"Fighting Birds" by Juan Perez, Delaware, date unknown.

A collection of 74 works by Hispanic artists, including 62 paintings, was recently donated to the state of Delaware by Felipe García-Carrión of Lewes, Del. in honor of his late wife Dr. Norma Varisco de García. The works will be curated by the collections program of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. An exhibit created by the division's Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team featuring 13 works from the collection will open on Oct. 6, 2012 at the Schwartz Center for the Arts located at 226 S. State St. in Dover, Del. The exhibit will enhance Hispanic heritage events planned at the theater on Oct. 19 and 20, and will remain on view until the end of December.

The donated artworks represent more than thirty years of collecting by Varisco de García, a native of Argentina, and García-Carrión, a native of Puerto Rico. Acquired primarily in the 1980s in the Mid-Atlantic region, the collection includes works by American, Puerto Rican, Argentinian and Mexican artists including eight paintings by Juan Perez of Georgetown, Del. In donating the collection to the state of Delaware, García-Carrión sought to honor his wife's legacy by encouraging interaction between the peoples of Delaware and Latin America, and by helping to promote the work of Hispanic artists.

The Norma Varisco de García Collection provides a unique opportunity to document and preserve the history and cultural legacy of Delaware's Hispanic community, one of the state's fastest growing demographic groups. The assemblage lends itself strongly to themed exhibits on symbolism in Hispanic art and culture and on various aspects of the immigrant experience. Individual objects from the collection can also be used in exhibits on many different topics including contemporary art, and parts of the collection lend themselves to interpretation on a variety of themes including religion, sense of place and homesickness.

The namesake of the collection, Norma Varisco de García, held important policy-making positions for the Mexico, Latin America, and Puerto Rico Initiative in the United States Department of Education; the InterAmerican Commission on Women of the Organization of American States; and the National Spanish Speaking Management Association. She served in the White House as a senior education and manpower specialist for the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People, and was a member of the board of the G.A.L.A. Bilingual Theater in Washington, D.C. Varisco de García held a doctorate in multicultural education from the University of San Francisco; a master's degree in romance languages and literature from the City College of New York; and a bachelor's degree in education from the Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After retiring to Lewes in 1997, she served as a member of the Delaware State Arts Council; as an instructor of both English as a Second Language and Spanish in the Indian River School District adult education program; and as an instructor in the district's Spanish language migrant (HEP) program.


Items on display at the Bethel Heritage Museum.


Display of historical toys at the Seaford Museum.

Three new exhibits have recently opened in Sussex County, Del. as a result of partnerships between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs' Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team and historical societies in Laurel, Seaford and Bethel. These partnerships were developed as part of the division's Affiliates Program in which professionals from the division staff—including exhibit designers, curators, museum managers, archaeologists and historians—work with Delaware history- and heritage-based organizations to develop joint programs and exhibits, including potential display of items from the state's collections.

Working with the Laurel Historical Society the CARE Team helped to create two exhibits: one highlighting items from the society's collections, and another that displays images from the Waller Photograph Collection representing the life's work of Albert H. Waller and his son Norman A. Waller, two local photographers who documented life in southwestern Sussex County during the first half of the 20th century. The exhibits are currently on display at the Laurel Heritage Museum, located in the town's former railroad station on Mechanic Street. For information about visitation, call 302-875-1344.

At the Seaford Historical Society, the team helped to create the exhibit "Toys of Yesteryear" which features more than 100 historical toys from the collections of the state of Delaware supplemented by privately owned items supplied by members of the society. The exhibit is on display until Oct. 11, 2012 in the Webb Room of the Seaford Museum, located at 203 High St. in Seaford, Del. Call 302-628-9828 for additional information.

