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  Archived Posts From: 2018

historic-sites

State Rep. Melanie George Smith visits Buena Vista to celebrate accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums

Written on: February 28th, 2018 in Historic SitesNews

State Rep. Melanie George Smith recently visited the Buena Vista conference/event center, located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums, over 40 historic properties and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Rep. Melanie George Smith visits the Buena Vista conference/event center in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left are Patricia Gerken, Buena Vista site supervisor; Smith; and Desiree May, site manager

State Rep. Melanie George Smith visits the Buena Vista conference/event center in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: Patricia Gerken, Buena Vista site supervisor; Smith; and Desiree May, site manager

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

One of Delaware’s most historic homes, the main section of Buena Vista 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.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista


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news

Division notes passing of its physical-plant maintenance superintendent Ed Gillespie

Written on: February 27th, 2018 in News

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs notes, with sadness, the loss of long-time employee Ed Gillespie who died on Feb. 15, 2018. A 14-year veteran of the division’s Preservation Maintenance team, Gillespie advanced from the position of maintenance mechanic to maintenance supervisor, and finally, to physical-plant maintenance superintendent during his career with the agency. The holder of a master’s license in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, Gillespie was named the Delaware Department of State’s 2014 Employee of the Year for his efforts in managing concurrent electrical emergencies at two division-administered sites.

Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie

Originally from Hagerstown, Md., Gillespie grew up in New Castle, Del. and later lived in north Wilmington for 25 years where he worked in residential maintenance-management. The son of a state-government trades professional, one of his first jobs was as a trades-helper in plumbing for the Delaware Department of State during the 1970s. In recent years, he and his family lived in Clayton, Del.

Go to the following for more information on the life of Ed Gillespie.


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archaeology

Alice Guerrant retires after 38 years of service

Written on: February 26th, 2018 in ArchaeologyPreservation

During a luncheon held on Jan. 26, 2018, over 40 friends and colleagues celebrated the career of Alice Guerrant who retired after nearly 38 years of service as an archaeologist for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office.

The luncheon, which was presided over by Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Gwen Davis, included tributes from a wide variety of Guerrant’s colleagues including division Director Tim Slavin who presented her with the division’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Testimonials were also offered by Nena Todd, site supervisor of The Old State House and Johnson Victrola Museum; former division Director Dan Griffith; Lu Ann De Cunzo, professor and chair of the University of Delaware Anthropology Department; archaeologists Ed Otter and Cara Blume; and many others.

Alice Guerrant holding her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The award was presented during Guerrant’s retirement luncheon on Jan. 26, 2018. Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Gwen Davis looks on.

Alice Guerrant holding her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The award was presented during Guerrant’s retirement luncheon on Jan. 26, 2018. Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Gwen Davis looks on.

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 was involved in archaeological investigations, historical research and database- and Geographic-Information-System-development as manager of the office’s Historic Property Research Center. In 2016, she was the recipient of the H. Geiger Omwake Award from the Archaeological Society of Delaware for her outstanding contributions to that organization.

Participants in the luncheon for Alice Guerrant. In the background is a Powerpoint presentation containing images of Guerrant taken during her career.

Participants in the luncheon for Alice Guerrant. In the background is a PowerPoint presentation containing images of Guerrant taken during her career.

Guerrant’s future plans include continuing her passion for knitting and weaving, catching up on work in her home, reading, and volunteering with the Archaeological Society of Delaware and the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. At some point in the future, she will return to work in the division’s Historic Property Research Center on a part-time basis.


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historic-sites

State Rep. Ronald Gray visits the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to celebrate accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums

Written on: February 23rd, 2018 in Historic Sites

State Rep. Ronald Gray recently visited the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, located at the intersection of 146th St. and Lighthouse Lane in Fenwick Island, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums, over 40 historic properties and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Rep. Ronald Gray visits the Fenwick Island Lighthouse in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. At left is division Deputy Director Suzanne Savery. In front of Savery and Gray is the Transpeninsular Line marker which indicates the boundary between Delaware and Maryland.

State Rep. Ronald Gray visits the Fenwick Island Lighthouse in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. At left is division Deputy Director Suzanne Savery. In front of Savery and Gray is the Transpeninsular Line marker which indicates the boundary between Delaware and Maryland.

