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  Archived Posts From: 2018

museums

“The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016” display now on view

Written on: November 27th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., is currently featuring “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016,” a display that explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover was restored to its original appearance in 1976. Admission is free and open to the public. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Circa 1840s desk and chair from the display “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016”

Circa 1840s desk and chair from the display “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016”

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest state-capitol 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 Green is a partner site of the First State National Historical Park.

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

The Old State House

The Old State House

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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events

Division to sponsor 16 special programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season

Written on: November 21st, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNews

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 16 special events, including 11 winter-holiday-themed activities, between Nov. 24, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019. A full schedule is included below. Except where otherwise indicated, all programs are free and open to the public.

“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby” will be presented at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Dec. 1, 2018.

“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby” will be presented at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Dec. 1, 2018.

Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018
Thanksgiving 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.

Friday, Nov. 23, 2018
Day After Thanksgiving. 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.

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a sachet with herbs and spices. 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.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be offering four “Handmade for the Holidays” programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season.

The John Dickinson Plantation will be offering four “Handmade for the Holidays” programs during the 2018 winter-holiday season.

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
“Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners including luminarias lighting the entrance walkway. Activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5–8 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor created by the Sussex Gardeners. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a journal for use in 2019. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“Holiday Celebrations in the Early 20th Century.” Christmas celebrations are a recent development in American history. Many traditions came with immigrants who arrived in the latter half of the 19th Century, and by the 20th Century had become mainstays of American life. In this program historic-site interpreter Latecia Prophet will educate and enlighten on how Delawareans, and many Americans, celebrated the holidays in the early 20th Century. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11:30 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
“White Christmas: A Tribute to Bing Crosby.” From his earliest days as a member of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra to his years in film, radio and TV, Bing Crosby was one of the best-known entertainers of the 20th century. In this program, visitors can discover the story behind the man who recorded the best-selling holiday song of all time. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 1 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 17th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m. 302-744-5000.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Spirit of Christmas in New Castle.” One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America features tours of decorated historic homes, re-enactments, programs at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Downtown New Castle. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. 302-328-3279.

Aerial view of the New Castle Green with the New Castle Court House Museum in the foreground

Aerial view of the New Castle Green with the New Castle Court House Museum in the foreground

Saturday, Dec. 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.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Lecture on Lightship Overfalls. Program on the history of lightships and of Lewes’ own Lightship Overfalls presented by author, instructor and Overfalls guide Wayne Kirklin. 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 Dec. 7, 2018.

Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
Concert by Kyle Offandani. ‎ Folk 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, Dec. 15, 2018
Buena Vista Holiday Open House. One-day-only event featuring self-guided tours of one of Delaware’s most historic homes decorated for the holidays plus a hands-on activity for children and adults. Refreshments provided. Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 302-323-4430.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a gift tag with paper quilling. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can design a tile for the holidays. 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.

Monday, Dec. 24, 2018
Christmas Eve. 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.

Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018
Christmas 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.

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.

Old State House

Old State House

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.

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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exhibits

“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware” exhibit at the New Castle Court House Museum

Written on: November 20th, 2018 in ExhibitsMuseumsNews

Revised: Feb. 24, 2019

The New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., is currently featuring the exhibit “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”

Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”

The exhibit explores Delaware’s role in the clandestine network that transported American slaves to freedom including the true journey of the Hawkins family from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. Part II of the exhibit explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers—including Jane Mitchell, “Judy” Johnson, Louis Redding and Lisa Blunt Rochester, among many others—who helped break racial and gender barriers.

“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware” was created by the staff of the New Castle Court House Museum working together with the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team. The exhibit opened on Feb. 23, 2019 and will be on display for an undetermined period of time. Museum operating-hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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news

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display at Legislative Hall

Written on: November 20th, 2018 in News

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve,” a display that explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts and their struggle to be allowed to serve in the nation’s military forces, is currently on view at Legislative Hall, located at 411 Legislative Ave. in Dover, Del. Admission is free and open to the public but, due to limited visitation hours, guests should call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

When Janey Comes Marching Home logo

Created by volunteer Carolyn Apple and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, the display includes several items from the collections of the State of Delaware including recruiting posters, women’s military uniforms and equipment, as well as a timeline that highlights the contributions of several notable American women who have served their country from the Revolutionary War to the present.

