June First Saturday Free Events at First State Heritage Park Feature 18th and 19thCentury Medical Practices and Practitioners

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DOVER (May 31, 2011) – On Saturday June 4, the First State Heritage Park presents its monthly “First Saturdays in the First State” event in Dover. Four special programs about 18th– and 19th century medical practices and practitioners highlight this month’s First Saturday events. Throughout the day, visitors can learn about medical crises during the Civil War and the oddities of 18th century medical treatment.  A new walking tour introduces 18th century physicians James Sykes and James Tilton at the Old State House and medical curiosities from Dover’s past.

In addition, recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War continues with a lecture by Dr. Steve Newton at the Delaware Public Archives and the exhibit The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries.


Regular First Saturday activities also include tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city –The Old State House, which served as the seat of Delaware’s General Assembly from 1791 to 1933, and Legislative Hall, which has served this function since 1933. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of both capitol buildings from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and visit the Governor’s House at Woodburn from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tours and exhibits are also available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Biggs Museum of American Art, featuring its monthly “Biggs Kids” program.


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


“First Saturday” Activities on Saturday, June 4:

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) is 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. The state’s collection of objects, portraits, and documents reveal personal experiences of the brutal journey through the War of the Rebellion.


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.  This tour of the House and Senate Chambers presents lessons about the legislature and Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.


Kickoff to Black Music Month!
Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street
Visitors will hear recordings of early black artists using the medium of their time, and discover how African American music shaped American music and society.

Biggs Picture: Landscapes by Regional Artists – The 2011 Competition and Exhibition
Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
This exhibition features paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, craft, video and other artistic media by regional landscape artists. Artists in this juried competition were asked to interpret the theme of “Landscape,” embracing both traditional and experimental notions of “space” and “landscape.” The Biggs Museum permanent collection of American fine and decorative arts is also on display.

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


10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
NEW! Walking Tour! Sickness and Health…and the Occasional Poisoning
Tours begin every half hour at the John Bell House on The Green
This new tour highlights the medical curiosities of Dover’s past. From revolutionary war doctors to Caesar Rodney’s illnesses to notable poisonings, this tour reveals the curious relationship between history and medicine.


10 a.m., Noon and 2:30 p.m.
We Poor Devils
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
Enjoy guided interpretations of the current exhibition, The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories, with a special focus on Dr. David W. Maull and the medical crises that plagued Americans on both sides of the conflict.

10:30 a.m.
To Hell and Back:  The First State in Blue and Gray
Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street
Dr. Steve Newton explores the stories of Delawareans who fought for both the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War, as well as African Americans from Delaware who risked everything to fight for their freedom.


11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (ongoing)

Treat Your Fleas and Scurvy!

John Bell House on The Green
Visitors will learn how everything from fleas to scurvy was treated during the 1700s and about the essential role that herbs, flowers, and foods played in early medical treatment.

11:30 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.
Diagnosis Dover – The Doctors are in!
The Old State House on The Green
Historical interpreters take on the personas of two noted Dover physicians, James Sykes (1761- 1822) and James Tilton (1745-1822), to tell of their political and medical contributions. No appointments are necessary!

2 – 3 p.m.

Biggs Kids – Button Blossoms
Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Grosgrain ribbon and buttons will turn an otherwise plain t-shirt into a wearable garden.  Each flower will be fashioned from looped ribbon and fastened with a button.  Each participant should bring a t-shirt.  This free program is recommended for ages 5 to 10.  Reservations are required and may be made by calling 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.