Celebrate Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math at DNREC’s First State Heritage Park First Saturday

DOVER  – DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will feature “S.T.R.E.A.M” as the theme for the First State Heritage Park’s monthly “First Saturday in the First State.” The program will feature a variety of free events and activities.

The John Bell House will feature “Herbal Remedies,” a program taking place throughout the day about what medicine was like in the 18th century. Join historical interpreters in colonial clothing to find out about the natural remedies used to make people well in the 18th century. Compare and contrast to the medical science used today and see the variety of herbs grown in the Bell House garden.

“Sickness and Health…and the occasional poisoning Walking Tour” leaving from the Bell House on the hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. will share some of the ways in which diseases were treated in Dover in the past. Visitors will hear how revolutionary Delawareans used science to help solve mysteries, make people well and even commit murder.

Visitors to The Old State House will be able to participate in “The Doctor is In” at 1 p.m. Are you suffering from consumption, the gout, apoplexy? Learn of the medical and political contributions of a Delaware doctor. Historical re-enactor Dennis Fisher takes on the persona of noted 19th century Delaware Physician James Sykes.

Lucas Clawson will present “DuPont and the Manhattan Project” at the Delaware Public Archives. .  Though better known for manufacturing things like smokeless powder, TNT, Nylon, and Teflon, DuPont also was involved in the Manhattan Project and the development of atomic weapons. This lecture will focus on how the DuPont Company played a major role in arming and equipping America’s military during World War II.    

The Johnson Victrola Museum will feature the “From Tinfoil to the 78” guided tours and the technology used to make sound part of daily life. At the Biggs Museum of American Art, visitors can enjoy one of the free community days at the museum and participate in the Biggs Kids Program to see art and science collide. Legislative Hall will have a guided tours of the Delaware’s current capitol building.

Below is a list of other programs and activities for First Friday and First Saturday in the First State:


First Saturday – August 3

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

·         Herbal Remedies

John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green

Learn 18th century uses and preparations for common household herbs and how to grow and care for your own.


·         A Capitol Experience

Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue

Tour Delaware’s State Capitol building and experience Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.


·         Biggs Kids: Science in Action

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street

Learn what happens when art and science collide by making a STEAM based craft. Don’t forget to tour the rest of the museum and see some science in action! For ages 5-10.

·         From Tinfoil to the 78

Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street

Guided tours will explore the origins of recorded music from the days of earliest tinfoil phonographs to the Victrola created by E. R. Johnson, taking recorded music from a novelty to a daily part of our lives.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

·         Tours of the Governor’s House

At Woodburn – The Governor’s House, 151 King’s Highway

Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

·         Sickness and Health…and the Occasional Poisoning Walking Tour

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green

Highlighting stories of medical curiosities of Dover’s past.

10:30 a.m.

·         DuPont and the Manhattan Project

Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Learn about how DuPont helped usher in the Nuclear Age in this talk by Hagley Historian Lucas R. Clawson. 

1 p.m.

·         The Doctor is In

The Old State House, 25 The Green

Physician Dr. James Sykes shares his medical and political contributions. No appointment or insurance necessary.


1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

·         The Once and Future Courthouse

Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green, Courtroom #1

From the 1690s to the present, learn how this site went from a courthouse to a hotel and back again.


Each month duringFirst Saturdays in the First State,” the First State Heritage Park offers a variety of free programs at each of the park’s partner sites, including tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city – the Old State House and Legislative Hall – hourly walking tours leaving from the John Bell House, and the monthly “Biggs Kids” program at the Biggs Museum of American Art. Exhibits are also on display at the Biggs Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries and the Johnson Victrola Museum.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North. For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, please call 302-739-9194 or visit www.destateparks.com/heritagepark.

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries,” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.