Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

Division to offer 19 special events during May 2014

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 17 special events during the month of May 2014 at the six museums of the state of Delaware, as well as Dover Days programs at Legislative Hall and the Delaware Public Archives. A full schedule of events is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Beaded purse, c. 1900–1910. From the collections of the state of Delaware. The purse will be featured in the “Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance” display at The Old State House.

Beaded purse, c. 1900–1910. From the collections of the state of Delaware. The purse will be featured in the “Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance” display at The Old State House.

Beginning May 1, 2014
“Dress for Success: The Edwardian Gentlemen’s Wardrobe and Accessories.” Display of objects of adornment, fashion and accessories for male grooming from the time period depicted in the Downton Abbey television series. From the collections of the state of Delaware. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival—May 2 and 3, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Limited visitation hours on other dates; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

Beginning May 1, 2014
“Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Display of original Edwardian and roaring 20s 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. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival—May 2, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. May 3, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., May 4, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Other times, Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Friday, May 2, 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. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Friday, May 2, 2014
“Madam C.J. Walker, Millionairess.” Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre portrays the 19th century entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Walker Company which specialized in hair-care products for African-Americans. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 6 and 8 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–9 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Madam C.J. Walker (at the wheel) and three unidentified friends in an undated photo.

Madam C.J. Walker (at the wheel) and three unidentified friends in an undated photo.

 Saturday, May 3, 2014
“The War of the Roses: Delaware’s Suffragist Movement.” Guided tours explore Delaware’s role in the movement that resulted in women gaining the right to vote, and how the movement affected people’s daily lives and influenced women’s attire. Tours will also examine the famous speech on suffrage by Gov. John G. Townsend Jr. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014
“Nipper and Other Famous Dogs.” Learn about the inquisitive little dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice,” and hear how this popular pooch paved the way for other famous canines of the 20th century. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 3, 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.” Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m. and Noon. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation. Activities include tours, colonial games and hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
“Dry as a Martini: Prohibition in Delaware, Neither Shaken nor Stirred.Interactive performance/presentation—complete with historical interpreters in 1920s-style dress—exploring the state’s ratification of the 18th amendment, its attempts to enforce the law, and its ratification of the 21st amendment repealing Prohibition. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
“No Ordinary Speakeasy: The Johnson Club.” Musical presentation by DonDel productions in which the museum will be transformed into a speakeasy (minus the alcohol) featuring 1920s smooth blues. Guests are invited to come in “twenties” dress. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Performances at 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
“The Wooden World Revealed: The Archaeology and History of the DeBraak.” Chuck Fithian, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of archaeology, will discuss the British warship that sank off the coast of Delaware in 1798. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 1:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
“Alice Roosevelt’s Maid.” Kim Hanley of the American Historical Theatre portrays Peggy, maid of Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Alice. Program provides audiences with an up-close look at the clothing and personal items of wealthy women during the Gilded Age. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
“Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Ann Baker Horsey, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of collections, will discuss spring and summer recreational activities and their original Edwardian and Roaring ´20s fashions. Part of the 81st Annual Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 10, 2014
Seventh annual Symposium on the Early Colonial Archaeology of the Delaware Valley Region. Featuring informal presentations, the program is designed to build a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the early colonial cultures of the Delaware Valley. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453. To reserve a place, send an e-mail to craig.lukezic@de.state.us.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Saturday, May 10, 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, May 17, 2014
A Day in Old New Castle. The oldest house and garden tour in the nation includes programs at the New Castle Court House Museum and the New Castle Green. Sponsored by Immanuel Episcopal Church. Downtown New Castle. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission charge. 1-877-496-9498.

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Herb Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Visitors will learn about 18th century uses for herbs and create a sachet to take home. 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, May 24, 2014
Battledore and Shuttlecock Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Experience the fun, exercise and competition of battledore and shuttlecock, an early game similar to that of modern badminton. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Activities 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Third Annual Zwaanendael Maritime Festival. Maritime-themed activities, games, displays by local organizations and more. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Schedule released for 2014 tours of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

After a highly successful second season in 2013 which saw attendance increase by 38 percent, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will again offer public lecture/tours of the hull of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of British and American merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Lecture/tours will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the following Mondays during 2014: June 2, 9, 23 and 30; July 7, 14, 21 and 28; Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25; and Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29. Note: Tours will not be conducted on June 16 and Sept. 1.

Viewing area inside the DeBraak hull facility. The surviving section of the ship’s hull can be seen in the left of the photo.

