During September 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs welcomed three new members to its staff—Patricia Gerken, Laurie Turkawski and Nicole Worthley.
Patricia Gerken comes to the Buena Vista Conference Center after serving as a marketing and retail assistant for Delaware State Parks, as the events and retail coordinator for the Indian River Life Saving Station Museum and as the volunteer coordinator for the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village. The Milford, Del. resident holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Delaware. As Buena Vista’s historic-site supervisor, she is involved in a myriad of tasks including maintaining customer relations, meeting with new clients, conducting tours of the property, scheduling events, processing reservation agreements and billing, delegating and monitoring staff duties, managing social-media initiatives and overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the house and grounds.
Originally from Michigan, architectural historian Laurie Turkawski joined the staff of the division’s State Historic Preservation Office after serving since 2008 as a historian/heritage resource specialist for the Fairfax County (Va.) Department of Planning and Zoning. Previously, she served as a tour guide at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Woodlawn historic site in Alexandria, Va., and as an intern at the Ypsilanti Historical Society and the Henry Ford, both in Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University, and degrees in finance from Walsh College and Oakland University.
Turkawski’s responsibilities at the division include conducting cultural resource reviews of federally funded or permitted projects for Section 106 compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act for historical and architectural properties; providing coordination services with state designated certified local governments; and oversight of division-held historic preservation easements and covenants.
A resident of New Castle, Del., Nicole Worthley joined the staff of the New Castle Court House Museum as a historic-site interpreter after three seasons serving in that role at Fort Delaware State Park. Worthley graduated in May 2015 from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology which included internships at the Newark History Museum and the Delaware Academy of Medicine. As a historic-site interpreter dressed in period clothing, Worthley will add a human face to Delaware history by bringing the people and events of the past to life.
By Beverly Laing, historian, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 302-736-7437, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office and preservation partners throughout the state are gearing up to celebrate an important anniversary and everyone is invited to join. 2016 marks the 50th year since the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, a moment when the country officially recognized the value of preserving and protecting the places that reflect its historic heritage. The act established programs and funding to assist states, Indian tribes and local communities in identifying and preserving their significant historic properties. Delaware’s communities have seen the benefits of these efforts. The anniversary offers the opportunity to raise public awareness and heighten interest about historic preservation in our towns and cities, counties and our state.
Preservation50 is a nation-wide coalition of citizens from all backgrounds who are coming together to build upon the national preservation program established by Congress 50 years ago. Today, federal, state and local governments are working with local preservation organizations, historical societies, museums, schools and churches to protect and preserve our communities. The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs invites YOU to join in these efforts and share the fun.
Beginning now and running through October 2016, we will be part of a force across the state to share ideas, present workshops, offer expertise and generally connect neighborhoods and citizens with the tools needed to make a difference in preserving our heritage, our cultures and our communities. You will see us at festivals and fairs, including the “Revealing the Ridgely Family” celebration in downtown Dover on Oct. 3, 2015; lectures and conferences; and online.
How do you get involved? Look for the Delaware Preservation50 logo and check out the events. Tell us about success stories you have on historic preservation. If you’re interested in joining our efforts, just give us a call, or go to the Preservation50 website and see all the many opportunities to play a role in this celebration.
On Sept. 21, 2015, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employees and volunteers attended an all-staff meeting to review the successes that the agency has achieved in recent months and to look at future plans. Held at the Baldcypress Nature Center at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, Del., the meeting featured a presentation by Maryellen Carbaugh of Human Management Services, Inc., a Health Advocate company that provides integrated counseling and other resources for state of Delaware employees. Carbaugh’s talk, entitled “Effectively Managing Conflict and Improving Communication,” explored the techniques and skills that can help staff members interact more effectively with each other.
