015, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell recognized 10 individuals and four groups as recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards. One of the recipients, Dover High School senior and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs volunteer Catrena Moore, was honored for the more than 100 hours that she contributed as a horticulturalist working on the redesign of the public garden at Woodburn, the governor’s official residence in Dover. Woodburn’s garden is managed by the division’s Horticulture Team.

Catrena Moore (center) with Delaware first lady Carla Markell and Gov. Jack Markell at the 2015 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards ceremony on April 21, 2015.

Catrena Moore (center) with Delaware first lady Carla Markell and Gov. Jack Markell at the 2015 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards ceremony on April 21, 2015.

As a participant in the plant-sciences technical pathway at Dover High, Moore was interested in honing her skills in horticulture and gaining experience in her chosen field. After initiating contact with the division, she began volunteer service with the Horticulture Team in July 2014, participating in the installation of the re-designed Woodburn garden until it officially opened to the public on Oct. 23, 2014.

By all accounts, her contributions to the project were outstanding. According to Rachel Wootten, the division’s volunteer coordinator, “Every task assigned to Catrena, whether it be mulching, installing perennials or bulbs, or simply watering plants was done with a sense of pride.” Thomas Ratay, who was at the time a member of the Horticulture Team noted that Moore was “extremely helpful and her eye for detail is impeccable. … She saved valuable man hours by completing large portions of the bulb installation, along with constantly and consistently pulling weeds and watering plants. With her help we were able to complete the entire installation of the garden on time.” Summing up Moore’s service, division director Tim Slavin noted that she “was a star among our many volunteers. She was reliable, dependable, and professional, and her presence added much value to our Woodburn Public Garden project.”

Moore continues to volunteer two days a week in helping to care for the Woodburn garden. After her upcoming graduation from Dover High in June 2015, she will attend Delaware State University, majoring in horticulture.

 

Join the division’s Volunteer Program—you’ll be glad you did!

April 23rd, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

By Rachel Wootten, volunteer coordinator, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

As volunteer coordinator, I see firsthand how the division’s Volunteer Program not only positively impacts those within the agency, but also the community at large. If you are looking for an engaging and enjoyable volunteer experience, look to the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Volunteers from Kent County Code Purple staining the entrance stairs to the John Dickinson Plantation’s mansion house during National Volunteer Week on April 13, 2015.

Volunteers from Kent County Code Purple staining the entrance stairs to the John Dickinson Plantation’s mansion house during National Volunteer Week on April 13, 2015.

One of the things that makes our Volunteer Program so unique is that it encompasses a wide variety of positions throughout the state. We currently have volunteers who work alongside our Horticulture Team assisting with outdoor maintenance; volunteers who work with our Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team helping to develop and install exhibits; volunteers who assist our State Historic Preservation Office in saving Delaware history; and we even have volunteers who work as interpreters at the State of Delaware’s museums including the Johnson Victrola Museum, John Dickinson Plantation and Zwaanendael Museum. Current volunteer opportunities at the division include service in museum tours, historic preservation, collections management, maintenance, special events, administration, horticulture and so much more!

Long-time volunteer Howard Fulcher conducting a public program on “Fats” Waller at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 21, 2015. Fulcher also serves on the division’s Community Engagement Committee that is developing a marketing plan for the agency.

Long-time volunteer Howard Fulcher conducting a public program on “Fats” Waller at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 21, 2015. Fulcher also serves on the division’s Community Engagement Committee that is developing a marketing plan for the agency.

Volunteer service gives you the chance to share your talents with others and learn new skills, while at the same time earning credit for internships or service hours. Volunteering for the division also provides the opportunity to make significant contributions to the preservation of Delaware’s historical and cultural legacies. Finally, volunteer service for the division provides the opportunity to meet new people and become a member of a great team, an experience I know well as a new division staff-member.