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display in Legislative Hall

“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve” display in Legislative Hall

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.


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news

Beverly Laing to retire from the division

Written on: November 19th, 2018 in News

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is bidding farewell to historian Beverly Laing who will retire from the agency on Dec. 1, 2018 after 28 years of service.

Beverly Laing

Beverly Laing

A native of Baltimore, Laing first began working for the division in 1990 as a historic-site interpreter and researcher at The Old State House and at the former Delaware State Visitor Center. During her years of service, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Wesley College in Dover, Del., and a master’s degree in history from Washington College in Chestertown, Md. Those degrees came in handy for the wide variety of positions she held including supervisor of the division’s downtown Dover museums, manager of the Site Management Team, and finally, as a historian and researcher working in the State Historic Preservation Office.

As a researcher, Laing was most proud of her work in investigating Delaware’s African-American history including the stories of the Underground Railroad conductor Samuel Burris, and the Summers family including James Summers, a free-black father who bought the freedom of his own children.

Laing also made a big impact with her work on the restoration of The Old State House that took place between 2005 and 2007, her service as part of the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, her efforts in partnership with the Delaware Tourism Office and her 16 years of service as a member of the Kent County Tourism Board which named her its Person of the Year in 2007.

Commenting on her years with the division, Laing noted that she was grateful for the “opportunity to work with so many talented people in helping to tell Delaware’s story.” She added that, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with countless visitors to the division’s museums including thousands of school children. If only a few of those children came away saying that history was fun, then I feel like I did a good job.”

Upon retirement, Laing is looking forward to continuing historical and ancestral research and spending time with Gary, her husband of 46 years, and her three grown children and eight grandchildren.


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museums

Jason Bakke receives a 2018 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award

Written on: November 15th, 2018 in MuseumsNewsVolunteerism

In a ceremony held at the Dover Downs Hotel on Oct. 24, 2018, Delaware Gov. John Carney recognized 23 individuals and groups as recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards. Jason Bakke, a volunteer for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Zwaanendael Museum, was honored in the awards program’s Arts and Culture category for his work in developing programming for the museum and expanding its outreach beyond Lewes into Sussex County.

Jason Bakke receiving his award from Gov. John Carney. (From left) Carney, Bakke and state Rep. Dave Wilson

Jason Bakke receiving his award from Gov. John Carney. (From left) Carney, Bakke and state Rep. Dave Wilson

Following is information on Bakke’s contributions that appeared in the 2018 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards program book. The paragraph was written by Kaitlyn Dykes, a former site interpreter at the museum:

Jason Bakke has been volunteering in one capacity or another since the age of 12 for the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, which commemorates Delaware’s first European colony and is a showcase for the Lewes area’s maritime, military and social history. Serving the museum as an educator and interpreter, a researcher, a program developer and a performer, Jason has been instrumental in assisting museum staff to expand its outreach beyond Lewes and further into Sussex County. His research for programming is tireless, and he even does some of that work from home without recording his hours. He acts as an educator at special events, runs stations ranging from colonial games to merchant displays, and explains exhibits and provides contextual information to guests. In 2017 alone, Jason volunteered more than 100 hours of service and helped the museum reach and provide education and entertainment to innumerable people.

The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, administered by the State Office of Volunteerism, honors the contributions of individuals and groups in Delaware that have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering. In 2017, 17,815 Delaware adults volunteered their time as part of the Volunteer Delaware program, contributing more than 700,000 hours of service to nonprofits and community organizations. The value of their service is estimated at more than $17.4 million.

Commenting on the individuals and groups that volunteer their time and talents in Delaware, Gov. Carney noted, “Each day across our state, thousands of volunteers come together with the common purpose to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve. Those volunteers don’t ask for anything in return, because they know in helping others, they enhance their own lives.”

The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of State Service Centers and the State Office of Volunteerism, as well as the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.


