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Native-American heritage to be spotlighted at division museums during September 2017

Written on: August 24th, 2017 in Events Historic Sites Museums News

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 23 special events during the month of September 2017 at the museums of the State of Delaware. Eight of the programs will explore the First State’s rich Native-American heritage and culture. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, admission is free and open to the public.

Lenape fancy dancer. The Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware will be celebrating its heritage with drums, songs and dancing on Sept. 2, 2017.

Lenape fancy dancer. The Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware will be celebrating its heritage with drums, songs and dancing in The Old State House on Sept. 2, 2017.

According to Nena Todd, site supervisor for the state’s downtown Dover museums, “September is a time for Native-American people to gather in their homelands. Traditionally, the coming of cooler weather provided a signal for Native peoples to transition from a summer of hunting and fishing to more secure winter lodgings.” This tradition of seasonal gathering continues in today’s Native-American communities with September serving as a time when families come together to honor their heritage with events such as the “First People of the First State: 12,000 Years, 300 Years and One Year” that will be held in The Old State House and on the Dover Green on Sept. 2, 2017.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, September 2017

Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
“First People of the First State: 12,000 Years, 300 Years and One Year.” Seventh annual event featuring the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware as they celebrate their heritage and the first anniversary of their formal recognition as a tribe by the State of Delaware. Programs feature singing, drumming, dancing and demonstrations. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Grand entry at Noon. Programs 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054. NOTE: Due to inclement weather, the event venue has been moved from the Dover Green to The Old State House.

Saturday, Sept 2 and Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
“Johnson Victrola Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: A Dog’s Tale.” Guided tours, entitled “Man’s Best Friend,” explore one of the most celebrated canines in the world—Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.” Programs will be accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Part of a series of programs celebrating the museum’s creation in 1967. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Display of “Nipper” salt and pepper shakers at the Johnson Victrola Museum. The dog who adorned the Victor Talking Machine Company’s “His Master’s Voice” trademark will be featured in programs on Sept. 2 and 4, 2017.

Display of “Nipper” salt and pepper shakers at the Johnson Victrola Museum. The dog who adorned the Victor Talking Machine Company’s “His Master’s Voice” trademark will be featured in programs on Sept. 2 and 4, 2017.

Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
Labor Day. All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
“A Test of Time: What Does State Recognition Mean?” Elected Chief Dennis Coker will discuss the long process that led to the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware’s official status as a state-recognized Indian community. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Wednesdays, Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2017
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 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@state.de.us or call 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Opening of a new exhibit that examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. All-day activities include Dutch and Swedish re-enactors and encampments; museum and exhibit tours; Swedish craft-activities for children; a walking tour of the site of Fort Casimir; on-board tours of the Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of one of the ships that brought the first Swedish settlers to what is now Delaware; and Dutch-, Swedish- and English-style refreshments. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free except $5 for Kalmar Nyckel tours. 302-323-4453.

The Kalmar Nyckel will be docked in New Castle for on-board tours on Sept. 9, 2017 as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of the exhibit, “New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.”

The Kalmar Nyckel will be docked in New Castle for on-board tours on Sept. 9, 2017 as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of the exhibit, “New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.”

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
“Delaware State Parks: Time Travelers.” Archaeologist John McCarthy will discuss Delaware State Parks’ “Time Travelers” program which provides young people with the hands-on experience of an archaeological excavation. In celebration of the “The First People of the First State,” McCarthy will also discuss some of the significant Native American archaeological sites found within Delaware’s parks. On The Green and in The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
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.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
“Hunting for Hudson: A Quest to Understand the Explorer and his Connection to the Delaware Bay.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Kaitlyn Dykes. Part one of “Global to Local: International Events and the First State,” a six-part lecture series exploring the international events that shaped the First State. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Sept. 8, 2017.

Saturdays, Sept. 16, 23 and 30, 2017
“Johnson Victrola Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.” Guided tours explore the museum and its collections during the golden anniversary of its creation in 1967, accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
River Towns Ride and Festival. Festivals in historic New Castle and Delaware City frame a bicycling event between the two cities. Family-oriented festival held from 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. at the New Castle Court House Museum and The Green in New Castle will feature food and craft beer; music; children’s games, amusements and crafts; face painting; hay rides; and merchant and craft vendors. Free shuttle between towns. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
“Reflections From a Tribal Chief.” Tribal member and former Elected Chief Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert speaks about his life, his community and his challenges growing up as a Lenape. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert will speak at The Old State House on Sept. 16, 2017.

Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert will speak at The Old State House on Sept. 16, 2017.

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
“The Lenape Indian Tribe Today.” In an open forum, Lenape community members discuss contemporary issues facing Indian communities today and how that impacts other Delaware communities. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
“Nanticoke.” Lecture by Sterling Street, coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro, Del. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Sept. 22, 2017.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
“Native Ways.” Demonstrations and activities, presented by archeologists, modern practitioners and other experts, showcase ancient technologies and lifeways from Delaware spanning over 14,000 years. On The Green in front of The Old State House, Dover. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
“How Do You Know if You’re Indian?: Expressing Indian Identity.” Presentation by archeologist and ethnographer Dr. Cara Blume focuses on the use of archival and other research techniques to identify American Indian heritage. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
“A Dead Whale or a Stove Boat: The Early-American Whaling Industry.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Andrew Lyter. Part two of “Global to Local: International Events and the First State,” a six-part lecture series exploring the international events that shaped the First State. Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast festival, the event will also feature a day-long slate of historical games and maritime-history activities. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Sept. 29, 2017.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
National Estuaries Day Campfire Program. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 6–8 p.m. Admission free but reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-6377.

Autumnal scene at the John Dickinson Plantation which will host the National Estuaries Day Campfire Program on Sept. 30, 2017.

Autumnal scene at the John Dickinson Plantation which will host the National Estuaries Day Campfire Program on Sept. 30, 2017.

Administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 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—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 museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. 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 division-sponsored events.

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