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  Archived Posts From: 2018

events

Gov. Carney to speak at John Dickinson Plantation on June 12, 2018

Written on: May 31st, 2018 in EventsHistoric SitesMuseumsNews

Delaware Gov. John Carney will be the featured speaker for the annual meeting of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion that will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del. The program will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a reception and tours of the plantation’s mansion house, followed by the governor’s address, and ending with a brief business meeting of the Friends group. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call the plantation at 302-739-3277.

Gov. John Carney

Gov. John Carney

The occasion will also celebrate the publication of a new book about Dickinson entitled “Delaware’s John Dickinson: the Constant Watchman of Liberty.” Carney, who wrote the preface to the book, has expressed great interest in Dickinson, a founding father of the United States, a framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.”

Cover of “Delaware’s John Dickinson: the Constant Watchman of Liberty”

Cover of “Delaware’s John Dickinson: the Constant Watchman of Liberty”

The new Dickinson book, sponsored by the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion and published by the Delaware Heritage Commission, includes writings about Dickinson as well as numerous illustrations pertaining to his family, career and his Kent County home. It sells for $20 a copy and will be available for purchase at the annual meeting. The book’s editor, John Sweeney, will be present to sign copies, as will Richard Carter of the Heritage Commission who designed the book.

The John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware’s first National Historic Landmark, was the patriot’s boyhood home and country estate. It features the Dickinson family’s original 1740 brick mansion, reconstructed farm buildings and a log’d dwelling, surrounded by rich agricultural lands stretching down to the banks of the St. Jones River. One of five museums of the State of Delaware, the plantation is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

A nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the extension of knowledge about Dickinson and his historic home, the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion has been instrumental in commissioning many projects including biographies, research, events and educational films including a documentary about Dickinson that was broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service stations.


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news

Division seeks physical plant maintenance/trades mechanic

Written on: May 25th, 2018 in News

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the position of Physical Plant Maintenance/Trades Mechanic II. The position is responsible for a wide variety of tasks involved in the maintenance, repair and preservation of the nearly 90 structures administered by the division. Applications are available by going to the Delaware Employment Link. Application opening date: May 26, 2018. Closing date: June 1, 2018.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs logo


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news

Division employee makes National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 40-Under-40 list

Written on: May 25th, 2018 in NewsPreservation

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

Carlton Hall, a cultural preservation specialist and historian with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), earned a place on the inaugural “40 Under 40” list recently unveiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Carlton Hall

Carlton Hall

Hall was honored for his research and presentations about Delaware listings in the Green Book, a segregation-era travel guide for African Americans created by Victor Green and published annually from 1936 through 1966. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, service stations, night clubs, barber shops and other establishments across the country where African Americans would be safely welcomed during the days of Jim Crow.

“This honor means a great deal to me as a practitioner in my field, and I’m privileged to represent our state as the only individual from Delaware on the list,” Hall said. “I’ve learned and continue to learn from an outstanding group of professionals in the SHPO office, and to benefit from their decades of experience in the field of historic preservation.”

Hall is a native of New Castle, a graduate of William Penn High School and now lives in Bear with his wife and three children. He earned a master’s degree in historic preservation from Delaware State University in 2013 and began his tenure at SHPO in 2015.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Carlton and the recognition he has received,” said Tim Slavin, state historic preservation officer and division director. “Carlton has a long career ahead of him, and we know he will continue to distinguish himself as he works to preserve our state’s history for future generations.”

“40 Under 40: People Saving Places” is a new initiative of the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation, honoring individuals under the age of 40 across the United States who are working to support the mission of historic preservation through fields such as architecture, community activism and business.


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news

Jeremy Rothwell appointed to the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation

Written on: May 24th, 2018 in NewsPreservation

Tim Slavin, Delaware’s state historic preservation officer and director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, has recently appointed Jeremy Rothwell to serve as a professional member of the State Review Board for Historic Preservation. Rothwell is currently employed as a city planner for the city of Harrington, Del. where he provides technical reviews for all site-plan, subdivision and building-permit applications for compliance with the city code and comprehensive plan.

