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  Archived Posts From: 2018

archaeology

Craig Lukezic to leave division employment

Written on: December 14th, 2018 in ArchaeologyNews

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is bidding farewell to archaeologist Craig Lukezic who will depart the agency on Dec. 21, 2018. Lukezic will open a new career-chapter on Jan. 7, 2019 when he begins work as a cultural resource manager/natural scientist at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County, Md. His responsibilities will include management of issues related to historical properties within the U.S. government.

Craig Lukezic

Craig Lukezic

Since 2003, Lukezic has served as a historic archaeologist for the division’s State Historic Preservation Office where he was primarily involved in conducting Section 106 project reviews which provide guidance to federal agencies on the presence or absence of historic properties in a project area, and on ways that adverse effects to historic properties might be avoided or mitigated. Additional highlights from Lukezic’s work with the division include the establishment of the Early Colonial Symposium of the Delaware Valley, and significant contributions to archaeological investigations of the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck; and at the Avery’s Rest, Fort Casimir, Fort Christina and Wildcat Manor sites.

Outside the division, Lukezic has served as the president of the Archaeological Society of Delaware since 2011 and has taught as an adjunct professor at Delaware State University and Roanoke College. In 2013, he served as co-chair of the New Sweden 375th Anniversary Conference and was a guest speaker at the ATfort conference in the Netherlands. In 2011, the Archaeological Society of Virginia named him as its Out-of-State Archaeologist of the Year.


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historic-sites

State of Delaware to acquire historic property at Cooch’s Bridge, the site of the state’s only Revolutionary War battle

Written on: December 12th, 2018 in Historic SitesNewsPreservation

By Doug Denison, director of community relations, Delaware Department of State

Hallowed grounds believed to be the final resting place of some two dozen American soldiers who perished in the only major battle of the Revolutionary War fought in Delaware will soon become the property of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, according to an agreement announced on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

The Cooch House and property

The Cooch House and property

Gathered at the historic Cooch home just south of Newark, Del., officials from the Delaware Department of State joined members of the Cooch family to announce plans for the division to acquire the home and surrounding property at the heart of the Cooch’s Bridge battlefield.

Present-day Cooch’s Bridge over the Christina Creek

Present-day Cooch’s Bridge over the Christina Creek

In addition to providing a new public resource for future generations of Delawareans to learn the story of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, the acquisition of the site will also allow for continued archaeological study of the property in an effort to locate the unmarked graves of the Americans who gave their lives there.

The agreement is the latest illustration of the Cooch family’s ongoing commitment to preserving the rich history of their lands, acquired by Thomas Cooch in 1746 and held in the family for nine generations since.
“Our father, Edward W. Cooch Jr., would be very pleased with this announcement,” said Richard R. Cooch and Anne Cooch Doran. “He always said that he hoped that if the family house and battlefield, which he worked hard to preserve, ever left the Cooch family, that the property would be acquired by the State.”

“We as Delawareans are so fortunate to have such a variety of fascinating and beautiful historical sites up and down our state, and we should be proud of all the effort and cooperation that has allowed us to preserve another quintessential piece of our state’s history here at Cooch’s Bridge,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “I want to thank all the partners that came together to make this possible, with particular gratitude to Dick Cooch and Anne Cooch Doran for choosing to share this site with their fellow citizens.”

Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock shakes hands with Richard R. Cooch at the Dec. 7, 2018 event celebrating the transfer of the Cooch property to the State of Delaware. (From left) Bullock, Anne Cooch Doran, Richard R. Cooch and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin

Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock shakes hands with Richard R. Cooch at the Dec. 7, 2018 event celebrating the transfer of the Cooch property to the State of Delaware. (From left) Bullock, Anne Cooch Doran, Richard R. Cooch and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin

The acquisition includes the historic Cooch home, its adjacent outbuildings and 10 acres of surrounding property. The site will be purchased using $875,000 from the Delaware Open Space Council, plus $200,000 from the Crystal Trust and $25,000 from the Marmot Foundation (both independent, private philanthropic organizations based in Delaware). Twenty percent of the sale proceeds will be donated by the Cooch family to the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District Fund administered by the Delaware Community Foundation. The fund, established by Edward W. Cooch, Jr., helps support maintenance and preservation efforts.

