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  Archived Posts From: 2013


New Strategic Plan Presented to Division Staff at End-of-the-year Success Event

Written on: December 20th, 2013 in News

During an end-of-the-year success event for Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs staff, volunteers and partners that was held on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, division director Tim Slavin and members of the strategic-planning committee gave an overview of the division’s new strategic plan for fiscal years 2015 to 2019. The plan will be released to the public in January 2014.

Presentation of the strategic plan to members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ staff.

Presentation of the strategic plan to members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ staff.

During the presentation, committee members discussed the five new goals that were developed during the planning process—improving access, innovative learning, engaging audiences, enhancing preservation and achieving excellence. At the conclusion of the presentation, division staff members were invited to sign a Pledge of Excellence that stated:

“The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs pledges that, in fulfillment of our educational mission, we will strive to operate according to national standards and best practices to the best of our abilities and in accordance with our resources.”

Historic-site interpreter Melissa Fitzgerald signing the Pledge of Excellence.

Historic-site interpreter Melissa Fitzgerald signing the Pledge of Excellence.

After the strategic plan overview, Slavin and Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock presented service awards to staff and volunteers; and recognized division partners, friends and new staff members and volunteers who had joined the division in the past year.

Staff service-awards were presented to Susan Emory for 30+ years of service; Kay Powell for 25+ years; Jeanne DeLacy, Dottie Harper and Lynn Riley for 20+ years; Carol Cutbill, Jackie Collins and Bridget Warner for 15+years; Joan Foster, Craig Lukezic, Eleanor Matthews, Chris Merrill, Thomas Pulmano, Sarah Shorey and Robert Vander Decker for 10+ years; and Richard Bazelow, Barbara Carrow, Jennifer Dunham, Dennis Fisher, Gavin Malone, Sharyn Murray, Alan Roth, Martha Wagner and Thomas Welch for 5+ years.

Volunteer service-awards were presented to David Brown, Howard Fulcher and Arnold Leftwich for 400+ hours of service; James Schilling and Charolenne Shehorn for 300+ hours; and David Perlmutter for 200+ hours.

Division partners and friends who were recognized were Deloris Hayes Arrington of the Delaware Department of State; Danielle Campagnini and Sarah Zimmerman of the First State Heritage Park; Joe Caputo and Curt Stickel, former historic-site interpreters for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs; Dennis Groom of the Office of Management and Budget; Dave Matsen of the Middletown Historical Society; Russ Smith of the First State National Monument and Phil Proud who farms the agricultural lands at Buena Vista.

New employees who were recognized were Ryan Cardwell, Jody Dengler, Anthony Doughten, Melissa Fitzgerald, Kevin Garner, Courtney Lynahan, Eleanor Siyon, Larry Williams and Stacye Williamson. New volunteers who were recognized were Joanne Anzalone, Joyce Bordley, Gilda Bynum, Roshonna Cannon, Jennifer Child, Rachel Despins, Pat Dura, Mike Emmons, Tara Finney, Keisha Gonzalez, Brian Hankin, Laura Herbin, Ese Jessa, Janet Lockyer, Betsy Martino, Catherine Maye, Krystal McGinnis, Candice Myruski, Meyartha Perry, Shawn Sheppard and Larry Watkins.

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Division Director Tim Slavin Credentialed As a Leed Green Associate by the U. S. Green Building Council

Written on: December 18th, 2013 in NewsPreservation

Timothy A. Slavin, director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and state historic preservation officer, has recently been credentialed as a LEED Green Associate by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

Timothy A. Slavin

Timothy A. Slavin

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is a certification program that provides guidance in the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings, homes and communities across the world. A LEED Green Associate must demonstrate a thorough understanding of green-building principles and practices, including the selection of sustainable sites, achieving greater water efficiency, addressing energy and atmosphere issues, using renewable materials and resources and maintaining indoor environmental quality. According to the US Green Building Council, Slavin is now one of 42 LEED professionals in Delaware.

LEED Green Associate logo

Slavin has served as division director and state historic preservation officer since 2005. His responsibilities include, among others, the maintenance and management of six museums and more than 40 state-owned historic properties across Delaware.


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12th Annual Delaware Day Competition Winners Announced

Written on: December 17th, 2013 in EducationNews

In a recognition ceremony held at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover on Dec. 7, 2013, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Rick Geisenberger presented awards celebrating the work of 1,164 students from 22 schools across the state who took part in the 2013 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition. Over the past 12 years, more than 9,000 students have participated in the program. Delaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787.

Examples of Student Responses to Questions from the 12th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition.

Examples of student responses to questions from the 12th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition.

