The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently produced a series of rack cards advertising the five museums of the state of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum. In addition, the division produced a rack card advertising the 2016 tours of the surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that sank off Lewes, Del. in 1798.
Created in a lively, colorful style by graphic designers Michael Cinque and Carlos Maldonado of the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, the rack cards feature images that evoke the experiences that visitors can expect when they visit these iconic places in Delaware history. Each of the museum cards features photographs of the site and activities that have taken place there, while the DeBraak card features historical images of late-18th-century warships and a faux newspaper-article that describes the DeBraak’s demise.
Division staff members are in the process of distributing the cards at locations where they can be picked up by the public including visitor centers, chambers of commerce, hotels, museums, libraries, senior centers, state parks, historic sites and other points of contact in the community.
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently hired three new historic-site interpreters for its museums in Lewes and Dover. 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 the state’s historic places and help bring the people and events of the past to life.
Kaitlyn Dykes and Andrew Lyter are both currently serving at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes. Dykes comes to the division after working as a volunteer manager for Delaware State Parks, as a historical interpreter at the Fort Miles Historical Area in Cape Henlopen State Park and as an archaeology intern for Jamestown Rediscovery. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Andrew Lyter holds a bachelor’s degree in history from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in history from that same institution. He has worked as a program coordinator and museum educator at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, as a historic ships keeper for the Independence Seaport Museum and as a volunteer interpreter at a variety of historic sites in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Before joining the staff of The Old State House in Dover, Steven Mumford worked in a wide variety of capacities in Maryland including writing grants and other fund-raising activities; managing historic-preservation projects; and serving in administrative positions for a number of state-, county- and local-government agencies. An actor, historical interpreter and director, Mumford is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Dover English Country Dancers, has taught acting at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Md. and was the writer and producer of a documentary film on old Chestertown, Md. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tarkio College in Missouri and has studied historic preservation at Washington College in Chestertown.
Written on: July 21st, 2016 in News
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin has recently been credentialed as a Certified Facility Manager by the International Facilities Management Association, one of the world’s most widely recognized associations for facility-management professionals.
Facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure the functionality of the built environment through the integration of people, place, process and technology. Individuals who have earned the Certified Facility Manager credential have demonstrated expertise in the field through their work experience, education and successful completion of an exam that covers 11 competencies that make up the facility management body of knowledge. Since the program began in 1992, more than 3,100 facility managers from 32 countries have earned the Certified Facility Manager credential including nine individuals from Delaware.
Tim Slavin has served as both the director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and as Delaware’s State Historic Preservation Officer since 2005. His responsibilities include, among others, management of five museums and more than 40 state-owned historic properties across the state.
On July 19, 2016, Sen. Tom Carper and a group of dignitaries including Gov. Jack Markell, Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, First State National Historical Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley and Kalmar Nyckel Foundation President Robert Harra, Jr. conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the re-opening of the Fort Christina National Historic Landmark.
Located at 1110 E. 7th St. in Wilmington, Del., Fort Christina National Historic Landmark is situated on the approximate site where a group of Swedish and Finnish colonists from the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip landed on a natural wharf of rocks in 1638. Named Fort Christina after the then 12-year-old queen of Sweden, it was the first Swedish settlement in America and the first permanent non-native settlement in Delaware. A partner site in the First State National Historical Park, the landmark is owned by the state of Delaware and administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
Due to safety/security concerns and financial-resource constraints, Fort Christina had been closed to the public for over 10 years. However, thanks to a partnership between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the First State National Historical Park and the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, it was re-opened for the summer of 2016.
During his remarks, Carper noted, “I am so glad that after many years, Fort Christina—where the first Swedish and Finnish settlers landed over 375 years ago—has reopened for the public to enjoy. Now, visitors from all over the country—and the world—can come and learn about the important role Fort Christina played in the history of our nation. Thank you to the many partners and volunteers who made today possible.”
Following the ceremony, groups of volunteers fanned out to clean areas surrounding Fort Christina and the nearby Kalmar Nyckel Museum and parking lot, Old Swedes Church grounds and cemetery and the adjacent sidewalks along East Seventh Street.