Rear view of the Cooch House

Rear view of the Cooch House

“The announcement of the permanent preservation of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battlefield is another key example of the responsible stewardship for our shared history that we continue to practice here in our state,” said Tim Slavin, director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. “Next, we will begin to develop, with community input, a long-term vision for how these lands will be interpreted and made accessible to the public.”

The Cooch’s Bridge site also holds the potential to be among Delaware’s most sacred places. Written accounts from the 18th century cite the burial of approximately two dozen American soldiers on the Cooch farm after the battle.

The division launched an investigation into these accounts and, this summer, a team of archaeologists from Indiana University of Pennsylvania conducted on-site testing using ground-penetrating radar. Their initial findings have identified several areas which will now be investigated more thoroughly by archaeological excavation.

“The Cooch property is a remarkable tract with a remarkable story. The cultural history of the land encompasses not only resources that can be observed in the landscape, but also those items found below ground—the important and fragile archaeological record which provides information about the history of a place not found in texts or written documents,” said historical archaeologist Wade P. Catts. “Thanks to the Cooch family and their generations of stewardship, the Cooch’s Bridge battlefield is in excellent condition, retaining its context and integrity, and the story of the battle can be told to visitors.”

About the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge …

In late summer 1777, Gen. George Washington dispatched a unit of light infantry to a key choke-point on the main road from Baltimore to Philadelphia: Cooch’s Bridge over the Christina Creek just south of Newark, Del. Intent on scouting the British forces and delaying their advance through Delaware and into Pennsylvania, Washington knew that the men he sent to Cooch’s Bridge would be outnumbered, but he also knew they could put up a substantial fight. On Sept. 3, after several hours of heavy fighting, the Continentals and militia, low on ammunition, were forced to retreat. Some two dozen American soldiers gave their lives in the battle. Their sacrifice affirmed that Washington and the American Army would strongly contest the British advance to Philadelphia.

Battle of Cooch’s Bridge monument in front of the entrance to the Cooch property

Battle of Cooch’s Bridge monument in front of the entrance to the Cooch property

Plaque from the Cooch’s Bridge monument

Plaque from the Cooch’s Bridge monument

About the Cooch home and surrounding property …

–The Cooch House, circa 1760, is a three-story structure with rear wing, brick masonry with scored stucco. Greek Revival alterations and additions were made to the house in the early 19th century. The interior of the house was remodeled circa 1860 and again in the early 1920s. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and has been documented as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.

–The property also contains the archaeological site of the first Cooch mill, which was burned by British forces upon their departure following the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, as well as other earthworks, dams and components associated with the milling operation.

Cannon balls from the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge that were later found on the Cooch property

Cannon balls from the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge that were later found on the Cooch property

–Archaeological resources related to Native American heritage are present on the site.

–In addition to other artifacts from the battle, the property may also contain graves or burials of the soldiers killed during the fighting. The dead were buried in unmarked graves and have not been found. The property may also contain archaeological resources associated with the remains of Sir William Keith’s house, forge and foundry. Keith was governor of Pennsylvania and Delaware from 1717 to 1726

–The site also features extensive woods, waterways and natural areas associated with Christina Creek, as well as cultivated agricultural fields.


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events

Buena Vista Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

Written on: December 5th, 2018 in EventsHistoric SitesNews

-One-day-only event showcases one of Delaware’s most historic homes-

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate will be decked out for a one-day-only holiday open-house on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The open house will feature decorations and children’s craft activities, plus self-guided tours of the home and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4430.

