Photo of some of the United States Colored Troops who fought in the American Civil War. Delawareans who served will be explored in the "Delaware's USCTs" program on Feb. 2.
During the month of February 2013, the museums of the state of Delaware will be presenting 20 events in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the black community has made to the culture and history of the United States. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.
Go to the following for a complete listing of events.
David Robbins Homestead
The David Robbins Homestead, a private property located near Milton, Del. was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 2, 2013. The house, built circa 1850, is architecturally significant as one of a handful of surviving examples of vernacular domestic architecture constructed along the "Road from Milton to Broadkiln Beach" before 1868. The large hall and parlor plan associated with the 1850s section is an unusual interior arrangement. The interior also features significant levels of architectural integrity represented by decorative embellishments including turned balusters, fluted door-surrounds with bulls-eye corner-block trim, original window sashes and doors with period hardware. Research suggests that John M. Robbins and his wife Orpha Pierce Robbins constructed a Victorian addition between 1889 and 1909. Measuring 18 by 25 feet, this frame addition doubled the size of the house.
David Robbins and his descendants owned, farmed and occupied the premises for more than 60 years. Their prominence, financial success and involvement within the Broadkiln Hundred community are reflected in a variety of historical documents. In 1925, Charles G. Jones purchased the property and expanded his local holly-wreath business there. Considered a pioneer in Delaware's holly industry, Jones became known as the "Holly Wreath Man." Here he expanded his business ventures and perfected a holly-wreath preservation technique which enabled him to ship wreaths to New York and Philadelphia during the holiday season.
Street scene in the Delaware City Historic District.
On Jan. 4, 2013, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs launched a new page on its website showcasing Delaware's Certified Local Government Program. Local governments that recognize the importance of historic preservation and its role in creating sustainable, economically-viable communities are encouraged to pursue certified local government status. The program strengthens preservation efforts at the local level by providing technical and financial assistance, while encouraging successful preservation programs and practices. The initiative is jointly administered by the division's State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. Currently, Delaware has five certified local governments: Delaware City, Lewes, Milton, New Castle County and Wilmington.
Fort Christina National Historic Landmark
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs gratefully acknowledges Noramco, Inc.'s sponsorship of improvements to the Fort Christina National Historic Landmark located at 1110 E. Seventh St. in Wilmington. The company, which produces pharmaceutical ingredients at its plant located adjacent to the landmark, sponsored extensive tree pruning at the site. Benefits of the project include healthier trees, improved safety for the visiting public and aesthetic enhancements to the appearance of the property.
Undertaken in January 2013, the enhancements come just as Delaware is about to begin celebrating the 375th anniversary of the founding of Fort Christina, first Swedish settlement in America. Named after the then 12-year-old queen of Sweden, Fort Christina was established in 1638 by a group of Swedish and Finnish colonists from the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip who landed on a natural wharf of rocks along the Christina River in present-day Wilmington. The landing site is thought to be located within the national landmark boundaries. The fort was located somewhere nearby. Noramco's generous assistance in the stewardship of one of Delaware's most significant historic properties is greatly appreciated.
On Thursday, February 14, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del., will commemorate the 205th anniversary of the death of American patriot John Dickinson (Nov.13, 1732-Feb. 14, 1808). The program will feature letters written in Dickinson's memory by prominent Wilmington physician Joseph Bringhurst and then-President Thomas Jefferson who noted with reference to Dickinson, "A more estimable man, or truer patriot, could not have left us." The day's activities will also include a wreath-laying ceremony at the gravesite of Dickinson's father Samuel at Noon. Admission to all events is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.
Peyton Randolph of Virginia, first president of the Continental Congress, will be explored in the "Unknown Presidents of the United States" program on Feb. 17.
During the month of February 2013, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 34 special programs at the six museums that it operates across the state. All programs are free and open to the public.
Highlights of the month include "Savory Sussex," a program on the unique and delectable local flavors of Sussex County, Del. featuring Cake Break, a gourmet cupcake company from Rehoboth Beach. The program will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, the New Castle Court House Museum will present "Unknown Presidents of the United States," a program on the history of the presidency and executive branch and the changes from the first elected president, Peyton Randolph, through Barack Obama.
Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company and a pioneer in the development of the sound-recording industry, will be feted in the program "Happy Birthday ERJ" that will take place on Monday, Feb. 18 at the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover. Historic-site interpreter Bill Sparke will portray the noted inventor and businessman in a special living-history performance.
Go to the following for a complete listing of events.