I fully understand what it means to start a new experience. At first it is daunting; however with encouragement and support it quickly becomes rewarding. As the volunteer coordinator, I am here to support and encourage you throughout your service, much like the support and encouragement I received. So come join the division’s team! You will be glad you did. I know I am.

Schedule released for 2015 Chautauqua tent shows

April 20th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

The First State’s essential relationship with the Delaware River and Bay, and the sea, will be brought to life during the 17th annual Chautauqua tent show, “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past,” that will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations from June 21 to 25, 2015. A preliminary schedule of events is listed below. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Christian Johnson will portray Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service, on June 24, 2015.

Christian Johnson will portray Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service, on June 24, 2015.

A unique mixture of education and entertainment, Lewes’ Chautauqua will be held under a large tent and will feature re-enactors who take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the featured characters who will include American-Revolutionary-War-era sea captain Gideon Olmstead; enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley discussing her voyage to Britain; Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service; and first lady Abigail Adams discussing trade and embargoes during the American Revolution.

Kim Hanley will portray first lady Abigail Adams on June 25, 2015.

Kim Hanley will portray first lady Abigail Adams on June 25, 2015.

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that were first held at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York during the late-19th century. Chautauquas spread throughout America in the late-19th and early-20th centuries bringing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day to a wide cross-section of the nation’s rural and small-town population. Circuit Chautauquas (also known as Tent Chautauquas) were an itinerant manifestation of the movement. Programs would be presented in tents pitched in a field near town. After several days, the Chautauqua would fold its tents and move on to the next community. The popularity of Chautauquas peaked in the mid-1920s, after which radio, movies and automobiles brought about the gradual disappearance of the movement by the 1940s.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for humanities education, modern Chautauquas are organized around a core program in which re-enactors portray celebrated historical figures, speaking and interacting with audiences, often in the setting of a large outdoor tent. Modern Chautauquas have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 featuring a wide variety of historical figures including Abraham Lincoln; Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware’s own Pvt. James Elbert, Maj. Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown. Delaware’s 2015 Chautauqua tent show is being presented as a partnership between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Lewes Historical Society and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce.

“Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past”
17th annual Chautauqua tent show, Lewes, Del., June 21–25, 2015

Preliminary schedule as of April 15, 2015
Free admission for all events

Sunday, June 21, 2015
Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 302-645-1148
Noon          “Captain John Smith on the Nanticoke.” Lecture by archaeologist Dan Griffith explores the natural environment of the Nanticoke River watershed in the early-17th century

1:15 p.m.    “Piloting on the Delaware River and Bay.” Lecture by retired river-pilot Dick Buckaloo

2:30 p.m.    “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days.” Family-friendly performance in which Matthew Dodd, dressed in period clothing, takes listeners back in time to the days of sail

3:45 p.m.    “The History of the C & D Canal: A Tale of Towns, Villages, Locks, and Bridges.” Historian Michael Dixon tells the fascinating story of how the canal shaped Delaware’s history

6 p.m.         “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days.” Family-friendly performance in which Matthew Dodd, dressed in period clothing, takes listeners back in time to the days of sail

7:15 p.m.    “Adventures of a Sea Captain During the Revolutionary War.” David Scott Taylor of the American Historical Theatre portrays Capt. Gideon Olmstead

Matthew Dodd will present sea shanties and stories on June 21, 2015.

Matthew Dodd will present sea shanties and stories on June 21, 2015.

Monday, June 22, 2015
Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 302-645-1148
Noon          “Delaware Built: The American Line.” Lecture by Dr. William Flayhart on the first successful American-flag steamship line, started in 1873

1:15 p.m.    Scott Bossert, marine supervisor for the Delaware Bay and River Cooperative, discusses the organization’s oil-spill-recovery vessel

2:30 p.m.    “Re-Creation of the 1950 Study of Zooplankton in the Delaware Bay.” Chris Petrone, marine education specialist for the University of Delaware’s Sea Grant College Program, discusses the re-created study being conducted aboard the Joanne Daiber, the program’s new boat which is named for the researcher who led the original study and who was the first female scientist at the university

