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Museums of the state of Delaware to feature 16 free programs in November 2015

Date Posted: Friday, October 16th, 2015
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs News

(DOVER, Del.—Oct. 16, 2015)—The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be hosting 16 special events during the month of November 2015 at the museums of the state of Delaware. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.

Samuel D. Burris will be honored in a ceremony at The Old State House on Nov. 2, 2015.

Samuel D. Burris will be honored in a ceremony at The Old State House on Nov. 2, 2015.

Highlights of the month include a dedication ceremony celebrating the creation of a new state-historical-marker honoring Samuel D. Burris, a free African-American from the Willow Grove, Del. area who served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Burris helped several people escape to freedom in the mid-1800s before being arrested and convicted for aiding and abetting runaway slaves.

The dedication ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover. Following the ceremony, special tours will tell Burris’ story on the 168th anniversary of his conviction, in the very location where his trial took place in 1847.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will host “Preservation 50: ‘Voices from the Past,’ ” a lecture by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register of Historic Places coordinator. The lecture will explore the historical events which led to the 1793 transfer of the Sussex County seat from Lewes to Georgetown, and the construction, in that same year, of a new court house in Georgetown. This building, now known as the Old Sussex County Court House, was restored to its original appearance in 1976 as part of the United States’ bi-centennial celebrations.

The Old Sussex County Court House will be explored in a lecture at the Zwaanendael Museum on Nov. 7, 2015.

The Old Sussex County Court House will be explored in a lecture at the Zwaanendael Museum on Nov. 7, 2015.

Finally, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will host two candle-making workshops on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Between 10 a.m. and Noon, the plantation will host a bayberry-candle workshop presented by staff from the St. Jones Reserve. The program will explore the bayberry shrub, which grows wild in the area, and the wax used for making candles that is produced by boiling the plant’s berries. Admission to the workshop is free but reservations are required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436 no later than Nov. 13.

In the second program, held between 1 and 3 p.m., the plantation will present “Light Me Up,” an illuminating workshop that will explore candle-dipping techniques and lighting devices that would have been used during the 18th century when John Dickinson was in residence at the site. Visitors will have an opportunity to dip their own candles which can then be taken home. The plantation will also be open for visitation and tours between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Hand-dipped candles (bottom center) and the materials needed to produce them at the John Dickinson Plantation.

Hand-dipped candles (bottom center) and the materials needed to produce them at the John Dickinson Plantation.

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 displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of museum events.

Special events at the museums of the state of Delaware, November 2015

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015
Dedication ceremony for the Samuel D. Burris state-historical-marker. Event will honor the free African-American from the Willow Grove, Del. area who served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Burris helped several people escape to freedom in the mid-1800s before being arrested and convicted for aiding and abetting runaway slaves. Following the ceremony, special tours will tell Burris’ story on the 168th anniversary of his conviction, in the very location where his trial took place in 1847. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Ceremony at 10 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
“Stories of The Old State House—‘The Trial of William White.’ ”
Interactive living-history theatrical performance depicting the actual 1787 trial. Visitors will have an opportunity to decide if White is innocent or guilty of the charges. Part four of a five-part series featuring true stories of people and events that took place in Delaware’s historic capitol. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are recommended by calling 302-744-5054. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Thursdays, Nov. 5, 12 and 19 2015
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. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
18th Century Market Fair.” Programs explore an era when The Green served as the focal point of life in Dover as historical interpreters explore the goods, wares and political attitudes of the 1700s. The Old State House will celebrate the fair with special tours and 18th-century-style demonstrations. Sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. The Green, Dover. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-9194.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
“Some Like Classical.” First Saturday in the First State program explores some of Victor Records’ earliest recordings of classical music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
“Preservation 50: ‘Voices from the Past.’ ” Lecture by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on the historical events which led to the 1793 transfer of the Sussex County seat from Lewes to Georgetown, and the 1976 restoration of the old court house in Georgetown. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Nov. 6, 2015.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
“Veteran’s Walking Tour.” Historical interpreter Brian Cannon will tell stories and visit grave sites of notable New Castle veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, United States Colored Troops, World Wars I and II, Korean War, Vietnam and Desert Storm. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tours depart at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Free admission but advance registration requested by calling 302-323-4453. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
“The Man and His Machines: The Power of Music.” Through guided tours and demonstrations, visitors will learn about the history of recorded sound and the contributions of E.R. Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. In honor of Veterans Day, guests will also enjoy Victor Records’ recordings of patriotic music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
“Stories of The Old State House—‘McLane and Washington.’ ” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Tom Welch exploring the relationship between Gen. George Washington and Col. Allen McLane, the Revolutionary War hero from Duck Creek (Smyrna, Del.). Final segment of a five-part series featuring true stories of people and events that took place in Delaware’s historic capitol. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are recommended by calling 302-744-5054. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
Bayberry candle workshop. Program examines bayberries and their use in creating bayberry candles. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Workshop to take place from 10 a.m.–Noon in an unheated venue. Dress appropriately. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the workshop are required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436 no later than Nov. 13.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
Dutch-American Heritage Day. Celebrate the anniversary of Nov. 16, 1776 when an American warship sailed into the harbor of the Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies and was greeted by a friendly salute, the first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the newly-independent United States. Activities will include Dutch crafts, historical information and “Customs and Culture Through the Eyes of Dutch Artists,” a 2 p.m. presentation on how art reveals ways of life that were prevalent during the artists’ lifetimes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
“Light Me Up!” Workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Workshop to take place from 1–3 p.m. in an unheated venue. Dress appropriately. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the workshop are required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 13.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015
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, Nov. 28, 2015
“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 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

-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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