Viewing area inside the DeBraak hull facility. The surviving section of the ship’s hull can be seen in the left of the photo.

All programs begin at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., where a lecture on the ship will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” The exhibit tells the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the late 18th century. Ticket holders will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a curator-led tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990.

Available through the Shop Delaware website, nonrefundable tickets for the lecture/tours are $10 per person (restricted to persons aged 10 and above) with a limit of 12 visitors per program. Due to the limited number of seats that are available for each lecture/tour, ticket purchases are encouraged well in advance. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Significance of DeBraak…

During the late-18th and early-19th centuries, sloops of war such as DeBraak played an increasingly important role in Royal Navy campaigns. These relatively small vessels combined speed, agility, shallow draft and increased firepower, all of which made them formidable naval vessels. As the only Royal Navy sloop of war from this time period that has been recovered anywhere in the world, DeBraak serves as an invaluable historical resource for a time when Britannia ruled the waves and the United States was just beginning to develop its sea legs.

The surviving section of the DeBraak’s hull and its associated artifact collection have been curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by the state of Delaware in 1992. Approximately one-third of the hull survives including the keel, keelson and framing elements of the lower hull, and a large section of the starboard (right) side.

Preliminary schedule released for 2014 Chautauqua tent show

Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

“With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War” to take place in Lewes, Del. from June 15–19, 2014

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and the Lewes Historical Society have released the preliminary schedule of events (listed below) for the 16th annual Chautauqua tent show that will take place in Lewes, Del. from June 15–19, 2014.

Entitled “With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War,” the five-day series of programs will explore the impact of the American Civil War on the Delaware homefront and on the more than 13,000 Delawareans who fought in the bloody conflict that pitted state against state and brother against brother. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Willis Phelps will portray Pvt. James Elbert of the U.S. Colored Troops on June 15.

Willis Phelps will portray Pvt. James Elbert of the U.S. Colored Troops on June 15.

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 abolitionist and Union spy Harriet Tubman; Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross Clara Barton; President Abraham Lincoln; poet and Civil War nurse Walt Whitman; and Delawarean James Elbert from Polktown who enlisted in the United States Colored Troops.

Bob Gleason will portray President Abraham Lincoln on June 18.

Bob Gleason will portray President Abraham Lincoln on June 18.

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 (or colloquially, 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.

Dr. Daisy Century will portray Harriet Tubman on June 15.

Dr. Daisy Century will portray Harriet Tubman on June 15.

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 Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware’s own Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

DE_Humanites_logo_4color-HIRES

The program is co-sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs with additional financial support from the Delaware Heritage Commission, Delmarva Power and Sussex County Council under the auspices of Councilwoman Joan Deaver.

“With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War16th annual Chautauqua tent show, Lewes, Del., June 15–19, 2014
Preliminary schedule as of April 14, 2014
Free admission for all events

In the event of adverse weather conditions, programs may be moved indoors to the Lewes Presbyterian Church located at 133 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del. Call 302-645-1148 to confirm.

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 302-645-1148
Noon–Presentation by members of the Lewes Base Ball Club exploring baseball in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and the history of social and athletic life in Lewes

2 p.m.–Songs and stories of the Civil War by Matthew Dodd

3 p.m.–”Conflicting Loyalties in the Border: Delawareans During the Civil War.” Presentation by historian Peter Dalleo, Ph.D.

4 p.m.–Willis Phelps portrays Pvt. James Elbert from Polktown, Del., a member of the U.S. Colored Troops

6 p.m.–Songs and stories of the Civil War by Matthew Dodd

Matthew Dodd will perform songs and stories of the Civil War on June 15.

Matthew Dodd will perform songs and stories of the Civil War on June 15.

Monday, June 16, 2014
Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 302-645-1148
1 p.m.–“Delaware in the Civil War.” Presentation by David Price, historic-site interpreter, New Castle Court House Museum

2 p.m.–“Close to the Vest and Under the Skirt.” Presentation on the dresses and dressing of the 1860s lady and gentleman by Karen Jessee and Thomas Tear of Grand Oak Plantation

3 p.m.–“Benjamin Burton and His Participation in President Lincoln’s ‘Compensated Emancipation’ Scheme.” Presentation on the Indian River Hundred farmer who was the largest slaveholder in Delaware in 1862 by Richard Carter, communications director for the Delaware state Senate

4 p.m.–“David G. Farragut—America’s First Admiral.” Presentation on the Union naval commander noted for his victories at New Orleans and Mobile Bay by Ken Hickman, military historian and former curator of the USS Constellation Museum in Baltimore

