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  Archived Posts From: 2016

archaeology

Video commissioned by the division celebrates archaeology in Delaware

Written on: June 29th, 2016 in ArchaeologyNewsPreservation

“Archaeology in Delaware,” a video commissioned by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and produced by Haywood Productions of Dover, Del., has recently been posted on the Preservation50 website as part of the Making Archaeology Public Project. The video was premiered on May 1, 2016 at the Iron Hill Museum in Newark, Del. as part of the Iron Hill Archaeology and Heritage Festival.

video-Delaware[1]

Preservation50 is the United States’ multi-year celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Act has transformed the face of communities from coast to coast as it established the legal framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes and archaeology. Preservation50 reveals the great value that historic preservation delivers to the American people. Its aim is to build a community that leads preservation for the next 50 years.


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historic-sites

Division honored with preservation award

Written on: June 29th, 2016 in Historic SitesNewsPreservation

In a ceremony held on June 1, 2016 at the Dutch House in New Castle, the New Castle Historical Society presented the 2016 Bamberger Historic Preservation Award to the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs for “its sensitive and appropriate restoration of the Court House, Arsenal, Academy and Green.” Cindy Snyder, site supervisor of the New Castle Court House Museum, accepted the award on behalf of the division.

2016 Bamberger Historic Preservation Award presented to the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

2016 Bamberger Historic Preservation Award presented to the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Improvements to the four historic properties, owned by the state of Delaware and administered by the division, were conducted as part of the division’s $350,000 New Castle Campus Improvement Plan, which was completed between March 2015 and early 2016. Action steps included 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.

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.

Bestowed annually by the New Castle Historical Society to property owners who have made significant contributions to the historic city on the Delaware River through preservation and/or restoration of their property, the award is named for Reinhardt and Elizabeth Bamberger, historic preservationists and New Castle Historical Society benefactors.

 

 


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archaeology

Gov. Markell unveils interpretive sign marking the location of Fort Casimir

Written on: June 29th, 2016 in ArchaeologyHistoric SitesNewsPreservation

In a ceremony held on June 24, 2016, Gov. Jack Markell unveiled a wayside exhibit (illustrated sign) installed by the New Castle Community Partnership at the site of Fort Casimir located along the Delaware River at present-day Second and Chestnut streets in New Castle, Del. Built by the Dutch in 1651, the fort was the site of a decisive battle between the Dutch and English in 1664 that helped establish English control of the Delaware Valley. Although remaining sections of the fort are no longer visible, the site marks an important place in American history as the location of one of the first inter-European battles in what is now known as the United States.

Gov. Jack Markell unveiling an interpretive sign at the location of Fort Casimir.

Gov. Jack Markell unveiling an interpretive sign at the location of Fort Casimir.

Fort Casimir interpretive sign.

Fort Casimir interpretive sign.

The unveiling ceremony coincides with the June 23, 2016 announcement by the National Park Service that the New Castle Historical Society had been awarded a $71,500 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program in order to identify and delineate the boundaries of the Fort Casimir Battlefield, and to determine the extent of subsurface remains of both the fort and related sites in the surrounding area. As part of the grant project, archaeologists will conduct select subsurface- and ground-penetrating-radar-testing that will help locate any artifacts present at the site. After the investigation, a report will be produced, distributed to the public and used in developing future educational materials.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic speaking at the ceremony unveiling the Fort Casimir interpretive sign.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic speaking at the ceremony unveiling the Fort Casimir interpretive sign.

In addition to Gov. Markell, speakers at the unveiling ceremony included Cindy Snyder, site supervisor of New Castle Court House Museum who served as master of ceremonies; Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic who served as one of the leaders of the 2012 archaeological investigations of Fort Casimir; Russ Smith, former superintendent of the First State National Historical Park; and Jim Meek, a member of the Trustees of the New Castle Common. Historical reenactors from the Garrison of New Amstel provided an exciting visual component to the ceremony in their portrayal of the Dutch soldiers who manned Ft. Casimir.

Gov. Jack Markell with historical reenactors from the Garrison of New Amstel.

Gov. Jack Markell with historical reenactors from the Garrison of New Amstel.


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events

“Listen Up!”: How About Something Different?

