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  Archived Posts From: 2018

education

Grants for historic preservation

Written on: August 24th, 2018 in EducationNewsPreservationUncategorized

Applications are now being accepted for the following historic-preservation-related grants:

African American Civil Rights Grants
National Park Service grant program provides assistance in documenting, interpreting and preserving the sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens in the 20th Century. Funding available in both the preservation and history categories. Deadline for both categories: Oct. 8, 2018.

National Park Service logo

Partners in Training Grants
The Historic Preservation Education Foundation grant program provides assistance for training opportunities on topics associated with preservation technology. Proposals due by Oct. 15, 2018.

Historic Preservation Education Foundation logo


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news

Sussex County boasts new listing in the National Register of Historic Places

Written on: August 24th, 2018 in NewsPreservation

By Joe Fulgham, communications officer, Delaware House of Representatives Minority Caucus

As children in Delaware get ready to return to school, a dedicated group of volunteers and state officials have seen their efforts to preserve the classroom experience of a century ago achieve a major milestone.

Located just off State Route 20, west of Millsboro, the one-teacher Godwin School was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1897, when such structures were commonplace, the Godwin School is among a small group of present-day survivors.

Entrance to the Godwin School

Entrance to the Godwin School

“By 1925, there were 224 one-teacher schools in Delaware, 138 of which were in Sussex County,” said Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register Coordinator Madeline Dunn. “There are a few buildings here in Sussex, four or five, that we’ve been able to track, that were removed from their original locations and converted to agricultural support buildings.”

The Godwin School had initially suffered a similar fate. After closing its doors in 1936 following nearly four decades of service, it was converted to a corn crib—a job it performed for many years. In 1985, the Millsboro Historical Society formed with the goal of restoring the building to its former appearance and purpose, preserving it as a tribute to the state’s past.

Margaret Mitchell, president of the Millsboro Historical Society, was the driving force behind the project that she said only came to fruition through the efforts of numerous people. “There was a group of people that worked really hard. We did a lot of fundraising … and county council helped us out tremendously.”

The dedication brought to the project was the result of a personal connection for many of those involved. “We knew the history of this place,” Ms. Mitchell said. “My mother went to school here.”

Interior section of the Godwin School

Interior section of the Godwin School

The school’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places is more than just a point of pride. Ms. Dunn said it also carries some significant benefits. First, the society will now be able to apply for historic preservation tax credits, which will help it meet the continuing costs of maintaining the site. “The listing also guarantees that 20 or 30 or 40 years from now, if they are considering expanding the road or doing any federally funded project [that might impact this site], they will have to take into consideration that … this is a building worthy of historic preservation,” she said.

State Rep. Rich Collins, R-Millsboro, who represents the area, recently visited the school and said it provides a compelling experience of “how people lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s” that is lacking from many museums.

(From left) Margaret Mitchell, president of the Millsboro Historical Society; State Rep. Rich Collins; and Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register coordinator-historian.

(From left) Margaret Mitchell, president of the Millsboro Historical Society; State Rep. Rich Collins; and Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register coordinator-historian.

For both teachers and students, the average school day in 1918 was starkly different from that of their modern-day counterparts. Learning was done without the benefit of electricity, by daylight or lantern, from wooden benches and desks.

“Teachers and students alike walked up to three miles to school and never stayed at home on snowy days,” Ms. Dunn said. “A teacher’s routine duties included building a fire in the wood stove and sweeping out the classroom before students arrived.”

Rep. Collins applauded the Millsboro Historical Society and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. “We have a lot of history in this area,” he said. “Thank goodness we have people that are willing and dedicated to making the sacrifices they do to preserve this heritage.”

For additional coverage, go to the following:

Godwin School Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
YouTube video, Aug. 23, 2018

After decades of work, Millsboro schoolhouse a national historic site
Coastal Point, Ocean View, Del.—Aug. 23, 2018

National Register: Godwin School lands county council grant support
Sussex Post, Georgetown, Del.—Aug. 15, 2018

One-teacher Millsboro schoolhouse listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ blog, July 31, 2018


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news

Delaware releases historic preservation plan for 2018–2022

Written on: August 23rd, 2018 in NewsPreservation

By Gwen Davis, Deputy Historic Preservation Officer

On Aug. 23, 2018, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs released Partners in Preservation: Planning for the Future—Delaware’s Historic Preservation Plan, 2018–2022 which provides a guide for citizens, organizations and agencies working together to preserve Delaware’s heritage for the future. The plan outlines six broad goals for the next five years, and suggests specific strategies and actions that can help achieve those goals. The plan encourages advocates to be informed, share resources and take action. Notably, the plan emphasizes the importance of potential partners that could assist in this work, and encourages building on common interests among a variety of stakeholders.

