Contributed by Cathy Walls
On August 18th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Mispillion Art League’s monthly Third Thursday presentation, you can travel back in time and explore the history of the Rosedale Resort in Millsboro, Delaware. This resort was a haven for African Americans at a time when segregation was the norm. More significantly, it was at the Rosedale Resort Hotel that the most famous black musicians at the time would stay while performing at white concert halls in the Mid-Atlantic region. There along the Indian River the sound of the greats like Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and even Stevie Wonder wafted on the air.
The Third Thursday program is free and open to the public making it the perfect forum for an oral history presentation. In this digital age, oral history possesses several unique benefits that no other historical source provides. Oral history brings us the perspectives of individuals other than famous politicians, activists, and celebrities who are so easy to find with one click on the internet. How fortunate that Milford is home to Mr. Charles Hammond. Growing up in the area, he will share his firsthand experiences of time spent at Rosedale and what it was like living during this period of change in Delaware.
Of course you cannot explore the Rosedale experience without understanding the magnitude of the culture of great music performed live at the resort. Throughout the evening, Mike Wells will present a retrospective of the music from the luminaries who made Rosedale such a unique and important place in history. Mike has carefully researched the acts from the Rosedale circuit and has compiled an entertaining selection of recordings from the era.
This Third Thursday presentation promises to be both informative and entertaining, perfect!
Why such a focus on this particular piece of Delaware history? Mispillion Art League’s major fundraiser this year is “Rosedale Revisited – A Night of Dinner and Music.” on September 17, at 5 pm. at the Milford Senior Center. This event will bring to life the music and memories of Rosedale, with song and dance performances by Don Del Productions, highlighting the dynamic era of the Rosedale Beach Hotel and Resort. Tickets are $45 and will be on sale during Thursday’s presentation.