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Lewes Historical Society

About Us

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 Town."

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!"

    Publications:

    • Swanendael In New Netherland
    • Lewes History, the Journal of the Lewes Historical Society
    • The Lewestowner
    • The Lewestowne Express
    • Pilots of the Bay & River Delaware Pictorial History of Lewes, Delaware 1631-1985
    • Victorian Lewes & Its Architecture
    • Our Gardens of Lewes, Delaware
    • The Siconese of Lewes, Delaware

    Annual Events:

    • Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass Festival
    • Antique Shows
    • Cannonball Run
    • Craft Fairs
    • Christmas Tour of Lewes
    • Site Host: Lewes British Motorcar Show
    • Monthly Seminar Series, September through May

    Museum Programs:

    Year Founded:

    1961

    Mission:

    The Lewes Historical Society promotes and advocates the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Lewes region, through museum exhibits, educational programs, historical research and publications.

    Governance:

    The Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation governed by a nine-member Board of Directors plus five officers (president, first vice president, second vice president, treasurer and secretary).

    Membership:

    Approximately 1,000 members mostly in Delaware and the Middle Atlantic

    Volunteers:

    Approximately 300 annually

    Annual Visitation:

    80,000 (tours, museum admissions, programs and events)

    Annual Operating Budget:

    Approximately $500,000 in 2016

    Staff:

    Executive Director
    Director of Education
    Director of Facilities & Grounds
    Events Coordinator
    Marketing Coordinator
    Office Administrator
    Business Assistant
    Financial/Bookkeeper

    Professional Affiliations:

    • American Association of Museums
    • American Association for State & Local History
    • Delaware Museum Association
    • Historic Sussex Historical
    • Society of Delaware
    • Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
    • National Trust for Historic Preservation
    • Preservation Delaware
    • Small Museum Association
    • United States Life-Saving Service Heritage Association