Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

Division to sponsor 10 special events during May 2015

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of May 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 10 special programs at sites across the state. Except where noted, programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow conducting a hearth-cooking demonstration at the John Dickinson Plantation. Hearth cooking will be featured during the May 2, 2015 program, “Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation.”

Historic-site interpreter Barbara Carrow conducting a hearth-cooking demonstration at the John Dickinson Plantation. Hearth cooking will be featured during the May 2, 2015 program, “Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation.”

Highlights of the month include the 82nd Annual Dover Days Festival on May 1 to 3 which will feature several division-sponsored programs commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War including historical theater, music and a display. Meanwhile, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will celebrate the festival from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 with colonial games, hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes and special tours.

The adventure, romance, excitement and hardships experienced by 18th- and 19th-century seafarers will be brought to life at the fourth annual Zwaanendael Maritime Festival: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” that will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes. The festival will provide opportunities for adults as well as children to experience the everyday lives of sailors by scrubbing the deck, learning about shipboard food, playing “Crown and Anchor” and other Colonial-period games, exploring a vessel’s cargo and the merchants who shipped it, and serving on a block-and-tackle station where visitors will be drilled by a demanding mariner looking for new crew members.

Historic-site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, will be demonstrating shipboard life at the Zwaanendael Maritime Festival on May 23, 2015.

Historic-site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, will be demonstrating shipboard life at the Zwaanendael Maritime Festival on May 23, 2015.

Finally, on Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, will host “The Early Colonial Delaware Valley—An Archaeological and Historical Symposium.” Now in its eighth year, the symposium is dedicated to building a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the cultures that existed in the Delaware Valley during the early period of European colonization.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, May 2015

Saturday, May 2, 2015
“Sounds of War: Patriotic Music.” Guided tours examine music’s influence during America’s wars when patriotic songs were composed throughout the nation. Hear music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines that was popularized during the Civil War and later recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company. Part of the Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation. Activities include tours, Colonial games and hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes. Part of the Dover Days Festival. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Fried Okra: Civil War Era Music.” Performance by Rick Hudson and Friends. Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
“Two Civil War Soldiers.” Historical play about two Confederate soldiers captured at the battle of Gettysburg and subsequently imprisoned at Fort Delaware. Part of the Dover Days Festival. Dover Century Club, 40 The Green, Dover. 1 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Eighth 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.

Saturday, May 9, 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, May 16, 2015
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. Downtown New Castle. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission free at the New Castle Court House Museum. Admission charge at other venues. 302-322-5774.

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Fourth Annual Zwaanendael Maritime Festival: “A Sailor’s Life for Me.” Maritime-themed activities, games, displays by local organizations and more. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Monday, May 25, 2015
“Victor’s Music of Summer.” Jump into summer with hit songs from the past played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Stories of Freedom and Courage.” 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.

Schedule released for 2015 tours of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During 2015, 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. The lecture/tours program was a 2014 recipient of a Leadership in History Award, the American Association for State and Local History’s most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

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

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

Lecture/tours, limited to 12 visitors per program, will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the following Mondays during 2015: June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; July 6, 13, 20 and 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17 and 31; and Sept. 14, 21 and 28. Note: Tours will not be conducted on Sept. 7. Nonrefundable reservations for the lecture/tours are $10 per person.

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. Attendees of the lecture will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull. Reservations for the DeBraak lecture/tours (restricted to persons aged 10 and above) are available through the Shop Delaware website. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull which can be seen in the left of the photo.

Visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull which can be seen in the left of the photo.

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 Great Britain was the world’s preeminent naval power.

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.

Division museums closed on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

-John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House and Zwaanendael Museum also closed on Good Friday, April 3, 2015-

The six state museums administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs—the New Castle Court House Museum, the Johnson Victrola Museum, The Old State House, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, the John Dickinson Plantation and the Zwaanendael Museum—will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015. The John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House and Zwaanendael Museum will also be closed for the state holiday on Good Friday, April 3, 2015. The state’s museums located in downtown Dover—the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House and the Johnson Victrola Museum—will be open during their regularly scheduled hours on Friday, April 3, 2015. All six of the museums will be open during their regularly scheduled hours on Saturday, April 4, 2015.