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archaeology

Division seeks applicants for project review archaeologist

Written on: November 7th, 2018 in ArchaeologyNewsPreservation

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has an immediate job opening for a project review archaeologist in Dover, Del. Applicants must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications for Archaeology. This is a full time contractual position, supported by special funds for a period of one year with the possibility of renewal, contingent on the availability of funds.

The position is contracted through Goodwill of Delaware Staffing Services and includes benefits. To apply, go to: http://64.150.177.129/staffing/Goodwill/jobsNew.aspx. A full job description is available upon request. For questions regarding this opportunity, please e-mail GSS@goodwillde.orgApplication deadline: Nov. 19, 2018.

The position will join the division’s State Historic Preservation Office team of cultural resource professionals and assist in stewardship and protection of the state’s archaeological resources. Job duties include: consulting with federal, state and local agencies and applicants concerning the effects of their projects on historic properties; reviewing archaeological work involving the identification, evaluation and treatment of sites; and supporting and participating in public outreach activities. The archaeologist will also advise agencies and constituents on appropriate delineation of cemeteries, and coordinate the division’s response to discoveries of unmarked burials.


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events

“Over There and Back Again!” program at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on Nov. 11, 2018

Written on: November 1st, 2018 in EventsMuseumsNews

On Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 2 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., will present “Over There and Back Again!,” a first-person performance in which lead historic-site-interpreter Gavin Malone will portray a World War I veteran discussing the differences in American society between the 1910s and the early 1920s, the end of the time period known as the Progressive Era. Admission to the program is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Lead historic-site interpreter Gavin Malone will portray a World War I veteran discussing changes in American society between the 1910s and the 1920s in the program “Over There and Back Again!” that will take place at The Old State House on Nov. 11, 2018.

Lead historic-site interpreter Gavin Malone will portray a World War I veteran discussing changes in American society between the 1910s and the 1920s in the program “Over There and Back Again!” that will take place at The Old State House on Nov. 11, 2018.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the United States underwent significant changes due, in large part, to the effects of a rapidly industrializing economy. Activists of the Progressives Era sought to address the problems resulting from industrialization by promoting ideas of morality, economic reform, efficiency and social welfare. Among others, the era saw the culmination of the temperance and women’s suffrage movements, as well as the nation’s profound transformation as a result of its involvement in World War I.

Historian Gavin Malone has served as a historic-site-interpreter at The Old State House and the Johnson Victrola Museum since 2012. The holder of master’s degrees in both history and teaching, Malone is an avid researcher who has been involved in the development of many of the museums’ educational programs and historical-theater presentations including, “The Minstrel Boy: the Life and Times of John McCormick,” “Play That Old Time Music: Victor Records and the Early Days of Country Music,” “Over There: World War I and the Victor Talking Machine Company,” “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music,” “Prohibition: Delaware and the 18th and 21st Amendments,” “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: William Penn and Lord Baltimore,” “Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Empty Glass” and many more.

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 Green is a partner site of the First State National Historical Park.

Old State House

Old State House

American Alliance of Museums logo


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museums

Zwaanendael Museum seeks historic-site interpreter

Written on: November 1st, 2018 in MuseumsNews

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is currently seeking qualified applicants for the position of museum/historic-site interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del. Applications for the position are available on the Delaware Employment Link. Note: The application deadline has been extended to Nov. 14, 2018.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum

Historic-site interpreters are the division’s front-line connection with the public, adding a human face to Delaware history. Through tours and special programming, they provide in-depth information about Delaware’s historic places and help bring the people and events of the past to life.


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news

Federal fiscal year 2018 review: Three Delaware properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Written on: October 29th, 2018 in NewsPreservation

By Madeline Dunn, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator

Though numerous activities were undertaken to identify, visit and initiate research activities for future nominations, three Delaware properties were officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places in federal fiscal year 2018. Listing in the National Register is an honorary designation which denotes that a property is worthy of historic preservation. Historians at the national level review the extensive site-specific research submitted for each nomination in order to determine whether or not an adequate historical context, relevant to a local or state-wide level of significance, has been properly documented.

Historical photo of the Ball Theatre in Millsboro which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 13, 2018.