Finally, the team worked with the Bethel Historical Society to create an exhibit that explores Bethel's maritime and shipbuilding heritage that began with the founding of the town in the late 18th century. The exhibit includes vintage photos of Bethel, models of ships built in the town, displays of ship-carpenter tools, an original ship's wheel, and information on the two existing ships that were built in Bethel—the Edwin and Maud, a three-masted ram-schooner built in 1900 that was originally used to haul lumber, produce and freight to ports along the Atlantic coast and throughout the Chesapeake Bay; and the tugboat Delaware, built in 1912, that was used to haul scows and ram schooners up and down Broad Creek and the Nanticoke River, and in the Chesapeake Bay. The exhibit is currently on display at the Bethel Heritage Museum located at 312 First St. in Bethel, Del. However, visitors should first call 302-858-3840 to ascertain the hours when the museum is open to the public.

Previous exhibits created through the division's Affiliates Program include "World War II: Rehoboth Beach" which is currently on display through March 2013 at the Rehoboth Beach Museum, and the recently closed "Captain John and Sarah Avery: A 17th-Century Family on Delaware's Frontier" that had been on display at the Rehoboth Beach Museum, the Lewes Historical Society and the New Castle Historical Society. In addition, the CARE Team worked with Dover's Schwartz Center for the Arts to create an exhibit of Hispanic art from the Norma Varisco de García Collection.

As a result of these exhibits and other partnership activities, the Affiliates Program has had great success in creating new opportunities for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to serve the public in communities where it has not previously had a presence. The program helps fulfill the agency's mission by increasing accessibility to state-owned historic sites and collections that might not otherwise be open to the public, enhancing leisure and educational opportunities for the state's citizens and visitors, stimulating tourist visitation leading to economic growth and job creation and expanding public awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting Delaware's historical and cultural legacy. The division hopes to develop several new partnership exhibits in coming years.


A message from Gwen Davis, deputy state historic preservation officer


We are pleased to announce that the newest versions of the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office's survey guidelines will soon be available on our website. But first, we need your input! Please send us your comments regarding the drafts of the archaeological-survey guidelines and the architectural-survey guidelines. (Because it is referenced in the survey guidelines, utilize the Historic Context Guidance during your review.)

The guidelines have been brought into the digital age with multiple modifications for our web-based system. Gone are the days of black and white photography, as we embrace the digital medium. Web links have replaced the long appendices. Best, the writing has been streamlined and verbal redundancies are gone. The new archaeological-survey guidelines feature added guidance on underwater and military sites. The revised architectural-survey guidelines have addressed questions on research designs and historic contexts.

Please email your comments to Alice Guerrant (alice.guerrant@state.de.us) no later than Friday, October 19, 2012. Alice can also answer your questions about architectural survey and cultural-resource-survey forms. Contact Craig Lukezic for archaeology questions (craig.lukezic@state.de.us). Once we receive and incorporate your comments, we plan to release the final versions of the guidelines in December 2012.

Thank you for your help and input in this process.


In accordance with Title 7, Chapter 54, Section 5406(b) of the Delaware Code, the Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, hereby gives notice of the discovery of unmarked human skeletal remains near Hyetts Corner Road, south of the C & D Canal, in St. Georges Hundred, New Castle County. The Delaware Department of Transportation discovered the remains during an archaeological investigation it is conducting for the proposed new US Route 301 highway.

There appear to be eight graves in the unmarked cemetery. Information on age, gender and ethnicity of the individuals is still pending. Research suggests interment occurred in the 1700s. Owners of the land during this period include: the John Greenwater family (aka Grinwater, Grinwator, Greemwator); John Pullar; James Surne (aka Journey); John and Elizabeth Goldsmith; John and Sarah McCool (aka McCoole); John and Mary Merriss (aka Merris, Meriss, Meares); and Benjamin and Sarah Merriss.

Any persons who have reason to believe they may be next-of-kin to these individuals or have evidence that they have relatives buried in this location should contact the Director, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 21 The Green, Dover, DE 19901-3611; telephone 302-736-7400; weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; no later than Nov. 13, 2012.


Suzanne Thurman will speak on Oct. 27. Photo by Kevin Fleming.

