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  Archived Posts From: 2016

archaeology

“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak”

Written on: May 26th, 2016 in ArchaeologyCollectionsEventsExhibitsMuseumsNews

-Tours explore the surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck-

Beginning on June 8, 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will offer tours that explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Tours will take place at 9 a.m. on the following Wednesdays and Thursdays during 2016: June 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30; July 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28; Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31; and Sept. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.

Lost off Lewes newspaper

Each tour begins 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.” Participants will learn about the history, crew and sinking of the DeBraak through a guided presentation and display of actual artifacts. Attendees will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak conservation facility to see the ship’s surviving hull section.

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.

Each tour will last approximately two hours. Individuals age 10 and up are welcome. Space is limited to 12 participants. The cost of the program is $10 per person. For reservations (non-refundable) please visit the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For questions, call 302-645-1148. Walk-ups are welcome but space is not guaranteed. Note: Beginning on Aug. 31, all remaining DeBraak tours in 2016 are free of charge.

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.

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

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

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 lower framing elements, including a large section of the starboard (right) side.

DeBraak tour participants listening to a presentation at the Zwaanendael Museum. The exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” is in the background.

DeBraak tour participants listening to a presentation at the Zwaanendael Museum. The exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” is in the background.

 

 

 


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historic-sites

Fort Christina National Historic Landmark re-opens for the summer of 2016

Written on: May 24th, 2016 in Historic SitesNews

Fort Christina National Historic Landmark, located at 1110 E. 7th St. in Wilmington, Del., has re-opened for public visitation between May 28 and Sept. 5, 2016 thanks to a partnership between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the First State National Historical Park and the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. Regular visitation hours during that time period are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to its regular hours, the landmark will be open on Sundays and Mondays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the following holiday weekends: Memorial Day (May 28 and 30) and Labor Day (Sept. 4 and 5). Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information on visitation, call the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation at 302-429-7447.

Monument at Fort Christina

Swedish Tercentenary Monument at the Fort Christina National Historic Landmark. The monument depicts the Swedish colonial vessel, the Kalmar Nyckel.

Fort Christina National Historic Landmark marks the approximate location where a group of Swedish and Finnish colonists from the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip landed on a natural wharf of rocks in 1638. Named Fort Christina after the then 12-year-old queen of Sweden, it was the first Swedish settlement in America and the first permanent non-native settlement in Delaware. The landmark is owned by the state of Delaware and administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Due to safety/security concerns and financial-resource constraints, the landmark had been padlocked and closed to the public for over 10 years and had only been open for special events. In December 2014, this historic site became one of seven components of the First State National Historical Park. With its re-opening for the summer of 2016, one of the cornerstones of Delaware history is again accessible to visitors traveling to the First State, to residents looking to learn more about Delaware’s rich cultural heritage and to all those who simply seek a green space in an urban environment.

Commenting on the re-opening of the landmark, Ethan McKinley, superintendent of the First State National Historical Park noted, “The National Park Service is thrilled that the gates of Fort Christina National Historic Landmark will swing open for the general public in 2016. The site is a key piece of Delaware and the nation’s history. It marks the landing spot of the Kalmar Nyckel in 1638 and was christened as a park by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938.”

View of Fort Christina in 1939.

View of Fort Christina in 1939.

The re-opening of the landmark is part of a larger effort to create a first class historical and cultural destination on Wilmington’s East Seventh Street peninsula. This effort includes integrating and developing the historic and cultural attractions of the Kalmar Nyckel shipyard, Fort Christina National Historic Landmark, Old Swedes Church and the Hendrickson House, along with the Christina River water taxi and other Riverfront attractions. Organizations working to bring this dream to fruition include the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, the National Park Service, Old Swedes Foundation and the Riverfront Development Corporation.


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events

Division to sponsor 24 special programs during June 2016

Written on: May 24th, 2016 in EventsMuseumsNewsPreservation

During the month of June 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 24 special programs at sites across the state.

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

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

Highlights of the month include “Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak”—special tours that explore the history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Tours, which will take place at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, and which will continue through September 2016, begin at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, followed by a trip, via van, to the DeBraak conservation facility to see the remaining section of the ship’s hull. Admission is $10 by reservation only through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

From June 19 to 23, the Zwaanendael Museum, in partnership with the Lewes Historical Society, will sponsor the 18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware,” a five-day series of activities celebrating Preservation50, the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Activities focusing on historic preservation include performances by historical re-enactors portraying Teddy Roosevelt, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Jackie Kennedy Onassis; plus lectures, tours, concerts and many other activities held at sites throughout downtown Lewes. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Preservation50 logo

