Zwaanendael Museum Seeks Volunteers for “Recapturing Black Beaches,” an Oral History Initiative

(DOVER, Del. — Jan. 14, 2022) — The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Delaware, is seeking volunteers to participate in “Recapturing Black Beaches: A Shared Story Project,” an oral history initiative designed to gather, memorialize and share stories about historically segregated Black and Indigenous beaches in Delaware and the people who visited them. These stories will be used for educational purposes and use will be determined by permissions granted by participants.

Photo of bathers at Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Bathing at Rehoboth, Del. – stamp: 1c Benjamin Franklin, Caley Postcard Collection, Courtesy of Delaware Public Archives

Volunteers may participate as storytellers, sharing their memories about the beaches with oral history project staff, or as interviewers, recording conversations between themselves and someone that they know and care about.

To participate in the project, volunteers should fill out an online form or download a printable version that can be submitted via email or mail. Both forms can be found at the following address on the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs website: https://history.delaware.gov/2021/12/10/recapturing-the-stories-of-black-beaches/. Printed forms should be mailed to the Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE 19958 or sent via email to Zmuseum@delaware.gov.

For questions or to learn more, contact the Zwaanendael Museum at (302) 645-1148 or Zmuseum@delaware.gov.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Photo of the Zwaanendael Museum by Cindy Dolan
Zwaanendael Museum. Photo by Cindy Dolan

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped façade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.


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. 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.

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-577-5170
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Delaware’s 23rd Annual Chautauqua From Sept. 9–12, 2021

(DOVER, Del. — Aug. 23, 2021) — American enterprise and ingenuity will be brought to life in Delaware’s 23rd annual Chautauqua, “The I’s Have It: Industry, Innovation, and Invention,” that will be livestreamed on the Internet from Sept. 9 through 12, 2021. Delaware’s Chautauqua programs are produced by the Zwaanendael Museum and the New Castle Court House Museum.

Banner for the 2021 Chautauqua

Each day of activities will be capped off with evening performances by actor-historians from the American Historical Theatre portraying, respectively, George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Madame C.J. Walker and Alexander Graham Bell. For a complete listing of activities, go to https://history.delaware.gov/23rd-annual-chautauqua/.

Photo of Keith Henley as George Washington Carver
Keith Henley will portray George Washington Carver on Sept. 9, 2021.

In addition to being livestreamed, two programs in Lewes, Del. will feature live, in-person programs held in Stango Park, 114 Third St. — a concert by the Smooth Sound Big Band at 6 p.m. on Sept. on Sept. 9, and an Old-Time Radio Show presented by the Possum Point Players Radio Theatre at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10. Visitors attending these programs must bring their own chairs.

Photo of Bob Gleason as Thomas Edison
Bob Gleason will portray Thomas Edison on Sept. 10, 2021.

In addition to being livestreamed, all events on Sept. 11 and 12 will be presented in a tent located on The Green adjacent to The New Castle Court House Museum at 211 Delaware St in New Castle, Del. In-person attendance will be allowed for all New Castle programs. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs as limited seating will be available.

Photo of Daisey Century as Madame C.J. Walker
Daisy Century will portray Madame C.J. Walker on the New Castle Green on Sept. 11, 2021.

Admission for all Chautauqua programs is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the Zwaanendael Museum at 302-645-1148, or the New Castle Court House Museum at ncchmuseum@delaware.gov or 302-323-4453.

Photo of Bob Gleason as Alexander Graham Bell
Bob Gleason will portray Alexander Graham Bell on the New Castle Green on Sept. 12, 2021.

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that were first held at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York during the late 19th century. Chautauquas spread throughout America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries bringing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day to a wide cross-section of the nation’s rural and small-town population. Circuit Chautauquas (also known as Tent Chautauquas) were an itinerant manifestation of the movement. Programs would be presented in tents pitched in a field near town. After several days, the Chautauqua would fold its tents and move on to the next community. The popularity of Chautauquas peaked in the mid-1920s, after which radio, movies and automobiles brought about the gradual disappearance of the movement by the 1940s.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for humanities education, modern Chautauquas are organized around a core program in which re-enactors take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. Modern Chautauquas have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 featuring a wide variety of historical figures including Lucretia Mott; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Mark Twain; Woodrow Wilson; Teddy Roosevelt; Abraham Lincoln; Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware’s own Pvt. James Elbert, Maj. Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown.

“The I’s Have It: Industry, Innovation, and Invention” is co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Zwaanendael and New Castle Court House museums, and the New Castle Historical Society. Partial funding is provided by grants from the New Castle Arts Council, New Castle Community Partnership and Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo of the Delaware Humanities logo

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. 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.

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-608-5326
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Delaware State Parks to Reduce Lifeguard Hours at Some Swimming Beaches

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reduce the lifeguarding hours at two of its Delaware State Parks ocean swimming beaches starting next week.