Senate chamber in The Old State House. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

Senate chamber in The Old State House. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

“Bells Across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox” on April 9, 2015

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

For the past four years, the National Park Service and many other organizations and individuals have been commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and the continuing efforts for human rights today. On April 9, 1865, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to set the terms of surrender of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Bell tower at Dover’s Old State House. The site’s bell will ring at 3:15 p.m. on April 9, 2015 in commemoration of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865.

Bell tower at Dover’s Old State House. The site’s bell will ring at 3:15 p.m. on April 9, 2015 in commemoration of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865.

In conjunction with a major event at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia, the National Park Service and its partners invite communities across the nation to join in this commemoration. The bells will ring first at Appomattox at 3 p.m. on April 9, 2015. The ringing will coincide with the moment the historic meeting between Grant and Lee in the McLean House at Appomattox Court House ended. While Lee’s surrender did not end the Civil War, the act is seen by most Americans as the symbolic end of four years of bloodshed.

After the ringing at Appomattox, bells will reverberate across the country. The First State National Historical Park; in collaboration with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, First State Heritage Park, Lewes Historical Society and the Old Swedes Foundation; is orchestrating bell-ringing at sites across Delaware.

Houses of worship, schools, city halls, public buildings, historic sites and others are invited to join in the commemoration by ringing their bells at precisely 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Bells should continue ringing for four minutes (each minute symbolic of a year of war).

The end of the Civil War has different meanings for different people. Each organization may customize this idea to its own situation. Participants are asked to ring bells across the nation as a gesture to mark the end of the bloody conflict in which more than 750,000 Americans perished. Some communities may ring their bells in celebration of freedom or a restored Union, others as an expression of mourning and a moment of silence for the fallen. Sites may ring bells to mark the beginning of reconciliation and reconstruction or as the next step in the continuing struggle for civil rights.

Organizations that are interested in participating in the commemoration should contact Jim Yurasek of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs at 302-736-7413 or jim.yurasek@state.de.us; Sarah Zimmerman of the First State Heritage Park at 302-739-9194 or Sarah.Zimmerman@state.de.us; or Jenny Manning of the Lewes Historical Society at 302-645-7670 or jenny@historiclewes.org.

Thus far, the following Delaware organizations have agreed to ring their bells at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015: Dover Presbyterian and Wesley United Methodist churches, John Bell House (hand bell), Kent County Courthouse, Legislative Mall’s Liberty Bell and The Old State House in Dover; Bethel Methodist, Lewes Presbyterian and St. Peter’s Episcopal churches in Lewes; Immanuel Episcopal and New Castle United Methodist churches and the New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle; Old Swedes Church in Wilmington; and the Wyoming United Methodist Church in Wyoming.

Curriculum materials regarding the Civil War and the surrender at Appomattox are available for schools by contacting Ethan McKinley of the First State National Historical Park at 302-544-6363 or Ethan_McKinley@nps.gov.

Participants are also invited to help write the history of this event by tweeting their observations at #BellsAcrosstheLand2015. Stories will be compiled in one place to see how each one helps build this national story.

Division to begin improvements to state-owned historic properties in New Castle

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

Beginning in late-March, 2015, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be conducting a series of capital improvements at several state-owned historic properties that it administers in downtown New Castle, Del. These improvements, which are scheduled to take place through the end of 2015, represent a $350,000 public investment in the historic city on the Delaware River that serves as the home of one of the state of Delaware’s six museums, as well as the headquarters of the First State National Historical Park.

Aerial view of the New Castle Green. Located on this town commons are the New Castle Court House Museum (foreground), followed counterclockwise by the Arsenal, Immanuel Episcopal Church and the Academy. Photo by Bruce Burk.

Aerial view of the New Castle Green. Located on this town commons are the New Castle Court House Museum (foreground), followed counterclockwise by the Arsenal, Immanuel Episcopal Church and the Academy. Photo by Bruce Burk.

 

Improvements will include roof replacement at the New Castle Court House Museum, renovation of the Arsenal’s south entry-door and first-floor restroom, rebuilding of a deteriorating brick garden-wall at the Academy and stabilization of the Green’s pedestrian pathways.

