The Saving Delaware History Podcast

The Saving Delaware History Podcast

The Saving Delaware History podcast explores the fascinating facets of Delaware history. Each episode covers a location, project, or research by the HCA including origins of the endeavor, interviews with experts, and its largest impacts. Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs continues its mission of preserving and interpreting Delaware history by providing the staff and funding for this podcast.


November 10, 2020 1 min

A brief description of the Saving Delaware History Podcast: what we cover, who we talk to, and why we do it.

The HCA Website:

Our Podcast Website:

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Delaware’s first courthouse, now the New Castle Court House Museum, hosted the infamous trials of abolitionists Thomas Garrett and John Hunn and oversaw Neil v. Delaware, the eventual Supreme Court case on fair jury representation. Join us for a discussion of Garrett’s contributions to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the true nature of Neil’s indictment with historians Cynthia Snyder and Nicole Worthley.

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November 20, 2020 24 mins

Posthumous Grammy-award-winner Eldridge Johnson and his innovative Victor Talking Machine Company are memorialized in the Johnson Victrola Museum. Listen to this interview with the museum’s Lead Interpreter Chris Hall to learn how Johnson created today’s advertising techniques and founded the modern music-making industry.

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November 28, 2020 23 mins

The Zwaanendael Museum encompasses Europe’s first steps in Delaware in the town of Swanendael in 1631, as well as rotating exhibits on Lewes’s social, maritime, and military past. Tune in to this conversation with Site Supervisor Bridget Warner to uncover the other histories showcased at the museum.

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December 4, 2020 32 mins

The only Founding Father who refused to sign the Declaration of Independence. The enslaved woman who convinced him to buy her and grant her children freedom. Listen to these and other stories of John Dickinson and Dinah unfold in this talk with Site Supervisor Gloria Henry at the John Dickinson Plantation. 

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December 11, 2020 21 mins

Sword a-swinging, former Sheriff Clayton brazenly ran Delaware’s General Assembly out of their unfinished statehouse and into a local tavern, where, ironically, they simply resumed their contemplation of Prohibition. Listen to the rest of this story from Delaware’s Old State House in this episode with historians Gavin Malone and Nena Todd. 

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December 20, 2020 32 mins

Unidentified remains for eleven people, constituting the largest colonial burial site in Delaware, were inadvertently discovered in 2007 as a part of an excavation by the Archaeological Society of Delaware. Join us for this introduction to the Avery’s Rest site with Chief Project Manager Dan Griffith.

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December 25, 2020 28 mins

Organic or inorganic, treasured or forgotten, only a very few of the items we leave behind persist long enough to become artifacts in the archaeological record. Hear about the tangible remnants found at Avery’s Rest in this discussion with State Curator of Archaeology Paul Nasca.

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For years, anthropologists and archeologists at the Smithsonian Institution have worked to uncover the maternal relations and habitual vices secreted within the bones found at Avery’s Rest. Today we speak with researcher Raquel Fleskes about the bioarchaeological perspectives revealed by their intensive DNA analysis.  

Read her full paper: Ancient DNA and bioarchaeological perspectives on European and African diversity and relations...

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January 8, 2021 22 mins

Straight pins, button molds, and scrap metal: the colonial keys to understanding the Avery family’s lives after they moved from bustling Boston to rural Delaware. Get to know the commonplace, domestic operations of Avery’s Rest in this episode with historian Julianne Danna.

Check out her full paper: Culture and  Comfort: A Study of Personal Adornment at Avery’s Rest

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January 15, 2021 33 mins

Once a resplendent manor owned by a politician interested in experimental agriculture, then home to a two-term Delaware Senator and Secretary of State, and now a favorite jaunt of Senator Tom Carper, Buena Vista Mansion offers the idyll of a private residence with the convenience of being just off Route 13. Hear more about this estate’s history in this talk with Site Manager Janis Oppenheimer and Site Supervisor Sara Clendaniel.

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January 22, 2021 24 mins

Having served as the emergency meeting place for Delaware’s General Assembly in the middle of the Revolutionary War, this almost 250-year-old brick manor offers historic tree tours and an idyllic wedding venue. Tune in for this history of Belmont Hall with Mrs. Susan Wolfe and Mr. Bob Merrill.

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January 29, 2021 21 mins

The only functional historic mill in Delaware, Abbott’s Mill, underwent multiple groundbreaking (for the time) renovations, from water wheel power to water turbine and eventually its pièce de résistance, the diesel engine. Join me today to speak with Site Manager Matt Babbitt of the Delaware Nature Society. 

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February 5, 2021 23 mins

From the county division that gave you one of America’s first three railroads came the invention of railroad signals, America’s busiest canal and Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battle. Queue up this episode to hear more about Pencader Hundred from Keith Jackson, Linda Duffy, and Bob Barnes of the Pencader Heritage Museum.

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February 13, 2021 20 mins

General George Washington and 800 troops stand on Iron Hill, facing an opposition force two to three times their size, in what will be the only Revolutionary War battle to take place in Delaware. Listen today to Mr. Wade Catts, a registered professional archaeologist and specialist in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, as he explains this historic conflict.

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February 19, 2021 25 mins

General George Washington and 800 troops stand on Iron Hill, facing an opposition force two to three times their size, in what will be the only Revolutionary War battle to take place in Delaware. Listen today to Mr. Wade Catts, a registered professional archaeologist and specialist in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, as he explains this historic conflict.

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February 27, 2021 25 mins

At the dawn of national commercial markets, Cooch-Dayett Mill, by partnering with the University of Delaware’s early Agriculture Department, advanced industrial feed production through a series of experiments in processing corn and flour for optimal nutrition. Listen to this interview to learn the history of the mill as told by Eric Gollannek, Executive Director of the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center.

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March 5, 2021 17 mins

In conjunction with elementary history and environmental curriculums and Delaware’s Division for Historical and Cultural Affairs, Cooch-Dayett Mill served for a time as an educational center and tree-hugger hub. Tune in to this episode with Site Manager Joe Sebastiani and Programs Team Leader David Pragoff to learn how its history continued.

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March 14, 2021 27 mins

A little-known fact: The last casualty in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge was in 1996, when a cannon ball fell off the mantel and onto Richard Cooch Junior’s foot, resulting in an urgent trip to the Emergency Room. Hear more about this and many such anecdotes in this episode as Judge Richard Cooch recounts his family’s history. 

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March 19, 2021 26 mins

Connecting the Pencader Heritage Museum, Cooch’s Bridge, Cooch-Dayett Mill, and the Thomas Cooch House will be an interpretative biking and walking path designed by the Friends of Cooch’s Bridge. Hear in this talk with President of the Friends of Cooch’s Bridge Vince Watchorn about these sites’ preservation and education potential.

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