Written on: April 26th, 2018 in Uncategorized
On April 9, 2018, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employees and volunteers gathered for an all-staff meeting to review recent successes and examine future plans. Held at the Lewes History Museum, the program featured welcoming remarks by Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society which operates the museum; a presentation by Paul Nasca, the division’s curator of archaeology, and Dan Griffith of the Archaeological Society of Delaware on the Avery’s Rest archaeological site near Rehoboth Beach; and updates provided by representatives of each of the division’s teams.
As part of the meeting, division director Tim Slavin spotlighted a number of staff members including welcoming Vicki Macklin, the division’s new support services administrator; recognizing division historian Carlton Hall for being included in “40 Under 40: People Saving Places,” a new initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation which recognizes 40 people under the age of 40 who are making a significant impact on protecting America’s historic places; and congratulating division architectural historian Kara Briggs for completing the ARCUS Professional Fellowship program. Slavin also took the opportunity to present administrative specialist Jan Rettig with an Extra Mile Award for her efforts in reducing costs and improving the delivery of bottled water to the division’s office locations.
Written on: April 26th, 2018 in Preservation
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is seeking public input on the first draft of Delaware’s statewide historic-preservation plan for 2018–2022. Click here to download a copy of the draft.
Division staff, working with consultant Heritage Strategies, recently completed the first draft of the plan. The current draft contains only the text portions of the proposed document. Photographs, charts and artwork will be added in a later draft.
The plan provides background on the issues that affect historic preservation in the state, outlines goals for the next five years and proposed strategies for achieving them. In particular, comments are sought regarding the following:
Comments, suggestions and additions should be sent, via e-mail, to email@example.com no later than May 4, 2018.
Required as part of the state’s Historic Preservation Fund grant from the National Park Service, the division prepares Delaware’s historic preservation plan with input from stakeholders. The plan provides all Delawareans who are passionate about historic preservation with a framework for effective decision-making, for coordinating statewide preservation activities and for communicating statewide preservation policy, goals and values to the preservation constituency, decision-makers and interested and affected parties across Delaware.
During the month of May 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring seven special programs at sites across the state. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, May 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Dover Days at The Old State House. Guided tours explore Delaware’s historic capitol building constructed in 1791. Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation. Activities include tours and hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes. Part of the Dover Days Festival. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
“Sounds of War: Patriotic Music.” Guided tours examine music’s influence during America’s wars when patriotic songs were composed throughout the nation, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Part of the Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Iron Hill Archaeology and Heritage Festival. Help archaeologists dig in an actual excavation plus hands-on activities presented by the John Dickinson Plantation. Iron Hill Museum, 1355 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark. Noon–4:30 p.m. Admission charge. 302-368-5703.
Saturday, May 12, 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, May 19, 2018
A Day in Old New Castle. The oldest house and garden tour in the nation includes programs at the New Castle Court House Museum and the New Castle Green. Downtown New Castle. Admission free at the New Castle Court House Museum. Admission charge at other venues. 302-322-5774.
Saturday, May 19, 2019
CANCELLED: “Archaeological and Historical Symposium of the Colonial Delaware Valley.” Featuring informal presentations, the program is designed to build a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the Colonial cultures of the Delaware Valley. Presented in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Delaware and the New Castle Historical Society. The Arsenal, 30 Market St., New Castle. 9:30–Noon. 302-322-2794. To reserve a place, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: Event cancelled.
Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 2018
“A Sailor’s Life for Me”—Zwaanendael Museum’s 7th Annual Maritime Celebration. Maritime-themed activities including living-history re-enactors, encampments, musket drills, displays, demonstrations, tours, lectures and more. Downtown Lewes locations including the Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Memorial Day. 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 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.
Written on: April 24th, 2018 in Uncategorized
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has recently promoted James Scott to the position of physical-plant maintenance supervisor; and added two new employees—business-administration supervisor Vicki Macklin and physical-plant maintenance-trades helper Don DeLoach.
James Scott served for four years as a physical-plant maintenance mechanic for the division until his promotion in March 2018. As physical-plant maintenance supervisor he is now managing the work load for all of the Preservation-Maintenance Team’s trades-people as well as coordinating services provided by contractors and vendors. The Dover native holds a journeyman’s certificate in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration from the Polytech Adult Education program in Woodside, Del. Prior to joining the division, he worked in apartment maintenance and landscaping in a variety of facilities in Delaware’s capital city capped off by an eight-year stint at Wesley College. Commenting on his new position, Scott noted that he will be “working very hard to make sure that the Preservation-Maintenance Team carries on its long tradition of providing excellent service to the division, its employees, and to the people who enjoy visiting our museums and historic properties.”
As support services administrator, Vicki Macklin is responsible for managing the division’s Business Services Team which provides a fiscal and administrative support-network that is the foundation for all of the division’s activities. She joined the agency in late February 2018, succeeding Cherie Dodge Biron who left to accept the position of controller of the Delaware Department of Human Resources.
