Lewes Historical Society
From Captain Kidd and
the eternal rhythms of the tides to the salty courage of the Delaware pilots
and the nationally-recognized architecture of our historic district - Lewes's
past is colorful, unique and proud. The ancient beam of old Cape Henlopen Light
still haunts the local seas and local imaginations in "Delaware's Saltiest
The Lewes Historical Society began in 1961 as local residents identified a need to preserve Lewes' architectural heritage and for an organization to act as a steward for Lewes's past - a history that stretches back to humble Dutch origins in 1631. The Society has been recognized as one of Delaware's greatest assets and has been honored for our efforts by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and by the American Association for State & Local History. The Society celebrates the heritage of Lewes -- "The First Town in The First State!"
The Society continues to offer a rich and exciting array of activities that engage visitors and promote Lewes's unique heritage to an ever-increasing number of seasonal guests and year-round residents of the area. From our History Happy Hours to the Summer Outdoor Antique Shows and Craft Fairs the Society offers annual programs that have become signature events of the Society. The Society has sponsored several conferences of Lewes and Delaware History, has invited numerous local, national and international scholars and dignitaries to speak at its events, and promoted the arts and cultural exploration and appreciation in Southern Delaware. As Lewes continues to grow, the Society will strive to maintain a record of the past of this special town by the sea.
Seventeen Men: Portraits of Black Civil War SoldiersThrough February 26, 2022
10:00 am- 4:00 pm daily
Tours including the Life in Lewes Tour, Maritime Tour, Haunted Lewes Tour, Trolley Tours, Kayak Tour, Cemetery Tour, and Architecture Tour are $10 per person, members, students, and children 12 & under are free.
Cannonball House Maritime Museum $5 per person, members, students, and children 12 & under are free.
Driving Directions & Parking
The Lewes Historical Society's Historic Conmplex is loctated between Second & Third Streets at Shipcarpenter Street. The Society's Antiques Shows, Craft Fairs, Art Show and Christmas Tour are held here. The Cannonball Race 5K begins and ends here.
The Ryves Holt House is located at the corner of Mulberry & Second Streets.
The Cannonball House is located at the corner of Front & Bank Streets.
The Lewes Life-Saving Station Boathouse is located at the foot of Shipcarpenter Street at
the Lewes & Rehoboth Canal."
All Lewes Historical Society Society properties and events can conveniently be reached by DART First State Bus #204. For more schedules and more information, please see www.dartfirststate.com.
Other Visitor Information
The Society's museums include 12 historic properties, nine of which are located at
the Historic Complex at the intersection of Second & Shipcarpenter Streets. Our
museums range from the simplicity of the Early Plank House, to the Federal grandeur of
the Burton-Ingram House. They range in age from one of the oldest structures in the
United States - the Ryves Holt House, c. 1665 - to the Midway School #178, c. 1898. You
can see fine Philadelphia furnishings at the Burton-Ingram House, hear tales of maritime
adventure at the Lewes Life-Saving Station Boathouse, view priceless treasures of Lewes's
seafaring past at the Cannonball House, and experience rural life in 18th century Sussex
County at the Rabbit's Ferry House.
110 Shipcarpenter St.
Lewes, DE 19958
full map & directions
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