Division mourns the loss of Brian Cannon

Brian Cannon

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is mourning the loss of Brian Cannon, who worked for the division for 22 years and retired in December 2019 after serving as the New Castle Court House Museum’s lead historical interpreter. He passed away on July 24.

Cannon was well-known in the New Castle community and was a wealth of information on the area’s history. The Wilmington native, who served in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s, also was a life member of the Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder of Newark.

Cindy Snyder, the museum’s former site supervisor who retired from the division in June 2023, hired Cannon more than two decades ago as a casual-seasonal employee. She said he had a wonderful sense of humor, was great at fixing things around the museum and always willing to lend a hand. He was also a skilled interpreter who could easily mesmerize a crowd of people. Thousands of visitors were able to enjoy his tours over the years, and many local dogs knew to stop by the museum for one of the Milk Bone treats he kept stocked on his desk.

Brian Cannon in historical garb.

“It was the most wonderful working relationship that I ever had with another person,” Snyder recalled. “He made working with him a joy.”

Cannon also was an expert on Delaware’s boundaries and the Civil War, and recently published a book on a now little-known kidnapping story from the early 1900s in central Delaware. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the public, whether in person or through the book, “Delaware Disappearance: The Riddle of Little Horace Marvin, Jr.,” which was published after years of extensive research.

Even after retirement — his museum work was actually a second career for the former insurance loss control engineer — Cannon would often volunteer during special events as a tour guide or programming host.

“He was well-loved by the staff and always willing to help out,” Snyder said. “He was just a great guy with a great personality.”

For his full obituary, go to www.gebhartfuneralhomes.com/obituary/Brian-Cannon#obituary.

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