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First State Heritage Park Market Fair

First State Heritage Park Market Fair

Entertainments, Diversions and Various Tradespersons You Can See at the Market Fair in 2014

Timothy, the Irish Linen Worker

Timothy the Irish Linen Worker at Market Fair Meet Timothy, the Irish linen worker, an indentured servant of The Widow Tobin, as he weaves a tale of everyday life in the 1700s, when folks of all classes wore clothing made of linen--and Irish linen had the best reputation for quality! Listen to Timothy’s patter as you watch him turn ordinary-looking flax straw into linen fabric using authentic tools of the period.

Dr. Balthasar’s Travelling Medicine Show

Dr. Balthasar’s Travelling Medicine Show During this comical interactive performance, Dr. Balthasar offers audiences a "magical miracle medicine that cures everything from a common cold to death of two weeks' standing."  Ailments and afflictions such as consumption, baldness, the "summer complaint," dropsy, drunkenness and extreme nervousness were just a few of the maladies that magical potions hawked by travelling medicine men of the 1700s and 1800s would supposedly cure.

Signora Bella

Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm "Signora Bella, the Great Italian Equilibrist," delights audiences of all ages balancing and juggling on the rola bola, the slackrope, and the large sphere. She juggles knives and flaming torches. With much zest, Signora Bella brings to life the tradition of the travelling performer of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Her performances encourage audience interaction, creating a unique performance every time - truly a celebration of the ephemeral delight of live performance.

Elizabeth Battell, Keeper of the Golden Fleece Tavern

Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm Return to the 18th century at the site of the Golden Fleece tavern where you’ll meet Elizabeth, the 18th-century mistress of the tavern where Delaware became the First State, portrayed by living history professional Rosemary Staniszewski. Through lively conversation find out what it was like traveling and eating at an 18th-century tavern.

Department of the Geographer to the Army

Geographer of the Army photo Meet members of the Department of the Geographer, Army of the United States, 1777-1783. This premier living history group recreates the unit established by the Continental Congress in 1777 at the request of George Washington. They will share their knowledge of the science of surveying and cartography in the 18th century and of the War for American Independence.

Ed Long - Horner

Ed Long, Horner Ed Long, journeyman and past Guildmaster of the Honourable Company of Horners, demonstrates how to make a powder horn, including the intricate stage of carving. Beautifully finished horns will be offered for sale and have won numerous blue ribbons.

Lady Aimee’s Fine Sewing & Sutlery
Augustijn Herman, Lord of Bohemia Manor

Lady And  Augustijn Herman, Lord of Bohemia Manor Lady Aimee is a sutler, a travelling merchant offering goods for 17th or 18th century re-enactors. Augustijn Herman, a merchant & cartographer, displays his map for ship captains & merchants.

Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm

Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm Come visit with demonstrators from Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm (an  historic site in New Castle County that focuses on life during the Early Republic). They will bring to market fair several of the two breeds of heritage sheep (Leicester Longwools and Delaine Merinos) raised at their site and will demonstrate historic spinning and weaving techniques and discuss textile production in early America.  Available for purchase will be yarns that were spun from their heritage flock and dyed with historically-accurate natural dyes.

1st Delaware Regiment

Ageless Artifice This American Revolution living history organization will be encamped on The Green to portray the 1st Delaware Regiment, Delaware Militia, and civilian supporters of the Cause of Liberty. Kids and adults alike can join in military drills they will conduct throughout the day.

Taylor Woodworks and Theorem Painting

Taylor Woodworks and Theorem Painting Fine handcrafted furniture in the 18th-century tradition is displayed along with theorem paintings by Delawareans Noreen, Jeff and Ronnie Taylor.

Katie Cannon’s Craft: Home Medicine

Ageless Artifice What do you do if it's the 18th century and you get sick? While there were doctors, many people treated their minor illnesses at home the way we do now. Learn what our ancestors did for coughs, bruises, headaches, and more... plus test your skill at identifying ingredients!

Mike Radebach – Blacksmith


Blacksmith Mike Radebach of Frederica has demonstrated the art of blacksmithing in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania since 1988. He has conducted living history programs and school tours at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and various other venues.

