Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor 13 special events during August 2019
(DOVER, Del.—July 19, 2019)—During the month of August 2019, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 13 special programs at sites across the state. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, August 2019
Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019
“Campfire at the John Dickinson Plantation.” Join staff around the campfire and play a game of Jeopardy based on the St. Jones Reserve and John Dickinson. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 7 p.m. Admission free but reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-6377 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Thursdays, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2019
“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Guided tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-645-1148.
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019
“From Tinfoil to the 78.” Guided tours explore the origins of recorded music from the earliest tinfoil phonographs of Thomas Edison to the Victrola of Eldridge Reeves Johnson’s Victor Talking Machine Company while discovering the brilliant inventors and engineers who took recorded music from a novelty to a daily part of life. Accompanied by 78-rpm records 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, Aug. 3, 2019
“The Doctor Is In.” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Dennis Fisher exploring the life and times of Dr. James Sykes, an 18th to 19th-century Dover physician and statesman who served as Delaware’s governor for a short period. 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.
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019
Fourth annual “Movie Night at Buena Vista.” Outdoor screening of the DreamWorks film “How to Train Your Dragon—The Hidden World” on the grounds of one of Delaware’s most historic estates, plus fun from the Professor Looney Photo Booth and tasty treats from Kona Ice of Elkton/Newark and the Plum Pit Food Truck. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, blankets, lawn chairs and bug spray. Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. Grounds open at 6:30 p.m. Film begins at 8:15 p.m. 302-323-4430.
Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019
“Many Declarations of Independence.” Historical interpreter Bob Vander Decker will display and discuss the many printed forms of the Declaration of Independence since 1776. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019
“The Scorched Pamphlet: Sherlock Holmes Returns to Delaware.” Theatrical performance in which Sherlock Holmes, on his second trip to the First State, is called upon to solve a grisly case at Delaware College. Holmes and Watson are now in a race against time, a reluctant administration and impossible odds to solve one of Delaware’s unsolved mysteries. Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and an actual New Castle court case. Presented in coordination with Dover Comic Con. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but visitors are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating. 302-744-5054.
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019
“Voters at Last: Battling for the Ballot.” Historian and writer Mike Dixon presents a lively program on the history of women’s suffrage in Delaware. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St. New Castle. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission but reservations are requested by calling the museum at 302-323-4453.
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019
“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Guided tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail email@example.com or call 302-645-1148.
Exhibits and displays, August 2019
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays. Admission is free and open to the public:
“Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport.” Exhibit explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State emphasizing the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad (1832), the Delaware Railroad (1852), the Junction and Breakwater Railroad (1857) and the Queen Anne’s Railroad (1896). Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
“Drawing America to Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts in World War I.” Online exhibit revolves around 27 World War I posters from the collections of the State of Delaware.
“Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free Blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
“Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” Online exhibit explores the life of Founding Father John Dickinson on the 250th anniversary of the publication of his essays that described Colonial American grievances with the British government.
“New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Exhibit examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
“The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” 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 display explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers who helped break racial and gender barriers. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
“A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798, to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve.” Display explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present, and their fight to be allowed to serve their country during wartime. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.
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.
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.