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums logo

Completed in 1858, the 87-foot-tall Fenwick Island Lighthouse was built to help mariners avoid the treacherous Fenwick Shoals which are located six miles off the coast of Fenwick Island. Erected during a period of rapid expansion and improvement in the nation’s system of aids to navigation, the structure is the only brick, conical-type lighthouse ever built in the state. After completion, a third-order Fresnel lens of French manufacture was installed and the light was turned on for the first time on Aug. 1, 1859. The lighthouse continued in operation without interruption for nearly 120 years until Dec. 13, 1978 when it was decommissioned by the U. S. Coast Guard. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Due to a grassroots effort, ownership of the property was transferred to the State of Delaware in 1981, and the lighthouse was re-lit in 1982 as an unofficial, private aid to navigation.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse’s grounds contain the Transpeninsular Line marker, erected on April 26, 1751, which indicates the eastern end of the line surveyed by John Watson and William Parsons of Pennsylvania and John Emory and Thomas Jones of Maryland. This line established the east-west boundary between Pennsylvania’s three lower counties (now Delaware) and the colony of Maryland. It also established the middle point of the peninsula, 35 miles to the west. The stone marker bears the coat of arms of the Calvert family on the south side and the Penn family on the north. It was accepted in 1760 and finally ratified in 1769 by King George III.

The lighthouse complex is managed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which leases it to the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. For visitor information, go to the Fenwick Island Lighthouse webpage.


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museums

A woman of the ’20s

Written on: February 22nd, 2018 in Museums

Written by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historic-site interpreter Valerie Kauffman as a companion to the National Women’s History Month programming that is taking place at the Johnson Victrola Museum during March 2018.

“What a tomato!” “That dame’s a looker!” Chick, kitten, moll, doll, ankle and bim were just some of the expressions that were part of the new vernacular that sprang up in the 1920s to refer to a woman. Why so many? Well, it was an era of colossal changes and women were becoming hard for society to define.

Nora Bayes made many recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company in the 1920s.

Nora Bayes made many recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company in the 1920s.

The ’20s has been called the decade of the “New Woman.” In 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote, and the still unratified Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923 with the objective of ending the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters.

After World War I concluded, acceptance of wage-earning jobs for young unmarried women grew. They expanded beyond employment as domestic helpers and teachers into work in offices, retail shops, department stores, factories, and even in corporations and politics. By 1930, one in four women held a paying job. They became college professors, entrepreneurs, archaeologists, pilots, public speakers and writers. Of the nine Pulitzer Prizes awarded for fiction in the 1920s, five went to female novelists.

Show business teamed with female dancers and singers, especially those with experience in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies. For reasons that may ultimately defy analysis, the biggest stars in vaudeville, and consequently the highest paid ones, were the female singing singles, or singing comediennes. In the early 20th century, female vaudeville stars were the richest independent women in the country. Hitch that up to the legislative initiatives of the ’20s and options for modern women broke wide open.

Bright young things of the 1920s wanted music that made them feel happy and snappy—music that motivated them to get up and dance instead of just sitting and watching. Big bands, ragtime, blues—and a fast upbeat style called jazz—were emerging. The radio and the phonograph encouraged folks to sing about their loves and have fun doing the Charleston, foxtrot, black bottom and the shimmy. Over 190,000 phonographs were sold nationwide in 1923, and within six years, sales reached $5 million.

Moreover, in the business world, the 1920s was all about raking in the cabbage! Marketing was the key to commercial success, and record corporations like the Victor Talking Machine Company, headed by Eldridge R. Johnson, knew that well enough. Hiring women from vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies with exclusive recording contracts was marketing gold.

Aileen Stanley began her career in vaudeville and in cabarets as a team with her brother Stanley. In 1920, she ventured out on her own and was a hit in New York in the revue show “Silks and Satins.” She also made the first of her many recordings that same year. The majority of her records in the ’20s were for Victor. She was paid a weekly salary and royalties for the sale of her records. Some of the songs that she recorded were “My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle,” “The Broadway Blues,” “I’m a Lonesome Crybaby,” “I Ain’t Got Nobody to Love,” and the Irving Berlin compositions “Home Again Blues” and “All By Myself.” Between 1922 and 1924, and again in the late ’20s, Victor produced a popular series of records pairing Stanley with singer Billy Murray. The series included “In My Heart, On My Mind, All Day Long,” “Oh! You Beautiful Baby,” and “I’ll Stand Beneath Your Window Tonight and Whistle.” Off and on through the 1920s, Stanley and Murray recorded 29 sides together, exclusively for Victor.

Aileen Stanley

Aileen Stanley

Nora Bayes was a very self-assured performer and businesswoman. She was no dumb Dora. Confident in her growing popularity, Bayes challenged the authority of theater managers and producers. During her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, she at one time commanded a salary of $2,500 per week. After America entered World War I, Bayes became involved with morale-boosting activities for the military. George M. Cohan asked that she be the first to record a performance of his patriotic song “Over There.” This recording was released in 1917 and became an international hit. Bayes recorded for both Victor and Columbia Records during the late teens and early ’20s. Lenora Goldberg changed her name to Nora Bayes to suit her Irish repertoire. Most of the songs that she recorded for Victor were Irish ballads like “That Irish Mother of Mine,” “Laddie Boy,” and “Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly.” Of course, she recorded “Over There” for Victor as well as “The Greatest Battle Song of All” which was a morale-boosting melody.