New Castle residents and visitors may experience some inconveniences during the time that improvements are taking place including temporary restrictions on pedestrian access; and the presence of building equipment, materials and barriers. In particular, roofing materials that will be utilized at the New Castle Court House will be temporarily placed along the curb near the Sheriff’s House located at 10 Market St. This placement, approved by the City of New Castle, will provide workers with ready access to the supplies and equipment that they need to expedite the repair process. With this and all of the other components of the 2015 New Castle Campus Improvement Plan, division staff, project consultants and contractors will make every effort to keep disruptions to a minimum and to facilitate the timely completion of improvements that will make historic New Castle a better place to live and visit.

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ 2015 New Castle Campus Improvement Plan includes projects at the following locations:

  • The New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St.
    Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House served as Delaware’s first court and state capitol. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. Operated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museum features tours and exhibits that illustrate Delaware’s unique boundaries, law and government and the Underground Railroad.Scheduled improvements include removal of the court house’s deteriorated terra-cotta roofing system; installation of a new terra-cotta roofing system and flashings; new coating on the west-wing metal roof; renovations to the cupola metal-roof and weathervane; replacement of balustrade wood-components where needed; and associated repairs.
New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

  • The Arsenal, 30 Market St.
    The Arsenal was originally constructed in 1809 as a one-story windowless building used by the United States government as a storage place for weapons and ammunition. Transferred to the Trustees of the New Castle Common in the mid-1800s, the building was enlarged to two stories in 1855 for use as a school. It served as the New Castle High School until 1930 and was later used for offices and a restaurant. The building is currently leased to the New Castle Historical Society which utilizes it for office space and as a venue for events. Scheduled improvements include renovation of the building’s south entry-door and first-floor restroom to meet current accessibility standards.
The Arsenal

The Arsenal

  • New Castle Academy, 31 E. Third St.
    The New Castle Academy was built in 1799 according to a design by Peter Crowding, a Philadelphia master builder. It served as a public school until 1930 when the New Castle High School was built. The building is currently leased to Immanuel Episcopal Church which utilizes it for many church-related and community activities. Scheduled improvements include rebuilding of the deteriorating brick garden-wall along the Third Street side of the building.
New Castle Academy

New Castle Academy

  • New Castle Green
    The New Castle Green was laid out by the Dutch in 1655. Several of New Castle’s most important buildings surround this town commons including The New Castle Court House Museum, the Sheriff’s House, the Arsenal, Immanuel Episcopal Church and the Academy. Scheduled improvements include stabilization of sections of the Green’s pedestrian pathways where the grading has deteriorated.
New Castle Green

New Castle Green

 

Division offering 20 special events during April 2015

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of April 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 20 special programs at sites across the state. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

“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 three programs at the Zwaanendael Museum during April 2015.

“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 three programs at the Zwaanendael Museum during April 2015.

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 three programs that will take place at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes.

From Thursday to Saturday, April 9 to 11, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Celebration, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots. On Saturday, April 18, 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 25, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Other April highlights include living-history performances in which actors from the American Historical Theatre portray President Abraham Lincoln at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 and author Louisa May Alcott at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. Both performances will be held in The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray President Abraham Lincoln on April 26, 2015.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray President Abraham Lincoln on April 26, 2015.

Finally, on Wednesday, April 22, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation in which visitors will have an opportunity to explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution,” enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and create a scented sachet. Special events, April 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015
“Play That Old-Time Country Music.” Musical program on Victor Records’ early recordings of country music, accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. 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 4, 2015
“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 4, 2014
“Delaware Poetry: JoAnn Balingit, Poet Laureate of Delaware.” In celebration of National Poetry Month, Delaware’s poet laureate will discuss her passion and read some of her poetry. The program will also feature poets Lucian Mattison and Linda Blaskey and a panel discussion entitled “Poetry: The Language of Home.”  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.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
“Bells Across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox.” Bells across Delaware including the New Castle Court House Museum and Dover’s Old State House will ring in commemoration of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865. 3:15 p.m. 302-544-6363 or 215-341-0032.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
“Sharing Delaware History: The Exploits of Allen McLane.” Living-history theatrical performance by museum historical-interpreter Tom Welch portraying Delaware’s Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane who will discuss his many intelligence-gathering activities during the conflict. 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 9–11, 2015
Lewes Tulip Celebration. 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. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-8073.

Friday–Saturday, April 10–11, 2015
Wildcat Prowl in Lewes. Explore one of America’s oldest towns including programs at the Zwaanendael Museum and tours of the DeBraak hull. Sponsored by the Wilmington University Alumni Association. Downtown Lewes.  Admission fee. 302-295-1174.

