Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

First State National Historical Park to be created

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

In a ceremony held at the New Castle Court House on Dec. 18, 2014, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and U.S. Rep. John Carney celebrated the imminent creation of Delaware’s first national park which will shine a spotlight on the state’s early Dutch, Swedish and English settlements and its role in the events leading up to the founding of the United States as a nation.

Proposed sites of the First State National Historical Park.

Proposed sites of the First State National Historical Park.

Earlier in the month, the U.S. House of Representatives, followed by the U.S. Senate, passed legislation that authorizes the First State National Monument to be renamed the First State National Historical Park and expands the current national monument to include park sites in all three counties of Delaware. The language that was passed mirrors bills introduced by Sens. Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Carney—the First State National Historical Park Act of 2013. The approved legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Created in 2013, the First State National Monument is comprised of three historic areas including the state-owned New Castle Court House and Green which are administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs; the Woodlawn property in the Brandywine Valley; and the Dover Green. Monument headquarters (currently closed to the public) are located in the Sheriff’s House, a former division property that was transferred to the federal government in 2013 as part of the process of creating the national monument.

The newly created national historical park will include all of those sites plus the following: Old Swedes Church National Historic Landmark in Wilmington, the Ryves-Holt House in Lewes and two more sites administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs—Fort Christina National Historic Landmark in Wilmington and the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover. The National Park Service will continue to make its headquarters in the Sheriff’s House in New Castle.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be one of the sites added to the First State National Historical Park.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be one of the sites added to the First State National Historical Park.

In a written statement, Sen. Carper noted, “For over a decade, I have been working with federal officials, state officials, community leaders and everyday citizens to establish a national park in Delaware. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for approving this legislation. Now, Delaware has a national park that preserves and teaches the lessons of our state’s heritage and our country’s history. I cannot wait for the day when families from all across this country and the world will plan their vacations around the First State National Historical Park to learn how Delaware helped launch the most enduring experiment in democracy that the world has ever known—the United States of America.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaking at the celebration marking the creation of the First State National Historical Park. Flanking Carper are (left) U.S. Rep. John Carney and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaking at the celebration marking the creation of the First State National Historical Park. Flanking Carper are (left) U.S. Rep. John Carney and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

For press accounts on the creation of the First State National Historical Park, go to the following:

Delaware celebrates national park…finally
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware celebrates state’s first national park
WDEL Radio, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware Officials Celebrate National Park
ABC News, New York, N.Y.—Dec. 18, 2014

Delaware’s long road to a National Park
Newsworks, WHYY TV 12, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 18, 2014

Unknowns In Terms Of Funding And Personnel Await New Units Of National Park System
National Parks Traveler, Park City, Utah—Dec. 15, 2014

Delaware national park expansion clears Congress
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

First State now to be home of a National Park
WDDE Radio, Dover, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

Sen. Carper Addresses Defense Policy Bill
WBOC TV, Salisbury, Del.—Dec. 12, 2014

For Delaware, a national park upgrade
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 8, 2014

Division to sponsor 12 special events during January 2015

Monday, December 8th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of January 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 12 special programs at sites across the state. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Commodore Thomas Macdonough

Commodore Thomas Macdonough

Highlights of the month include “Delaware’s Heroes of the Forgotten War,” guided tours exploring how three of Delaware’s military figures—Commodore Thomas Macdonough, Col. Allen McLane and Commodore Jacob Jones—helped keep the young country safe during the War of 1812, and how a Delaware statesman, James A. Bayard Sr., helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict. Tours will take place on Saturday, Jan. 3, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover.

Commodore Jacob Jones

Commodore Jacob Jones

On Saturday, Jan. 10 at 11 a.m., the Dover Public Library, located at 35 Loockerman Plaza in Dover, will host “Lost By One Vote,” a re-enactment in which Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate President Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware.