6 p.m.–Music of the Civil War by Covered Bridge

7 p.m.–Patricia Troilo of the American Historical Theatre portrays Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross Clara Barton

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Stango Park, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. 302-645-1148
7 p.m.–Musical performance by blues band Dr. Harmonica & Rockett 88. Part of Lewes’ Summer Concert Series

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670
1 p.m.–“Governor Ross of Delaware.” Program on William Henry Harrison Ross, slaveholder, Southern sympathizer and governor of Delaware from 1851 to 1855 by Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum

2 p.m.–Presentation on Union Army Maj. Gen. Alfred T. A. Torbert of Georgetown, Del. by Marvin Schelhouse, Marine veteran and Civil War historian

3 p.m.–Presentation on Delaware during the Civil War by Tom Ryan, Civil War author and historian

4 p.m.–“The Lincolns: Portrait of a Family,” presentation by Daniel Pritchett, history educator and member of the Lincoln Forum

6 p.m.–Civil War music and commentary by the Libby Prison Minstrels

7 p.m.–Robert Gleason of the American Historical Theatre portrays President Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670
1 p.m.–“Swallowing the Yellow Dog,” play by the Fort Delaware Museum Theatre on two Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware and their contrasting commitments to the Southern cause

2 p.m.–“Delaware as a Border State in the American Civil War.” Presentation by Luke Clawson, reference archivist at Hagley Museum and Library

3 p.m.–“Lewes During the Civil War.” Presentation by Michael Morgan, historian and author

4 p.m.–”The Poetry of Walt Whitman: War and Peace.” Presentation on Whitman’s views on war and warriors by poet Anne Colwell, associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Delaware

6 p.m.–“There Stands Jackson,” the story of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as told by a grandfather, who served with the general, to his grandson; and “Conference With General Lee,” a
Lone Ranger show that centers around four former Confederate soldiers who want to restart the Civil War. Old-time radio shows presented by the Possum Point Players’ Ad Hoc Touring Company of Georgetown, Del.

7 p.m.–David Scott Taylor of the American Historical Theatre portrays Walt Whitman

David Scott Taylor will portray Walt Whitman on June 19.

David Scott Taylor will portray Walt Whitman on June 19.

Dover’s Old State House launches coffee-hour lecture series

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Beginning on April 3, 2014, The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., will be offering a new series of history lectures that will be held during the time period just after people have left work for the day. Focusing on Delaware-history topics, the lectures will take place between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on selected Thursdays in April, 2014.

Old State House History Coffee Hour Lecture Series poster compressed

A complete listing of Old State House History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series programs follows. Additional lectures will be scheduled based on public interest in the series. All programs are free and open to the public with complimentary coffee available for those in attendance. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Old State House History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series

Thursday, April 3, 2014
“A Spy and a Hero: Delaware’s Allen McLane.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Tom Welch on Allen McLane of Smyrna, Del., a hero of the American Revolution, speaker of the state House of Representatives and delegate at Delaware’s Constitution Ratification Convention.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
“Last Call: The Early Temperance Movement in Delaware.” Lecture by Nancy Gardner on the movement which sought to reduce or prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
“Murder and Mayhem: The Borders of Delaware.” Lecture by Brian Cannon, lead historic-site interpreter at the New Castle Court House Museum, on Delaware’s unique arched boundary and the factors that created a lawless environment near the state’s ambiguous borders with Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Delaware’s Dutch heritage, Underground Railroad poetry and Colonial games to be featured at division museums in April 2014

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of April 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 19 special programs at the state of Delaware’s six museums. A full schedule of events is included below. All programs listed are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Delaware’s long-standing connection to the Netherlands—which stretches back in time to the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631 in present-day Lewes—will be explored in a series of programs that will take place throughout the month at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes.

“Landing of the DeVries Colony at Swaanendael, Lewes, Delaware 1631” by Stanley M. Arthurs. Courtesy of the permanent collection of the University of Delaware. Delaware’s Dutch heritage will be explored in a series of programs at the Zwaanendael Museum during April 2014.

“Landing of the DeVries Colony at Swaanendael, Lewes, Delaware 1631” by Stanley M. Arthurs. Courtesy of the permanent collection of the University of Delaware. Delaware’s Dutch heritage will be explored in a series of programs at the Zwaanendael Museum during April 2014.