Saturday, April 11, 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
“The Doctor Is In.” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Dennis Fisher exploring the life and times of Dr. James Sykes, an 18th to 19th-century Dover physician and statesman who served as Delaware’s governor for a short period. 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 17, 2015
‘Over There’: How Victor’s Musical Industry Influenced the Nation During World War I.” Two-part program begins with a lecture on the contributions of the Victor Talking Machine Company to the war effort to be presented at the Dover Public Library, followed by a presentation at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Victor’s World War I era recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Partnership between the library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Program begins at 7 p.m. at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Event features a program at 2 p.m. on bicycling in the Netherlands and Delaware. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 18, 2014
“The Spring Storm: A Celebration of  Spoken Word.” National Poetry Month program featuring Delaware’s own Spoken-Word artists—Amillion the Poet, SuiteFranchon, Gemele and the Twin Poets; plus a special presentation by Hannah Sturgis, Delaware’s winner of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud contest. The Spoken-Word genre utilizes performance-based poetry focusing on the aesthetics of word play and story-telling. Partnership between the divisions of the Arts, and Historical and Cultural Affairs. 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 18, 2015
“The Story of Dinah.” Program explores the life and craft of Dinah Patten, an accomplished spinner and enslaved person owned by the John Dickinson family. A hands-on activity will accompany the program in which the audience learns how to prepare wool for spinning. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 2 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
“Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution,” enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and create a scented sachet. 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
“Women’s Words: Delaware’s Civil War Diarists.” Lecture brings to life the Civil-War-era diaries of Delawareans Elizabeth Dorsey and Anna Ferris. 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 25, 2015
King’s Day. Celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a program that will also explore royal titles and Delaware’s Dutch connection. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Sunday, April 26, 2014
“Abraham Lincoln.” Living-history performance in which Robert Gleason of the American Historical Theatre portrays President Abraham Lincoln. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 12:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
“Freemasons in the Civil War.” Presentation by David Price, a 32nd-degree Freemason, on the participation of the fraternity’s members in the battles of  First Manassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox; as well as a story about Col. John Singleton Mosby and the draft lottery of 1864. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
“Governor Ross of Delaware: Southern Sympathizer.” Claudia Leister, director of the Milford Museum will discuss the events and attitudes of the 19th-century Delaware governor. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7 p.m.  302-744-5055.

Thursday, April 30, 2014
“Louisa May Alcott.” Living-history performance in which Pat Jordan of the American Historical Theatre portrays the American novelist Louisa May Alcott, best known for her book “Little Women.” Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Pat Jordan of the American Historical Theatre will portray novelist Louisa May Alcott on April 30, 2015.

Pat Jordan of the American Historical Theatre will portray novelist Louisa May Alcott on April 30, 2015.

Current division-sponsored displays

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

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

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

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

Following is information on “Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow,” a display that will open at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on April 21, 2015, plus a listing of all division-sponsored displays that are currently on-view at sites across Delaware:

  •  Opening April 21, 2015
     “Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow”
    The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055.

Utilizing graphics, clothing and memorabilia from the collections of the state of Delaware, the display will explore how Delawareans expressed their deep sorrow upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1865. The display opens on April 21, 2015 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the funeral train’s departure from Washington, D.C. for the burial of the president in Springfield, Ill.

  • Thru April 14, 2015
    “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance”
    Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. Free admission. 302-645-1148.

Display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter 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.

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.

  •  Thru April 19, 2015
    “Simple Pleasures: Play and Dance”
    The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055.

Display of original Edwardian and roaring-20s fall and winter 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.

  •  Ongoing
    Sculpture by Charles Parks
    New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

The display features depictions of noted historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. The works compliment the familiar statue of William Penn, also created by Parks, which stands in front of the Arsenal building on Market Street in New Castle.

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.

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.

  • Ongoing
    “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis”
    Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit. Free admission.

On view over the course of a year, the display will be presented in three succeeding segments, each featuring a different selection of images from The William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection. The Willis collection includes more than 600 photographs taken by the Dover, Del. native during military service in Western Europe between 1943 and 1945 including images of crash scenes and battle-damaged military aircraft, photos of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and aerial views of villages in Normandy, France. Willis also photographed the daily procedures of base life as well as United Service Organizations (USO) shows featuring celebrities such as Jack Benny and Ingrid Bergman and a concert by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. This large photographic collection, of which only approximately 20 images will be featured in each segment of the display, surfaced after Willis’ death and was brought to the division’s attention which accepted it into the permanent collections of the state of Delaware in 2012.