As part of the day’s activities, division director Tim Slavin presented service awards to Nena Todd for 25 years of service, Dan Davis for 30 years and Madeline Dunn for 40 years. Slavin also recognized the new employees that have joined the division staff since May 2015: Betsy Gant, Patricia Gerken, Scott Hayes, Renee Huber, Carlos Maldonado, Paul Nasca, Charolenne Shehorn, Laurie Turkawski, Bridget Wallace, Desiree Williams and Nicole Worthley.
Finally, Extra Mile Awards were presented to three employees—Tammy Dayton, Jan Rettig and Dan Davis; and five Johnson Victrola Museum volunteers—Howard Fulcher, Laura Herbin, Arnold Leftwich, David Perlmutter and Jim Schilling. Extra Mile recipients are nominated by their colleagues on the division staff for the positive impact that they have made on the agency and the people that it serves. Extras Mile Awards were first presented in March 2015.
Dayton was honored for her extensive work in processing resumes and other reference materials, and in contacting and scheduling interviews for candidates for several job openings at the division. Rettig was recognized for her responsibilities in ensuring the accuracy of leave requests entered into the state of Delaware’s Payroll Human Resources Statewide Technology (PHRST) system by the more than 100 division employees. Finally, Davis was honored for his fiscal management of the division’s Horticulture Team during the six-month period between the departure of the team’s previous manager and the hiring of current team manager Betsy Gant. Throughout that time, Davis took responsibility for tracking purchases, making sure the team remained within budget, coordinating with contractors and ensuring that adequate supplies were always on hand.
Last but not least, the volunteers of the Johnson Victrola Museum were honored for the nearly 3,000 hours that they have donated in helping to operate the museum including greeting visitors, leading tours, shooting photographs and maintaining the appearance of the museum and its grounds. Special projects completed by the volunteers include the design of a guest registry, creation of a video of the 2nd floor of the museum for those visitors who cannot climb the stairs and the development of new interpretive programs.
As part of its $350,000 New Castle Campus Improvement Plan, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has been conducting a series of projects at four state-owned historic properties that the agency administers in Delaware’s original capital city. Implementation of the plan began in March 2015 and work is scheduled to continue into the early part of 2016. New Castle residents and visitors may experience some inconveniences during this time including temporary restrictions on pedestrian access, and the presence of building equipment, materials and barriers. Every effort is being made to limit these inconveniences.
Following is a progress report on the projects as of mid-September 2015:
Founded by the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant in 1651, the town that would later be called New Castle served as Delaware’s Colonial and state capital from 1704 until 1777. The city’s well-preserved historic district retains many original structures built between 1698 and 1873 representing a wide variety of architectural styles including Dutch Colonial, Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival. New Castle now serves as the headquarters of the First State National Historical Park.
By Carolyn Apple, retired Dover-area emergency medicine physician and Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs volunteer.
What are mission symbols? Learning about mission symbols painted on aircraft during World War II has proved to be somewhat difficult but interesting research. Mission symbols, also known as mission marks, kill markings and victory decals, are the small symbols painted on the sides of planes, usually near the cockpit or nose, which are used to show the successes of the crews that had flown that particular aircraft. During World War II, these marks or symbols appear not to have been official military markings but rather were given meaning through their repetitive use by the airmen. The markings may be varied in appearance and more than one marking may have similar meanings. Mission symbols were used by all of the Allied and Axis countries participating in the war.
The following chart includes examples of the types of symbols seen on the U.S. Army Air Force planes. Though initially seen on bombers, mission symbols later were also used on fighter aircraft.
Here are just a few additional interesting facts concerning World War II mission symbols:
In my next blog, I will change gears and discuss selected activities of the American Red Cross during World War II.
The images in this blog were selected from the William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection, one of the permanent collections preserved by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Mr. Willis of Dover, Del. served as a photographic technician with the Army Air Force during the Second World War. A display of items from the collection, “World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis,” was on view at Legislative Hall in Dover from March 4, 2015 to Feb. 21, 2016.
Go to the following for Carolyn Apple’s earlier blogs exploring the subjects of images from the state’s William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection:
America’s Heavy Hitter—The B-17 Flying Fortress—Aug. 11, 2015