Nora Bayes on the cover of 1917 sheet music for “Over There.”

Nora Bayes on the cover of 1917 sheet music for “Over There”

The incomparable Fanny Brice surely fits the bill in burlesque, the Follies, records, radio, theater and film. Honk, honk, this gal was not a flat tire! She was considered to be one of the greatest comediennes on Broadway. She recorded nearly two dozen record sides for Victor and several for Columbia. In the 1921 Follies, she was featured singing “My Man” which became both a big hit and her signature song. She was a posthumous recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame award for her 1921 recording of “My Man.” A couple of her other Victor songs were “Second Hand Rose” and the “Sewing Machine Song.” Some of her comedy routines were recorded including parts one and two of “Mrs. Cohen at the Beach.” She was portrayed by Barbara Streisand in “Funny Girl” on Broadway in 1964 and in the film adaptation of the musical in 1968.

Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice

Promoted as the “Queen of the Blues,” Marion Harris was the first white female singer to record jazz and blues featuring material by black songwriters. She was a popular vaudeville performer playing many engagements at the Palace in New York during the 1920s. Record companies sought her out to record for them and she recorded into the 1930s with over 130 recordings to her credit. She had the clout to make and break her contracts. Harris’ many Victor recordings included “Paradise Blues,” “My Syncopated Melody Man,” “They Go Wild, Simply Wild, Over Me,” “After You’ve Gone,” “I Ain’t Got Nobody Much” and “Jazz Baby.”

Marion Harris

Marion Harris

The ”New Women” were changed forever through political policies, advertisements, books, films, records, radio, newspapers and magazines by the way they were portrayed and how the world perceived them. The ladies of the 1920s were all different and no longer fit a mold. This decade was a grand time of change for women both mentally and physically. They were able to break away from the confines of society that men bound them to for so long, and the results of this shift are still evident in our society today as we look forward to the 2020s.


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events

National Women’s History Month events among 16 special programs at division museums during March 2018

Written on: February 22nd, 2018 in EventsMuseums

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be hosting 16 special events during the month of March 2018 at the museums of the State of Delaware. Twelve of these programs will be presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.

Operatic soprano Rosa Ponselle will be one of the artists featured in the “Women of Victor” program at the Johnson Victrola Museum on March 3, 2018.

Operatic soprano Rosa Ponselle will be one of the artists featured in the “Women of Victor” program at the Johnson Victrola Museum on March 3, 2018.

Designated by joint resolutions of the United States House of Representatives and Senate and proclaimed by the American president, National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor and celebrate women’s lives and historic achievements. Each year National Women’s History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme. For 2018, the theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, March 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018
“The Road to the Vote.”
Guided tours highlight the women’s suffrage movement in Delaware, the 19th Amendment and the discussions held in Delaware’s historic capitol regarding its passage. 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 March 3, 2018
“The Women of Victor.” Guided tours focusing on the talented female vocalists of the Victor Talking Machine Company and how they paved the way for the divas of today, accompanied by early recordings of those artists 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, March 3, 2018
“A Woman’s World: Quill Pen Writing.” Women on the plantation communicated their thoughts and ideas through letters and journals. Drop-in to try your hand at quill pen writing and learn penmanship techniques of the 18th century. 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.

Historic-site interpreters Vertie Lee (left) and Barbara Carrow portray two of the women who lived and worked at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Historic-site interpreters Vertie Lee (left) and Barbara Carrow portray two of the women who lived and worked at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Monday–Saturday, March 5–10, 2018
“Stories of Courage and Freedom.” Part of the “Find Your Freedom” series held in celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day. Program will feature stories of bravery, courage and freedom, and visitors can obtain The Old State House Network to Freedom cancellation stamp. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

 Celebrate March 10, National Harriet Tubman Day, with programs at The Old State House and John Dickinson Plantation.

Celebrate March 10, National Harriet Tubman Day, with programs at The Old State House and John Dickinson Plantation.

Friday, March 9, 2018
Concert by Single Origin. Singer/songwriter duo. 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, March 10, 2018
“Stories of Slavery and Freedom.” In celebration of National Harriet Tubman Day, special history-based tours explore the lives of free and enslaved African-American women. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, March 10, 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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
“London in Wartime: Ration Books, Bomb Shelters and the Blitz.” Presentation features personal memories of World War II by New Castle resident Jean Norvell who grew up in war-torn London, remembering air raids, bombing and air-raid shelters. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Jean Norvell will share her childhood experiences growing up during Britain’s “darkest hour” in the program, “London in Wartime: Ration Books, Bomb Shelters and the Blitz,” that will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum on March 14, 2018.