Jeremy Rothwell

Jeremy Rothwell

Rothwell holds a Master of Arts in urban affairs and regional planning, and a graduate certificate in historic preservation, both from the University of Delaware. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Washington College, and has completed course work in land-preservation planning at the University of Pennsylvania and land-use-planning law at Widener University Law School.

From 2014 to 2016, Rothwell worked as a planner for the Talbot County, Md. Department of Planning and Zoning. While there, he served as the primary staff liaison to the Talbot County Historic Preservation Commission, documented multiple historic properties, and served as the local contract-administrator for grant projects funded through the Maryland Historic Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Rothwell has worked on master plans for the villages of Tilghman and Bellevue in Maryland, managed community survey projects, and coordinated activities with multiple committees and associations. Miscellaneous projects include assignments associated with environmental management, comprehensive survey of organic farming, field documentation of historic structures and land-conservation experiences.

His career in the U.S. armed forces includes a 12-year stint with the Maryland Army National Guard as a medical squad leader, and service in Iraq and Egypt in support of Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai. He is a recipient of the Combat Medical Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal and Multinational Force and Observers Medal.

The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation serves as the advisory body to the state historic preservation officer, the official appointed by the governor to oversee and implement the state’s preservation policies in accordance with federal standards. The State Review Board evaluates historic properties for placement in the National Register of Historic Places, and provides professional advice on historic preservation matters.


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news

Division welcomes three new staff members

Written on: May 23rd, 2018 in News

During the past month, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has welcomed three new employees including an addition to the Business Services Team and two new staff members at the Buena Vista conference/event center. Following are profiles of these newest members of the division family.

As an administrative specialist for the Business Services Team, Sharon Trotman provides the division’s front-line connection with the public by answering phones and interacting with visitors to the agency’s main office at 21 The Green in Dover. She is looking forward to further assisting her teammates by taking on greater responsibilities including processing of bills and purchase orders and helping with any other fiscal or administrative-support services that are needed.

Originally from Washington, D.C., Trotman has lived in Dover, Del. since 1995 and has worked for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and as a secretary for Reformation Lutheran Church in Milford.

Sharon Trotman

Sharon Trotman

Executive housekeeper Sarah Granda and administrative specialist Alexandra Luzier are involved in every aspect of the Buena Vista conference/event center’s operations including maintenance and upkeep of the house and grounds, set-up and break-down of events, food service, hospitality, customer relations and inventory management.

A 2018 graduate of High Point University in North Carolina, Sarah Granda earned her bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with a minor in event planning and marketing. During her student years, she worked in her mother’s daycare center where she learned invaluable lessons in interpersonal relations and in calmly handling unexpected situations—skills that will serve her well at Buena Vista. The New York State native grew up in Wilmington and now lives in Kennett Square, Pa. She is looking forward to pursuing her career in event planning.

Sarah Granda

Sarah Granda

Dover, Del. native Alexandra Luzier is a 2018 graduate of the University of Delaware where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational and Community Leadership. When she ends her temporary job at Buena Vista in August 2018, she will begin pursuing her master’s degree in public administration from West Chester University in Pennsylvania with the eventual goal of working in the nonprofit community-service sector.

Alexandra Luzier

Alexandra Luzier

 


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events

“Change of Command” among 11 division-sponsored events in June 2018

Written on: May 23rd, 2018 in EventsNews

During the month of June 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 11 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.

Thomas Sully’s portraits of commodores Jacob Jones (left) and Thomas McDonough, two Delaware heroes of the War of 1812, on display in The Old State House. On June 2, 2018, the museum will present “Change of Command,” a historical-theater production exploring the true story of the transfer of command of the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) from Jones to McDonough. On June 9, Sully’s paintings, as well as the museum’s portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan, will be explored in the program, “Artists at The Old State House.”

