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Founding father Benjamin Rush, 18th-century drinks and fabric arts to be featured at Dover, Del.’s John Dickinson Plantation in June 2014

Date Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs Kent County News

–Listing of plantation events through December 2014 also included–

During the month of June 2014, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Rd. in Dover, Del., will present six special programs that explore different aspects of everyday life as it would have been lived during the 18th century when John Dickinson was in residence at the property. The site will also be open for visitation and tours between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray Benjamin Rush in a program at the John Dickinson Plantation on June 12. Photo by Karla Korn.

On June 5, 12, 19 and 26, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the plantation will present “Thirsty on Thursdays,” a program in which visitors will have an opportunity to make cool 18th-century drinks including switchels, lemonade and tea. On Thursday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m., Robert Gleason of the American Historical Theatre will portray the noted Philadelphia physician Benjamin Rush, one of the founding fathers of the United States. This living-history program is presented as part of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion annual meeting which will take place at 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public but, due to seating limitations, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277. Finally, on June 14, between 1 and 3 p.m., the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild will be conducting demonstrations of spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation.

The John Dickinson Plantation was the boyhood home and country estate of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” The plantation features Dickinson’s original 1740 brick home, reconstructed farm buildings and a log’d dwelling, surrounded by rich agricultural lands stretching down to the banks of the St. Jones River.

John Dickinson

Following is a schedule of plantation events through December 2014. All programs take place at the John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Del. The property is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Times for special programs are indicated. Admission is free for all events listed. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

John Dickinson Plantation special events through December 2014

Ongoing
“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel —that constitute the elementary building blocks of which all complicated machines are composed.

Thursdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2014
“Thirsty on Thursdays.” Learn how to make cool 18th-century drinks including switchels, lemonade and tea. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 12, 2014
“Benjamin Rush.” Robert Gleason of the American Historical Theatre portrays the noted Philadelphia physician Benjamin Rush, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Part of the Friends of the John Dickinson Mansion annual meeting. Annual meeting at 5 p.m. Benjamin Rush at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public but, due to seating limitations, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277.

Saturdays, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13, 2014
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. 1–3 p.m.

Saturday, June 21, 2014
“Shall Faithfully Serve!” Program explores indentured servitude and tradesmen associated with the home of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Note: Program cancelled.

Wednesdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2014
Hands On History. Visitors will experience 18th-century history by participating in a different demonstration each week. Hands-on demonstrations will include sachet making, paper marbling, paper quilling, plantation journal-making and plaster casting. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2014
“Weaving Wednesdays.” Indoor, staff-led program in which visitors will learn how to weave a blanket or rag rug. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014
“Raiding the Mansion—Plundering the House of all its Provisions.” Learn about the Tory raid on the plantation’s mansion house through a special tour, and through examination of letters and primary documents. 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Thursdays, Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2014
“Taper Thursdays.” Learn to make your own candle and help the plantation dip 200 candles that John Dickinson would have required from his tenants are part of their leases. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
“Hearth Cooking Basics.” Hands-on workshop. 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Martha Wagner, historic-site interpreter at the John Dickinson Plantation, conducting a hearth-cooking demonstration.

Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
“Smoked, Pickled and Salted for Survival.” From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., learn how smoked, pickled and salted meats helped stretch food reserves in the winter, and participate in pickling meats with brine and smoking meats in the plantation’s smokehouse. Concurrently, join the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the St. Jones Reserve’s “Arts in the Estuary” program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014
“A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation.” Visitors of all ages will enjoy a day of music, food, entertainment and hands-on activities from colonial trades to hearth cooking in the 18th-century setting of the home of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
“Lantern Tours of the Plantation.” Programs explore the parties, games, dances and entertainment that would have abounded at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will also include wagon-ride guided-tours conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. Programs 6–7 p.m. and 7:30–8:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
“An 18th-Century Sweet Tooth.” Hands-on workshop in which visitors can learn how to create 18th-century sweets and goodies. 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Thursdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 20, 2014
John Dickinson’s Birthday Month. Visitors celebrate the birth of John Dickinson by helping to make a great cake and decorate it using royal icing and shaped marzipan. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Candle-making workshops. Bayberry-candle workshop from 10 a.m.–noon examines bayberries and their use in creating bayberry candles. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. Reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436. “Light Me Up!” workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century from 1–3 p.m. Reservations required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 14.

Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can learn to create and decorate cards through the art of paper quilling and stenciling, and write a personal note with a quill pen. 11–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a plaster ornament. 11–2:30 p.m.

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

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