Finally, on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will present “Delaware’s Decades—the 1980s: ‘Salvage of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak,’ ” a lecture by Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum, on the 1986 recovery of the British warship DeBraak that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Admission to the lecture is free but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 5, 2015.

Special events, January 2015
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in brown.

Friday, Jan 2, 2015
Civil-War-era folk music. Performed by Covered Bridge. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“Delaware’s Heroes of the Forgotten War.” Guided tours explore how three of Delaware’s military figures kept the young country safe during the War of 1812, and how a Delaware statesman helped in negotiating the Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“The Star Spangled Banner: Then and Now.” Guided tours examine the development of America’s national anthem through time with original recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive children’s program focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped slaves escape to freedom. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Wednesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2015
“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.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
“Lost By One Vote.” Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 11 a.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1980s: ‘Salvage of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak.’ ” Lecture by Claudia Leister, executive director of the Milford Museum. Part six 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. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 5, 2015.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015
“Local Profiles of Courage for the Struggle for Freedom.” Three-part program beginning with a lecture at the Dover Public Library on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, followed by the “Tales of Slavery and Freedom” walking tour, and ending with a “Freedom Tour” at The Old State House that highlights the lives of James Summers and Samuel D. Burris. Partnership between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Dover Public Library and the First State Heritage Park. Programs begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 302-736-7030.

New displays feature sculpture by Charles Parks and clothing from the “Downton Abbey” era

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently created a display of sculpture by the noted Wilmington artist Charles Parks, and a display of fall and winter fashions from the time period depicted in the “Downton Abbey” television series.

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.

The display of Sculptures by Charles Parks, currently on-view at the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., 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. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Statue of William Penn by Charles Parks. The work is on display on Market Street in New Castle, Del.

Statue of William Penn by Charles Parks. The work is on display on Market Street in New Castle, Del.

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.

Currently on view at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance,” features a display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter fashions that reflect the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman. The museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 1 to March 31; and Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Section of the display “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Section of the display “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

“Simple Pleasures” is the third in a series of displays exploring the time period between 1900 and the 1920s—the era depicted in the popular television series “Downton Abbey.” Drawn from the extensive collections of the state of Delaware, the displays feature a wide range of Delaware-related apparel, accessories, art and artifacts. A display of women’s fall and winter fashions and sporting attire, also named “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance,” is currently on view at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover, Del. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to –4:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

The display “Dress for Success: The Edwardian Gentlemen’s Wardrobe and Accessories,” featuring objects of adornment, fall and winter sporting attire, fashion and accessories for male grooming, is currently on view at Legislative Hall, located at 411 Legislative Ave. in Dover. Due to limited visitation hours, guests should call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

Admission for all the displays noted above is free and open to the public.

 

Winter-holiday-themed events among the 15 special programs at division sites in December 2014

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of December 2014, the museums and historic properties administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 15 special programs including eight winter-holiday-themed activities. A full schedule of events is listed below. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Buena Vista mansion will be hosting an open house on Dec. 13, 2014.

Buena Vista mansion will be hosting an open house on Dec. 13, 2014.

Highlights of the month include “Nutcracker Storytime,” a glimpse into the story and characters of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite presented by the Ballet Theatre of Dover. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

On Saturday, Dec. 13, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., one of Delaware’s most historic homes—the Buena Vista Conference Center south of New Castle—will be decorated for the holidays and will be offering special tours, plus ornament-making activities for children. Intrepid travelers can then make the short trip to old New Castle for the annual Spirit of Christmas in New Castle which includes activities at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Finally, on Dec. 6 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dover’s John Dickinson Plantation will present “Handmade for the Holidays,” hands-on programs in which visitors can learn to create a sachet with herbs and spices (Dec. 6) and create a plaster ornament (Dec. 20).

John Dickinson Plantation historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow demonstrating plaster casting.

John Dickinson Plantation historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow demonstrating plaster casting.

Special events, December 2014
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in brown.

