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  Archived Posts From: 2017

horticulture

Dan Davis promoted to Conservation Technician IV

Written on: January 30th, 2017 in HorticultureNews

During January 2017, Dan Davis was promoted to the position of Conservation Technician IV within the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Horticulture Team. The team provides landscape support-services at the agency’s sites, helping to maintain a beautiful and safe natural environment that complements the historic nature of the individual properties.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

A division employee for over 31 years, Davis began his career making wooden shingles for use on buildings at the John Dickinson Plantation. Since then, he has advanced through a variety of positions, all within the Horticulture Team, including trades helper, groundskeeper, foreman, and Conservation Technician II and III.

The Little Creek, Del. resident has been honored by the division for perfect attendance during several individual years. In 2015, he was awarded an Extra Mile Award for his fiscal management of the 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.

Originally from North Huntingdon, Pa., Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Westmorland Community College in Youngwood, Pa. He credits his father with providing him with practical training in a wide variety of horticultural and trades skills that he has used over his many years of service to the division.


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news

Division releases 2016 annual report

Written on: January 30th, 2017 in News

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has released its annual report which demonstrates how the agency is addressing its mission to both preserve Delaware history and to share that history with current and future generations. Go to the following to read the full report: Preserving Historic Buildings of the Past; Building Audiences for the FutureDelaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs 2016 Annual Report.

2017-annual-report-cover


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events

African American History Month programs among 16 special events at division museums in February 2017

Written on: January 20th, 2017 in EventsMuseumsNews

Updated: Feb. 1, 2017

During the month of February 2017, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 16 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware. Eleven of these events will be presented in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the black community has made to the culture and history of the United States. All programs listed are free and open to the public.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2017 will explore the lives of African Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2017 will explore the lives of African Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Highlights of the month include “A World Apart,” a series of guided tours exploring the lives of African-Americans who lived in slavery and servitude at the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.” Tours will take place between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents,” guided tours focusing on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance.

The life of Fats Waller will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 18, 2017.

The life of Fats Waller will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 18, 2017.

Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at 1 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, will present “Baseball, Churches, and Schools: Delaware’s African American History Through the Eyes of the National Register,” a presentation by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on historic properties listed in the National Register since the 1980s that are significant to African American communities throughout the state.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place. Go to the following for a long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, February 2017

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“Marian Anderson: Her Achievements and Contributions.” African American History Month guided tours explore the life, achievements and political views of operatic contralto and Civil Rights activist Marian Anderson, 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. 302-739-3262.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 4, 2017.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 4, 2017.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“The Old State House: A Network to Freedom.” African American History Month interpretive tours examine the story of Samuel D. Burris and his work on Underground Railroad, an event in the history of Delaware’s historic capitol that led to its designation as a Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“Listen Up! African American History.” Local youth, working with Delaware spoken-word artist Brock Kalim, perform their own spoken-word compositions that bring to light Delaware’s African-American history. Part of the “Listen Up!” series that features young people who utilize poetry, theater, dance and song to create compositions that celebrate different aspects of Delaware history. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. Program rescheduled to March 11, 2017.

Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2017
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Concert by Me & My Friend Phyllis. Bluegrass/old-time music. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
“Songs of Love.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, guided tours explore the variety of songs about love recorded by Victor Records. Tours will be accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of those songs played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
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. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
“African-American History: State Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Presentation explores Delaware’s rich African American culture, history and legacy. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents.” African American History Month guided tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Baseball, Churches, and Schools: Delaware’s African American History Through the Eyes of the National Register.” Presentation by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on historic properties listed in the National Register since the 1980s that are significant to African American communities throughout the state. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Buccaneers, Bluebloods and Bonapartes.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Kaitlyn Dykes. Part three of “Ship to Shore Saturdays,” a four-part series that chronicles local Lewes history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 17, 2017.

Sunday Feb. 19, 2017
“Washington vs. Lincoln.” President’s Day theatrical presentation will pit Washington and Lincoln buffs against each other to determine who was the best president of the United States. Audience members will cast their votes in favor of their preferred candidate. After the verdict is announced, a reception will be held in which apple pie (Lincoln’s favorite) and cherry pie (associated with Washington) will be served. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
Presidents Day. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum. 302-744-5054.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Washington’s Birthday. All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
“Paul Robeson.” African American History Month tours focus on the biography and family of bass vocalist Paul Robeson, and his achievements as they pertain to his struggle as a 20th-century black artist. The program will feature Robeson’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
“Preserving African-American History in Delaware: Highlighting Vibrant Communities Through Research and the ‘Green Book.’ ” Presentation by researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.


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events

Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation meeting on Jan. 18, 2017

Written on: January 10th, 2017 in EventsHistoric SitesNewsPreservation

The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation will hold a business meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del. As part of the meeting, the board will review a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Jackson-Wilson House located at 12 Red Oak Road in Wilmington. The public is invited to attend the meeting which will feature a presentation by architectural historian Robin Krawitz on the history and significance of the house. Admission is free.

Jackson-Wilson House

Jackson-Wilson House

The Jackson-Wilson House was constructed in 1914 in the Tudor Revival style. It is eligible for listing in the National Register under Criterion C for its high level of architectural integrity. According to Krawitz, author of the nomination, it is an outstanding example of the Tudor Revival style and was designed by the New York City architectural firm of Shape and Bready.

Among its distinctive architectural features are its complex configuration of roof details including gable, hipped and jerkin head forms which intersect and connect at varying angles, as well as a cornice of raking corbeled brickwork. Roof dormers also represent a variety of forms including eyelid, pedimented and hipped designs. The brickwork of the body of the house as well as the retaining walls and piers of the property gate all display a Flemish bond pattern with a projecting water table and feature irregularly shaped clinker bricks.

The spacious interior of the house features a combination of Tudor and Colonial Revival elements. For example, Tudor characteristics include the use of dark quarter sawn oak beams, leaded casement windows and a large fireplace with herringbone patterned brick fire back. Colonial Revival features include an open string staircase with squared newel posts in the entryway and low paneled dado.

The house was originally constructed for Willard Cartwright Jackson and his wife Josephine Willauer Jackson. Mr. Jackson served as director of the New Castle Water Works Company in 1904, became director of the National Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine in 1906 and went into a partnership with Richard R. Banks which established the Wilmington Automobile Company by 1907. His wife was born and raised in Pennsylvania and according to the U.S. Census of 1900, was listed as a music teacher. Research revealed that her brother, Arthur Ebbs Willauer, listed in the same census as an architect, moved to New York by 1905. It is interesting to note that the architectural firm which constructed the Jackson-Wilson House started as a partnership which Mrs. Jackson’s brother Arthur established by 1910 under the name of Willauer, Shape, and Bready. It is assumed that the commission for the construction of this residence was taken on prior to Arthur’s death and was completed by his surviving partners.

The Jackson family owned this residence until 1921 when the property was transferred to Joseph Shields Wilson and his wife Lois Martenis Wilson. Mr. Wilson served as Wilmington’s city attorney, and as its mayor from 1946 to 1949. He also served as chief executive of the Bellanca Aircraft Company and eventually, as president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.


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events

Museums of the State of Delaware closed on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 due to winter storm

Written on: January 6th, 2017 in EventsMuseumsNews

(DOVER, Del.—Jan. 6, 2017)—Based on a winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service, the following State-of-Delaware-owned museums and historic sites—the New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle; the First State Heritage Park, First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, John Dickinson Plantation, Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House in Dover; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes—will be closed on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Unless further notified, the sites will return to their normal operating schedules thereafter.

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