Written on: June 28th, 2016 in EventsMuseumsNews

Updated: April 11, 2017
Program took place between April 16, 2016 and April 8, 2017

Performers in the March 11, 2017 “Listen Up!” program at The Old State House.

Performers in the March 11, 2017 “Listen Up!” program at The Old State House.

When former staff member Eleanor Vernice Siyon first joined the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in 2013 as a special-program coordinator, she was looking for new and creative ways to connect young people with Delaware history.

Eleanor Vernice Siyon

Eleanor Vernice Siyon

Siyon knows a thing or two about educational creativity. Her distinguished career includes service as an English teacher and as an independent contractor developing an alternative-education program for the Delaware Department of Education. She is also an accomplished poet; author of two children’s books; and writer of the children’s musical “On Golden Wings,” and the historical play “Courage in Black and White: The Untold Stories” which explores the history of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.

In 2014, Siyon worked with the Delaware Division of the Arts in developing a series of National Poetry Month presentations including a program spotlighting the First State’s spoken-word artists. Spoken word is an oral art-form that focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation and voice inflection. It includes any kind of poetry recited aloud including hip-hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams and traditional poetry readings, and can include comedy routines and prose monologues.

During a performance of a work by the Delaware Poets Laureate, the Twin Poets on the noted Delaware abolitionist Samuel D. Burris, Siyon became convinced that spoken-word would be a great vehicle for teaching Delaware history and as a way to build connections between young people and the five museums operated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

With the enthusiastic support and assistance of Nena Todd, site supervisor of The Old State House, and division Deputy Director Suzanne Savery, Siyon was given the green light to run with the project. Working through a partnership that included the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Delaware Division of the Arts, Acorn Books and local community organizations, Siyon was the leading voice in the creation of “Listen Up!,” a program in which participating Delaware youth (ages 10 to 18) researched and developed their own spoken-word performances based on events in Delaware history. “Listen Up!” activities began in April 2016 and culminated during National Poetry Month with a grand finale performance on April 8, 2017. (Go to the following to view the “Listen Up!” Facebook page.)

"Listen Up!" instructors and participants at the grand finale performance on April 8, 2017.

“Listen Up!” instructors and participants at the grand finale performance on April 8, 2017.

Historical topics explored by “Listen Up!” participants included the state’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from Great Britain; Native Americans who have lived, and continue to live, in the place now known as Delaware; the art of sound including sampling of historic 78-rpm Victor recordings; the Underground Railroad; and women’s history. As part of their preparation for the program, the young people received instruction and guidance throughout the year from seasoned spoken-word artists including James Alexander, Brock Kalim, Marquette Shaw and the Twin Poets.

"Listen Up! instructors. (From left, standing) Marquette Shaw; James Alexander; the Twin Poets--Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills; and (seated) Brock Kalim.

“Listen Up! instructors. (From left, standing) Marquette Shaw; James Alexander; the Twin Poets–Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills; and (seated) Brock Kalim.

The goals of the “Listen Up!” program were as follows:

  1. Provide opportunities for youth to learn, research, create and present various aspects of Delaware and Kent County history, and to learn how to compose prose and poetry in a manner that is comfortable and fun
  2. Familiarize youth with the museums of the State of Delaware and the historical knowledge that the museums offer residents and visitors
  3. Create strong and positive collaborations among Delaware organizations that will enhance their presence in the community and encourage positive connections with youth in Kent County and the state of Delaware

Commenting on the program, Siyon noted, “Listen Up!” took advantage of spoken word, an art form that is very popular with young people, to teach Delaware history in a way that is interactive, engaging and fun.” And, she added, “The more children know about history, the better choices they will make as adults.”

The development of “Listen Up!” paralleled the enormous rise in popularity of the Tony-Award-winning musical “Hamilton” which utilizes spoken-word, music and theater to explore the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The play has inspired history teachers from across the country to use rap and hip-hop to excite students about history. Commenting wryly on the use of these popular art forms to reach young people, Siyon noted, “We were developing this project before “Hamilton” hit it big. Now everyone’s using spoken word to teach American history!”

