On May 15, 2015, the City of Dover, Del. received notification it had been accorded the status of a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service. Part of a nationwide effort, Delaware’s Certified Local Government Program is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office in partnership with the National Park Service. The program strengthens preservation efforts at the local-level by providing technical and financial assistance, while encouraging successful preservation programs and practices. Delaware now has six Certified Local Governments: Delaware City, Dover, Lewes, Milton, New Castle County and the City of Wilmington.
Founded by William Penn in 1683, Dover is one of the state’s most historic cities. In 1777, Delaware’s capital was moved there from New Castle because of the city’s central location and relative safety from British warships operating in the Delaware River. The Dover Green, now a component of the First State National Historical Park, functioned for nearly 200 years as the city’s commercial and governmental center. It served as the site where the Declaration of Independence was read to the townspeople in 1776, and where a Continental regiment was mustered for service in the American Revolution. The Green was also home to a number of taverns and inns including the Golden Fleece Tavern where representatives from Delaware’s three counties ratified the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787, becoming the first state to do so. The Green remains the historical heart of Dover and is the location of The Old State House, Delaware Supreme Court and the Kent County Courthouse.
For information about the Dover Green Historic District and the Victorian Dover Historic District, as well as individual Dover properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, go to Delaware’s Cultural and Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). Go to the following for Dover’s historic district guidelines.
John Kufuor, former president of the Republic of Ghana, visited the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover on Saturday, May 16, 2015 where he received a guided tour by site supervisor Gloria Henry. Kufuor was in Dover to deliver Delaware State University’s commencement address on May 17.
Henry’s tour provided extensive information on the life of Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” In a notable moment, Kufuor mentioned that he had studied law at Lincoln’s Inn in London which is located across the street from Middle Temple where Dickinson studied. Other highlights of the tour included an examination of books in Dickinson’s library, weaving on the plantation’s barn loom, and demonstrations of meat curing in the smokehouse and hearth cooking in the log’d dwelling. Kufuor was accompanied on the tour by his nephew Dr. Akwasi Osei, a member of the Delaware State University faculty and former vice chair of the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation.
Go to the following to read a press account of President Kufuor’s address at Delaware State University
Former president of Ghana gives DSU commencement
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—May 17, 2015
Desiree Williams has recently been promoted to the position of site manager of the Buena Vista Conference Center located at 661 S. Dupont Highway in New Castle, Del. Called “the perfect wedding location” by Delaware Bride Magazine, Buena Vista features “lush grounds, cozy accommodations and luxe décor” that are utilized for a wide variety of functions including business gatherings and government meetings as well as receptions, parties and celebrations.
Williams has worked in the administration of Buena Vista since April 2014 having previously served as an administrator with the Delaware Department of State. Originally from New York City, she attended Delaware State University on a full scholarship, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and public relations.
“It’s been one of my career objectives to work in the field of event planning, and managing a beautiful site like this [Buena Vista] is a dream come true for me,” noted Williams. As site manager, her responsibilities include maintaining the historical integrity of the mansion, conducting tours for potential brides and clients, assisting with planning and logistical details for events and weddings, maintaining the property’s social media sites, creating marketing and promotional strategies to increase visitation, and managing staff members who serve the more than 10,000 guests that attend events at the conference center each year.
Commenting on Williams’ service, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin noted, “Desiree is a wonderful addition to our team. She is customer-focused and has made Buena Vista one of the finest sites in Delaware for meetings and special events. We look forward to great things with Desiree as our site manager.”
Buena Vista is one of Delaware’s most historic homes. The main section of the house was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849 and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937 and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the state by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a conference center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.