During the month of October 2012, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will present the following three programs that reflect southern Delaware's unique maritime heritage. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
Lecture/tour of His Majesty's Sloop DeBraak. Explore the history of the DeBraak which was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Program begins at the Zwaanendael Museum and includes a trip to the DeBraak-hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for an interpreter-led tour of the ship's remains. Programs at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 in advance by reservation only at .

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
"Sailor's Saturday." Activities include a shipwreck presentation, mini block-and-tackle demonstrations, sea shanties and more. Held in conjunction with Lewes' annual Boast the Coast Maritime Festival. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
"A Whale of a Tale, Part Two." Featuring Suzanne Thurman, founder and director of the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, Inc., a non-profit stranding, response and rehabilitation organization dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles in Delaware waters. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free admission.


Eldridge Reeves Johnson

On Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, the state of Delaware's three downtown Dover museums will be presenting special programming as part of "First Saturday in the First State," a monthly series of events sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. For additional information, call the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries at 302-744-5055.

At 1 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St., will present a living-history program in which historical interpreter Bill Sparke portrays Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, as he shares memories of his beloved yacht the Caroline. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and talk with Johnson who will remain in character throughout his appearance. Visitors will also be able to hear a recording of the song that was written and recorded about the Caroline played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. In addition to the living-history program, the museum will be open for tours between 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In celebration of the 330th anniversary of the landing of William Penn in America, The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, will be conducting special tours between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the theme "William Penn: The City He Envisioned" which explore Penn's laying out of the City of Dover.

Finally, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Duke of York St., will present "We Poor Devils," a series of specialized guided tours focusing on various aspects of "The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers' Stories," a display that explores the experiences of five of the more than 13,000 Delawareans who fought in the American Civil War. Tours will take place at 10 a.m., Noon and 3 p.m. The welcome center will also be open for visitation from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Portrait of William Penn

In celebration of the 330th anniversary of the first landing of William Penn in the New World, the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., will host three programs during the month of October 2012 highlighting Penn's role in Delaware history. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

On Sundays, Oct. 7 and 14, 2012 at 2 p.m., the museum will present screenings of the 1942 film "Penn of Pennsylvania" starring Clifford Evans and Deborah Kerr. The film depicts Penn's fight for religious freedom and the founding of Pennsylvania.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the museum will commemorate the 330th anniversary of the date when Penn first came ashore in New Castle to assume control of the town and a 12-mile circle of land surrounding it. Activities, which will take place in both the museum and on the adjacent New Castle Green, will include the following:

  • Performances at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in which historical interpreter Jim Whisman portrays Penn participating in the livery of seizen ceremony in which the town and its surrounding area were conveyed to him by appointed representatives of the Duke of York.
  • Performance at 1 p.m. by the Bokfluiters recorder ensemble.
  • Lecture at 2:30 p.m. by New Castle historian Jim Meeks discussing the history of the Trustees of New Castle Common.
  • Demonstrations throughout the day by representatives of the Historic Penn Farm.
  • Demonstrations throughout the day depicting life at sea.
  • Performance at 6:30 p.m. by the University of Delaware Baroque Ensemble.

Members of the public are invited to attend the next meeting of the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation which will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, from 10 a.m. to Noon, at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del. As part of the meeting, the review board will receive a report on recent activities of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, a discussion on under-represented communities in the National Register of Historic Places and updates on the state historic preservation plan.

Due to limited spaces, attendees are encouraged to park their cars at the Delaware Public Archives located at 121 Duke of York St. in Dover. If the meeting is cancelled due to inclement weather, it will be rescheduled to Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 at the same time and location.

For additional information, please contact Madeline Dunn, the Division's National Register coordinator at 302-736-7417. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act may call 302-736-7400 by Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.


Levram the Great, Colonial Conjurer.

The John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del. will be alive with music, entertainment and hands-on activities from colonial trades to hearth cooking during the program "A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation" that will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission to all activities is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Special performances that will take place during "A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation" include a magic show by Levram the Great, Colonial Conjurer; Professor Horn's Punch and Judy Show featuring puppets and magic; and Historical re-enactor Kimberly Costa portraying an 18th century surveyor.