Following is a listing of the workshops and events that took place in the “Listen Up!” series:

Saturday, April 16, 2016
“Marquette Shaw: A Delaware Poet for All Seasons.” Poet, singer, dancer and actor, Marquette Shaw will entertain audiences with his unique rendition of all things Delaware. Opening performance of the “Listen Up!” series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Youth workshop on the topic of Independence Day. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Rehearsal for July 4 performance. 1–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Monday, July 4, 2016
“Independence Day.” Performance at 1 p.m. by youth participating in the “Listen Up!” spoken-word program on Delaware’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from England. At 2 and 4 p.m., the bell of The Old State House will ring in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, who will recite the Declaration of Independence aloud from the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, July 16, 2016
Youth workshop on the topic of Delaware Native Americans. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016
Rehearsal for Sept. 3 performance. 1–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016
Spoken-word performances on Delaware’s Native Americans. Delaware youth utilize poetry, theater, dance and song to create compositions that celebrate Delaware’s Native-American people. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performances at Noon and 2:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016
Youth workshop on sampling historic recordings in spoken-word compositions. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016
Rehearsal for Dec. 3 performance. 1–3 p.m. Not open to the public. Press and students interested in attending should call Eleanor Vernice Siyon at 302-299-3576.

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016
“Listen Up! The Art of Sound.” Local youth working with Delaware spoken-word artists James Alexander, Brock Kalim and the Twin Poets, perform their own spoken-word compositions that sample historic 78-rpm Victor recordings. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, March 11, 2017
“Listen Up! African American and Women’s History.” Local youth working with noted Delaware spoken-word artists perform their own spoken-word compositions that bring to light the history of Delaware’s African-Americans and women with special tributes to Underground Railroad conductors Samuel D. Burris and Harriet Tubman. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, April 8, 2017
“Listen Up! The Finale.” Concluding segment featuring all of the youth poets who participated in the Listen Up!” series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

For press coverage of the “Listen Up!” program, go to the following:

Listen Up Delaware
The Delaware Way, KJWP TV, Wilmington, Del.—Aug. 8, 2016

Listen Up! helps kids learn Delaware history
Delaware State News, Dover, Del.—May 17, 2016

 

 


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archaeology

History abounds near Delaware’s beaches

Written on: June 23rd, 2016 in ArchaeologyCollectionsEventsExhibitsHistoric SitesMuseumsNews

For generations, vacationers have been drawn to Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean resorts—Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. Located within 250 miles of several of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, the First State’s coastal towns offer some of the cleanest beach-water in the nation, a plethora of dining options, arts and entertainment activities, recreational opportunities, natural areas, state parks, night life and tax-free shopping among many other amenities.

Zwaanendael Museum. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

Zwaanendael Museum. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

As the location of Delaware’s first colony and one of the earliest European settlements in America—Swanendael, established by the Dutch in present-day Lewes in 1631—the coastal region also features a wealth of historic sites that help tell Delaware’s story and the role that it played in the creation and development of the United States. Many of these sites are open for visitation, offering high-quality experiences for every type of vacationer from families looking for rainy-day activities to dedicated cultural tourists and history buffs.

Following is a sampling of some of the historic places that can be visited within a 20-mile radius of Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean beaches. Hours of operation and other information can be found on each site’s webpage.

De Vries Monument
Pilottown Road, Lewes, Del.
Telephone: Call the Zwaanendael Museum at 302-645-1148

Delaware’s Colonial history began near this site which commemorates Swanendael, meaning “Valley of the Swans,” established by the Dutch in 1631 as a whale-hunting and agricultural station. The monument, located along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal (originally called Hoorn Kill), is named for David Pieterszoon de Vries, general administrator of the Swanendael colony.

De Vries Monument

De Vries Monument

Zwaanendael Museum
102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del.
Telephone: 302-645-1148

Operated by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael. Modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, the museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. Currently featured is the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” which explores His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. In addition, tours that explore the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of the DeBraak are offered every Wednesday and Thursday through Sept. 29, 2016.

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.

As the administrator of many of the state’s most important historic sites, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs leases the following properties to community organizations that in turn, operate them for public visitation.

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse
Surrounded by water, the lighthouse is located on the inner breakwater in Lewes harbor.
Telephone: 302-226-3866 or 302-542-4432

The lighthouse was built in 1885 as a navigational aid for ships entering the Delaware Bay. It is currently closed to visitation. Cruises to the waters surrounding the structure are conducted by the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation.

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse

Fenwick Island Lighthouse
Located at the intersection of 146th St. and Lighthouse Lane, Fenwick Island, Del.
Telephone: 443-235-8521
Operated by the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse.