Thomas Sully’s portraits of commodores Jacob Jones (left) and Thomas McDonough, two Delaware heroes of the War of 1812, on display in The Old State House. On June 2, 2018, the museum will present “Change of Command,” a historical-theater production exploring the true story of the transfer of command of the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) from Jones to McDonough. On June 9, Sully’s paintings, as well as the museum’s portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan, will be explored in the program, “Artists at The Old State House.”

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, June 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018
“Change of Command.” Historical-theater production set at the time when command of the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was transferred between two Delaware heroes of the War of 1812—from Commodore Jacob Jones to Commodore Thomas McDonough. 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. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.

Saturday, June 2, 2018
“Turn of the Century Inventors.” Guided tours will explore late-19th- and early-20th-century inventors who revolutionized American society including Edison, Ford, Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, E.R. Johnson and Emile Berliner. 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.

Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, 2018
Separation Day. Celebration marking the 241st anniversary of Delaware’s separation from Great Britain and Pennsylvania and the formation of the Delaware State. Event includes free activities at the New Castle Court House Museum. Admission charge at other venues. Downtown New Castle. Friday, 6–9:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 302-323-4453 or 302-322-9801.

Saturday, June 9, 2018
“Artists at the Old State House.” Presentation by historic-site interpreter Valerie Kauffman explores oil paintings by Denis Alexandre Volozan and Thomas Sully that are exhibited in The Old State House and the historical context in which they were created. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, June 9, 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.

Thursdays, June 14, 21 and 28, 2018
Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@delaware.gov or call 302-645-1148.

Saturday, June 16, 2018
“Dickinson Dyes.” Program showcases how copper pots, fire and 18th-century techniques were used to dye fabric at the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 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.

Dyeing wool at the John Dickinson Plantation. Eighteenth-century techniques used to dye fabric will be explored at the museum on June 16, 2018.

Dyeing wool at the John Dickinson Plantation. Eighteenth-century techniques used to dye fabric will be explored at the museum on June 16, 2018.

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@delaware.gov or call 302-645-1148.

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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events

Delaware’s Chautauqua tent shows move to September during 2018

Written on: May 15th, 2018 in EventsHistoric SitesMuseumsNews

–“All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad” to take place from Sept. 13 to 15, 2018–

Delaware’s Chautauqua tent shows, traditionally held in June, have been moved to September during 2018. Entitled “All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad,” the three-day series of programs will explore the importance of railroads to America’s economy and way of life, and their impact in Delaware. Now in its 20th year, Delaware’s Chautauqua will take place from Sept. 13 to 15, 2018 and will be split between two Lewes, Del. locations: the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway, and the Lewes History Museum, located at 101 Adams Ave. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, call 302-645-1148. Additional information will be released to the media and published on the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs website as it becomes available.

Neill Hartley of the American Historical Theatre will portray Joshua Lionel Cowen, founder of the Lionel Corporation, during Lewes, Del.’s Chautauqua Tent Show.

Neill Hartley of the American Historical Theatre will portray Joshua Lionel Cowen, founder of the Lionel Corporation, during Lewes, Del.’s Chautauqua Tent Show.

Co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and the Lewes Historical Society, the 2018 Chautauqua will be held under a large tent and will be headlined by re-enactors from the American Historical Theatre who will take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the featured characters who will include a Harvey Girl, one of the thousands of young women who were recruited to work as waitresses in Fred Harvey’s chain of restaurants located along railroad lines in the American West during the late-19th to the mid-20th century; Joshua Lionel Cowen, the founder of the Lionel Corporation which manufactured toy trains; and American author Mark Twain who will share his humorous thoughts on railroads.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray Mark Twain during the Chautauqua Tent Show.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray Mark Twain during the Chautauqua Tent Show.