3:45 p.m.    ”Menhaden Industry in Lewes.” Lecture by Tom Brown, Lewes Historical Society volunteer and former chief of staff of the National Archives and Records Administration

6 p.m.         The Bowman-Braddock Duo. Flute and guitar performance with readings form Howard Pyle’s pirate story “Tom Chist and the Treasure Box” which was set at Cape Henlopen

7:15 p.m.    “An Enslaved Poet’s Voyage to Britain and Back.” Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre portrays Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American poet, recounting her Atlantic voyages

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Stango Park, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. 302-645-1148
7 p.m.         Concert by the Skinny Leg Pete Band performing soul, funk, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Part of Lewes’ Summer Concert Series

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670
Noon          “Treasures of the Sea.” Lecture by Susan Doering, coordinator of the exhibit at the Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown

1:15 p.m.    “Cape Henlopen Quarantine Station.” Lecture by Shawn Heacock, trainer/educator at Cape Henlopen State Park

2:30 p.m.    “History of the U.S. Life-Saving Service in Delaware.” Utilizing a local shipwreck as an illustration, Laura Scharle, site supervisor of the Indian River Life-Saving Station discusses the formation of the service and common 19th-century rescue techniques

3:45 p.m.    “Run It Up the Flagpole and Sea.” Utilizing a reconstructed 1884 life-saving station as a setting, visitors will work together to decode a nautical signal-flag message in order to rescue an imaginary stranded ship and crew. This family-friendly program will also feature historical interpreters, dressed in period clothing, portraying members of the U.S. Life-Saving Service as they share true tales of harrowing shipwrecks and rescues off of the Delaware coast

6 p.m.         Old-time radio show presented by the Ad Hoc Touring Company, a component of Possum Point Players in Georgetown, Del.

7:15 p.m.    Christian Johnson of the American Historical Theatre portrays Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service

 Thursday, June 25, 2015
Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670
Noon          Demonstration of fly-casting and other fly-fishing techniques

1:15 p.m.    Lecture on the Lightship Overfalls by Bob Gibson of the Overfalls Foundation

2:30 p.m.    “World War II Subchasers.” Presentation by historian Joan Lofland on the subchasers built at the Vinyard Shipyard in Milford, Del.

3:45 p.m.    “Salvage of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak.” Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum, discusses the salvage operation of the 18th-century British warship that took place off the coast of Cape Henlopen in the 1980s

6 p.m.         Pyrates Royale Duo. Swashbuckling family-friendly musical performance

7:15 p.m.    “Embargo Acts, Trade, Privateers and Crossing the Atlantic.” Kim Hanley of the American Historical Theatre portrays first lady Abigail Adams as she describes her trans-Atlantic voyages and speaks her mind about issues of the day during the American Revolution

Current division-sponsored displays

April 20th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

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

Photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft. The image is part of the display “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis” at Dover's Legislative Hall.

Photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft. The image is part of the display “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis” at Dover’s Legislative Hall.

Following is a listing of division-sponsored displays that are currently on-view at sites across Delaware:

  •  Ongoing
    “Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow”
    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.

Utilizing graphics, clothing and memorabilia from the collections of the state of Delaware, the display explores how Delawareans expressed their deep sorrow upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1865.

Carved slate featuring a likeness of Abraham Lincoln that was on-board the funeral train that left Washington, D.C. on April 21, 1865 bound for Springfield, Ill. The object is part of the display “Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow” that will open at The Old State House on April 21, 2015.

Carved slate featuring a likeness of Abraham Lincoln. The object was on-board Lincoln’s funeral train that left Washington, D.C. on April 21, 1865 bound for Springfield, Ill. It is part of the display “Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow” at The Old State House.

  • 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.

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.

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.

  • Ongoing
    “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.

Photograph of William D. Willis on display at Legislative Hall.

Photograph of William D. Willis on display at Legislative Hall.

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.