Historical photo of the Ball Theatre in Millsboro which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 13, 2018.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office, Delaware’s National Register program saw increased interest in fiscal year 2018 through the establishment of preservation partnerships with private property owners, church congregational members, representatives of special interest groups, officials from several municipalities, students from collegiate institutions and volunteers from the division’s Volunteer Program. These representatives initiated research activities and will prepare National Register nominations in the future for individual properties and historic districts.

Properties that were listed in the National Register in fiscal year 2018 include the Ball Theatre and Godwin School, both in Millsboro, Sussex County; and Homestead Hall in Appoquinimink Hundred, New Castle County. In each case, documentation was accumulated by either the property owner, representatives of a special-interest group or consultants. Their research included examination of archival records as well as information gleaned from oral-history interviews.

Delaware properties added to the National Register of Historic Places in federal fiscal year 2018

–The Ball Theatre is located at 214 S. Main St. in Millsboro, Del. and was listed in the National Register on Sept. 13, 2018. Originally constructed between 1937 and 1938, the building continued to function as a movie theater until 1971 after which it was utilized for worship services by the New Life Assembly of God. It is currently being privately restored. The primary restoration goal is to preserve the historic fabric, equipment and amenities associated with the Ball Theatre. Preservation objectives include providing the community with a performing arts center and a place of entertainment where Class B movies can be shown, as well as contributing to the promotion and development of Millsboro’s downtown community.

This historic movie theater was constructed by Walter McKinley (Huck) Betts, a retired professional baseball player—hence the name “Ball Theatre.” Betts played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves between the 1920s and 1930s and was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 1980.

The Ball Theatre retains a high level of historical integrity including its original spatial arrangement; a mezzanine; wooden seating with upholstered seats in both the balcony and auditorium areas; tongue-and-groove wainscoting; a projection room with RCA sound equipment; restroom signage; decorative Art-Deco-style wall sconces; and the original floral patterned stage curtain which was locally made.

Balcony of the Ball Theatre with original seating

Balcony of the Ball Theatre with original seating

–The Godwin School is located at 23235 Godwin School Road west of Millsboro, Del. This historic one-teacher schoolhouse was officially listed in the National Register on July 16, 2018. Historically known as School District #190, it was approved by the State Board of Education as well as the Sussex County Committee of Education in the spring of 1896 and was officially in operation by 1897. During its 40-year history, as many as 30 students, representing grades one through eight, were educated within its walls on a daily basis. Teachers taught a variety of subjects including arithmetic, history, reading and science.

By the end of the 1935–1936 school year, enrollment in rural one-teacher schools had significantly dropped and School District #190 was one of 11 school districts in the state that closed. As a result, former Godwin School students were transferred to Millsboro School District # 23 which offered education to students from the seventh through 12th grades.

Like other closed one-teacher school buildings, the Godwin school was repurposed. Descendants of Jacob R. Godwin, namesake of the school and owner of the land on which the school building had been constructed, utilized it as an agricultural-support building. Decades later, the Millsboro Historical Society was established with the sole purpose of restoring the Godwin School. The society recognized the importance of preserving a once commonplace historical building type that has vanished from the rural landscape. Today the society conducts tours of their beloved building and welcomes visitors of all ages. Tours are conducted by appointment only by calling 302-934-6820.

The Godwin School

The Godwin School

–Homestead Hall is a well-maintained, privately-owned 18th century residence located in western Appoquinimink Hundred which was listed in the National Register on Aug. 13, 2018. It is locally known as the ancestral home of the Rothwell and Wilson families, prominent farmers who lived and owned extensive landholdings in Appoquinimink Hundred for more than 100 years.

Constructed about 1773 and enlarged around 1846, this Georgian style single-pile residence retains a great deal of historical integrity. Noteworthy architectural characteristics include its double entry doors on the main façade, a four-row brick-belt course between the first and second story levels and a projecting brick water table.

As a rare survival of an early 18th century brick dwelling, the documented history associated with this property provides an opportunity to learn about the gentry of the area including their social and domestic relationships as reflected in the reorganization of interior spaces; their land management strategies; and their agricultural activities including the importance of diversifying agricultural products which included transformation from growing wheat and corn during the 18th century, to dairying, raising livestock for slaughter and producing orchard products throughout the 19th century.

Homestead Hall

Homestead Hall


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