The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s First State Heritage Park’s lantern tours of The Green and three of Dover’s historic cemeteries will entertain with stories from Dover’s history at 8:30 p.m. Fridays this summer.
— Lantern Tour of the Dover Green: Aug. 16 and Sept. 6. Meets at the John Bell House, 43 The Green. Join historical interpreters from the First State Heritage Park dressed in colonial attire as they relate the stories of historic Dover. Dover’s public square was the site of markets and fairs, suffragists and abolitionists, soldiers and slaves, lawmakers and lawbreakers. Hear tales of the most infamous resident of Dover’s jail, of devastating fires that threatened the town and of poisonings and tragic love.
— Lantern Tour of Old Methodist Cemetery: July 26 and Aug. 9. Meets at the Johnson Victrola Museum parking lot, 375 S. New St. The stories of those buried in this historic cemetery help reveal the meanings behind the rituals associated with death and mourning in the 19th-century among the decorated tombstones of the Wesley United Methodist Church’s cemetery. Uncover the meanings of the funeral art that decorates the tombs and what those symbols might reveal about the people buried beneath them. Varied and unusual funerary customs of the Victorian Period will be revealed including mourning clothes and customs and how the Civil War helped develop methods of preserving the dead.
— Lantern Tour of Christ Episcopal Churchyard: Aug. 2. Meets at Christ Episcopal Church, 523 S. State St. Encounter characters from the past to hear not only tales of the tombstones, but also tales of joy and sorrow from those who are laid to rest within the walls of the churchyard. From Caesar Rodney’s unrequited love to Civil War opponents buried within yards of one another, be prepared for a surprise or two on this tour.
— Lantern Tour of Presbyterian Churchyard Cemetery: Aug. 23. Meets at the Johnson Victrola Museum parking lot. Visit by lantern light the Presbyterian Church of Dover’s historic cemetery, where many prominent Delawareans and their families are buried. Among them is Delaware’s statesman John M. Clayton and Revolutionary War martyr Col. John Haslet, who died a hero’s death at the Battle of Princeton in 1777. Meet these figures from Dover history along with Revolutionary War hero Major John Patton, 19th-century Dover’s James Fulton who was the first resident of Rose Cottage and several 18th-century Dover widows with decided opinions about their husbands.
Admission to all lantern tours this summer is $10. All summer tours begin at 8:30 p.m. Space is limited; call 739-9194 to reserve a lantern. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will not be rescheduled.
Tours are made possible with the cooperation of the Presbyterian Church of Dover, Christ Episcopal Church and Wesley United Methodist Church.
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