Silhouette Artist Brian Miller

Silhouette Artist Brian Miller Market Fair visitors can have their likenesses preserved as hollow-cut silhouettes. Brian Miller portrays an itinerant artist who uses a “camera obscura” to create profiles as they were done during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Woodworker Rick Schuman

Woodworker Rick Schuman Rick Schuman demonstrates traditional woodworking methods including the use of a spring-pole lathe, a shave horse, and vintage hand tools. Rick will be selling his craftwork, including spoons, spatulas, kitchen utensils, rolling pins, stools and an unusual Scandinavian bowl with handle called a“kuksa”.

Dover English Country Dancers

dancers Enjoy one of Delaware’s premier groups of 18th-century dancers and musicians as they perform at The Old State House.

Traditional Soap Making
and Painted Floor Cloths

Traditional Soap Making and Painted Floor Cloths Artist Maria Bessette will sell her painted floorcloths, which are a traditional American floor covering dating back to the 18th century. Maria will also demonstrate and sell her handcrafted plant-based soaps made from natural botanicals.

Thistledown Fiber Guild

Fiber Arts Weaver Gladys Shaw demonstrates on her loom and offers wall and table mats and runners, shawls and skirts for sale. Alice Guerrant shows how socks and caps were knit by hand, and Helen Gieske displays quilting techniques.

Plein Air Painters

Plein Air Painter Watch the plein air painters Joyce Lapp and Diane Bauer at work around The Green as they capture the scene.

Merchants of Lewes

Merchants of Lewes The local merchant store gave personality and flavor to small towns in Delaware during the 18th century. Take a look at ledgers along with real items to see and touch as you find out the importance of merchants and their trade.

Market Fair Memories

Market Fair Memories Stop by the free photo booth and get your picture taken with fun props from the 1700s to capture a memory that will last a lifetime. All photos will be made available online.

John Shelton, Glassmaker

Glassmaker A recognized expert in early American glassblowing and a purist, John Shelton learned glassblowing as an apprentice. Visit him to learn about the tricks and techniques for making reproduction 17th and 18th century glassware and perhaps purchase some for yourself!

Mrs. R. Black, Itinerant Painter

Mrs. R. Black Have your portrait painted! Artist Linda Chatfield portrays 18th-century itinerant painter “Mrs. R. Black, known for her Portraits of Boston Society, who will take correct likenesses in watercolor and silhouette for a reasonable sum.” Watch Mrs. Black engrave copper plates and perhaps work with her miniature printing press.

Shelley Townsend, Chair Caner

Chair Caner Stop to see Shelly Townsend create the bottoms and backs to chairs using only strips of plant material. This craft has been a way to make seats for hundreds of years. Many 18th century Delawareans would have sat on seats much like these!

Tony Estus, Brickmaker

Brickmaker Brick was an important construction material in the 1700s in Delaware. Wood was plentiful and used frequently, but it was not permanent, subject to fire, rot and termites! Stone was durable but hard to find in this area. Brick was sturdy and attractive, and its raw material – clay – was abundant; it also reminded many colonists of the architecture of their homeland. Visit brickmaker, Antony Estus as he demonstrates one of Delaware’s earliest trades!

Market Fair Minstrels

Minstrels Enjoy the sounds of traditional tunes on fiddle as musicians Rick Hudson and Nate Grower rove about the Market Fair, with the potential for some friendly competition between the two.

Slate Button Making

Button Making Back by popular demand! Try your hand at making a slate button of your very own using primitive skills. Start with a simple shard of slate and by grinding and drilling you will shape that piece into something that can be used to hold your clothes shut.

Children's Activities

18th-century games
  • Face painting
  • Learn paper quilling
  • See the heritage sheep
  • Pick a trade and make your own merchant’s trade sign at the Biggs Museum
  • Try wool carding and drop spindles
  • Play 18th-century games
  • Be a sailor and learn to tie knots
  • Take part in a military muster

Good Things to Eat

Good Things to Eat The Dover Century Club is transformed into the Market Fair Inn to sell hungry visitors pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, baked goods, coffee, and cider. Plus Fifer Orchards returns with their famous cider donuts and cold cider.

Download a PDF of the Market Fair Schedule!

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