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

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

Tent from a previous Delaware Chautauqua

Tent from a previous Delaware Chautauqua

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.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

The Lewes Historical Society is committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of Lewes, Del.—one of America’s most historic towns. As part of its mission, the society operates the Lewes History Museum and maintains several beautifully restored historic properties dating from 1665 to 1898. Open for public visitation, these sites, in conjunction with the society’s educational programs and special events, help to tell Lewes’ story of maritime adventure, architectural elegance and over 375 years of colonial charm.


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events

Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend

Written on: May 10th, 2018 in EventsMuseums

Adults and children alike will have an opportunity to experience seafaring lives of adventure, romance, excitement and hardships, and to honor mariners who made the ultimate sacrifice, during the Zwaanendael Museum’s seventh annual maritime celebration, “A Sailor’s Life for Me,” that will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations from Friday to Sunday, May 25 to 27, 2018. A complete schedule of events is included below. Except where indicated, admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Historical interpreters at the 2017 Zwaanendael maritime celebration. Interpreters will again be performing at this year’s event that will take place from May 25 to 27, 2018.

Historical interpreters at the 2017 Zwaanendael maritime celebration. Interpreters will again be performing at this year’s event that will take place from May 25 to 27, 2018.

2018 Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me”

Friday, May 25, 2018

• Cape Henlopen cruise, 4:30–6 p.m.
On the 220th anniversary of the sinking of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, enjoy a cruise of the waters off Cape Henlopen conducted by the Cape Water Taxi. Admission $24 for adults, $23 for seniors and $17 for children age 11 or younger. Go to the following for reservations.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes

• Displays and demonstrations on local maritime history, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Presented by the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation; Lightship Overfalls/Overfalls Foundation and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR)

Canal Front Park, 211 Front St., Lewes

• Living-history encampment, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Historical re-enactors will portray sailors and mariners from throughout history. Activities include displays, demonstrations and military drills

 Kayak rentals through Quest Adventures, 9 a.m.–Noon
Special Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration rates

Lewes Life-Saving Station, 2 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes

• Tours of the station, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Conducted by interpreters from the Lewes Historical Society

•  “A Sailor’s Life for Me” lecture series

–“Unsung Heroes and Heroines of the U.S. Life-Saving Service,” 11 a.m.
Presented by the Lewes Historical Society

–“Lightship History,” 1 p.m.
Presented by Wayne Kirklin of the Overfalls Foundation

–“Delaware’s Maritime Heroes,” 3 p.m.
Presented by Bill Manthorpe

Lewes Life-Saving Station Boathouse

Lewes Life-Saving Station Boathouse

 Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road, Lewes (next to Canal Front Park)

• Tours and sound-pipe demonstrations, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tour this National Historic Landmark that was the last lightship built by the United States Lighthouse Service and hear demonstrations on the use of sound pipes which were used by the Overfalls to produce distinct and powerfully audible warnings during the presence of thick fog or mist. Last tour at 3:30 p.m. Admission $5 for adults and children over 14 years of age

Lightship Overfalls

Lightship Overfalls

 Ryves Holt House, 218, Second St., Lewes

• Lewes walking tours, Noon and 2 p.m.
Tour the First Town in the First State with an interpreter from the Lewes Historical Society. Purchase tickets and begin tour at Ryves Holt House. Tickets $10 per person

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes

• Hull tour of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, Noon
Participants will meet at the Zwaanendael Museum where they will board a van that will transport them to an offsite conservation facility for a guided tour of the surviving hull section of the DeBraak which sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Admission is free, but due to limited seating, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Friday, May 18, 2018. Tour limited to the first 12 people with reservations. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

 • Wreath-laying ceremony honoring crew members of the DeBraak, apx. 3 p.m.
Accompanied by a bagpiper, the ceremony will take place at the DeBraak Memorial located on the museum grounds. The site is believed to contain the remains of several crew members who lost their lives in the sinking of the DeBraak

 Canal Front Park, 211 Front St., Lewes

• Living-history encampment, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Historical re-enactors will portray sailors and mariners from throughout history. Activities include displays and demonstrations

Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church cemetery, 211 Mulberry St., Lewes

• Wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of James Drew, captain of the DeBraak, 2:30 p.m.
Accompanied by a bagpiper, participants will lay a wreath on Capt. Drew’s grave, followed by a walk to the Zwaanendael Museum for a wreath-laying ceremony honoring other crew members of the DeBraak

Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road, Lewes (next to Canal Front Park)

• Tours and sound-pipe demonstrations, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tour this National Historic Landmark that was the last lightship built by the United States Lighthouse Service and hear demonstrations on the use of sound pipes which were used by the Overfalls to produce distinct and powerfully audible warnings during the presence of thick fog or mist. Last tour at 3:30 p.m. Admission $5 for adults and children over 14 years of age

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.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

American Alliance of Museums logo


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events

“Lost off Lewes: The British warship DeBraak”

Written on: May 8th, 2018 in EventsMuseumsUncategorized

-Tours explore the surviving hull section of an 18th-century shipwreck-

Beginning on June 14, 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will offer tours that explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798.

DeBraak tours logo

During 2018, tours will take place both on Thursday mornings and on selected Saturday evenings. Thursday tours will take place at 9 a.m. on the following dates: June 14, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Saturday tours will take place at 5 p.m. on June 30, July 28 and Aug. 25.

Tours begin at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., where a lecture on the ship will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Participants will learn about the history, crew and sinking of the DeBraak through a guided presentation and display of actual artifacts. Attendees will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak conservation facility for interpretation and viewing of the ship’s surviving hull section. Each tour lasts approximately two hours.

Visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull which can be seen in the left of the photo.

Visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull which can be seen in the left of the photo.

Tickets are available at the Zwaanendael Museum. Admission is $10 per person (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@delaware.gov or call 302-645-1148. Tours are restricted to individuals age 10 and up with space limited to 12 participants per tour. Walk-ups are welcome but space is not guaranteed. Special tours, for groups of 10 to 15, may be arranged in advance by contacting the museum.

Significance of DeBraak …

During the late-18th and early-19th centuries, sloops of war such as DeBraak played an increasingly important role in Royal Navy campaigns. These relatively small vessels combined speed, agility, shallow draft and increased firepower, all of which made them formidable naval vessels. As the only Royal Navy sloop of war from this time period that has been recovered anywhere in the world, DeBraak serves as an invaluable historical resource for a time when Great Britain was the world’s preeminent naval power.

The surviving section of the DeBraak’s hull and its associated artifact collection have been curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by the State of Delaware in 1992. Approximately one-third of the hull survives including the keel, keelson and lower framing elements, including a large section of the starboard (right) side.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

About the Zwaanendael Museum …

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.

DeBraak tour participants listening to a presentation at the Zwaanendael Museum. The exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” is in the background.

DeBraak tour participants listening to a presentation at the Zwaanendael Museum. The exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” is in the background.


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volunteerism

Department of State volunteers help with spring cleanup at the John Dickinson Plantation

Written on: May 1st, 2018 in Volunteerism

On April 23, 2018, 13 volunteers from the Delaware Department of State including Deputy Secretary of State Courtney Stewart participated in a spring cleanup at the John Dickinson Plantation, the home of one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.” Located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road, southeast of Dover, the site is one of five state museums operated by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, a component agency of the Department of State.

Delaware Department of State employees mulching a garden bed at the John Dickinson Plantation

Delaware Department of State employees mulching a garden bed at the John Dickinson Plantation

A variety of tasks were completed during the day’s activities including weeding and mulching garden beds, painting light and sign poles, scrubbing benches and cleaning the site’s log’d dwelling. The program was organized by Sara Clendaniel, coordinator of the division’s Volunteer Program in celebration of National Volunteer Week. The spring cleanup provided department employees with a valuable team-building exercise while also helping them become more acquainted with the programs and services of one of the department’s most publicly visible divisions.

Delaware Department of State employees scrubbing a bench at the John Dickinson Plantation

Delaware Department of State employees scrubbing a bench at the John Dickinson Plantation

 

 


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