The Lewes Historical Society can trace its roots to a small group of concerned citizens who joined forces to establish the organization in 1962. Troubled by the loss of significant local structures and the deterioration of historic buildings, the group invited like-minded Lewes residents to join as members, a group that continues to grow each year.
Starting with the purchase of a lot at Third and Shipcarpenter Street, the campus of the Lewes Historical Society was gradually assembled as buildings threatened with destruction or abandonment were moved to the property. Today, there are a dozen buildings that tell the history of Lewes through the display of artifacts, artwork, decorative arts, and furnishings.
Three buildings are located in the heart of town, the Ryves Holt House (c. 1631), the Cannonball House (c 1760) and the Museum Store (c. 1898). On the canal, you will find the Lewes Life-Saving Station (c. 1884).
Situated on the Campus is a range of examples of Lewes architecture: the early plank house (c. 1690), Hiram Rodney Burton House (c. 1720), the Rabbits’ Ferry House (c. 1740), the Burton-Ingram House (c. 1785), the Ellegood House and Blacksmith Shop (c. 1790), Thompson Country Store (c 1800), the Doctor’s Office (c. 1850) and the Midway School (c. 1898).
The most recent addition is the Lewes History Museum, located in the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center on 101 Adams Avenue. Here you will find permanent and changing exhibits that offer insights into the complex and colorful history of Lewes and the surrounding area. This building is also the repository of the Archives of the Lewes Historical Society, which are available to the public, by appointment.
As you browse the LHS website, you will discover a robust calendar of annual events, including the Mid Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival, Craft Fairs, Maitime Festival & Antique Show, Speaker Series, Living History Tavern Talk, Artist as Historian, camps and other programs for children. Join us for one of these programs and consider becoming a member of this vibrant arts and cultural organization.