Ad hoc group helping with statewide preservation plan

Hockessin Historical Society president Joe Lake got to show off some of Hockessin’s historic gems at a special meeting last week.

On Tuesday, March 7, the ad hoc community organization Preservation 50 held its March meeting at the Hockessin Library, its first such visit to the Hockessin area.

Comprised of members of other historical societies in Delaware, Preservation 50 founder Kim Burdick said the goal of the organization is to “promote conversation about conservation.”

They also help promote and organize historical societies at the local level, where Burdick said there isn’t much organizational support.

Burdick added that as a part of the State of Delaware’s Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs (DHCA), they receive a lot of support at the state level from partnering agencies.

“We’re lucky in that capacity,” she said.

Bev Laing, of the DHCA, said that the department is currently in the process of developing a 2018-2022 historic preservation plan.

Laing said her office acts to foster partnership between agencies and to also help agencies at the grassroots level.

“Partnership is the key word,” Laing said.

Laing said that there are five meetings scheduled throughout the month of March to solicit input from the public on the statewide plan.

“The public meetings are very helpful, because we want to know what is important to the citizens,” she said. “Maybe they want to focus on one aspect, or don’t want to focus on another such aspect, so it’s all about what they need.”

Lake said the small number of attendees at Tuesday’s meeting was due to a scheduling conflict with other members in Wilmington.

Despite the small numbers, the review of accomplishments and the tour of the Tweed’s Tavern exhibit building and museum went very well.

“It was a chance for some people in the museum business in Delaware to see what Hockessin is doing in terms of preservation,” he said.  

The Sons of American Revolution will also be paying a visit to the museum later this month, Lake added, with other groups showing interest in a tour.

“What we’re doing is not open to individuals yet,” he said. “There’s a possibility that by the summer, we’ll be open one day a week for public tours.”

The next historic preservation plan meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22, Dover Public :Library, 35 E. Lookerman Plaza, Dover at 6 p.m. And Saturday, March 25, the Delaware Historical Society, 505 N. Market St., Wilmington, at 1 p.m.

The current plan can be seen at history.delaware.gov/preservation.