Prior to joining the division, Macklin worked for over 12 years at a variety of Delaware state-government agencies including service as a senior fiscal administrative officer for the Office of Management and Budget where she oversaw budgeting for the Division of Facilities Management and for capital-project budgeting for the entire state; as a fiscal administrative officer in the Delaware Department of Correction; and as a state contract procurement officer.
Macklin was born in Dover, Del., raised in Marydel, Md. and currently resides in Viola, Del. She holds an accounting certificate from Delaware Technical and Community College where she is currently working on her associate’s degree in business administration. From there she hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilmington University.
Dover native Don DeLoach works as a physical-plant maintenance-trades helper with the division’s Preservation-Maintenance Team which maintains, repairs and preserves the nearly 90 structures administered by the agency. DeLoach was a member of the U.S. Army for 13 years including two tours of duty in the Balkans and two tours in the Middle East where he served as an airborne infantryman. After leaving the Army, he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/emergency management from Strayer University, graduating in 2017. He is looking forward to utilizing the skills that he learned in the military to help the division in its mission of “Saving Delaware History.”
Written on: April 23rd, 2018 in Historic Sites
Beginning this spring and continuing into the summer of 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be conducting rehabilitation work on the exterior of the keeper’s house of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse located at the intersection of 146th St. and West Oliver Circle in Fenwick Island, Del. The lighthouse complex is managed by the division which leases it to the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse.
The rehabilitation project will involve the removal of modern additions, construction of a new porch and new wooden steps and landings, replacement of existing windows, repair of miscellaneous wood trim and wood-shingle siding, exterior painting and the re-laying of the existing brick sidewalk. Future improvement plans call for the provision of access to the first floor of the building for people with disabilities, improved pedestrian circulation on the exterior and connectivity to the lighthouse property. Once these improvements have been completed, the building will be used by the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to provide information about the history of the lighthouse and the role played by the light keepers in addition to providing public access to the lighthouse.
During rehabilitation of the keeper’s house, the division will work with the construction contractor and the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to limit inconvenience to the public, and the lighthouse itself will remain open during its posted operating hours. Residents and visitors will see the usual presence of equipment, materials and workers on site as well as the usual noises that go with construction work during daytime hours. No weekend work is anticipated.
The Fenwick Island Lighthouse was built in 1858 to protect shipping from the Fenwick sand shoals that extend several miles out from the Delaware coast. It began service in 1859 and 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.
The keeper’s house, the second to be built on the property, was constructed in 1882 to relieve overcrowding in the original house. It was designed in Victorian Gothic style with gable- and rafter-end decoration typical of much coastal-area government construction in the last quarter of the 19th century.
For a press account of the rehabilitation project, go to the following:
Fenwick Island Lighthouse keeper’s house to be rehabbed
Daily Times, Salisbury, Md.—April 24, 2018
On Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will present “Mysteries at the Museum: ‘Blood Diamond: The Murder of Ebe Lynch.’ ” Created by Zwaanendael Museum staff, this theatrical murder-mystery is based on an actual incident that took place on a hot summer night in 1916 on Second Street in Lewes. During that incident, shots were fired and Ebe Lynch, a prominent local postmaster and president of the Lewes baseball team, was found dead. As part of the play, museum visitors will serve as detectives, meeting suspects and evaluating clues to determine who committed this heinous crime. Guests of all ages will enjoy participating in this historical whodunit.
“Blood Diamond: The Murder of Ebe Lynch” will be presented on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Admission is free but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than April 20, 2018.
The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.
-One-day-only event showcases one of Delaware’s most historic homes-
Delaware’s Buena Vista mansion will welcome visitors for a one-day-only spring open-house on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will feature interpreter-led tours of the property’s grounds at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Self-guided tours of the mansion and grounds are welcome throughout the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. period. Guests are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the awakening of spring at one of Delaware’s most historic properties. Refreshments will be available, while supplies last, from Sherm’s Catering. The event will take place rain or shine and is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4430.
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.
Written on: April 2nd, 2018 in Preservation
In late February 2018, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs architectural historian Kara Briggs received notification that she had successfully completed the ARCUS Professional Fellowship program which offers online leadership-development courses and networking opportunities that strengthen the skills of emerging leaders in the cultural heritage and historic preservation movement. Courses included training to develop plans and tactics to craft effective (preservation) advocacy strategies, and to utilize the collective impact framework to solve preservation challenges, practice risk mitigation and develop evaluation techniques. She began the fellowship in March 2017 and completed her studies in January 2018.
Briggs has been a member of the division’s State Historic Preservation Office staff since 2016. Her duties include conducting cultural-resource reviews of federally funded or permitted projects for Section 106 compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act for historical and architectural properties; providing coordination services with state designated certified local governments; management of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program; and oversight of division-held historic-preservation easements including monitoring and enforcing easement provisions, providing technical assistance to property owners and negotiating new easements.