From Thursday to Saturday, April 10 to 12, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Festival, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots. On April 19, the museum will celebrate Dutch-American Friendship Day which commemorates April 19, 1782, the day that John Adams, who would later become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. It was also the day that the house he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague was to become the first American embassy in the world. Finally, on Saturday, April 26, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Other April highlights include “Delaware and the Underground Railroad Through Poetry,” an exploration of poetry written about the Underground Railroad by both popular and little-known poets including Thurman W. Adams of Seaford, Del. The program will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green, in Dover. On Saturday, April 26, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present Colonial Games Day in which visitors will have an opportunity to experience the fun and exercise of 18th and 19th century games including rolling hoops, ring toss and game of graces.

Rolling hoops at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Rolling hoops at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Special events at the museums of the state of Delaware, April 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014
“A Spy and a Hero: Delaware’s Allen McLane.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Tom Welch on Allen McLane of Smyrna, Del., a hero of the American Revolution, speaker of the state House of Representatives and delegate at Delaware’s Constitution Ratification Convention. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“An 18th Century Sweet Tooth.” Hands-on workshop in which visitors will learn how to create 18th-century sweets and goodies. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“Delaware and the Underground Railroad Through Poetry.” Program examines poetry written about the Underground Railroad by both popular and little-known poets including Thurman W. Adams of Seaford, Del. 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. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“The Environment in Colonial Delaware.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Alan Roth. Held in commemoration of Earth Day. 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 April 2, 2014.

Saturday, April 5 and Friday, April 18, 2014 “1904 Fire at the Camden Plant.” Guided tours focus on the fire that devastated the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. plant in 1904, and the changes in safety and manufacturing that resulted from the tragedy. Tours will also feature a special blend of vintage 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.

Saturday, April 5 and Friday, April 18, 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 State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on April 5; 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on April 18. 302-744-5055.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
“Last Call: The Early Temperance Movement in Delaware.” Lecture by Nancy Gardner on the movement which sought to reduce or prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Thursday–Saturday, April 10-12, 2014
Lewes Tulip Festival. City-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch heritage including Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics at the Zwaanendael Museum. Sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Lewes. 302-645-8073.

Saturday, April 12, 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
“Murder and Mayhem: The Borders of Delaware.” Lecture by Brian Cannon, lead historic-site interpreter at the New Castle Court House Museum, on Delaware’s unique arched boundary and the factors that created a lawless environment near the state’s ambiguous borders with Pennsylvania and Maryland. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

 Friday, April 18, 2014
“Freedom Tours.” Special guided tours focus on the unique stories of freedom and equality that impacted Delaware citizens. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution” and enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and the kitchen herb-and-vegetable garden. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Activities 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
King’s Day. Celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands including the presentation “From Koninginnedag to Koningsdag: A Transition in the Dutch Royal House of Orange” at 2 p.m. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Colonial Games Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Experience the fun and exercise of 18th and 19th century games. Enjoy rolling hoops, ring toss and game of graces. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Activities 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Call for papers: “The Early Colonial Delaware Valley—An Archaeological and Historical Symposium”

Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, is seeking informal, interdisciplinary presentations on archaeology and cultures of the Delaware Valley which will be presented at “The Early Colonial Delaware Valley—An Archaeological and Historical Symposium” that will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, Del.

Now in its seventh 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. Persons interested in making a presentation at the symposium should submit an abstract no later than April 25, 2014.

Admission to the symposium is free and open to the public. To submit an abstract or to make a reservation to attend the symposium, contact Craig Lukezic at craig.lukezic@state.de.us or call 302-736-7407.

Albertus Del Orient Browere, “Recruiting Peter Stuyvesant's Army for the Recapture of Fort Casimir,” 1838. Photo courtesy of the Biggs Museum of American Art.

Albertus Del Orient Browere, “Recruiting Peter Stuyvesant’s Army for the Recapture of Fort Casimir,” 1838. Photo courtesy of the Biggs Museum of American Art.

Division releases 2013 annual report

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

“Planning for the Future, Striving for Excellence: Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Annual Report 2013”The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs recently released its 2013 annual report which spotlights the agency’s significant long-range planning activities and its commitment to the highest standards of integrity and quality in service to the community. Go to the following to read the full report: “Planning for the Future, Striving for Excellence: Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Annual Report 2013.”

 

Samuel D. Burris Workshop on Feb. 15, 2014 postponed

Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Due to the accumulation of snow and ice and the threat of additional wintry precipitation, the Samuel D. Burris Workshop, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at The Old State House in Dover, Del., has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled in the near future.

Following is information on the original event:

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
Second Annual Samuel D. Burris Workshop. Program explores the latest findings on Delaware’s Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris. Activities begin at the Old State House and conclude at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Workshop 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055.

 

Samuel D. Burris

Samuel D. Burris

National Women’s History Month events to be featured at division museums in March 2014

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of March 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 17 special programs at the state of Delaware’s six museums. Ten of these programs will be presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month. A full schedule of events is listed below. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

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.

Highlights of the month include “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 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 and 29 at the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover.

On Saturday, March 1, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will offer the program “The Women Who Influenced Victor” featuring guided tours that examine the glamorous lives of the many female artists of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Tours will be accompanied by early recordings of those artists played on authentic Victor Talking Machines.

Finally, on Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover, will present “The Harriet Tubman Byways,” a program on the series of roads in Delaware and Maryland that provide access to Underground Railroad sites including those utilized by the legendary Harriet Tubman who helped more than 300 slaves escape to freedom during the mid-19th century.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

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 2014, the theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.”

Special events at the museums of the state of Delaware, March 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014
“House on Fire: The 210th Anniversary of the John Dickinson Mansion Fire.” “Tis with regret I acquaint you that your house was burnt down on Saturday last.” With these words, John Dickinson learned of the destruction of his home. Special tours will explore the details of the fire and Dickinson’s decision to rebuild the mansion. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, March 1, 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 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
“The Harriet Tubman Byways.” Guests will learn about the historical routes in Delaware and Maryland and the inspirational conductor on the Underground Railroad for whom they are named. Presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
“The Women Who Influenced Victor.” Guided 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. Presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Operatic soprano Rosa Ponselle, one of the artists of the Victor Talking Machine Company who will be featured in “The Women Who Influenced Victor” program on March 1.

Operatic soprano Rosa Ponselle, one of the artists of the Victor Talking Machine Company who will be featured in “The Women Who Influenced Victor” program on March 1.

Sunday, March 2, 2014
Abolition and the Hunn Family.” Lecture by historian Robin Krawitz will explore the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad in Delaware with a spotlight on the Hunn family, many of whose members participated in anti-slavery activities. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Henry Gawthrop of the 4th Delaware. Lecture by Justin Carisio on the Quaker officer who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Presented by the New Castle Court House Museum and the New Castle Historical Society. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. Admission $5. Free for New Castle Historical Society members. 302-323-4453. Note: Program cancelled.

Wednesday, March 5 and Saturday, March 8, 2014
“A Woman’s World.” Learn about butter making and explore how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 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 8, 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.

Wednesday, March 12 and Saturday, March 15, 2014
“A Woman’s World.” Explore the art of paper quilling and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 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.

Friday, March 14, 2014
“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 15, 2014
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1960s: ‘History of the Cape May-Lewes
Ferry.’ ”
Lecture by Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. J. Fred Coldren, former business manager of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and historian for the 50th anniversary of the ferry. Part four of an eight-part 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. 302-645-1148. Note change in speaker.

Wednesday, March 19 and Saturday, March 22, 2014
“A Woman’s World.” Explore the art of letter writing, review family letters and create your own 18th-century-style letter sealed with wax while also learning how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 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 26 and Saturday, March 29, 2014
“A Woman’s World.” Explore how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Experience the joys of 18th century housekeeping by helping to clean the property’s mansion house. 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.

 

Division Releases Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2015 to 2019

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

On Jan. 27, 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs released its fiscal year 2015 to 2019 strategic plan which maps the agency’s vision and direction for the next five years. Go to the following to read the executive summary and the full plan.

Hca Strategic Plan Fy15-fy19 Cover

The “Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Strategic Plan FY15/FY19” was developed between May and December 2013 by the agency’s 14-member strategic planning team with consultation and facilitation provided by Max Van Balgooy, president and founder of Engaging Places, LLC. In addition, the division’s entire staff, as well as volunteers, partners and affiliates, made significant contributions to the development and realization of the plan.

Planning activities included all-staff meetings, small group meetings with a representative cross-section of division staff and planning-team sessions, augmented by e-surveys which were distributed to staff and partners to collect insights regarding planning-element drafts and objectives.

The more than 2,500 collective hours that were logged during the planning process resulted in the development of a new mission statement and eight core-values that will guide the division in implementing the plan’s five goals, 16 objectives and 63 action items.

As division director Tim Slavin noted in his introduction, “This plan represents a consensus of passion and insight that will make the next five years some of the most expansive and engaging in the agency’s forty-four-year history. It prepares staff with the resources and vision to mark fifty years of excellence in 2020 with new standards in service and stewardship that promise to ‘Save Delaware History’ for future generations.”