From Monday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Sept. 3, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road beach will be unguarded during the week, but will remain guarded on weekends.

From Monday, Aug. 30 through Friday, Sept. 3, Fenwick Island State Park’s Fenwick Lot will be unguarded during the week, but will remain guarded on the weekends.

Those looking to swim at Delaware State Parks are encouraged to utilize guarded beaches, including the main beach at Cape Henlopen State Park, and the South Indian River Inlet side of Delaware Seashore State Park, which will be guarded every day through Labor Day with limited staff.

Smaller or limited guarded swimming areas at all Delaware State Parks swimming beaches will be available through Labor Day.

Reductions in hours are a result of lifeguards leaving the area to return to high school, college and school sports camps.

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

###


Historical Affairs to Sponsor 4 Programs During July 2021

(DOVER, Del. — June 24, 2021) — The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring four special programs during the month of July 2021. Two of the programs will be streamed live on the internet with reservations required. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public. Go to the following for additional information and reservation instructions:
https://history.delaware.gov/2021/06/05/hca-july-2021-programs.

Photo of historical interpreters reading the Declaration of Independence from the steps of The Old State House.
Historical interpreters will read the Declaration of Independence from the steps of The Old State House on July 3 and 4, 2021.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs programs, July 2021

Thursday, July 1, 2021
“The Wreck of the DeBraak.” Virtual program from the Zwaanendael Museum explores the history of the British warship DeBraak which sank off the coast of Lewes in May of 1798 only to be recovered by treasure hunters nearly 200 years later. Program streamed live via Zoom. Registration required and only available by clicking here. 3:30 p.m. For additional information, call 302-645-1148 or mailto:zmuseum@delaware.gov.

Saturday, July 3, 2021
Reading of the Declaration of Independence. Program commences with the ringing of The Old State House bell in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by historical interpreters, dressed in period clothing, reciting the Declaration of Independence outside near the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776. 2 p.m. First Saturday in the First State program. In addition, tours of the museum will be conducted, by advance reservations only, at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Call 302-744-5054 for reservations.

Sunday, July 4, 2021
Independence Day. The Old State House and New Castle Court House Museum, open for tours by reservation. The John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, closed. 302-744-5054

Sunday, July 4, 2021
Reading of the Declaration of Independence. Beginning at 2 and 4 p.m., programs commence with the ringing of The Old State House bell in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by historical interpreters, dressed in period clothing, reciting the Declaration of Independence outside near the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776. Half-hour tours of the museum at 1 and 3 p.m. by advance reservations only. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Call 302-744-5054 for reservations.

Monday, July 5, 2021
Independence Day observed. 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 July 10, 2021
CANCELLED: “Live Trivia at the Johnson Victrola Museum.” Persons interested in history, science, phonographs and early 1900s America can test their knowledge at the museum’s first trivia event. Outdoor summer program; dress appropriately for the weather. Open to both individuals and teams. Prizes will be awarded. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 1 p.m. Rain date: July 17. Admission free but limited to 30 participants. Reservations required by calling 302-739-3262 or mailto:jvmuseum@Delaware.gov. NOTE: Event cancelled due to potential for excessive heat.

Saturday July 24, 2021
“The American Revolution From Other Perspectives.” Virtual lecture from The Old State House by historic-site interpreter Gavin Malone explores how the American Revolution was part of a much larger conflict that spanned several continents and included British loyalists, African Americans and Indigenous peoples. Program streamed live via Zoom. Registration required and only available by clicking here. 1 p.m. For additional information, call 302-744-5054 or mailto:OSHmuseum@delaware.gov.

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, and special programs, 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 long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums

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. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five 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.

-30-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-608-5326
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Delaware Surf-Fishing Permits are Sold Out After Reaching Annual Cap

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today it has reached its cap of 17,000 Delaware Surf-Fishing Permits issued for the calendar year. With the Surf-Fishing Permit cap figure attained, no more surf tag permits will be issued until December.

The cap was reached early this year after unprecedented winter sales. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation utilized an ongoing outreach effort to communicate that permits were on sale. Previous permit holders were also notified when sales started in December and reminded again today when total sales reached 16,000, at which point the remaining permits available sold out in one hour.

In 2019, the Delaware Parks and Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual Surf-Fishing Permit sales. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation implemented a first-come, first-served cap on the number of permits issued as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, and to manage a limited resource, while also protecting against overcrowding of parks beaches. This plan aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s state parks system.

While surf fishing permit sales have ended for 2021, novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the “Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks” informational video that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand.

Surf-Fishing Permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all 17 state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65% of the Division of Parks and Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.

To learn more about fishing in Delaware State Parks, visit destateparks.com/Adventures/Fishing.

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov, Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

 

###