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Division sponsoring 19 special events during October 2019


-Activities to include five programs on American maritime history-

During the month of October 2019, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 19 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.

Painting depicting the Battle of the Chesapeake from the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, Norfolk, Va. The battle will be explored in a program at The Old State House on Oct. 12, 2019.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, October 2019

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
“Enrico Caruso: The Man With the Orchid-Lined Voice.” In celebration of Italian Heritage Month, guided tours will highlight the career of famed operatic tenor Enrico Caruso accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of the artist 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.

Photo of Enrico Caruso
The career of famed operatic tenor Enrico Caruso will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Oct. 5, 2019.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
“The Trial of Captain La Mort.” Inspired by the real history of pirates along the Delaware coastline, this historical theater production allows visitors to participate in the trial of a fictitious captain and pirate crew. Visitors are encouraged to dress in pirate attire. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
River Towns Fall Festival. Family oriented event in the historic Delaware River towns of New Castle and Delaware City featuring food trucks; craft beers; live music; children’s games, amusements and crafts; pumpkin and face painting; and a hay ride. New Castle events in Battery Park from Noon–5 p.m. The New Castle Court House Museum will be open for tours from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free shuttle between towns. 302-322-9802 or 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
“Delaware’s Naval Heroes and Their Battles.” Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Part two of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Oct. 4, 2019.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019
“Shakespeare, Poe and Fiends—A Night of Readings From the Dark Side.” Delaware Shakespeare presents dramatic readings for the Halloween season. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7:30 p.m. Reservations required. Tickets $18 available online at www.delshakes.org. 302-323-4453.

Photo depicting members of Delaware Shakespeare
Delaware Shakespeare will present dramatic readings for the Halloween season on Oct. 10, 2019.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
“18th Century Trades Day.” Day-long series of activities explores occupations of the 1700s including preserving food in the smokehouse, dyeing fabric, carpentry, blacksmithing and making bricks out of clay. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
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, Oct. 12, 2019
“The Battle of the Chesapeake.” Multi-media presentation by historic-site interpreter Tom Welch on how the French fleet under Adm. de Grasse paved the way for the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown and the ultimate victory for the American forces over the British. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 1:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
“Ships Named ‘Delaware.’ ” Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Part three of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Oct. 11, 2019.

Photo of the USS Delaware
The battleship USS Delaware (1909-1924) will be among the vessels explored in the program, “Ships Named ‘Delaware,’ ” that will take place at the Zwaanendael Museum on Oct. 12, 2019.

Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019
“Shakespeare, Poe and Fiends—Readings From the Dark Side.” Delaware Shakespeare presents dramatic readings for the Halloween season. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 3 p.m. Reservations required. Tickets $18 available online at www.delshakes.org. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Oct. 14, 2019
Columbus Day. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum. 302-744-5054.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation annual meeting. Agenda TBA. The Delaware Room, Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 10 a.m.–Noon. 302-736-7417.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
Blackbird Creek Fall Festival. Family-friendly events include outdoor activities, hayrides, display booths, crafts and a hands-on potpourri demonstration by historic-site interpreters from the John Dickinson Plantation. Blackbird Creek Reserve, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-6377.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
“The Navy at Lewes and at the Cape.” Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Final segment of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Oct. 18, 2019.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
Poetry reading by Jane Miller. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St. New Castle. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Friday, Oct. 25, 2019
“Lantern Tour of the Plantation.” Program explores the parties, games and entertainment that would have abounded at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will also include a wagon-ride guided-tour conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 6:30–8 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling the John Dickinson Plantation at 302-739-3277 no later than Oct. 22, 2019.

Photo depicting an autumn scene at the John Dickinson Plantation.
Autumnal scene at the John Dickinson Plantation

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
William Penn Day. Day-long series of programs commemorating the 337th anniversary of Penn’s disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
“Governor’s Halloween Family Fun Fest.” Activities will include tours of the home, games and crafts. Woodburn: The Governor’s Residence, 151 Kings Highway S.W., Dover. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Free admission. In the event of inclement weather, all activities will be cancelled. For additional information or for notification of cancellation, call 302-739-5656 or e-mail kristy.huxhold@delaware.gov.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
“Mysteries of History.” Walking tours explore the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Tours leaves from the museum at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the tours are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Oct. 25, 2019.

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019
“Trick-or-Treat at Woodburn.” Gov. John Carney and first lady Tracey Carney will be giving out candy to trick-or-treaters who knock on the door. Woodburn: The Governor’s Residence, 151 Kings Highway S.W., Dover. 5–7:30 p.m. Trick-or-treaters welcome regardless of any adverse weather conditions. Free admission. For additional information, call 302-739-5656 or e-mail kristy.huxhold@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, 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.

Photo of the American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

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