Delaware museums offer harvest of activities for September

Native American heritage, maritime history highlight local events
August 23, 2013
Chief Dennis Coker will take part in a presentation of the history and achievements of the Lenape community of central Delaware on Sept. 21. SOURCE SUBMITTED

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring more than a dozen special events during the month of September at the state of Delaware's six museums - The New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum. Four of the events will explore the First State’s rich Native American heritage including programs on the Lenape and Nanticoke Indian tribes of Delaware.

According to Nena Todd, site supervisor for the state’s downtown Dover museums, September is a time for Native American people to return to their homelands. This tradition continues in today’s Native-American communities with September serving as a time when families come together and communities celebrate their heritage. One of Delaware’s most well-known Native American celebrations is the annual Nanticoke Indian Powwow that will take place this year Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8, in Millsboro. For information and schedule of events, visit

Also on Sept. 7, the First Saturday in the First State program features archaeologist Wade Catts of John Milner and Associates discussing the Native American archaeological site at the Delaware Airpark in Cheswold, which dates to 7,000 B.C. The talk will take place at 1 p.m. at the Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Free admission.

Archaeology moves from land to sea Mondays, Sept. 9, 16, 23 and 30 with a lecture and tour of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak. which was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. The day includes a trip to the hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a curator-led tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull. The program, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., takes place at Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. There is limited seating. Admission is $10 in advance by reservation only at For more information, call 302-645-1148.

Native American culture will again be celebrated with The First People of the First State: A Lenape Celebration of Heritage between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, at The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Free admission.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, elected Chief Dennis Coker of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware and archaeologists Wade Catts and Cara Blume discuss the history and recent achievements of the Lenape community of central Delaware in “The First People of the First State: Three Points of View.” The program is set for 1 p.m. at The Old State House. Free admission.

Sterling Street, museum coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro, will discuss the history of the Nanticoke tribe and its museum at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Zwaanendael Museum. Free admission. 302-645-1148.

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the state of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency.  For more information about all events being offered in September, call 302-744-5055 or go to


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