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate

Located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, 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/event center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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news

Division seeks applicants for executive housekeeper position at Buena Vista

Written on: November 28th, 2018 in News

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the casual/seasonal position of executive housekeeper at Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate. The position is responsible for  directing the daily operations of housekeeping services at this state-run conference and event center. Applications are available by going to the Delaware Employment Link. Application opening date: Nov. 29, 2018. Closing date: Dec. 12, 2018.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista


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museums

Display of sculpture by Charles Parks at the New Castle Court House Museum

Written on: November 27th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

The New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., is currently featuring a display of sculpture by the noted Delaware artist Charles Parks. The display features depictions of noted historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. The works compliment the familiar statue of William Penn, also created by Parks, which stands in front of the Arsenal building on Market Street in New Castle.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Bust of Richard Nixon by Charles Parks. The work is currently on-display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Bust of Richard Nixon by Charles Parks. The work is currently on-display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

About Charles Parks …
Over the course of a prolific 50-plus-year career, Charles Parks created more than 500 sculptures for individuals, public parks and plazas throughout Delaware and across the United States. His numerous honors and awards include a Gold Medal for Exemplary Contributions to the Arts from the state of Delaware (1973), the Watrous Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design, the Meiselman Prize for Classical Sculpture from the National Sculpture Society, the Gold Medal from the National Sculpture Society Annual Exhibition and the Tiffany Foundation Award for Creative Sculpture. In 2011, Parks and his wife donated more than 300 of the sculptor’s works to the State of Delaware including bronzes, plasters, woodworks and over 250 fiberglass works ranging in size from eight inches to nine feet from various periods in Parks’ career.

Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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museums

“The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016” display now on view

Written on: November 27th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., is currently featuring “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016,” a display that explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover was restored to its original appearance in 1976. Admission is free and open to the public. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Circa 1840s desk and chair from the display “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016”

Circa 1840s desk and chair from the display “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016”

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest state-capitol buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. The venerable structure now appears as it would have in the late 1700s during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. It features a courtroom, governor’s and county offices and chambers for the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area designated by William Penn in 1683. The Green is a partner site of the First State National Historical Park.

The Old State House is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware.

The Old State House

The Old State House

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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events

Division to sponsor 16 special programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season

Written on: November 21st, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNews

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 16 special events, including 11 winter-holiday-themed activities, between Nov. 24, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019. A full schedule is included below. Except where otherwise indicated, all programs are free and open to the public.

“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby” will be presented at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Dec. 1, 2018.

“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby” will be presented at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Dec. 1, 2018.

Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018
Thanksgiving Day. All 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) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Friday, Nov. 23, 2018
Day After Thanksgiving. 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, Nov. 24, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a sachet with herbs and spices. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be offering four “Handmade for the Holidays” programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be offering four “Handmade for the Holidays” programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season.

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
“Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners including luminarias lighting the entrance walkway. Activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5–8 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor created by the Sussex Gardeners. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a journal for use in 2019. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Holiday Celebrations in the Early 20th Century.” Christmas celebrations are a recent development in American history. Many traditions came with immigrants who arrived in the latter half of the 19th Century, and by the 20th Century had become mainstays of American life. In this program historic-site interpreter Latecia Prophet will educate and enlighten on how Delawareans, and many Americans, celebrated the holidays in the early 20th Century. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11:30 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby.” From his earliest days as a member of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra to his years in film, radio and TV, Bing Crosby was one of the best-known entertainers of the 20th century. In this program, visitors can discover the story behind the man who recorded the best-selling holiday song of all time. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 1 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 17th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m. 302-744-5000.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Spirit of Christmas in New Castle.” One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America features tours of decorated historic homes, re-enactments, programs at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Downtown New Castle. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. 302-328-3279.

Aerial view of the New Castle Green with the New Castle Court House Museum in the foreground

Aerial view of the New Castle Green with the New Castle Court House Museum in the foreground

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
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, Dec. 8, 2018
Lecture on Lightship Overfalls. Program on the history of lightships and of Lewes’ own Lightship Overfalls presented by author, instructor and Overfalls guide Wayne Kirklin. Part of “Across the Ages to the Edge of the Sea,” a lecture series exploring the history of the Lewes area from the 17th to the 20th centuries. 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 for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Dec. 7, 2018.

Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
Concert by Kyle Offandani. ‎ Folk 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, Dec. 15, 2018
Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring self-guided tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays plus a hands-on activity for children and adults. Refreshments provided. Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 302-323-4430.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a gift tag with paper quilling. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can design a tile for the holidays. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Monday, Dec. 24, 2018
Christmas Eve. All 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) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018
Christmas Day. All 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) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Dec. 31, 2018
New Year’s Eve. The following museum of the State of Delaware will be open: The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The John Dickinson Plantation, Johnson Victrola Museum, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Old State House

Old State House

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019
New Year’s Day. All 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) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
“Ringing in the New Year With Jazz.” Guided tours explore the sound of classic jazz and the role that the Victor Talking Machine Company played in bringing the New Orleans sound to music lovers across the globe, 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.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
“Divided Delaware.” In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Afterwards, the state grew increasingly divided. This in-depth presentation will analyze three important moments where division prevented great social change from occurring in Delaware: the state’s effort to end slavery before the Civil War; the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments; and Delaware’s chance to be the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment. First Saturday in the First State program. 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.

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 tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

 


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museums

“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware” display at the New Castle Court House Museum

Written on: November 20th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

The New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., is currently featuring “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware,” a display that examines the First State’s role in the pre-Civil War network of secret routes and safe houses used by black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. Admission is free and open to the public. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”

Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”

The core of the display revolves around the true story of the Hawkins family and their 1845 journey from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. The display also examines the federal trial, held in the New Castle Court House in 1848, which resulted in the conviction of abolitionists John Hunn and Thomas Garrett on charges of violating the Federal Fugitive Slave Act for their efforts in aiding and abetting the Hawkins family in its escape.

Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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news

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display at Legislative Hall

Written on: November 20th, 2018 in News

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve,” a display that explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts and their struggle to be allowed to serve in the nation’s military forces, is currently on view at Legislative Hall, located at 411 Legislative Ave. in Dover, Del. Admission is free and open to the public but, due to limited visitation hours, guests should call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

When Janey Comes Marching Home logo

Created by volunteer Carolyn Apple and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, the display includes several items from the collections of the State of Delaware including recruiting posters, women’s military uniforms and equipment, as well as a timeline that highlights the contributions of several notable American women who have served their country from the Revolutionary War to the present.

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display in Legislative Hall

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display in Legislative Hall

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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news

Beverly Laing to retire from the division

Written on: November 19th, 2018 in News

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is bidding farewell to historian Beverly Laing who will retire from the agency on Dec. 1, 2018 after 28 years of service.

Beverly Laing

Beverly Laing

A native of Baltimore, Laing first began working for the division in 1990 as a historic-site interpreter and researcher at The Old State House and at the former Delaware State Visitor Center. During her years of service, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Wesley College in Dover, Del., and a master’s degree in history from Washington College in Chestertown, Md. Those degrees came in handy for the wide variety of positions she held including supervisor of the division’s downtown Dover museums, manager of the Site Management Team, and finally, as a historian and researcher working in the State Historic Preservation Office.

As a researcher, Laing was most proud of her work in investigating Delaware’s African-American history including the stories of the Underground Railroad conductor Samuel Burris, and the Summers family including James Summers, a free-black father who bought the freedom of his own children.

Laing also made a big impact with her work on the restoration of The Old State House that took place between 2005 and 2007, her service as part of the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, her efforts in partnership with the Delaware Tourism Office and her 16 years of service as a member of the Kent County Tourism Board which named her its Person of the Year in 2007.

Commenting on her years with the division, Laing noted that she was grateful for the “opportunity to work with so many talented people in helping to tell Delaware’s story.” She added that, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with countless visitors to the division’s museums including thousands of school children. If only a few of those children came away saying that history was fun, then I feel like I did a good job.”

Upon retirement, Laing is looking forward to continuing historical and ancestral research and spending time with Gary, her husband of 46 years, and her three grown children and eight grandchildren.


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