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
“Hospitality Night.” 1920s holiday-themed program featuring festive décor, music, demonstrations and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of CommerceZwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 6–9 5–8 p.m. 302-645-1148. Note additional program info and time change.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
“Nutcracker Storytime.” Ballet Theatre of Dover to present a condensed version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite provides a glimpse into the story and characters of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker.” The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 5:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Note change in program description.

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Dan and James. Folk duo specializing in folk-rock from the 60s and 70s. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Dry as a Martini: Prohibition in Delaware.” Guided tours explore how Delaware and its governments dealt with Prohibition. Stories of bootleggers, speakeasies, gangsters, politicians and federal prohibition agents of 1920s will be featured. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 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. 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. Program cancelled.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“The Victors of World War I: The Power of Music.” Guided tours will explore music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78-rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. 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, Dec. 6, 2014
Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 13th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m. 302­–739–4111.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
2014 Holiday Open House at Woodburn: The Governor’s House. Enjoy guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s governor, and Hall House, the governor’s guest house. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Woodburn: The Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway, Dover. 302-739-5656.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a sachet with herbs and spices. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program at 2:30 p.m. 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277. Note time change.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 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 Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
“Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Utilizing authentic clothing and objects from the collections of the state of Delaware, Ann Baker Horsey, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of collections, will discuss Edwardian and Roaring ´20s fall and winter recreational activities and their associated fashions and sporting attire that reflected the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman. 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. Free admission. 302-744-5055. Note change in program title and description.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Spirit of Christmas in New Castle. One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America will feature tours of historic homes bedecked in holiday decorations, activities at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Festivities will conclude at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. Downtown New Castle. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 302-328-3279.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays plus ornament-making activity for children. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 302-323-4430.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 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, Dec. 20, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a plaster ornament. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

“An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” exhibit to close on Dec. 7, 2014

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 marks the last chance for visitors to enjoy the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware.” The exhibit, on display at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dover, Del., has been open since Oct. 16, 2013. Operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris.

Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris.

Planned and created by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Management Organization and the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, the exhibit explores the First State’s role in the pre-Civil War network of secret routes and safe houses used by black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. Focusing on two Delawareans who played important roles in this illegal and clandestine enterprise—Samuel D. Burris and Thomas Garrett—the exhibit explores the actions of a number of brave people who made principled decisions to follow their consciences rather than what they viewed as the unjust laws of the state and nation.

About Samuel D. Burris …
Born on Oct. 16, 1813 in the Willow Grove area near Dover, Del., Samuel D. Burris was the educated son of George Burris, a free-black man. As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Samuel D. Burris is known to have successfully led several enslaved people from Maryland and Delaware to freedom. After an 1847 attempt to bring a young woman, Maria Matthews, out of Kent County, Del. to Pennsylvania, Burris was found guilty of aiding in the escape of a slave and was fined, sentenced to prison and thereafter sentenced to be sold into slavery. After being “purchased” for $500 by Wilmington abolitionist, Isaac S. Flint, he was taken to Philadelphia where he was reunited with his wife, children and friends. He continued to work for the abolitionist cause until his death in San Francisco in 1863.

About Thomas Garrett …
Thomas Garrett was born on Aug. 21, 1789 to a prominent Quaker family in Upper Darby, Pa. After moving to Wilmington, Del. where he was an iron merchant, Garrett operated as the stationmaster on the last stop of the Underground Railroad in Delaware, collaborating with a number of noted conductors including Harriet Tubman and Samuel D. Burris. He is credited with helping over 2,500 fugitive slaves escape to freedom. In 1848, Garrett was tried in Federal District Court meeting at the New Castle Court House under the jurisdiction of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. After being convicted of trespass and debt for aiding and abetting in the escape of runaway-slaves, Garrett was fined several thousand dollars resulting in his financial ruin. Nonetheless, he continued to work for the abolitionist cause. He died in Wilmington in 1871.

