Public Programs: Interpreting America's Historic Places: Planning Grants

Period of Performance

4/1/2008 - 3/31/2009

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Becoming the First State: An Interpretive Plan for Dover, Delaware

FAIN: BP-50065-08

Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation (Dover, DE 19901-7305)
Elaine Brenchley (Project Director: September 2007 to August 2009)

Planning for expanded living history programs, self-guided audio tours, and wayside signage interpreting the period from 1774 to 1792 within First State Heritage Park.

Planning for new interpretation of the eighteen-year period (1774-92) surrounding 1787, when Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Delaware's experience of these two decades has remained relatively unexplored by scholars and insufficiently interpreted to the general public. This project examines the impact of the period on Delaware's little known leaders and on the ordinary people who lived and worked in Dover during this critical historical moment. Exploring themes of societal divisions and discord, the interpretive approach will combine living history, technology-assisted interpretation and interpretive waysides.The spatial focal point is the natural and built environment of the Dover Green National Register Historic District, the historic core of Delaware's capital city. It was here that the Golden Fleece Tavern, where the constitution was ratified, was located and it is here where several significant eighteenth- century structures still stand.