Delaware’s Historic Preservation Plan, 2018–2022 cover

The preservation plan focuses on developing tools and information needed to help guide growth and change in ways that sustain and enhance the state’s character and quality of life. In this work, the plan complements Delaware Strategies for State Policies and Spending, developed by the Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination to coordinate land-use decision-making, as well as other statewide and local planning efforts.

As a requirement for receiving Delaware’s annual portion of the federal Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, the division is responsible for coordinating the preparation and development of a comprehensive, statewide historic preservation plan and for updating it at regular intervals. Begun in August 2016, the new plan was written by members of the division’s State Historic Preservation Office working with consultant Heritage Strategies, and with input from preservation professionals, non-profit organizations and the public. Additional review, comment and final approval of the plan were supplied by the National Park Service, as well as the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation which provides guidance and perspective on Delaware’s historic preservation issues.

The division’s State Historic Preservation Office invites you to become part of a coalition working toward the preservation goals outlined in the plan. To read the new plan online, go to “Partners in Preservation: Planning for the Future—Delaware’s Historic Preservation Plan, 2018–2022.” For a print version, go here. Printed copies are also available on request.


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events

Division to sponsor 21 special events during September 2018

Written on: August 22nd, 2018 in EventsHistoric SitesMuseumsNews

Updated: Sept. 12, 2018

During the month of September 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 21 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.

Members of the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware posing on the Dover Green. The tribe will celebrate its heritage with dancing and demonstrations at the Old State House on Sept. 1, 2018.

Members of the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware posing on the Dover Green. The tribe will celebrate its heritage with dancing and demonstrations at the Old State House on Sept. 1, 2018.

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

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘A Lenapé Celebration of Heritage.’ ” Eighth annual celebration featuring the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware as they honor mother earth and Native-American culture with dancing and demonstrations. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Grand entry at Noon. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 3, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘American Indian Melodies and the Victor Talking Machine Company.’ ” Site interpreter Valerie Kauffman and American Indian flutist Boe Harris explore early-20th-century Victor Talking Machine Company recordings of compositions based on, or inspired by, Native American music, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. In addition, Harris will perform Indian melodies and audience members will be provided with traditional instruments to play along in an impromptu “Indian melodies jam session.” Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Programs at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Monday, Sept. 3, 2018
Labor 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.

Monday, Sept. 3, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘The Long Road to Recognition: New Avenues.’ ” Elected Chief Dennis Coker will discuss the long process that led to the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware’s official status as a state-recognized Indian community and what that means for Delaware’s citizens today. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Thursdays, Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 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, Sept. 8, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘Archaeology in Delaware and the First People.’ ” Program by John P. McCarthy, RPA, cultural preservation specialist for Delaware State Parks, provides information on archaeological sites in Delaware that have revealed stunning information about the lives of Delaware’s first people. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
20th Annual Chautauqua—‘All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad.’ ” Activities begin at 1 p.m., culminating at 7:15 p.m. when Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre portrays Mark Twain. Margaret H. Rollins Community Center, 101 Adams Ave., Lewes. Free admission. 302-645-7670. Note: Due to severe weather, venue changed from a tent at the Zwaanendael Museum to indoors at the Rollins Community Center.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray Mark Twain during the Chautauqua on Sept. 13, 2018.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray Mark Twain during the Chautauqua on Sept. 13, 2018.

Friday, Sept. 14, 2018
20th Annual Chautauqua—‘All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad.’ ” Activities begin at 1 p.m., culminating at 7:15 p.m. when Kim Hanley of the American Historical Theatre portrays a Harvey Girl. Margaret H. Rollins Community Center, 101 Adams Ave., Lewes. Free admission. 302-645-7670. Note: Due to severe weather, venue changed from tents at the Zwaanendael Museum and the Lewes History Museum to indoors at the Rollins Community Center.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018
20th Annual Chautauqua—‘All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad.’ ” Activities begin at 1 p.m., culminating at 7:15 p.m. when Neill Hartley of the American Historical Theatre portrays Joshua Lionel Cowen, the founder of the Lionel Corporation which manufactured toy trains. Margaret H. Rollins Community Center, 101 Adams Ave., Lewes. Free admission. 302-645-7670. Note: Due to severe weather, venue changed from a tent at the Lewes History Museum to indoors at the Rollins Community Center.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018
CANCELLED: “The First People of the First State: ‘Deciphering American Indian DNA.’ ” Program explores the implications of DNA testing from a Native American perspective. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. Note: Due to Hurricane-Florence-related cancellations by panelists who would have been traveling from the Carolinas, this program has been cancelled.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018
“Model Railroading Today.” Presentation by John Hodges, president of the Delaware Seaside Model Railroad Club. Part of the “20th Annual Chautauqua—‘All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad.’ ” Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. 2:15 p.m. Free admission. 302-645-2733. Note: Due to severe weather, venue changed from a tent at the Lewes History Museum to indoors at the library.