Built in 1858 to protect shipping from the Fenwick sand shoals that extend several miles out from the Delaware coast, the lighthouse sits exactly on the eastern origin of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Old Sussex County Court House
10 S. Bedford St., Georgetown, Del.
Telephone: 302-855-9660
Operated by the Georgetown Historical Society. Open by appointment.

In 1791, the Sussex County seat was moved from Lewes to Georgetown in order to provide a more centralized location for county governmental and judicial functions. In 1793, the building now known as the Old Sussex County Court House was constructed in Georgetown to meet the exact dimensions of the former county court house in Lewes. In 1837, the building was moved from its original location on Georgetown Circle to make way for the current court house which still occupies the site.

Old Sussex County Court House

Old Sussex County Court House

Prince George’s Chapel
101 Chapel Lane, Dagsboro, Del.
Telephone: 302-732-6835
Operated by the Friends of Prince George’s Chapel. Open by appointment.

Built in 1755 as an Anglican chapel-of-ease, the structure was named in honor of the English prince who would later become King George III. Its most distinctive feature is a barrel-vaulted ceiling made of natural, unadorned heart-of-pine planks.

Prince George's Chapel

Prince George’s Chapel

Other attractions featuring Delaware history that are located within 20 miles of Delaware’s beaches include the Bethany Beach History Museum, DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, Fort Miles Historical Area in Cape Henlopen State Park, Indian River Life-Saving Station, Lewes Historical Society, Lightship Overfalls, Milton Historical Society, Nanticoke Indian Museum, Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum, Ocean View Historical Society, Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth Beach Museum and the Treasures of the Sea exhibit. In addition, the towns of Lewes and Milton contain historic districts that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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events

Programs on America’s struggle for independence among 20 special events sponsored by the division during July 2016

Written on: June 20th, 2016 in EventsMuseumsNews

During the month of July 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 20 special events at sites across the state including five programs focusing on America’s struggle for independence. A full schedule of events is listed below.

Historical interpreters will recite the Declaration of Independence from the steps of Dover’s Old State House on July 4, 2016.

Historical interpreters will recite the Declaration of Independence from the steps of Dover’s Old State House on July 4, 2016.

Highlights of the month include a series of patriotic-themed activities held on Monday, July 4, 2016 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover. At 1 p.m., the museum will present a spoken-word performance by area youth on Delaware’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from England. The performance is part of “Listen Up!,” a year-long series of activities in which participants research and develop their own spoken-word presentations based on events in Delaware history. At 2 and 4 p.m., the bell of The Old State House will ring in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, who will recite the Declaration of Independence aloud from the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776.

Between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday July 2 and Monday, July 4, 2016, the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present “Stars and Stripes,” special guided tours that explore some of Victor Records’ many recordings of patriotic music accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines.

Finally, on Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in historic downtown New Castle, will present “1776—Independence Declared,” a lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. The lecture is part seven 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.

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

Saturday July 2, 2016
“Independence Day.” Screening of the film “Thunder and Rain” about Caesar Rodney’s historic ride to Philadelphia to break the tie for the Declaration of Independence. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Film screenings at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Free admission. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday July 2 and Monday, July 4, 2016
“Stars and Stripes.” In celebration of Independence Day, guided tours explore some of Victor Records’ many recordings of patriotic music accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3262.

Monday, July 4, 2016
Independence Day.
All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-736-7400.

Monday, July 4, 2016
“Independence Day.” Performance at 1 p.m. by youth participating in the “Listen Up!” spoken-word program on Delaware’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from England. At 2 and 4 p.m., the bell of The Old State House will ring in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, who will recite the Declaration of Independence aloud from the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, July 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 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.

Thursdays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2016
“Thirsty on Thursdays.” Learn how to make cool 18th-century drinks including switchels, lemonade and tea. 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, July 9, 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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
“1776—Independence Declared.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. Part seven 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.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Summer Bridge Service Project Day. History-related activities presented by Delaware State University students as part of the school’s Jumpstart Program. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
“Movie Night on the Lawn.” Screening of the film “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” plus live music, food trucks, outdoor activities and a photo booth. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 6–10 p.m. Admission $3 per person. 302-323-4430.

