During an all-staff event that took place on Dec. 16, 2019 at the Buena Vista conference/event center in New Castle, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs paid tribute to its employees who helped make 2019 a successful year for the agency.
Highlights of the day’s activities came from division director Tim Slavin who presented an overview of progress being made on the newly built Delaware Center for Material Culture on the west side of Dover 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. The process of transferring the collections from the Tudor I and II sites in Dover is well under way and should be completed in 2020.
Slavin also discussed major projects that will be taking place at the John Dickinson Plantation including construction of a new visitor center; blazing of trails down to the banks of the St. Jones River; and archaeological investigations at several locations on the property including former landing sites along the river, and the possible location of family-, slave- and tenant-burial-sites. Archaeologist Wade Catts expanded on these potential investigations in a presentation entitled, “Water, land, farm, and quarter: A cultural landscape of the Dickinson Plantation on Jones Neck.”
In addition, Slavin took time to honor the contributions of six employees who received service awards including Kara Briggs and Carlton Hall for five years of service, Brian Cannon and Bridget Warner for 20 years, Lynne Riley for 25 years and Jim Yurasek for 30 years. He also congratulated employees who had changed positions within the division including the new curator of education Vertie Lee, physical plant maintenance mechanic Christian Rieth and collections technician Nicole Worthley.
Finally, Slavin recognized the many new employees who have joined the division during the past year including Historic Property Research Center manager Jenifer Anderson-Reno; support-services administrator Samantha Angle; historic-sites program manager Dan Citron; lead historic-site interpreter Kaitlyn Dykes at the Zwaanendael Museum; construction project-managers Paul Friday and Jason Williams; physical plant maintenance/trades mechanics Bernard Garrison and Chris Rockey; historic-site interpreters 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; executive housekeepers Deb Granda and Carrie Shreve at Buena Vista; collections technician Savannah Kruguer; archaeologist John Martin; Cooch’s Bridge property manager Patti Remedio; and horticulturalist John Swartz.