Thomas Garrett

Thomas Garrett

 

Zwaanendael Museum to close at noon on Nov. 6, 2014

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will close at Noon on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 for Return Day, a ceremonial holiday held on the Thursday after Election Day in Georgetown, Del. Return Day features the announcement of Delaware’s election results and has become an occasion for extensive festivities. The Zwaanendael Museum will return to its regular hours of operation on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.

Zwaanendael Museum hours from Nov. 1 to March 31 are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From April 1 to Oct. 31, museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

 

Zwaanendael Museum

Division to offer 19 free programs during November 2014

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of November 2014, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 19 special programs at the state of Delaware’s 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.

House chamber in Dover, Del.’s Old State House. The venerable structure will be explored in “The People’s House” programs on Nov. 4 and 11, 2014. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

House of Representatives chamber in Dover, Del.’s Old State House. The venerable structure will be explored in “The People’s House” programs on Nov. 4 and 11, 2014. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

In honor of Election Day, The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, will present “The People’s House,” guided tours that explore the significance of The Old State House and the many state and county governmental functions that were conducted there between 1791 and 1933. Tours will take place between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present two candle-making workshops. In partnership with the St. Jones Reserve, the plantation will present a bayberry-candle workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. Reservations for this workshop are required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436. Between 1 and 3 p.m., the plantation will present “Light Me Up!,” a workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century. Reservations for this program are required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 14.

Hand-dipped candles at the John Dickinson Plantation. The plantation will offer candle-making workshops on Nov. 15, 2014.

Hand-dipped candles at the John Dickinson Plantation. The plantation will offer candle-making workshops on Nov. 15, 2014.

Finally, on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will present Dutch-American Heritage Day, a series of activities exploring the contributions that the Netherlands has made to the economic, social, political and cultural life of Delaware and the United States. At 2 p.m., the museum will present a lecture by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic exploring Dutch colonial activities in Delaware.

“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 the Dutch-American Heritage Day program at the Zwaanendael Museum on Nov. 15, 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 the Dutch-American Heritage Day program at the Zwaanendael Museum on Nov. 15, 2014.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the six museums of the State of Delaware—the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.

Special events, November 2014
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in brown.

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
“Man’s Best Friend.” Guided tours explore one of the most celebrated canines in the world—Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.” Programs will also include original Victor 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.

Nipper, the dog in the Victor Talking Machine Company logo, will be featured in the “Man’s Best Friend” program at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Nov. 1, 2014.

Nipper, the dog in the Victor Talking Machine Company logo, will be featured in the “Man’s Best Friend” program at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Nov. 1, 2014.

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
“18th Century Market Fair.” Programs explore an era when The Green served as the focal point of life in Dover as historical interpreters explore the goods, wares and political attitudes of the 1700s. The Old State House will celebrate the fair with special tours and appearances by historical re-enactors. Sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. The Green, Dover. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-9194.

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, and Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11, 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. 302-744-5055.

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
“Swing.” In celebration of Election Day, guests will be treated to the sounds of Swing music as recorded by Victor Records on 78-rpm disks and played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11, 2014
“The People’s House.” In honor of Election Day, guided tours will explore the significance of The Old State House and the many state and county governmental functions that were conducted there between 1791 and 1933. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Thursdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 20, 2014
John Dickinson’s Birthday Month. Visitors celebrate the birth of John Dickinson by helping to make a great cake and decorate it using royal icing and shaped marzipan. 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, Nov. 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.

Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1970s: ‘Coastal Zone Act of 1971.’ ” Program description TBA. Lecture by Kevin Coyle, principal planner for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, on the landmark state-legislation that limited industrial development in Delaware’s coastal areas. Part five 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. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Nov. 6, 2014. Note additional program info.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
“The Victors of World War I: The Power of Music.” In celebration of Veterans Day, this lively program will examine music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78-rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Candle-making workshops. Bayberry-candle workshop from 10 a.m.–noon examines bayberries and their use in creating bayberry candles. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. Reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436. “Light Me Up!” workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century from 1–3 p.m. Reservations required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 14. Museum also open for visitation 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Dutch-American Heritage Day. Learn about the contributions that the Netherlands has made to the economic, social, political and cultural life of Delaware and the United States. Program will include a lecture by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Lecture at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014
“Two Civil War Soldiers.”
Historical play about two Confederate soldiers captured at the battle of Gettysburg and subsequently imprisoned at Fort Delaware. Presented by the New Castle Court House Museum and staged at the Arsenal, 30 Market St., New Castle. 7 p.m. Free admission but reservations required by calling 302-323-4453. Recently added program.

Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can learn to create and decorate cards through the art of paper quilling and stenciling, and write a personal note with a quill pen. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014
“Two Civil War Soldiers.” Historical play about two Confederate soldiers captured at the battle of Gettysburg and subsequently imprisoned at Fort Delaware. Presented by the New Castle Court House Museum and staged at the Arsenal, 30 Market St., New Castle. 2 p.m. Free admission but reservations required by calling 302-323-4453. Recently added program.


Oliver Berliner, grandson of the inventor of the phonograph, to speak at the Johnson Victrola Museum

Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

Visitors will have a unique opportunity to learn about the volatile, behind-the-scenes events that culminated in the creation of the recorded-music industry during the program “Pioneers in the Music Industry: Emile Berliner” that will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, Del. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Oliver Berliner upon accepting his grandfather’s 2nd Grammy Award, January 2014. Photo courtesy NARAS. Berliner will speak at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Oct. 4, 2014.

Oliver Berliner upon accepting his grandfather’s 2nd Grammy Award, January 2014. Photo courtesy NARAS. Berliner will speak at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Oct. 4, 2014.

Oliver Berliner, Emile Berliner’s only descendent who has worked in the music business, will make a rare appearance as guest speaker for the program which honors his grandfather, inventor of the microphone and the disc-record player, which he named the gramophone, but which Americans call the phonograph. Emile Berliner is the recipient of two Grammy Awards: a Trustees Award in 1987 and a Technical Award in 2014.

Emile Berliner

Emile Berliner

Like his grandfather, Oliver’s interests are in both engineering and artistic endeavors. He holds two patents; has created broadcast products that were mass-produced by Panasonic, Electrohome, Leader Instruments and Hitachi; has authored two books; and has published over 200 articles on music, audio and video.

He is also a leading publisher of Cuban music, controlling among other hits, the world’s two most famous “chachachas” which have appeared in countless television shows, movies, radio and television commercials. During his Johnson Victrola Museum talk, Berliner will reveal music business secrets for which even historians and scholars are unaware.

Early version of a Berliner flat-disk, sound-reproduction machine.

Early version of a Berliner flat-disk, sound-reproduction machine.

 


“Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad” at the New Castle Court House Museum

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

The New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., is currently featuring “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad,” an exhibit that chronicles the compelling story of Emeline Hawkins and her family, and their 1845 odyssey on the Underground Railroad from slavery in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. The exhibit shines a spotlight on the roles played by noted Delawareans of the Underground Railroad including “conductor” Samuel Burris, who led the Hawkins family out of Maryland into Delaware; and “stationmasters” Thomas Garrett and John Hunn, who sheltered the family and aided their escape into Pennsylvania. The exhibit also examines the famous federal trial at the New Castle Court House in 1848 which resulted in the conviction of Hunn and Garrett on charges of violating the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.

Section of the exhibit "Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad."

Section of the exhibit “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad.”

Between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2014, operating hours at the New Castle Court House Museum are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. At other times, the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Division to offer 10 free programs during October 2014

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of October 2014, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 10 special programs at the state of Delaware’s 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.

Cast of “The Trial of William Penn.” The historical-theatre production will be presented at the New Castle Court House Museum on Oct. 25, 2014.

Cast of “The Trial of William Penn.” The historical-theatre production will be presented at the New Castle Court House Museum on Oct. 25, 2014.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, will present “William Penn Day,” a day-long series of activities commemorating Penn’s Oct. 27, 1682 disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Activities will include a re-enactment of the Livery of Seizen ritual in which Penn received possession of New Castle and a 12-mile circle of land surrounding it; “Tea With Mrs. Penn”; a performance by De Blokfluiters recorder/flute ensemble; and “The Trial of William Penn,” a historical play exploring Penn’s trial on religious freedom and the rights of English subjects under the law.

On Saturday, Oct. 4 at 2:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St.in Dover, will present “Pioneers in the Music Industry: Emile Berliner,” a program featuring Oliver Berliner, grandson of inventor Emile Berliner, who will discuss his grandfather’s life, his inventions (including the gramophone) and his major contributions to society.

Emile Berliner, inventor of the disk-record gramophone. Oliver Berliner will be speaking about his grandfather at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Oct. 4, 2014.

Emile Berliner, inventor of the disk-record gramophone. Oliver Berliner will be speaking about his grandfather at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Oct. 4, 2014.

Finally, on Saturday, Oct. 11, between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will be alive with music, food, hands-on activities and entertainment during the program “A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation.”Featured performers will be theSwordmasters who will be demonstrating Colonial muskets and rifles, and giving fencing presentations.

Hearth cooking and other Colonial-era activities will be explored in the “Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation” program on Oct. 11, 2014.

Hearth cooking and other Colonial-era activities will be explored in the “Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation” program on Oct. 11, 2014.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the six museums of the State of Delaware—the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.

Special events, October 2014
Note: Recent program changes are highlighted in yellow.

Saturday, Oct. 4 2014
“The Declaration of Independence.” Guided tours focus on the document in which the newly born United States declared its independence from Great Britain, and the Delaware signers who made this one of the most important documents in American history. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 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 3:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055. Note change in program time.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
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 Noon–5 p.m. at the New Castle Court House Museum and The Green in New Castle will feature music, rides, attractions, games, tours, vendors, craft beers, food and drink. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
“His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak.” Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast festival, the event will feature a day-long slate of maritime-history and -archaeology activities including block-and-tackle demonstrations and a 2 p.m. presentation on the DeBraak shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
“Pioneers in the Music Industry: Emile Berliner.” Guided tours explore the first pioneers in the music industry including the inventors of talking machines as well as early recording artists. Oliver Berliner, grandson of inventor Emile Berliner, will discuss his grandfather’s life, his inventions (including the gramophone) and his major contributions to society.First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 2:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055. Note change in program description and time.

Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014
“A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation.” Visitors of all ages will enjoy a day of music, food, entertainment and hands-on activities from Colonial trades to hearth cooking in the 18th-century setting of the home of the “Penman of the Revolution.” The featured performers will be the Swordmasters demonstrating Colonial muskets and rifles, and giving fencing demonstrations. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277. Note program addition.

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
“Lantern Tours of the Plantation.” Programs explore the parties, games, dances and entertainment that would have abounded at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will also include wagon-ride guided-tours conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Programs 6–7 p.m. and 7:30–8:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
William Penn Day. Series of programs commemorating the 332nd anniversary of Penn’s disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Activities at the New Castle Court House and The Green include a re-enactment of the Livery of Seizen ritual in which Penn received possession of New Castle and a 12-mile circle of land surrounding it; “Tea With Mrs. Penn”; a performance by De Blokfluiters recorder/flute ensemble; “The Trial of William Penn,” a historical play exploring Penn’s trial on religious freedom and the rights of English subjects under the law; and an evening concert of Baroque music by the Immanuel Bach Consort by the University of Delaware Baroque Chamber Ensemble. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. 302-323-4453. Note programming change.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
“An 18th-Century Sweet Tooth.” Hands-on workshop in which visitors can learn how to create 18th-century sweets and goodies. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
“Mysteries of History.” Walking tour explores the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Tour leaves from the museum at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.