The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring a wide variety of special programs during the month of October 2021. Many of these programs will be conducted in front of a live audience, while others will be streamed live on the internet with registration required. See the full schedule below for details. All programs are free and open to the public.

Photo of the smokehouse at the John Dickinson Plantation
Smokehouse in operation at the John Dickinson Plantation. Smoking meats will be among the activities explored in “18th Century Trades Day” at the plantation on Oct. 9, 2021.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs programs, October 2021

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021
“The Wreck of the DeBraak.” Virtual program leading up to Coast Day 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 on DeBraak program, call 302-645-1148 or mailto:zmuseum@delaware.gov.

Tuesdays, Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26; Fridays, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; Saturdays, Oct. 2 and 23
Guided visitation to the African burial ground at the John Dickinson Plantation. Guided visitation leads participants to the African burial ground which is believed to be the final resting place for enslaved and free Black men, women and children who died on the plantation. Guests will engage with guides about the historical context and archaeological research of the site. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitation recommendations: hat, closed-toed shoes, long pants clothing that accounts for current weather conditions, insect repellant and sunscreen. Admission free but reservations recommended by calling 302-739-3277.

Friday, Oct. 8, 2021
Concert by Bad Juju. Blues music. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021
“18th Century Trades Day.” Day-long series of activities explores occupations of the 1700s including preserving food in the smokehouse, dyeing fabric, carpentry, hearth cooking and an 18th century musket presentation. Masks are required for any indoor activities. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
Blackbird Creek Fall Festival. Family-friendly event includes outdoor activities, hayrides, display booths, crafts and demonstrations by historical interpreters from the John Dickinson Plantation. Blackbird Creek Reserve, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-6377.

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021
“Love, Betrayal, and Banjos Strings: True Crime in Songs.” Born out of the traditions of Appalachian musicians, this virtual program from the Johnson Victrola Museum features animated retellings of some of the most famous murder ballads ever recorded dating back to the 1920s. Learn how these songs were twisted and turned throughout time, and their true crime roots. Program streamed live via Zoom. Registration required and only available by clicking here. 6 p.m. For additional information, call 302-739-3262 or mailto:jvmuseum@Delaware.gov.

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021
“Lantern Tour of the Plantation.” Program explores the games and entertainment that could have occurred at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will include a wagon ride conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program start times 5:30 and 7 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. 21, 2020. This is program is weather dependent.

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021
William Penn Day. Day-long series of programs commemorating the 339th anniversary of Penn’s disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Activities include re-enactors performing historical theatre and tours of the historic court house. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021
“Mysteries of History.” Walking tours explore the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Tours leave from the museum at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:15 p.m. Free admission but, registration required and limited to 12. Reservations may be made by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Oct. 29, 2021.

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.

Photo of American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo