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'Crossroads: Change in Rural America' exhibit coming to Greater Harrington Historical Society's Museum

A traveling Smithsonian exhibit detailing rural America is coming to Harrington.

Crossroads:  Change in Rural America - opens Saturday, November 19, 2022 at the Greater Harrington Historical Society Museum.

“We were given an opportunity through a partnership with Delaware Humanities over the last few years," said Doug Poore, curator of the Greater Harrington Historical Society Museum. "We’ve worked closely with them bringing other events to the community.”

Poore says the exhibit focuses on rural America from the 20th century to the present and is part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Museums on Main Street program.

“The exhibit itself is kind of based in a generality way - meaning it talks about rural America from its past and then how it changed - the land, how it changed and how its usage has changed, how the towns have persevered and reinvented themselves in some cases,” he said.

Poore notes that the exhibit gives younger people a window into the world their parents and grandparents experienced and understand how it influenced their lives today.

He also notes that in Delaware "rural America" largely means agriculture.

“But it’s agriculture in a totally different way than when it started. Agriculture when it was started was very oriented around vegetables and produce," he said. "We didn’t have chicken houses yet; chickens were a few things that ran around your yard and it changed dramatically basically with the shift in our country as produce growing moved out west.” 

Poore notes another example is the peach blight that occurred in the late 1800’s - which ended Delaware’s status as a top peach producing state and prompted Georgia’s rise as Peach State.

The exhibit will have video presentations highlighting things like the peach blight, along with other interactive displays.

The exhibit runs through Saturday, January 28.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.