William D. Willis photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

William D. Willis photograph of two P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

William D. Willis was born on June 14, 1919 in Dover, Del. After graduating from Dover High School in 1939, he worked as a mechanic in an automobile-repair shop in his home town. On May 16, 1941, he entered active duty in the U.S. Army where he received training in Army Air Forces motor mechanics at Fort Devens, Mass. Pfc. Willis served as a mechanic for a year after completing his training and was then transferred to the position of photographic technician with the 9th Photo Technician Unit, taking and developing pictures and handling various phases of laboratory work pertaining to negative processing. He departed for the European Theater of Operations on Aug. 9, 1943 and served there until Sept. 26, 1945. For most of his service, he was attached to the 20th Fighter Group at Kings Cliffe, England.

 

National Women’s History Month events among 13 special programs sponsored by the division during March 2015

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of March 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 13 special programs at sites across the state. Eight of these programs will be presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month. A full schedule of events is listed below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

The achievements of Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws will be explored in the program “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community” on March 26, 2015.

The achievements of Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws will be explored in the program “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community” on March 26, 2015.

Highlights of the month include “Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community,” a History Coffee-Hour lecture in which Dr. Cherritta Mathews discusses the impact of her mother, Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws, an educator and former vice president of Delaware Technical Community College. Matthews herself went on to become one of the first students to end segregation at Dover High School in 1954. The program will take place on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

Throughout the month, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present “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 7, 21 and 28.

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.

Finally, on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, will present “Louise du Pont Crowninshield—Historic Preservation Pioneer” a presentation by Kim Burdick, advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on the life of the well-known preservationist and sister of Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur. Crowninshield helped lay the groundwork for what would become America’s historic-preservation movement, and her efforts helped preserve the historic town of New Castle.

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 2015, the theme is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

Special events, March 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“The Women Who Influenced Victor.” Women’s History Month 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. 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, March 7, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore cloth production and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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 7, 2015
“War of the Roses: The Suffragist Movement in Delaware.” Women’s History Month living-history theater presentation explores Delaware women who were instrumental in the national suffrage movement. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 1 and 3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“The Minstrel Boy.” Introductory talk by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters on the life of the noted Irish tenor John McCormack, accompanied by recordings by the artist played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, followed by the headline program: “Irish Heritage Celebration—Tenor Matt Macis.” Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 S. State St., Dover. “Minstrel Boy” at 7 p.m. followed by Matt Macis. Admission charge. 302-678-5152.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
“Louise du Pont Crowninshield—Historic Preservation Pioneer.” Presentation by Kim Burdick, advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, explores the life of the well-known preservationist and sister of Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur. Crowninshield helped lay the groundwork for what would become America’s historic-preservation movement, and her efforts helped preserve the historic town of New Castle. Women’s History Month program. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, March 14, 2015
“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 14, 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, March 14, 2015
Delaware’s Decades—the 2000s. Lecture by Bill Ayrey, lab manager and company historian from ILC Dover, who will discuss the future of space travel and space suits from the early 2000s to the present. Eighth and final installment of a 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 March 13, 2015.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Concert by Celtic Harvest. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 21, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Experience the art of water coloring, view family drawings and paint your own watercolor creation while learning how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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 25, 2015
“History Goes Hollywood: ‘The Women.’ ” Screening of the 1939 film about the lives and power struggles of various wealthy Manhattan socialites, based on the play by Clare Boothe Luce. Program features a short discussion of Luce’s life and accomplishments before the screening. Women’s History Month program. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
“Outstanding Women of Kent County: A Mother’s Legacy and a Daughter’s Contributions to Community.” Women’s History Month program in which Dr. Cherritta Mathews discusses the impact of her mother, Dr. Ruth Mitchell Laws, an educator and former vice president of Delaware Technical Community College. Matthews herself went on to become one of the first students to end segregation at Dover High School in 1954. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore the art of paper quilling and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” Women’s History Month program. 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.