Finally, on Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m., New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, will host “Currents Reading,” a free evening of readings by Delaware poets and authors published in the new anthology “Currents” which showcases work from the Delaware Division of the Arts’ 2012 Cape Henlopen writers retreat. For additional information, call 302-383-4453.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, June 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016
“Fit Fridays.” Get outside and get fit in a historic setting by playing Colonial games at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution.” John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Celebration of music and dance. Program will feature music and dance from cultures around the world. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Celebration of music and dance. Program will feature music and dance from cultures around the world, accompanied by 78-rpm 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. Free admission. 302-739-3262.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, 2016
“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.”
Special tours explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of this shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 by reservation only through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
“1775—Tensions Boil Over.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. Part six of “The Founding of America in One Year,” a year-long series that examines important local and national events that led to the founding of the United States. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

Friday, June 10, 2016
“Fit Fridays.” Get outside and get fit in a historic setting by playing battledore and shuttlecock, an early game similar to that of modern badminton. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, 2016
Separation Day. Celebration marking the 239th anniversary of Delaware’s separation from Great Britain and Pennsylvania and the formation of the Delaware State. Programs include activities at the New Castle Court House Museum. Downtown New Castle. Free admission. 302-323-4453 or 302-545-1650.

Saturday, June 11, 2016
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.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Friday, June 17, 2016
“Fit Fridays.” Ready to strengthen your core with 18th-century chores? Join the plantation staff for a day filled with calorie-burning chores. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Friday, June 17, 2016
“Currents Reading.” Literary reading by Delaware poets and authors published in the new anthology “Currents” which showcases work from the Delaware Division of the Arts’ 2012 Cape Henlopen writers retreat. Part of the statewide Delaware Literary Reading Series 2016. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

Sunday, June 19, 2016
18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Day-long series of activities focusing on historic preservation beginning at Noon and culminating at 7:15 p.m. when Peyton Dixon of the American Historical Theatre portrays president and preservationist Teddy Roosevelt. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Free admission. 302-645-1148.

Peyton Dixon will portray President Teddy Roosevelt on June 19, 2016.

Peyton Dixon will portray President Teddy Roosevelt on June 19, 2016.

Monday, June 20, 2016
18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Day-long series of activities focusing on historic preservation beginning at Noon and culminating at 7:15 p.m. when Kim Hanley of the American Historical Theatre portrays philanthropist Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who was a leader in the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Free admission. 302-645-1148.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Historic-preservation-related activities include a bus trip to historic New Castle, Del. sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society (admission charge, call 302-645-7670 for reservations); a free tour of the Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road, Lewes at 2 p.m.; and a free concert by Mike Hines and the Look, Stango Park, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes at 7 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Historic-preservation-related activities include cemetery tours at 1 and 3 p.m., and historic-house tours at 2 and 4 p.m. sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society (call 302-645-7670 for reservations). In addition, the Bethel United Methodist Church, 129 W. 4th St., Lewes, will host free performances by violinist Conor McAvinue at 6 p.m., followed at 7:15 p.m. by Jill Lawrence of the American Historical theatre portraying Jackie Kennedy Onassis. 302-645-7670.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
18th Annual Chautauqua—“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Historic-preservation-related activities include cemetery tours at 1 and 3 p.m., and historic-house tours at 2 and 4 p.m. sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society (call 302-645-7670 for reservations). In addition, St. George’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, 317 Park Ave., Lewes, will host a free Worship Experience by the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware at 6 p.m. 302-645-7670.

Friday, June 24, 2016
“Fit Fridays.” Strengthen your constitution at a signer of the Constitution’s home! Join the staff for a hike around the plantation, hit your 10,000 steps and learn about the historic landscapes at the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Hikes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.


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museums

Johnson Victrola Museum closed from June 6 to 30, 2016

Written on: May 20th, 2016 in MuseumsNews

Beginning on June 6, 2016 and running through June 30, 2016, the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, Del., will be temporarily closed for construction activities which will include demolition and replacement of the museum’s existing disabled-access sidewalk and ramp. Additional improvements will include landscape grading and seeding, new underground stormwater-piping and new aluminum downspouts and railings.

Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum.

Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum.

Beginning on July 1, 2016, the museum will return to its regular operating schedule of Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museum is also open on several state and federal holidays including Independence Day (Monday, July 4, 2016) when it will offer “Stars and Stripes,” guided tours that explore some of Victor Records’ many recordings of patriotic music accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. (The program will also be offered on Saturday, July 2, 2016.) Admission to the Johnson Victrola Museum is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-739-3262.

“Nipper Corner” at the Johnson Victrola Museum.

Nipper Corner” at the Johnson Victrola Museum.

 


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