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  Archived Posts From: 2018

news

Division notes passing of Collections Committee member Joe Gates

Written on: December 20th, 2018 in NewsVolunteerism

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs notes, with sadness, the passing of Joe Gates who served from 2008 to 2018 as a volunteer on the agency’s Collections Committee which is responsible for the review and approval of all acquisitions of Delaware-related objects and artifacts for the state’s collections.

Joe Gates

Joe Gates

Originally from Finleyville, Pa., Gates lived in Delaware for many years where he served in a variety of positions including social-studies teacher, principal and librarian. His work helped bring history alive for Delaware students at Laurel Middle School; and at William Henry Middle School and Delaware Technical Community College in Dover. As a collector, he had a special interest in, among other things, bookmarks and Dover postcards.

Go to the following for more information on the life of Joe Gates.


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news

End-of-year meeting honors division employees and volunteers

Written on: December 19th, 2018 in NewsVolunteerism

During an end-of-year event that took place on Dec. 17, 2018 at the Bowers Beach Fire Hall, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs thanked its employees and volunteers for making 2018 a successful year for the agency.

Division employees and volunteers at the all-staff meeting on Dec. 17, 2018

Division employees and volunteers at the all-staff meeting on Dec. 17, 2018

Division Director Tim Slavin began the program by welcoming consultant Kathleen Doyle who planned and organized the 2018 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition, and by bidding farewell to archaeologist Craig Lukezic who will be leaving the division on Dec. 21, 2018 to begin a new job as a cultural resource manager/natural scientist at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County, Md.

Slavin also announced that Beth Gott, the Zwaanendael Museum’s lead historic-site interpreter, would be retiring in April 2019 after 30 years of service; welcomed Ray Crew as a volunteer at the division’s downtown Dover museums; and presented volunteer-service certificates to Jason Bakke for 148 volunteer hours, Carla Griffith (101 hours), Bitsy Mahon (97 hours) and Jim Schilling (112 hours).

Division volunteers holding their volunteer-service certificates. (From left) Jim Schilling, Carla Griffith, Bitsy Mahon, Division Director Tim Slavin and Jason Bakke

Division volunteers holding their volunteer-service certificates. (From left) Jim Schilling, Carla Griffith, Bitsy Mahon, Division Director Tim Slavin and Jason Bakke

Slavin then passed the baton to John Dickinson Plantation Site Supervisor Gloria Henry who presented the division’s Extra Mile Award to a team of employees who helped avert a potential disaster due to the failure of a propane tank regulator which vented gas into the air near the plantation’s mansion house. Thanks to the quick work of the team—which included Barbara Carrow, Chris Conley, Tammy Dayton, Scott Hayes, Vertie Lee, Chris Merrill and James Scott—the source of the leak was quickly identified and the gas turned off.

Division staff members holding their Extra Mile Award certificates. (From left) Vertie, Lee, Barbara Carrow, Chris Merrill, Chris Conley, Division Director Tim Slavin, Tammy Dayton, James Scott and John Dickinson Plantation Site Supervisor Gloria Henry. Not pictured: Scott Hayes

Division staff members holding their Extra Mile Award certificates. (From left) Vertie, Lee, Barbara Carrow, Chris Merrill, Chris Conley, Division Director Tim Slavin, Tammy Dayton, James Scott and John Dickinson Plantation Site Supervisor Gloria Henry. Not pictured: Scott Hayes

Slavin returned to announce that recently retired Zwaanendael Museum historic-site interpreter Carol Cutbill was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her more than 20 years of service to the museum. Cutbill was unable to attend the event.

The formal part of the day’s activities concluded with presentations on two major projects for which the division has been engaged in recent years. In the first presentation, Slavin provided an update on the division’s new collections facility that is currently in the process of being built at a site west of Dover. The 35,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will eventually house the multi-million-item collection of historical materials owned by the State of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art, and library and archival materials. If all goes according to plan, and there are no weather-related delays, the facility will be certified for occupancy by Aug. 31, 2019 with the transfer of all the collections materials completed by Dec. 31, 2019.

In the second presentation Slavin and archaeologist Wade Catts discussed the archaeological and historical importance of the Cooch Farm complex which will soon be acquired by the State of Delaware and administered by the division. The farm complex was the center of the fighting in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, the only battle of the American Revolutionary War that took place on Delaware soil.


