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The Lewes Historical Society and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Offer Trolley Tours of Historic Lewes

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."

With Lewes’s wealth of intriguing historical sites, fascinating museums, distinctive boutiques, array of savory restaurants and pristine beaches, The Lewes Historical Society invites you to tour the region and explore our rich local history.  Discover historic destinations downtown, learn fun facts about our region’s maritime history, and experience history as it comes alive. 

The Lewes Historical Society and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry offer trolley tours of historic Lewes-

Historic Trolley Full Tour:

Take a trolley tour around historic Lewes as you learn about the history, the architecture, and the people who have helped shape this picturesque town.  This tour will acquaint you with the Lewes of yesterday and today, as you ride 5 ½ miles around Lewes. 

From June 16-September 10, the Historic Trolley Full Tours will begin at 12:30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  This tour lasts for 60 minutes and $10 per adult and $5 for students with I.D cards and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop or 302-645-7670.  Tours leave from the trolley stop at the corner of Second and Market Streets, beside St. Peter’s cemetery.

Historic Trolley Quick Tour:

If you are in town for only a short time or awaiting the next Ferry, then the Historic Trolley Quick Tour is for you. Receive a glimpse of Lewes’s past and learn about the people who lived, worked, and played in a town, often referred to as “not a beach town, but a town with a beach.”

From June 16-September 10, the Historic Trolley Quick Tours will begin at 11:15am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This tour lasts for 35 minutes and is $10 per adult and $5 for students with I.D cards and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop or 302-645-7670.  Tours leave from the trolley stop at the corner of Second and Market Streets, beside St. Peter’s cemetery.

Maritime Trolley Tour:

Take a 60-minute trolley tour that highlights the history of Lewes and the Cape Henlopen region from the early 17th through the 20th Century.  Travel through Cape Henlopen State Park and hear about the early explorers of the Delaware Bay, the lighthouses, breakwaters, quarantine station, Fort Miles, and the efforts to secure the area in times of war.  As the trolley leaves the park and travels into Lewes, you will hear about the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, menhaden fishing industry, Delaware River and Bay pilots, Lewes shipbuilding industry, the Lewes Life-Saving Station, the Lightship Overfalls, and other topics of maritime interest.

From June 29-September 7, the Maritime Trolley Tour begins at 11:15am and 12:30pm on Mondays.  This tour is $10 per adult and $5 for students with I.D cards and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop or 302-645-7670 and are available at the Lewes Ferry Terminal from 10:15am- 11:15am.  Tours leave from the Lewes Ferry Terminal.

Other tours offered by The Lewes Historical Society-

In addition to trolley tours, The Lewes Historical Society also offers the following walking tours:

Life in Lewes Tour:

Take a step back through time and explore the history of Life in Lewes. This walking tour will guide you through 6 historic buildings at the Lewes Historical Society Campus where you will get to see how Lewes grew from a small Dutch settlement to a bustling seashore town.

Through the end of June, this tour will take place beginning at 2:00pm on Sundays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  In July and August, this tour will begin at 2:00pm on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The cost is $10. Society members, students with I.D cards, and children under 12 are free. Life in Lewes Tours leave from the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop located at the corner of Second and Mulberry Streets in historic Lewes. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Gift Shop or by calling 302-645-7670.

Maritime Walking Tour:

Journey through Lewes’s salty past while learning of the explorers who first put Lewes on the map, the pirates that sailed the local waters, and the brave United States Life-Saving Servicemen who rescued victims from perilous shipwrecks. This walking tour includes admission to both the Lewes Life-Saving Station and the Cannonball House Maritime Museum.

Through the end of June, this tour will take place beginning at 1:00pm on Mondays and Saturdays. In July and August, this tour will begin at 1:00pm on Saturdays.  The cost is $10 and includes admission into the Cannonball House. Society members, students with I.D cards, and children under 12 are free. Tours leave from the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop located at the corner of Second and Mulberry Streets in historic Lewes. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Gift Shop or by calling 302-645-7670.

Lewes Legends Tour:

Lewes is rich with historic happenings, legends, and tall-tales, many of them involving a touch of the paranormal. From the founding of Lewes in 1631 and the massacre of its settlement the following year, to the unknown sailors’ cemetery at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry some residents never seem to depart. This 90-minute walking tour will introduce you to stories of strange happenings in the town of Lewes and visit the Ryves Holt House, the Burton Ingram House, and enter one of the most haunted places in Delaware the Cannonball House. Flashlights are recommended.

In July and August, this tour begins at 6:00pm on Wednesdays. This tour is $10 per person. Members and students with I.D cards are free. Due to the mature content of this tour children under the age of 12 are strongly discouraged from attending.  Tickets can be purchased at the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop or at 302-645-7670 (ext. 12).  Tours leave from outside of the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop located at the corner of Second & Mulberry Streets in historic Lewes.

To become a member and for more information on The Lewes Historical Society, historic Lewes tours, museums, events and more, visit www.HistoricLewes.org or call 302-645-7670.

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