Briggs holds a master’s degree in urban affairs and public policy with a concentration in historic preservation from the University of Delaware where she also earned certificates in museum studies and human-subjects training. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
By Valerie Kauffman, historic-site interpreter, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
When I was a young child in the —–ties, television commercials promoting the urgency of taking care of our environment were popular. My favorite commercials and campaigns were those featuring Woodsy the Owl and his catch phrase “Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute!” Woodsy originated in 1970 as an icon for a campaign of the U.S. Forest Service to raise awareness of the need to clean up and protect our natural resources. But—hold onto your tail feathers—before Woodsy, there was once a man who could perfectly emulate the songs of many birds, and who literally took that gift and his conservation message on the road.
In 1868, vaudeville star and recording artist Charles Kellogg was born in California’s Sierra Nevada, the home of the ancient sequoias (giant redwoods). He dearly loved the wilderness, especially his residence in California which he called “Ever Ever Land.” Due to deforestation and logging in the 1800s and early 1900s, the enormous yellow pines which were 30 to 40 feet in circumference and 200 feet tall were nearly gone. The giant redwoods were on their way out of existence too. In order to save the trees, Kellogg believed that he needed to bring the forest to the public.
During World War I, he built a large motor home out of a 22 feet by 11 feet, 36-ton solid piece of redwood log, worth $2,000, that was given to him by the manager of the Pacific Lumber Company. Through his own know-how and with the help of an experienced lumberman, Kellogg hollowed out the log. He used several great log jacks and men to lift the log onto a military-grade Nash Quad chassis. He fashioned the interior and coated the entire log, inside and out, with large quantities of wax.
His first destination with the “Travel Log,” as he called it, was San Francisco to display it at an exhibition in 1918. He drove four trips from coast to coast in four years, teaching, entertaining and creating awareness of the plight of the giant redwoods. Thanks to his efforts, the Humboldt State Park was established which included Bull Creek Flats, the largest old-growth alluvial flat of all. It is the home to what has been called the world’s tallest forest.
Kellogg was an Olympian amidst conservationist titans of his day. One of those titans, Theodore Roosevelt, has been called the “conservationist president.” During his time in office (1901–1909), Roosevelt used his authority to protect wildlife and approximately 230 million acres of public lands. His accomplishments as president include the creation of the U.S. Forest Service; the establishment of 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves and five national parks; and—through the passage of the 1906 American Antiquities Act which protects archeological sites on public lands—the creation of 18 national monuments.
Conservation writers John Muir and John Burroughs were outspoken environmentalists who wrote with the purpose of educating their readers to be mindful of the wilderness and the precious gift that it was. Both men were friends and associates of President Roosevelt and Charles Kellogg. Muir, “Father of the National Parks,” was a 19th century Scottish-American naturalist, poet, author and wanderer who traveled widely throughout the West, particularly in the Sierra Nevada. He wrote, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Burroughs was an American naturalist and nature essayist who was active in the U.S. conservation movement. He wrote, “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”
Kellogg was not a politician or a professional writer, but he was a man of many gifts with the heart of a poet. He was born with an unusual larynx with a range of more than 12 octaves that allowed him to sing like a bird. He actually emulated birds by singing their songs from the throat as they did. By the time Kellogg was 22, his amazing ability to imitate birds had gained him national attention. Physicist Richard Zeckwer used a Helmholtz tuning fork to test Kellogg’s avian voice. Zeckwer said that Kellogg’s bird voice had a vibration of 14,000 hertz and reached levels of 40,000 hertz—so high that it was inaudible to human ears. Normal human voices vibrate at 4,000 hertz. In his autobiography, Kellogg wrote, “It was perfectly natural for me to call the birds and creatures to me in their own tones.”
In 1911, the Victor Talking Machine Company signed Kellogg to his first recording contract. He recorded with Victor Records until 1926 singing bird song in several classical and semi-classical pieces. Some of his classical records included “Narcissus,” “Pas des Amphores,” “Liebesfreud,” “Humoresque,” “Amoureuse Valse” and “Serenade.” He also made recordings for demonstration and instruction including “How Birds Sing,” “The Bird Chorus,” “Sounds of the Forest” parts one and two, and “Songs of our Native Birds” parts one and two. Several of his 78-rpm recordings are part of the collections of the Johnson Victrola Museum which is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
The locals called Kellogg the “bird man” but he was billed as “The Nature Singer” on stage. With his wife Sarah, whom he playfully called “Sa’di,” he traveled from city to city and amazed crowds who thronged to hear him warble out his bird songs. He sang for 20 years on the lecture circuit and 15 years in performances including his recording career.
After the dawn of radio, Kellogg made many broadcasts experimenting with sound and its effects on fire and animals including insects. He received letters from listeners claiming that the very insects he was imitating would crawl toward their radios. Others declared that the flames by their radios would either dance or go out. His ability to affect flames with his voice in person and over the radio was corroborated by several physics laboratories including the National Bureau of Standards in Washington D.C. and the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York.
Woodsy the Owl continues to “hoot!” about the environment today. His 21st-century motto is “Lend a Hand—Care for the Land!” If he were with us, Charles Kellogg would “tweet” with Woodsy, in perfect pitch, urging Americans to persist in caring for our natural resources and in preventing our heritage from becoming a thing of the past.