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events

Division to sponsor seven special events during January 2019

Written on: December 19th, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNews

During the month of January 2019, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring seven special programs at the museums of the State of Delaware. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.

The Original Dixieland Jass Band made the first commercially released jazz recording in 1917 for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Early jazz will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Jan. 5, 2019.

The Original Dixieland Jass Band made the first commercially released jazz recording in 1917 for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Early jazz will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Jan. 5, 2019.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, January 2019

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

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019
New Year’s Day. All museums of the State of Delaware (the John Dickinson Plantation the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum) will be closed. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
“Ringing in the New Year With Jazz.” Guided tours explore the sound of classic jazz and the role that the Victor Talking Machine Company played in bringing the New Orleans sound to music lovers across the globe, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
“Divided Delaware.” In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Afterwards, the state grew increasingly divided. This in-depth presentation will analyze three important moments where division prevented great social change from occurring in Delaware: the state’s effort to end slavery before the Civil War; the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments; and Delaware’s chance to be the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Friday, Jan. 11, 2019
Concert by Phyllis Chapell. ‎ World-jazz music. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019
Lecture on the Avery’s Rest archaeological site. Program on Avery’s Rest, a 17th-century archaeological site near Rehoboth Beach presented by Dan Griffith of Griffith Archaeology and retired director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Part of “Across the Ages to the Edge of the Sea,” a lecture series exploring the history of the Lewes area from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 11, 2019.

A pair of scissors unearthed during archaeological excavations at the Avery’s Rest archaeological site. The site will be the subject of a lecture at the Zwaanendael Museum on Jan. 12, 2019.

A pair of scissors unearthed during archaeological excavations at the Avery’s Rest archaeological site. The site will be the subject of a lecture at the Zwaanendael Museum on Jan. 12, 2019.

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019
Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation meeting. Agenda TBA. The Delaware Room, Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m.–Noon. 302-736-7417.

Monday, Jan. 21, 2019
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The following 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 following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum). 302-744-5054.

Monday, Jan. 21, 2019
“Courage and Freedom.” In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, guided tours will focus on three compelling stories of courageous Delawareans whose fight for freedom and equality began at The Old State House. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Jan. 21, 2019
“The Struggle.” In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, guided tours focus on African-American vocalists and Civil Rights activists Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of those artists played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

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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education

Seventeenth annual Delaware Day competition winners announced

Written on: December 18th, 2018 in EducationNews

In a ceremony at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover on Dec. 8, 2018, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock presented awards celebrating participants in the Seventeenth Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition. More than 530 students from 19 schools across the state took part in this year’s activities.

Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School’s display which was awarded the George Read Award in the 2018 Delaware Fourth Grade Competition.

Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School’s display which was awarded the George Read Award in the 2018 Delaware Fourth Grade Competition.

Delaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787. Six months later, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish the Constitution as the law of the land.Delaware Day logoSponsored annually by Delaware’s secretary of state, the Fourth Grade Competition encourages students to study the Constitution and to discover Delaware’s role in its writing and ratification. Students’ observations are presented in a four-panel display format that incorporates prose, artwork, songs and political cartoons. Each display is reviewed for historical accuracy, spelling and creativity.

Commenting on the competition, Bullock noted, “Every year, Delawareans make special note of the day that our home earned its nickname, The First State, and every year I continue to be impressed by the creativity, knowledge and critical thinking on display in the projects that our fourth graders present to demonstrate their understanding of Delaware’s role in the American story.”

Each of the competition’s winning schools is recognized with a Signer’s Award named for one of Delaware’s five signatories of the U.S. Constitution. The Signer’s Awards for the 2018 competition are the George Read Award to Bunker Hill Elementary School in Middletown; the Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award to Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School in Newark; the John Dickinson Award to Lake Forest Central Elementary School in Felton; the Richard Bassett Award to Laurel Elementary School; and the Jacob Broom Award (tie) to Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Wilmington and the Learning Express Academy in Newark.

Honorable Mention awards were presented to Fairview, William B. Keene, May B. Leasure, Olive B. Loss, Joseph M. McVey, Lulu Ross, Booker T. Washington and Etta J. Wilson elementary schools; Ursuline and UrbanPromise academies; All Saints and Christ the Teacher Catholic schools; and Epworth Christian School.

