In 2021, the Lewes Historical Society continues to offer educational and entertaining programs that explore the history of Lewes, the surrounding area, Lewes's unique interaction in the national scene, and other related and appealing topics. All of these presentations are open to Society members, residents, and visitors of the Lewes community.

Each presentation will be held at the Community Room of the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center at the Lewes History Museum (unless otherwise indicated due to COVID19 restrictions). Check back with us each month to see what is planned as we will be hosting different speakers on various topics. These events are FREE and do not require a reservation.

Due to COVID-19, programs are subject to cancellation or rescheduling. Please check our website for updates.

Preserving Your Family Treasures

Date: March 12, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Connor Lee Graham

Connor Lee Graham, Manager of Archival Collections of the Delaware Public Archives, will discuss how to preserve a family historian's treasures: old photographs, documents, and digitized memories. The program will highlight cost-effective steps for a home archivist to preserve family records.

This is a Virtual Program. Please join this FREE presentation at 7 p.m. on March 12.

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Delmarva Aviation: A Legacy Built by Friends

Date: April 9, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Joanne Guilfoil

Best friends Joe Hudson and Ted Freeman were high school pioneer fish spotters during World War II. They graduated from Lewes School and began separate aviation careers, one on Delmarva, one-off Delmarva. Joe flew locally, low and slow as a crop duster. Ted graduated from USNA and flew high and fast as an Air Force jet pilot and Apollo mission trainee in Texas, where his life ended in a tragic accident during training.

Joe Hudson honored his friend’s memory by dedicating a Del Tech facility in his name: Theodore C. Freeman Power Plant Education Building. Currently at the Georgetown, Delaware Airport, “Wings and Wheels” is held annually in the fall. This year Ted's classmates on the USNA parachute team are planning to honor their “forever teammate” in the class of ‘53. They have a “drop zone”, and have been jumping at the Georgetown Airport for a few years. Ted Freeman frequented the same location in the 1940s when the Navy built and used the airport. The presentation will highlight this legacy built by friends.

This is a VIRTUAL program. Please join this FREE presentation at 7 p.m. on April 9.

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Watches in America: 1776-1850

Date: May 14, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Greg Burton

In this presentation, Greg Burton will explore the history and role that watches played in the early nineteenth century. Taking a hands-on approach, Burton will discuss the verge movements vs. lever, the early components of watches, and how to date and identify watches based upon their hallmarks. Burton will touch on his own family history in watchmaking and share various pieces from his collection.

This is a Virtual Program. Please join this FREE program at 7 p.m. on May 14.

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Run-Away Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Southern Delaware - 1850-1860

Date: June 11, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Marcos Salaverria

This lecture contains a close examination of the historic text: “Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom”. Compiled of numerous primary source testimonials from “fugitive” slaves who escaped along the route of the Underground Rail, to Philadelphia, in-depth details are revealed of their struggles for freedom.

Presentor Marcos Salaverria will focus on three documented group accounts of escapees from Sussex County Delaware. Names of area enslaved individuals, and locales, will be identified along with the potentially shocking behaviors and attitudes of local slave owners and masters. Life for a slave was never easy no matter where their locale. This program will seek to improve attendees’ understanding of the nature of slavery in Southern Delaware in the decade before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

This is a Virtual Program. Please join the FREE program at 7 p.m. on June 11.

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Searching for Clues: The Case of the Carriage Maker’s Shop

Date: July 9, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Katherine Henn

In October 1821 young Paynter Walton had a whirlwind idea for a lucrative future. With the skillful encouragement of his mother, he built a shop on Lewes’ Second Street and entered the newly booming carriage makers’ trade. But by December 1823 Paynter’s mother was dead and his dream turned into a confusing nightmare of quirky events. Research that delved through the resulting obtuse legal processes exhibited a witness list that read like a “Who’s Who” of Lewes and resulted in a perplexing decision at Delaware’s Supreme Court. Presenter Katherine Henn will take you through the series of events and the surprising conclusion.

This presentation will be VIRTUAL. Please join the FREE program at 7 p.m. on July 9:

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Cartography with National Geographic

Date: September 10, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Bob Pratt

Robert Pratt has designed, researched, and produced more than one hundred iconic supplement maps with National Geographic since 1981. Mr. Pratt’s presentation will take attendees through the process and discussion of the creation of a typical National Geographic Society supplement for the magazine.

 


Boy, Man, Hero: Jacob Jones - Lewes' Own

Date: October 8, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Bill Manthorpe & Andrew Lyter
Jacob Jones was born in Smyrna, Delaware, but spent his formative years in Lewes, growing up in the Ryves Holt House.  After leaving Lewes, Jones went on to have an illustrious Naval career, rising through the ranks from Midshipman to Commodore.  This presentation will coincide with the opening of the exhibition, Boy, Man, Hero: Jacob Jones - Lewes' Own in the Jones’ childhood home.  This presentation and exhibition will explore Jones’s life and naval career, from his humble roots in Lewes, his naval career, and his legacy.

The Notorious Patty Cannon—Facts not Fiction

Date: November 12, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Michael Morgan
In the early 19th century, Patty Cannon and her gang of cutthroats terrorized southern Delaware, robbing and killing with impunity. They specialized in kidnapping free African American men, women, and children. Cannon’s career of crime ended in 1829 when a farmer unearthed the remains of some of her victims. She was arrested and charged with murder; but before she could be tried, Patty mysteriously died in her Georgetown cell. Speaker Michael Morgan will presentation this fascinating program.