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
“Bombs, Blitz and Rations: Living in War Torn London During WWII.” Presentation features personal memories of World War II by New Castle resident Jean Norvell who grew up in war-torn London. 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, “Bombs, Blitz and Rations: Living in War Torn London During WWII” that will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum on Sept. 19, 2018.

Jean Norvell will share her childhood experiences growing up during Britain’s “darkest hour” in the program, “Bombs, Blitz and Rations: Living in War Torn London During WWII” that will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum on Sept. 19, 2018.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘Native American Arts.’ ” Join the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware as they demonstrate drumming and dancing, and share the art of bead working. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 6 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘American Indian Women Today.’ ” American Indian women, including author Kay Oxendine of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, will speak about traditional roles and how those roles have become pertinent in today’s #METOO society. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018
National Estuaries Day Campfire Program. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 6–8 p.m. Admission free but reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-6377.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘Bloomsbury and the Survival of the Lenapé People.’ ” Join archeologist and ethnographer Dr. Cara Blume as she examines the significance of the Bloomsbury archaeological site which gave proof of identity and the continued existence of the Lenapé people in Delaware. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 6 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
The First People of the First State: ‘Growing Up Lenapé in Delaware: Lenapé Women Speak.’ ” Tribal citizens speak about their experiences with American Indian identity before and after desegregation. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

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

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo


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events

“First People of the First State”: Programs featuring the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware throughout September 2018

Written on: August 21st, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNewsUncategorized

Updated: Sept. 12, 2018

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware and the Dover Public Library, will be sponsoring “First People of the First State,” a series of 11 Lenapé-themed programs taking place during September 2018 at three locations in downtown Dover, Del. A full schedule is listed below. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Lenapé fancy dancer. The Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware will be celebrating its heritage with dancing and demonstrations on Sept. 1, 2018.

Lenapé fancy dancer. The Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware will be celebrating its heritage with dancing and demonstrations on Sept. 1, 2018.

Commenting on the Lenapé people’s more than 12,000-year presence in Delaware, Nena Todd, site supervisor for the division’s downtown Dover museums, noted that, “despite the struggles and hardships that they have experienced in recent centuries, the Lenapé people continue to persevere, prosper and preserve their cultural heritage—and to generously share it with their fellow Delawareans.” In keeping with this tradition, the tribe has partnered with the division to sponsor Native-American-themed programming each September since 2012.

Highlights of the 2018 “First People of the First State” series include “A Lenapé Celebration of Heritage” which will take place between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green. During the day’s activities, tribal members will celebrate mother earth and their culture with dancing, demonstrations and a “grand entry” at Noon.

On Saturday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 3, the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St., will present “American Indian Melodies and the Victor Talking Machine Company,” a program that explores early-20th century Victor recordings of Native American music. During the program, site-interpreter Valerie Kauffman and featured guest—American Indian flutist Boe Harris—will explore what was called the “unique American sound” during the Indianist Movement of the 1880s through the 1920s. Visitors will have an opportunity to listen to some of these compositions on original 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. In addition, Harris will perform Indian melodies and audience members will be provided with traditional instruments to play along in an impromptu “Indian melodies jam session.” Programs will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both days.

Native-American flutist Boe Harris will perform at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Sept. 1 and 3, 2018.

Native-American flutist Boe Harris will perform at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Sept. 1 and 3, 2018.

Finally, on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m., the Dover Public Library, located at 36 Loockerman Plaza, will host “Native American Arts” in which members of the Lenapé Tribe will demonstrate drumming and dancing, and share the art of bead working.

Funding for the 2018 “First People of the First State” series is provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Delaware Humanities Forum logo

