Welcome to the DHS Insider, where you’ll get an inside look at some of the innovative and ambitious goings-on at the Delaware Historical Society (DHS) and meet some of the behind-the-scenes folks who make it all happen.

Help us shape the future of the Read House & Gardens landscape!

The George Read II House & Gardens has begun the planning phase of a transformative campaign to make its landscape socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable for the next generation. DHS is partnering with DAVID RUBIN Land Collective of Philadelphia and Indianapolis to develop a design concept rooted in community dialogue.

Up Next:

Thursday, September 22, 6-7:30 p.m.


Join us for an expert panel discussion on stewarding public landscapes that were originally designed as private gardens.

Serving on the panel is Dr. Emily T. Cooperman Independent scholar, Philadelphia; David A. Rubin, Principal, DAVID RUBIN Land Collective; and Chris Strand, Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO, Winterthur Museum, Library & Garden. The panel will be moderated by Brenton Grom, Director of the Read House & Gardens.

Thursday, September 29, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

Join in the second of four community stakeholder meetings on the future of the Read House & Gardens. Following last month’s robust dialogue, our partners at DAVID RUBIN Land Collective will facilitate another round of exercises and conversation.


Both events will be held at the George Read II House & Gardens, 42 The Strand, New Castle, DE. Register for either event at



The Delaware Historical Society’s Family and Community Day activities are designed to welcome audiences back to in-person experiences at our sites. Like so many institutions, we have increased the variety of ways we deliver programming and interact with the communities we serve over the past several years. At the same time, once we knew it was safe enough, we wanted to make our sites available and welcoming for people who are ready to venture outside again for family fun and enrichment. 

Our Family and Community Days serve people of all ages, especially elementary- and middle school-aged children and their favorite adults. In August, DHS’ Jane & Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage and Education & Inspiration staff teamed up with our partners from the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center and Christina Cultural Arts Center to offer an afternoon of multimodal engagement with African American history and culture in observation of August Quarterly and some of Delaware's other legacies of Black spiritual and religious freedom.  

Visitors engaged in lively conversations with DHS staff and program partners as they viewed the exhibitions, participated in craft making, and were introduced to resources for all learners to celebrate African American history and culture in Delaware and beyond. Family and Community days at DHS will be offered with pay-what-you-wish admission quarterly on Saturdays - when parking is free near the Museum. Our hope is to attract diverse communities to engage with the Delaware Historical Society and our partners, and to rebuild community connections in a fun, safe environment. 

Join us for our next Family and Community Day on November 19,

as we honor Native American Heritage Month.  


The Apotheosis of the Family, a mural by N. C. Wyeth, painted in 1932 for the Wilmington Savings Fund Society (WSFS) recently changed hands from Delaware Historical Society (DHS) to the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. The mural is made up of 5 canvas pieces that span 60 feet long and 19 feet high. 


It was displayed in the WSFS main lobby until 2004 when the bank headquarters moved to another facility. The WSFS building where the mural was displayed was bought by developers, the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), which transferred ownership of the mural to the Delaware Historical Society. 


Unfortunately, significant damage occurred during the removal of the mural from the wall at WSFS. In December 2021, DHS received the results of a conditions assessment, funded by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, showing that the repair and conservation of the mural came with a price tag of over $903,000. Numerous additional costs, such as for toxic lead abatement, moving costs and scaffolding, would be substantial. 


In consideration of the prohibitive costs projected, DHS Board of Trustees voted to find an owner who could provide proper stewardship for the mural. In May 2022, DHS transferred ownership of the mural to the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, which will continue to store it with the goal of repairing and restoring it and making it ready for public display. 


After years of working with WSFS, BPG and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, all of us at DHS are grateful that this monumental work of art has been passed to a suitable steward.  

The Vibrant World of Edward Loper Sr. — Wilmington’s Visionary Artist

Experience the art of Edward Loper, Sr., one of Delaware’s most celebrated cultural figures, an artist known for a palette of vibrant colors that would reflect the world around him. You can see his paintings today at our Journey to Freedom exhibit.


Join us on the first Thursday of every month as we release another edition of our new video series, “Speaking of Delaware…”. We’ll explore the paintings of Ed Loper, Thomas Garrett’s silver tray and teapot, and other untold wonders from our collections.


Are you following DHS on social media yet?

We regularly feature objects from our collections and stories about Delaware history, like this ice bag from the Diamond Ice and Coal Company.

Email  Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter  YouTube

CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment. Donors will receive free admission to the museum. Donors must be 17 years old and weigh at least 110 lbs. Photo ID required.


Siri Nesheim Mossblad

I’ve worked for DHS for six years now. When I started here right out of college, I was a museum interpreter and visitor services associate. I gave tours, led field trips, and actually went through my training when the museum was last closed for renovations in 2016. It was really exciting to be a part of the reopening event that October!

Now, I’m the Education and Visitor Services Manager, which means my role is to make sure everyone who enters the museum has a memorable and interesting experience. I enjoy my position because I love seeing students and visitors engage with Delaware history. The museum is loaded with stories and objects that we display and interpret for events and other DHS programs, which means I frequently get to see groups experiencing something new here.

It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the museum, but a story that sticks with me is Richard Henry Webb’s. He was a Quaker who, despite his pacifistic ideals, volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War to fight for equality. Unfortunately, he was killed in battle and buried on the battlefield. Other soldiers created a map detailing the location he was buried, sent it to his family in Wilmington, and amazingly they were able to recover his body and bury him near his home. You can see a portrait of Webb on display in the Delaware History Museum, along with a memory box containing a piece of his uniform, gifted to friends and family at his memorial service. 

Click here to view our latest 

Making History


Past issues of Making History can be viewed here.


DHS Curator of Printed Materials, Ed Richi, usually fields research and reference questions from the general public, but on occasion, has the pleasure of assisting colleagues in the history, museum and archival professions. He recently received a request from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is honoring one of their founding members who also happened to be Delaware’s first female physician, Dr. Margaret Irving Handy.* 

Born in 1890, Margaret Handy graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore and later received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. In 1918, Dr. Handy moved to Wilmington and opened an office at 817 Washington Street while the Influenza Pandemic was wreaking havoc throughout the country. She later opened a ward at the Peoples Settlement House at East 8th Street.

In the 1940s, she established the Mothers Milk Bank for premature babies, one of only two in the nation at the time. Her renown as a pioneer pediatrician is evidenced by a painting of Dr. Handy by Andrew Wyeth entitled “Children’s Doctor.” The Delaware Historical Society Photograph Collection contains a few pictures of Dr. Handy which have been sent along to our new friends at the AAP for their tribute to Dr. Margaret. It’s always a pleasure to see our collections put to good use!

*Source: Delaware Women Remembered by Mary Sam Ward. 


Back to School Special

Miss Lidie Black and her 1st grade class, Wilmington ca. 1890-1910

To view more photos from our collections, click here!

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