First State Heritage Park, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. N, Dover, will celebrate the new year with taking a closer look at how people have managed to travel for its First Saturday activities set for Jan. 6.
Guests can visit the John Bell House to learn about “The Hard Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad.” Freedom-seekers learned new skills to survive the journey north. Some went on foot, others were given rides in wagons and carriages, and some took trains on their journey. Guests will learn about some of the men, women and children who made these choices.
At the Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., children participating in the Biggs Kids program will be able to make their own horse puppet and learn more about how people traveled before automobiles. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Delaware Department of Transportation’s service to the residents of Delaware and all who have traveled through the First State, the Delaware Public Archives will host Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan. She will present the history of the department and how Delaware’s transportation system has evolved during the past century.
The Johnson Victrola Museum will take to the sea and share about Victor Talking Machine Co. Eldridge Reeves Johnson’s yacht. Used for scientific expeditions in the Caribbean, this vessel had its own song. Guests can hear it during the guided tours at the Victrola Museum.
Other activities will take place throughout the day. Leaving from the John Bell House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the “Trades of The Green Walking Tour” will further occupations of those that occupied The Green and how they were essential to Dover. Guided tours of various sites will be available at select times: Legislative Hall, The Old State House, Johnson Victrola Museum, Woodburn — The Governor’s House and Kent County Courthouse Courtroom No. 1.
Each month during First Saturdays in the First State, the First State Heritage Park offers a variety of free programs at each of the park’s partner sites, including tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city — The Old State House and Legislative Hall — hourly walking tours leaving from the John Bell House and the monthly Biggs Kids program at the Biggs Museum of American Art, with paid admission. Exhibits also are on display at the Delaware Public Archives, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries and the Biggs Museum.
For more, call 739-9194 or visit destateparks.com/heritagepark.