American Alliance of Museums logo

“First People of the First State”
September 2018

Schedule as of Aug. 21, 2018

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘A Lenapé Celebration of Heritage.’ ” Eighth annual celebration featuring the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware as they honor mother earth and Native-American culture with dancing and demonstrations. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Grand entry at Noon. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 3, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘American Indian Melodies and the Victor Talking Machine Company.’ ” Site interpreter Valerie Kauffman and American Indian flutist Boe Harris explore early-20th-century Victor Talking Machine Company recordings of compositions based on, or inspired by, Native American music, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. In addition, Harris will perform Indian melodies and audience members will be provided with traditional instruments to play along in an impromptu “Indian melodies jam session.” Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Programs at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Monday, Sept. 3, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘The Long Road to Recognition: New Avenues.’ ” Elected Chief Dennis Coker will discuss the long process that led to the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware’s official status as a state-recognized Indian community and what that means for Delaware’s citizens today. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘Archaeology in Delaware and the First People.’ ” Program by John P. McCarthy, RPA, cultural preservation specialist for Delaware State Parks, provides information on archaeological sites in Delaware that have revealed stunning information about the lives of Delaware’s first people. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018
CANCELLED: “The First People of the First State: ‘Deciphering American Indian DNA.’ ” Program explores the implications of DNA testing from a Native American perspective. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. Note: Due to Hurricane-Florence-related cancellations by panelists who would have been traveling from the Carolinas, this program has been cancelled.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘Native American Arts.’ ” Join the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware as they demonstrate drumming and dancing, and share the art of bead working. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 6 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘American Indian Women Today.’ ” American Indian women, including author Kay Oxendine of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, will speak about traditional roles and how those roles have become pertinent in today’s #METOO society. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘Bloomsbury and the Survival of the Lenapé People.’ ” Join archeologist and ethnographer Dr. Cara Blume as she examines the significance of the Bloomsbury archaeological site which gave proof of identity and the continued existence of the Lenapé people in Delaware. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 6 p.m. 302-736-7030.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
“The First People of the First State: ‘Growing Up Lenapé in Delaware: Lenapé Women Speak.’ ” Tribal citizens speak about their experiences with American Indian identity before and after desegregation. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.


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events

“All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad”

Written on: August 15th, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNews

–20th annual Chautauqua to take place in Lewes, Del. from Sept. 13 to 15, 2018–

Updated: Sept. 11, 2018

NOTE: Due to anticipated heavy wind and rainfall, all Chautauqua activities have been moved to new indoor locations.

The importance of railroads to America’s economy and way of life, and their impact on Delaware, will be explored during the 20th annual Chautauqua, “All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad,” that will take place from Sept. 13 to 15, 2018 in Lewes, Del.

With one exception, all programs will take place at the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center located at 101 Adams Ave. Note: Due to a scheduling conflict, the program “Model Railroading Today,” presented by John Hodges, president of the Delaware Seaside Model Railroad Club, will take place from 2:15 to 3 p.m. at the Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. Go here for a complete listing of activities. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

2018 Chautauqua tent shows banner

A unique mixture of education and entertainment, Lewes’ Chautauqua will feature a model-railroad display, lectures, music, films and an old-time radio show, capped off 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 2018 Chautauqua.

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.

“All Aboard: Delaware and the Railroad” is co-sponsored by the Zwaanendael Museum, the Lewes Historical Society and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, and is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Delaware Humanities Forum logo

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

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

American Alliance of Museums logo

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.

Lewes Historical Society logo


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events

“The Empty Glass: Sherlock Holmes Comes to Dover” to be presented at The Old State House on Aug. 18, 2018

Written on: August 7th, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNewsUncategorized

(DOVER, Del.—Aug. 7, 2018)—On Saturday Aug. 18, 2018 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., will present “The Empty Glass: Sherlock Holmes Comes to Dover,” a theatrical performance in which the celebrated British detective, having solved every case in Victorian London, embarks on a journey to America. Arriving in Dover, Del., he and his trusted colleague Dr. Watson attempt to solve the grisly murder case of “The Empty Glass.” Admission to the play is free but visitors are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Historical interpreters Gavin Malone (left), as Dr. Watson, and Chris Hall, as Sherlock Holmes, will appear in the play “The Empty Glass: Sherlock Holmes Comes to Dover” at The Old State House on Aug. 18, 2018.

Historical interpreters Gavin Malone (left), as Dr. Watson, and Chris Hall, as Sherlock Holmes, will appear in the play “The Empty Glass: Sherlock Holmes Comes to Dover” at The Old State House on Aug. 18, 2018.

“The Empty Glass: Sherlock Holmes Comes to Dover,” was created by historic-site interpreters from The Old State House in celebration of the Dover Comic Con comic-book festival that will be held at a variety of Dover locations on Aug. 18, 2018. The play is based on an actual Dover, Del. court case and features Sherlock Holmes, the fictional private detective who appeared in four novels and 56 short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and published between 1887 and 1927.

Old State House

Old State House

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

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo


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news

PUBLIC NOTICE: Proposed new regulations pertaining to the Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit program

Written on: August 1st, 2018 in NewsPreservation

Due in part to legislative changes, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has proposed new regulations pertaining to the state historic preservation tax credit program. For a copy of the proposed regulations, as well as instructions on how to submit public comments, go to Amendments to the Regulations Governing the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. The deadline for submission of comments is Sept. 4, 2018.

As of the close of business on July 31, 2018, the division is not able to accept any new applications for the state’s tax credit program, or any new parts of existing applications, until after the administrative-rules process is complete.

The proposed rules do not affect the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program. Owners of commercial historic properties that are interested in applying for federal tax credits should go to Federal Rehabilitation Tax Incentive Program, or go directly to the National Park Service website.

 

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