Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194 firstname.lastname@example.org
, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175, email@example.com
First State Heritage Park highlights the Loockermans as part of April’s
“First Saturdays in the First State”
NOTE: Photos available upon request
DOVER (March 27, 2012) - On Saturday, April 7, the First State Heritage Park’s First Saturdays in the First State revisits the story of an important Dover family, in conjunction with the current exhibition at the Biggs Museum of American Art: “Jewels of the Generations: The Legacy of Loockerman and Bradford Family of Dover.”
When Dover merchant Vincent Loockerman died in 1785, he was one of Dover’s single largest landowners and an unrivaled collector of Delaware- and Philadelphia-made furniture of the 18th century. The Biggs Museum’s exhibition represents Loockerman’s material legacy and the more than 200 years of art collecting by his descendants, the Bradfords.
Visitors will also enjoy two related programs. Throughout the day at the John Bell House on The Green, “Unlocking Loockerman” will explore the life and times of the wealthy and elusive Vincent Loockerman, with examples of goods that merchants like Loockerman imported via the St. Jones River. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., “A Unique Perspective: A Look Into the Private Lives of the Loockermans” lets visitors meet Vincent and Elizabeth Loockerman
in a performance set among many of their 18th-century possessions at the Biggs Museum. Private conversations between Vincent and his young second wife will be heard as historical interpreters from First State Heritage Park portray the two.
Other special First Saturday events include a lecture at the Delaware Public Archives on the soon-to-be-released 1940 Census records, an archaeology-focused exploration of Delaware’s Dutch roots at The Old State House, and walking tours throughout the day focusing on Dover’s Revolutionary War heroes.
More First Saturday activities include tours of The Old State House and Legislative Hall and tours of the Governor’s residence at Woodburn and Hall House, and exhibits at the Johnson Victrola Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, and the Biggs Museum of American Art.
Until further notice, the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room at the Delaware Public Archives will only 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 destateparks.com/heritagepark.
First Saturday Activities on Saturday, April 7
10 a.m., Noon and 2:30 p.m.
We Poor Devils
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
Guided interpretations of “The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories” that explores the beginning of the war as seen through the eyes of five Delaware soldiers.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tours of the Governor’s House
At Woodburn – The Governor’s House
Guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)
Walking Tour: Dover’s Heroes of the Revolution
Begins at the John Bell House on The Green
This tour visits the final resting places of such valiant figures as John Haslet and John Patton, and locations around The Green associated with other early military heroes, including Caesar Rodney and Dr. James Tilton.
The 1940 Census
Delaware Public Archives
Jefferson M. Moak from the National Archives at Philadelphia helps researchers use the latest available census. In April of 2012, the 1940 Census will be available to researchers for the first time.
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
A Unique Perspective: A Look Into the Private Lives of the Loockermans
Biggs Museum of American Art
Surrounded by many of their possessions, 18th-century merchant Vincent Loockerman and his young wife Elizabeth talk about their family who left a mark of Dover’s history.
All That Is Dutch: Discovering the Dutch Roots in Delaware through Archaeology
The Old State House on The Green
Examines how the Dutch influence helped to build Delaware into the state that it is today, using the Dutch-related artifacts found in Delaware.
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. Personal experiences are revealed through the state’s collection of objects, portraits and documents.
Biggs Museum of American Art
“Jewels of the Generations: The Legacy of Loockerman and Bradford Family of Dover.” Featuring furniture, clothing, jewelry, ceramics and silver owned by this 18th- and 19th-century Dover family.
Guided Tours of Legislative Hall – Delaware’s Capitol
Legislative Hall has been the seat of Delaware’s General Assembly, the supreme lawmaking body in the state, since 1933. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.
Jazz Appreciation Month
Johnson Victrola Museum
This exhibit celebrates Jazz Music month with original 78-inch recordings of the great jazz artists signed by Victor Records, played on authentic Victrola machines.
John Bell House on The Green
Vincent Loockerman was probably Dover’s single largest land owner and one of its wealthiest men. Find out about the goods from Philadelphia and the world that merchants like Loockerman imported via the St. Jones River.
2 – 3 p.m.
Biggs Kids – April Showers
Biggs Museum of American Art
Help us bring rain showers to life using watercolor paints and sponges so we can enjoy beautiful flowers next month. Ages 5 to 10. Reservations required; call 302-674-2111.
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. 106