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

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 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 9, 2015 at the New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, Del.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Now in its eighth year, the symposium is dedicated to building a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the cultures that existed in the Delaware Valley during the early period of European colonization. Persons interested in making a presentation at the symposium should submit an abstract no later than April 24, 2015. 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.

African American History Month programs among 18 special events sponsored by the division during February 2015

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of February 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 18 special events at sites across the state. Twelve of these events will be presented in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the black community has made to the culture and history of the United States. Unless otherwise indicated, events are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Dr. Gregory Scott will speak at The Old State House on Feb. 7 and 28, 2015.

Dr. Gregory Scott will speak at The Old State House on Feb. 7 and 28, 2015.

Highlights of the month include “Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Roots of an African-American Family and Community—Star-Hill and the Gibbs Family Legacy,’ ” a lecture by former Delaware State University professor Dr. Gregory Scott about his research on the previously unknown history of Star-Hill, a black community in Kent County that began in the 1880s. The program will also feature former state Rep. Donald Blakey reading original poetry by Solomon Gibbs, a former resident and leader of Star-Hill. The program will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

On Saturdays, Feb. 7, 21 and 28, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will offer special tours exploring the lives of African-Americans who lived in slavery and servitude at the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.”

Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 21, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present “Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller,’ ” guided tours that focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by Waller’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. At 1 p.m., there will be a lecture on Waller in which several of the musician’s descendents will be in attendance.

“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller’ ” will take place at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 21, 2015.

“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller’ ” will take place at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 21, 2015.

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

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015
Concert by Bruce Anthony. Jazz guitarist. 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, Feb. 7, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Paul Robeson’s Family Ties and Contributions.’ ” African American History Month tours focus on the biography and family of bass vocalist Paul Robeson, and his achievements and political views as they pertain to his struggle as a 20th-century black artist. The program will feature Robeson’s 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.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’ ” African American History Month program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people 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.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015
“A World Apart.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about Dinah and her family and their journey from enslavement to freedom. 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, Feb. 7, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Roots of an African-American Family and Community—Star-Hill and the Gibbs Family Legacy.’ ” Lecture by Dr. Gregory Scott about his research on the previously unknown history of Star-Hill, an African-American community in Kent County that began in the 1880s. The program will also feature former state Rep. Donald Blakey reading original poetry by Solomon Gibbs, a former resident and leader of Star-Hill. 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, Feb. 14, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 2 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“John Dickinson’s 207th Remembrance Day.” Program commemorating the death of John Dickinson explores 18th century mourning practices including a letter written in Dickinson’s memory by then President Thomas Jefferson. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Wreath laying ceremony at Samuel Dickinson’s gravesite at Noon. Program 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Finding African-American Families in Kent County—1830–1860.’ ” Presentation by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historians Madeline Dunn and Beverly Laing on their recent research that identified the  names of, and cultural resources associated with, African Americans who resided in Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Del., between 1837 and 1860. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Inclement weather date: March 14, 2015. Due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5055. Note: Reservations are no longer required.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 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, Feb. 14, 2015
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1990s.” Program description TBA. Don Voltz, executive director of the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame, will discuss the planning and creation of the museum and its inductees. Part seven 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 Feb. 2 13, 2015. Note updated program information.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
McLane and Washington.” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Tom Welch exploring the relationship between General George Washington and Col. Allen McLane, the Revolutionary War hero from Duck Creek (Smyrna, Del.). Partnership between the division and the Dover Public Library. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 7 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’ ” African American History Month program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. 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.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Stories of Runaway Slaves.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about three runaway slaves and how they escaped from St. Jones Neck. 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, Feb. 21, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller.’ ” African American History Month tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by Waller’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller.’ ” African American History Month tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by Waller’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Lecture on Waller at 1 p.m. in which several of the musician’s descendants will be in attendance.  Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5055. Note additional program and starting time.

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
A Taste of Buena Vista.” Tour one of Delaware’s most historic houses and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and coffee accompanied by harp music. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 6–9 p.m. Admission $5 in advance by reservation through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click the “events” link). 302-323-4430.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’ ” African American History Month program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. 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.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
“A World Apart.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about Violet Brown and read her recollections. 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, Feb. 28, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The African-American Family in Slavery and Freedom—A Celebration of Love.’ ” Lecture by Dr. Gregory Scott on Herbert Gutman’s book The Black Family In Slavery and Freedom: 1750–1925.” 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.