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


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news

Grants for historic preservation

Written on: June 3rd, 2016 in NewsPreservation

Updated: Aug. 26, 2016

Applications are now being accepted for the following National Park Service grants:

African American Civil Rights Grants
Grants provide assistance in documenting, interpreting and preserving the sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens in the 20th Century. Deadline: Oct. 14, 2016.

National Park Service logo


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archaeology

Alice Guerrant receives award from the Archaeological Society of Delaware

Written on: June 2nd, 2016 in ArchaeologyNewsPreservation

In a ceremony on Saturday, May 21, 2016, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Alice Guerrant was awarded the H. Geiger Omwake Award by the Archaeological Society of Delaware. Named in honor of Henri Geiger Omwake (1908-1968) who was a founding member of the society and instrumental in obtaining legislation that established Delaware’s State Archaeological Board, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the society.

Alice Guerrant prepares to receive her H. Geiger Omwake Award from Archaeological Society of Delaware President Craig Lukezic.

Alice Guerrant prepares to receive her H. Geiger Omwake Award from Archaeological Society of Delaware President Craig Lukezic.

A native of Roanoke, Va., Guerrant earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the College of William and Mary and did graduate work in history there. While in Virginia, she did archaeological work at Kings Mill, Stratford Hall, Flowerdew Hundred, Washington’s Birthplace (Wakefield), Corotoman, Yorktown Battlefield and Ash Lawn. After moving to Delaware and her job at the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in 1980, she has been involved in archaeological investigations, historical research and database- and Geographic-Information-System-development as manager of the Historic Property Research Center.

In addition to her longtime involvement with the Archaeological Society of Delaware where she has served as both president and secretary, Guerrant is an active member of the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild.


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events

“Making the First State Shine: 50 Years of Historic Preservation in Delaware”

Written on: June 1st, 2016 in EventsMuseumsNewsPreservation

-18th annual Chautauqua to take place in Lewes, Del. from June 19 to 23, 2016-

From June 19 to 23, 2016, 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. Events and programs will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations. Except where noted, admission is free and open to the public. Go here for a complete listing of activities. For additional information, call 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.

A unique mixture of education and entertainment, Lewes’ Chautauqua will be headlined by re-enactors from the American Historical Theatre who will take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the featured characters who will include president and preservationist Teddy Roosevelt; philanthropist Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who was a leader in the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg; and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who as first lady recognized and promoted historic preservation including the restoration of the White House.

Preservation50 logo

Additional historic-preservation-related activities include cemetery and historic-house tours; a tour of the Lightship Overfalls; a bus trip to historic New Castle, Del. (admission charge); and lectures on a wide variety of topics including the National Register of Historic Preservation, tax credits for the preservation of historic properties and sites in Delaware listed in the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The 2016 Chautauqua will also include concerts, an Old Time Radio Show presented by the Ad Hoc Touring Company; and a Worship Experience by the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware.

Members of the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware will conduct a Worship Experience on June 23, 2016 at St. George’s AME Church. Photo by Edwin Remsberg, Courtesy of Maryland State Arts Council.

Members of the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware will conduct a Worship Experience on June 23, 2016 at St. George’s AME Church. Photo by Edwin Remsberg, Courtesy of Maryland State Arts Council.

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that were first held at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York during the late-19th century. Chautauquas spread throughout America in the late-19th and early-20th centuries bringing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day to a wide cross-section of the nation’s rural and small-town population. Circuit Chautauquas (also known as Tent Chautauquas) were an itinerant manifestation of the movement. Programs would be presented in tents pitched in a field near town. After several days, the Chautauqua would fold its tents and move on to the next community. The popularity of Chautauquas peaked in the mid-1920s, after which radio, movies and automobiles brought about the gradual disappearance of the movement by the 1940s.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for humanities education, modern Chautauquas are organized around a core program in which re-enactors portray celebrated historical figures, speaking and interacting with audiences. Modern Chautauquas have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 featuring a wide variety of historical figures including Abigail Adams; Abraham Lincoln; Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware’s own Pvt. James Elbert, Maj. Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown.

Delaware’s 2016 Chautauqua is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is being presented as a partnership between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Lewes Historical Society and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Additional financial support is provided by Delmarva Power and Sussex County Council under the auspices of Councilwoman Joan Deaver.

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