In the News
Delaware Agricultural Museum’s Night of Fun and Funds
The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village’s annual banquet was held on Saturday, February 15, with upwards of 140 celebrants in attendance. Everyone enjoyed cocktails, a gourmet dinner by “Food by Design”, music, and live and silent auctions. Among the many guests were Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins, and Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. President Holly Porter.
Besides the fun and food served throughout the evening, the real treat was the funds raised to support the renovation and preservation activity taking place in the museum and its 1890’s rural village. With sponsorship support from Mountaire Farms, Delaware Farm Bureau, GROWMARK FS, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., Delaware Electric Cooperative and Delmarva Irrigation, nearly $25,000, was raised. Contributing to the total and to the merriment of the evening was the live auction where, with the bantering encouragement of Secretary Scuse, guests battled one another for treasures as diverse as a catered dinner for six at the Museum, the fun of riding in a carriage in the “Return Day” parade following November’s election, and the item receiving the highest bid of the evening, four bags of hybrid seed corn.
To top off the evening, the first donation to the Ag Museum’s “1980 Club” was made by Museum Trustee, Karen Hutchison. Unveiled in welcoming remarks by Museum Director Carolyn Claypoole, the 1980 Club recognizes the founding year of the Museum and allows donors to designate the area of the Museum or Village where their tax-deductible donation of $1980 is to be applied.
Gene Carlisle: "A Man of Few Words and Many Deeds"
In October 2019, former high school science teacher, civic leader and long-time Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village volunteer, Gene Carlisle, generously donated $25,000 to pay for the long-term preservation of the St. Thomas Methodist Episcopal Church. The classic 1850s building is the heart and soul of the Museum’s 1890’s Village. Mr. Carlisle's donation was made in support of the Museum's Adopt-A-Building program.
Pictured from left are: Ag Museum Treasurer, Karen Hutchison, volunteer Gene Carlisle, volunteer Mike Collier, Operations Assistant Sare Busker and Board President, Grier Stayton)
The project to restore St.Thomas Methodist Episcopal Church (ca. 1857)
A major restoration project is underway at the Ag Museum. The focus is the restoration of St. Thomas Methodist Episcopal Church (ca. 1857).
The church is an important symbol of Delaware’s rural history and heritage and a wonderful example of 19th century rural church architecture, characterized by the steeply pitched roof, arched windows and Victorian Era stained glass. The pews, chairs, pulpit, alter and cast-iron stoves are original to the church.
Sadly, the building has fallen into disrepair over the years, mostly due to a lack of funding dedicated to support its’ long-term preservation.
In order to return this special building to its former glory, the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village has contracted with Dave Reisinger (Roberts Construction) a recognized expert in the field of historic preservation. Work on the project began in August 2019. The estimated date of completion is spring 2020.