Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category


Like Teri says, “Delaware Rocks”

April 20, 2010

Today’s mail came with a sweet hand-written note from Teri in Room 29 in Califormia.  A couple of months ago, Teri wrote to us asking for information on the state of Delaware.  Vicky, the Executive Assistant, answers student letters like Teri’s.  She laughed so hard at this one because Teri explained to her that she chose Delaware because it has great seafood and “juicy history.”  We didn’t know what it meant, but it was funny!  Vicky did her thing and put a package in the mail to Teri.  Today, she got a “thank you,” the first one she can ever remember receiving from a student request. 

It turns out that young Teri has a bright future for a variety of reasons from our vantage point.  She wrote to let us know that she and her friends had made us a picture.  This letter makes us smile as much or more than the “juicy history” remark.  We’re glad to know that someone in California thinks our state rocks!

Rock on! Ellen


Bitter Sweet Day at the Historical Society

March 19, 2010

It is with a sad heart that this 11:45er is saying goodbye to the Delaware Historical Society.  Today is my last day working for a truly wonderful organization – one that I have been honored to be a part of for the past six and a half years.  It is a place where I have grown both professionally and personally and a part of my heart will always be here.

One of the ways the Historical Society truly allowed me to spread my wings was in social media.  Never in a million years did I think I would become interested in technology.  Yet here I am – blogging, tweeting, and following tech news with a passion I never would have expected.  I count myself as truly lucky to have been a part of an organization that gave me the room to try these things and also to discover myself along the way!!!

For those of you who follow Making History 11:45 – have no fear!  I have spent the past month training others to pick up where I left off.  I’m excited that you’ll have the opportunities to hear other voices from our organization and maybe even see our project take off with new life or in a new direction.  (We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas!)  I know that I’m looking forward to following the project from the other end. The picture above was from the lunchtime goodbye party the incredible staff gave me at lunch.  (Our staff has some of the best cooks out there.)

Thank you all for your support in our blog, for following this project, and for your words of encouragement!

Signing off for my final 11:45


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Excitement on Market Street!

October 2, 2009

The Queen 1, originally uploaded by Delaware Historical Society.

We had some excitement on Market St. this morning for the groundbreaking of the Queen Theatre – the building right next door to the Delaware History Museum.

The Queen Theater

To put the groundbreaking into historical perspective – it’s not a new building. In fact, there has been something at 500 Market since the 1800s (if not before!)

The Queen 4

However, the groundbreaking was the start a restoration project that will restore the Queen to a performing arts venue called World Cafe Live (there is another World Cafe Live in Philadelphia) and a place to broadcast live with WXPN. In case you can’t tell – I’m excited that there will be such a vibrant musical community right next door to the Delaware History Museum and across the street from our library!!!

The Queen truly is a gem along Market Street (one of my absolute favorite buildings!) It also has an interesting history.

Indian Queen Hotel 1850
Indian Queen Hotel, 1850

It was the Indian Queen Hotel in the mid 1800s.

Clayton House 1893
Clayton House Hotel, 1893

In 1873 the building (as we know it today) opened as the Clayton House hotel. This was an elegant hotel and the second largest building in Wilmington. It had 105 guest rooms, sitting rooms, and parlors. By 1878 it became the first hotel in Delaware to have a passenger elevator and hundreds of people came just to rid up and down. The hotel entrance has two banks and there were stores at the bottom on the King Street side. It closed as the hotel in the early 1900s.

Queen Theater Dressed, 1899

The building reopened in 1916 as the Queen Theatre. It was a movie palace. Vaudeville shows were also performed there regularly.

Queen Theater 1940s
Queen Theatre, 1940s

It remained open as a movie theater but declined in popularity after World War II. It closed in 1959 and it’s been vacant ever since.

So…you can understand why we’re so excited to have such a great space being restored!!! The ground breaking was complete with live musicians, crowds in attendance, and excitement about the project. For more information you can visit the web site of the Light up The Queen Foundation: They have some FABULOUS images of the inside!!!!

Until 11:45 Next, Andrea

Some other shots of The Queen Today and Images from the Groundbreaking Celebration:

The Queen 2
The Queen 3
Another Crowd Shot
Performers at the Groundbreaking
Jonatha Brooks @ Queen Groundbreaking
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Sunshine and new life!

May 8, 2009

Mommy and Babies outside office window, originally uploaded by Delaware Historical Society.

During the long weeks of preparation for National History Day, I had to send my documents (seemingly thousands) for printing to Stephanie’s office on the third floor, one floor up from my temporary office, located in an historic house. It was kind of a pain to have to walk up the narrow spiral stairway. I was glad for the bit of exercise I got walking up and down ten or twenty times each day, but wished there were a different way to get my “stuff!” There was one thing that I noticed that made a huge difference in my attitude as I climbed up and down and up and down….

One day as I waited for a document, I looked out Stephanie’s window, where I saw a mother robin at her nest in the tree just outside. That window overlooks Willingtown Square- the tiny pocket park around which the Historical Society’s buildings are located on the west side of Market Street. A mother- a little bit of sweetness and light in this otherwise very rainy, cloudy and dreary spring season we’ve had.

She was so incredibly devoted that it was almost like I had scored a coup when I looked and she wasn’t in the nest tending to the four tiny eggs, or on the ground just at the foot of the tree. I saw her facing east and west, with her wings spread out to cover the nest from the rain… in every which way it seems. I can tell you that I would not want to be a mother bird having to watch a nest 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is not an enviable job.

As I walked into the office today, it was sunny and I felt a bit lighter. I noticed mom on the grass hunting for worms so I said hello to her as I passed, wondering when the eggs might hatch. I really didn’t give her or the eggs a second thought until 11:45 when I went up to retrieve a print out and guess what! The babies are here! There are four tiny funny-feathered babies! I had to tell someone and Stephanie, who has commiserated with the rain-soaked mother was not around, so I called up to Andrea with the good news! She hadn’t known about our real life drama and we just stared at the wonder of the babies, all breathing so heavily and looking so cute and funny. Happily, we saw mom return and then two opened their mouths incredibly wide! I’m not sure but it seems like their beeks are equal size to the rest of their tiny bodies!

I know that baby robins are not rare- but what a glimpse of mother nature’s everyday miracles. Sunshine and baby robins! Hoorah, spring is here!

Happy weekend! Good luck babies and mom! To all the mom’s of the world- you are amazing!


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March 17, 2009

Well – for all of you who wait with baited breath for new Making History 11:45 posts – I’m on vacation this week!  I thought perpahs I might visit some museums, historic sites, cultural institutions and blog about my trips while I’m visiting with my best friend.  However, it looks like we’ll probably just hang out, go shopping, eat chips and dip, and go to the gym so we don’t feel guilty.  🙂 I say this to let you know – I’ll be back next week and I’m sure I’ll have lots of posts for all of you to catch up on.

Until 11:45 next, Andrea