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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : First State Heritage Park Joins in Dover Days Festivities

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Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175,  

Photos available upon request 

First State Heritage Park Joins in Dover Days Festivities for May’s
First Saturdays in the First State

DOVER (April 20, 2012) On Saturday, May 5, the First State Heritage Park participates in the annual Dover Days celebration with its monthly First Saturdays in the First State, offering a variety of free programs and activities. Information on all the events of Dover Days weekend, sponsored by Kent County & Greater Dover Convention and Visitors Bureau, can be found at

The park will once again sponsor steam car rides from 1 to 4 p.m. Two circa-1910 steam cars from the Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve will give free rides around The Green.  The museum houses the world’s largest collection of operating steam cars, ranging in age from 90 to 110 years old. 

Visitors to The Green can visit the John Bell House, where “Dover’s School of Dance” will recreate the atmosphere of an 18th-century dancing school. Every proper lady and gentleman knew how to dance in the 18th century. Participants will learn some easy dance steps to be ready to join in the party!

Regular First Saturday activities include tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city –The Old State House and Legislative Hall. Tours of the Governor’s residence at Woodburn and Hall House will also be available, and walking tours of The Green will be offered. Exhibits are on display at the Johnson Victrola Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries and the Biggs Museum of American Art, which also features its monthly “Biggs Kids” program.

 A special “behind the scenes” tour of the Delaware Public Archives begins at 1:30 p.m. Until further notice, the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room at the Delaware Public Archives will not be open to researchers on the first Saturday of the month. Instead, the facility will be open to researchers on the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Admission to all park sites is free. Centrally located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, 121 Duke of York Street. For more information about The First State Heritage Park programs, the public may call 302-739-9194 or visit:   


10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tours of the Governor’s House
At Woodburn – The Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway
Visitors will enjoy guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Biggs Kids – Paper Flowers
Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Children 12 and under will use their imaginations to create special flowers and learn the history of the May basket.    

Noon – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)
Walking Tour: Stories of The Green
Meets at the John Bell House on The Green
For 300 years, The Green has been the center of commerce, politics and civic life in Dover.  Guided walks through the historic district reveal the people and events that left their mark on Dover’s history. 

1 – 4 p.m.
Auburn Heights Steam Car Rides
Around The Green
Free rides in authentic Stanley Steam cars from the 1910s are offered.

1:30 p.m.
A Tour of the Delaware Public Archives
Delaware Public Archive, 121 Duke of York Street
This “behind the scenes” tour of the Delaware Public Archives offers the opportunity to see how the Archives preserves and protects the records that are important to every Delawarean. 

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
121 Duke of York Street
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs presents two exhibits: 

USS Delaware: An American Battleship
The story of the USS Delaware (1909-1924), told through objects, photographs, and ceremonial silver.

The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories
This exhibit recognizes the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Through the state’s collection of objects, portraits and documents, personal experiences of the brutal journey through the War of the Rebellion are revealed. Guided interpretations of the current exhibition,

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Jewels of the Generations: The Legacy of Loockerman and Bradford Family of Dover
Self-guided tours feature furniture, clothing, jewelry, ceramics and silver owned by this 18th- and 19th-century Dover family.  

Guided Tours of Legislative Hall-Delaware’s Capitol, 411 Legislative Avenue
Legislative Hall has been the seat of Delaware’s General Assembly, the supreme lawmaking body in the state, since 1933.  Visitors may tour the House and Senate Chambers to learn about the legislature and Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

Dover’s School of Dance and Other Forms of Refinement
John Bell House on The Green
Visitors will learn how 18th-century ladies and gentlemen learned the dance steps and behavior expected of them. 

The Old State House on The Green
Tours of The Old State House present dynamic stories of freedom that took place within its walls.

The Story of Nipper the Dog
Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street
Visitors will learn the origins of the famous trademark of the Victor Talking Machine Company. 

The First State Heritage Park at Dover is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.

The park is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Vol. 42, No, 143

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