Jean Norvell will share her childhood experiences growing up during Britain’s “darkest hour” in the program, “London in Wartime: Ration Books, Bomb Shelters and the Blitz,” that will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum on March 14, 2018.

Saturday, March 17, 2018
“A Woman’s World: Journal Making.” Women have been integral in documenting the history of the plantation through letters and journals. Drop-in for this activity and create your own handmade journal. 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, March 17, 2018
“The Minstrel Boy: The Life of John McCormack.” In celebration of Irish Heritage Month, this program by museum interpreter Gavin Malone explores the life of the noted Irish tenor John McCormack, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. 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. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3262.

Saturday, March 24, 2018
“A Dead Whale or a Stove Boat, Parts Two and Three.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Andrew Lyter on the glory days of the American whaling industry (1783–1861) followed by its decline and death (1861–1927). Final segment of “Global to Local: International Events and the First State,” a five-part series exploring how world events impacted Delaware’s 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 for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than March 23, 2018. Program incorporates material originally scheduled to be presented on Dec. 9, 2017.

Friday, March 30, 2018
Good Friday. 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.

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 highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. 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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news

Division welcomes three new employees

Written on: February 20th, 2018 in News

In January 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs welcomed three new employees to its staff. Following are profiles of these talented individuals who are helping the agency in its efforts to save Delaware history.

Three of the newest members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ team. From left: Laura Walsh, Ed Larrivee and Sara Clendaniel

Three of the newest members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ team. From left: Laura Walsh, Ed Larrivee and Sara Clendaniel

As the division’s volunteer-services coordinator, Sara Clendaniel is working to recruit, and fully utilize the talents of, a dedicated cadre of volunteers who can help the agency preserve Delaware’s historical legacy. A lifelong resident of Magnolia, Del., she comes to the division after serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer-coordinator working with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity to build and repair housing in Ellendale, Laurel and Seaford, Del. A 2016 graduate of the University of Delaware, Clendaniel holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in business administration. During her college years, she served on the board of the student chapter of Canine Companions for Independence which helps train service dogs.

As a member of the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) team, exhibit-arts specialist Ed Larrivee’s responsibilities include graphic- and Web-design, as well as tasks associated with the design, fabrication and installation of exhibits at the state’s five museums and associated sites. Originally from Dover, Del., the Camden, Del. resident holds a bachelor’s degree in digital film-making from Wilmington University and an associate’s degree in multi-media design from Delaware Technical and Community College. Larrivee’s keen interest in history derives, in part, from his mother Joan who has served for many years as an architectural historian for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, and his father Ed Larrivee Sr., the longtime owner of Larrivee Designer Hardware Center, an antique and specialty-hardware shop in Dover.

Curator of Collections Management Laura Walsh’s responsibilities center on the research, cataloging, preservation and storage of the significant collection of historic materials owned by the State of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art and many others. She holds a master’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Temple University. Prior to joining the division staff, Walsh worked on a project that relocated the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s collections to a new curation facility. The Philadelphia-area native now lives in Newark, Del.


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museums

State Sen. Bonini celebrates John Dickinson Plantation accreditation

Written on: February 19th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

State Sen. Colin Bonini recently visited the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums—the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes—and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Sen. Colin Bonini visits the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Bonini, site-supervisor Gloria Henry and historic-site interpreter Vertie Lee

State Sen. Colin Bonini visits the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Bonini, site-supervisor Gloria Henry and historic-site interpreter Vertie Lee

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

The John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware’s first National Historic Landmark, was the boyhood home of John Dickinson, a founding father of the United States, a framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” The site’s Georgian-style mansion stands as a memorial to this American patriot, legislator and farmer. The plantation is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park. It is currently open for visitation and tours from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation


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news

Division mourns the loss of Ed Gillespie

Written on: February 16th, 2018 in News


The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs mourns the loss of our colleague and friend, Ed Gillespie. We ask that you keep Ed and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Ed Gillespie


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historic-sites

State legislators Simpson and Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill to celebrate accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums

Written on: February 15th, 2018 in Historic SitesNews

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton recently visited Abbott’s Mill, located at 15411 Abbott’s Pond Road in Milford, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums, over 40 historic properties and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill in Milford in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Simpson and Kenton

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill in Milford in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Simpson and Kenton

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

 

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Abbott’s Mill was built in the late-19th century and continued to ground grain into flour until 1960. The present mill was built on the foundations of earlier milling structures dating to the late 1700s. Acquired by the State of Delaware in the 1960s, the mill complex is comprised of the preserved grain mill, 1905 house, stable, and outbuildings. The complex is managed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which leases it to the Delaware Nature Society for use as a nature center. For visitor information, go to the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center webpage or call 302-422-0847.

Abbott’s Mill

Abbott’s Mill


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