Sponsored annually by Delaware’s secretary of state, the competition encourages students to study the Constitution and to discover Delaware’s role in its writing and ratification. The students’ observations are presented in a four-panel display format that incorporates prose, poetry, artwork, songs and political cartoons. Each display is reviewed for factual accuracy, spelling and creativity.

The theme for the 2013 competition was the ratification process as outlined in Article VII as well as a commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the nation’s adoption of the Constitution. That event occurred on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish the Constitution as the law of the land.

Each of the competition’s winning schools was recognized with a Signer’s Award named for one of Delaware’s five signatories of the U.S. Constitution. The Signer’s Awards for the 2013 competition are the George Read Award (tie) to the William C. Lewis Elementary School and Jill Szymanski’s class at Brandywine Springs Elementary School; the Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award (tie) to Brader and Gallaher elementary schools; the Jacob Broom Award to the Learning Express Academy; the John Dickinson Award to Booker T. Washington Elementary School and the Richard Bassett Award to Blades Elementary School.

Honorable-mention awards were presented to Brandywine Springs, Bunker Hill, East Dover, Jennie Smith, Leasure, Lord Baltimore, Mount Pleasant, North Dover, North Star, Oberle, Sunnyside and Wilson elementary schools; Caravel Academy; Christ the Teacher Catholic School; St. Edmond’s Academy and St. John’s Lutheran School.

The 2013 Delaware Day Student Competition was planned and organized by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Curator of Education Madeline Dunn in tandem with Tammy Stock, chief community relations coordinator, and Desiree Williams, administrative specialist, for the Department of State. Division-staff participation in the competition included service as judges of the student-developed projects, development of awards certificates and printed materials, set-up of the awards-program location and staffing at the event.

Go to the following for a Flickr photo set about the 12th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition Awards Ceremony. Go to the following for information about Delaware’s signers of the U.S. Constitution and a Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings associated with the signers.


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$1 Million in Grants to Be Available for Delaware Historic Properties Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Written on: December 12th, 2013 in NewsPreservation

On Dec. 4, 2013, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs received notification from the National Park Service that the state had been awarded $1 million in federal funds to be re-granted to Delaware historic properties that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The grant-application process will be administered by the division’s State Historic Preservation Office.

Hurricane Sandy satellite image

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast of the United States.

Guidelines and application forms for Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties will be posted on this website in early 2014 after program details are finalized with the National Park Service. Until that time, call the division office at 302-736-7400 for more information.

To be eligible for funding, a storm-damaged property must be: listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places; owned by private individuals or organizations (excepting religious entities), local governments or the state; and have documented damage that resulted from the effects of the storm. Repair work funded by the grants must also be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and in compliance with a number of other state and federal regulations. Already-completed projects may be eligible for funding if they meet applicable regulations.

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties are funded under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, a $50.7 billion package of disaster assistance largely focused on responding to the effects of the destructive storm that struck the East Coast of the United States in late October 2012. Hurricane Sandy prompted major disaster declarations in the District of Columbia and 12 states, including Delaware. As part of the act, Congress appropriated $50 million to cover the costs of preserving and/or rehabilitating historic properties damaged by the storm.

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Delaware’s Indian River Life-saving Station

Written on: December 4th, 2013 in EducationHistoric SitesMuseums

By: Katie Goerger, Historical Interpreter
Indian River Life-Saving Station
Delaware Seashore State Park

The Indian River Life-Saving Station is one of Delmarva’s relatively unknown gems. Situated along the coastline of southern Delaware between the Rehoboth Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, many recognize it as the hub for programs and events at Delaware Seashore State Park. This oddly-colored building, however, preserves a unique history that has slowly been forgotten over the years.

Irlss Station


In the mid to late 19th century, devastating shipwrecks along American coastlines were an all too common occurrence. Shoals hidden just beneath the water’s surface caused vessels to run aground, losing cargo to the waves and drowning mariners within sight of dry land. By 1871, in response to public outcry, the government finally intervened.

Historic Pic- Origin Unkown

Over the next few years, the first United States Life-Saving stations were built and manned by full-time crews known as “surfmen”. The men who joined the service left their comfortable lives at home to join a life where they would train by day and patrol the beaches by night, performing daring rescues in overwhelming conditions. The service was a complete success, lasting for 44 years until President Woodrow Wilson merged it with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard in 1915.

Keeper's Bedroom

Built in in 1876, the Indian River Life-Saving Station protected mariners along the coastlines from as far south as Bethany Beach and as far north as Cape Henlopen. In total, the crew of this station responded to over 60 wrecks and saved the lives of 419 people.

Courtesy: Dick Albertson

Courtesy: Dick Albertson

Today, the Indian River Life-Saving Station is located along Route 1 just north of the Indian River Bridge and operates as the main public center for Delaware Seashore State Park. The museum itself is setup to resemble its 1905 appearance and is open to both public and private tours year-round.


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