During an all-staff event that took place on Sept. 30, 2019 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover, staff members of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs celebrated the multiple successes that the agency has achieved in 2019, while also setting their sights on major changes that are coming in the future including, most notably, the move of the state’s collection of historical and archaeological materials to the newly built State of Delaware Center for Material Culture on the west side of Dover.
Division director Tim Slavin kicked off the program by shining a spotlight on the many new employees that have joined the agency’s staff in the past year including support-services administrator Samantha Angle; Historic Property Research Center manager Jenifer Anderson-Reno; historic-site interpreters Anthony Batterton, Jennifer Bowman and Madeline Golden at the Zwaanendael Museum, Kimberly Elisee and Leigh Shrewsbury at the New Castle Court House Museum, and Nicole Rogers at the downtown Dover museums; historic-sites program manager Dan Citron; lead historic-site interpreter Kaitlyn Dykes at the Zwaanendael Museum; physical plant maintenance/trades mechanics Bernard Garrison and Chris Rockey; archaeologist John Martin; collections technicians Savannah Kruguer and Nicole Worthley; housekeeper Carrie Shreve at Buena Vista; and horticulturalist John Swartz.
Slavin also took time to recognize Dominique Martucci of the Business Services Team for 15 years of service to the agency, and New Castle Court House Museum site supervisor Cindy Snyder for 25 years of service.
Following employee recognition, Slavin turned the microphone over to Dr. Kasey Grier of the University Of Delaware’s History Department who presented the program “How Pets Became Part of the Human Family.” Grier, author of “Pets in America: A History,” is an authority on pet keeping throughout history.
Following Grier’s presentation, Slavin returned to discuss the many long-term facility improvements that the agency has been involved in during the past year, particularly, the construction of the new building that will house the State of Delaware’s multi-million-item collections that include museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art, and library and archival materials.
In addition, Slavin outlined major capital-improvement projects that have been completed, or are in the planning stages, at division-administered sites across the state including Darley House in Claymont; Weldin House in New Castle County; the Kaiser property, adjacent to Fort Christina, in Wilmington; the Cooch property in Newark; the Academy, Arsenal and New Castle Court House Museum buildings in New Castle; Belmont Hall in Smyrna; the John Dickinson Plantation, Johnson Victrola Museum, Octagonal Schoolhouse, Old State House and Woodburn in the greater-Dover area; Abbott’s Mill in Milford; the Zwaanendael Museum and Breakwater-East End Lighthouse in Lewes; and the Fenwick Island Lighthouse keeper’s house.
Staff members then proceeded to the State of Delaware Center for Material Culture where they were treated to tours of the then empty building which is now in the process of being populated with the state’s collections.