The re-opening of Fort Christina National Historic Landmark is part of a larger effort to create a first-class historical and cultural destination on Wilmington’s East Seventh Street peninsula. This effort includes integrating and developing the historic and cultural attractions of the Kalmar Nyckel shipyard, Fort Christina, Old Swedes Church and the Hendrickson House, along with the Christina River water taxi and other Riverfront attractions. Organizations working to bring this dream to fruition include the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, the National Park Service, Old Swedes Foundation and the Riverfront Development Corporation.
Fort Christina National Historic Landmark visitation hours through Sept. 5, 2016 are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, the landmark will be open on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 4 and 5, for the Labor Day holiday. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information on visitation, call the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation at 302-429-7447.
On July 1, 2016, the Delaware House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 11 commending the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The resolution, which had previously been approved by the Delaware Senate on May 17, 2016, was sponsored by Sen. Brian Bushweller and Reps. Deborah Hudson and Ronald E. Gray. Kim Burdick, historian and curator of the Hale-Byrnes House, was the leading advocate for the resolution with assistance from staff of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office.
The resolution’s passage marks a high point in efforts by Delaware preservationists in support of Preservation50, a nationwide celebration taking place throughout 2016 that marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. As part of its provisions, the act created a historic preservation office in each state to administer a preservation program, and to assist and encourage citizens to value, preserve and protect the historic resources that reflect the nation’s history and heritage. Go to the following for more information on the recent accomplishments of the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office.
The five museums of the state of Delaware will be sponsoring 19 special events during the month of August 2016. A full schedule is included below. With the exception of DeBraak tours, all programs are free and open to the public.
Administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, August 2016
Wednesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31, 2016
“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the 18th-century history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of this shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 by reservation only through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For additional information, call 302-645-1148. Note: Beginning on Aug. 31, all remaining DeBraak tours in 2016 are free of charge.
Wednesdays, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2016
“Weaving Wednesdays.” Indoor, staff-led program in which visitors will learn how to weave a blanket or rag rug. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016
“Some Like Classical.” Program explores some of Victor Records’ earliest recordings of classical music accompanied by 78-rpm records 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. 302-739-3262.
Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016
“Caesar Rodney Meets Dr. Who.” In celebration of Dover Comic Con, this inter-active program examines what would have happened if aliens had tried to interfere with Caesar Rodney’s triumphant journey to Philadelphia to break the tie for the Declaration of Independence, and how the problem would have been solved if Dr. Who stepped in to help Rodney. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016
“Raiding the Mansion—Plundering the House of all its Provisions.” Interactive tours will bring the 1781 Tory raid on the plantation to life. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016
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.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016
“1777–1778: War Heightens.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. Part eight of “The Founding of America in One Year,” a year-long series that examines important local and national events that led to the founding of the United States. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.
-Outdoor, family-fun night also includes activities, music and food-
One of Delaware’s most historic estates will host an outdoor screening of the family-friendly film “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The event will take place on the lawn of the Buena Vista mansion located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), in New Castle, Del. Visitors are invited to bring blankets and chairs or they may sit directly on the grass. Between 6 and 8:30 p.m., activities will include lawn games, live music and the Professor Looney Photo Booth. Food and beverages will be available from the Plum Pit food and dessert trucks. Screening of the film begins at 8:30 p.m.
Admission to Buena Vista Movie Night is $3 per person. For reservations (non-refundable), please visit the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Events” in the “Categories” column). Cash-only admission is also available at Buena Vista beginning at 6 p.m. on the evening of July 23. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled and rescheduled to a later date. For notice of cancellation, or for questions, call 302-323-4430, or visit http://buenavista.delaware.gov/ on the web or https://www.facebook.com/BuenaVistaConferenceCenter on Facebook.
“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” is a 1989 American film that tells the story of an inventor who accidentally shrinks his and his neighbor’s children down to one-quarter-inch tall and unknowingly tosses them out into the backyard where they must try to make their way home while fending off insects and other obstacles.