Artistic Merit Awards, reviewed by the Delaware Division of the Arts, were also announced during the ceremony. These awards recognized projects whose overall visual design and impact, composition, cohesiveness and originality represented artistic excellence. Schools honored in this category were Bunker Hill, Robert S. Gallaher, Lake Forest Central and Laurel elementary schools. Honorable-mention awards in the Artistic Merit category were presented to Fairview and Lulu Ross elementary schools, and the UrbanPromise Academy.

The 2018 Delaware Day Student Competition was planned and organized by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ consultant Kathleen Doyle in cooperation with representatives of Delaware’s departments of State and Education. Several Department of State employees, including the division’s Beverly Laing, served as judges for the competition.

Go to the following for information about Delaware’s signers of the U.S. Constitution and a Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings associated with the signers.


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historic-sites

Museums of the State of Delaware 2018–2019 winter-holiday schedule

Written on: December 18th, 2018 in Historic SitesMuseumsNews

Travelers, and residents enjoying being home for the winter holidays, can learn about the First State’s many contributions to the history and culture of the United States by visiting any of 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). Admission is free and open to the public for all of the museums.

Dover Green. The Old State House is on the center-right.

Dover Green. The Old State House is on the center-right.

All five of the museums will be closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, will be open from 9 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve). The John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum will be closed on Dec. 31, 2018.

Following is complete information about each of the museums:

John Dickinson Plantation. Home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Johnson Victrola Museum. Early phonographs and recordings chronicle the developments of the sound recording industry and the achievements of E.R. Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. 375 S. New St., Dover. Wed.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Display at the Johnson Victrola Museum

Display at the Johnson Victrola Museum

New Castle Court House Museum. Built in 1732, this structure served as Delaware’s first court and state capitol. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun. 1:30 –4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

The Old State House. Completed in 1791, this building served as Delaware’s capitol during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. The structure is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area laid out in 1717 in accordance with William Penn’s order of 1683. 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun. 1:30 –4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Open on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve). Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

The Old State House

The Old State House

Zwaanendael Museum. The museum commemorates Delaware’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631. It serves as a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Closed on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 (Christmas Day); Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day).

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the museums of the State of Delaware are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo


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archaeology

Craig Lukezic to leave division employment

Written on: December 14th, 2018 in ArchaeologyNews

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

Craig Lukezic

Craig Lukezic

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

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


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historic-sites

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

Written on: December 12th, 2018 in Historic SitesNewsPreservation

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

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

The Cooch House and property

The Cooch House and property

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

Present-day Cooch’s Bridge over the Christina Creek

Present-day Cooch’s Bridge over the Christina Creek

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rear view of the Cooch House

Rear view of the Cooch House

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

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

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

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

About the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge …

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

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

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

Plaque from the Cooch’s Bridge monument

Plaque from the Cooch’s Bridge monument

About the Cooch home and surrounding property …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For press coverage of the State of Delaware’s acquisition of the Cooch’s Bridge property, go to the following:

State buying Cooch’s Bridge Revolutionary battle site
Dover Post, Del.—Dec. 10, 2018

Delaware to preserve Revolutionary War battle site
Delaware Public Media, Dover, Del.—Dec. 9, 2018

Site of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battle to be preserved
WHYY TV 12, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 9, 2018

Site Of Delaware’s Only Revolutionary War Battle Acquired By The State
First State Update, Del.—Dec 9, 2018

Cooch family: We’re proud to see our Revolutionary War site preserved
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

Saving a piece of the past
Delaware Business Now, Newark, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

Photo Gallery: State of Delaware acquires Cooch’s Bridge site
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

State purchases Cooch property, site of Revolutionary War battle
Delaware Business Now, Newark, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

State to purchase, preserve historic Cooch’s Bridge Battlefield
Newark Post, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

Video: Hallowed ground: home, more property to be preserved at Cooch’s Bridge
WDEL Radio, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 7, 2018

Delaware’s Revolutionary War battlefield, Cooch’s Bridge, to get new scrutiny
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.—Dec. 3, 2018
Archaeological investigations to take place at the site near Newark, Del.


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events

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

Written on: December 5th, 2018 in EventsHistoric SitesNews

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

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

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate

Located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, Buena Vista is one of Delaware’s most historic homes. The main section of the house was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849, and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937, and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the state by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a conference/event center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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