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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.

Watches in America: 1776-1850

Date: September 10, 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 September 10, 2021.


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.


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.


From Sleepy House Museum to Heritage Destination and Education Center: Four Centuries at Mount Harmon Plantation

Date: November 12, 2021
Time: 7 pm
Presented By: Alexa B. Silver, PhD

Twenty years ago Cecil County’s Mount Harmon Plantation was a Georgian-style manor house that had been lovingly restored into what Marqueritte de Villiers Boden envisioned her family’s home was like in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was filled with "finer things,” art and architecture, fine furniture and family heirlooms. Now Mount Harmon is a heritage destination where visitors learn about the hundreds of people who lived and toiled on Mount Harmon for centuries. Now visitors can tour the Discovery Education Center to learn about its 400 hundred-year history, and wander the grounds to the tobacco barn, tobacco prize house, slave cabin, colonial kitchen and more. Local ecology is also celebrated through nature walks and informational panels. As the primary historian for this project, Dr. Silver will discuss the research process that supported this transformation. 

Dr. Silver earned her Bachelors in History from Kenyon College, a Master of Letters in British History from the University of Edinburgh, a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in American history from American University.  She has been a member of the faculty at Delaware State University since 2005. 

Her specialties include colonial American history, focussed specifically on the Chesapeake region as well as the history of indentured servitude and slavery. She works with local history organizations researching and writing their histories, expanding their programming and developing curriculum materials for visiting groups. She has also worked with countless history and social studies teachers through the Teaching American History (TAH) grant program.  Currently she also serves as Chair of the Chestertown Historic District Commission, which seeks to protect the history, culture, archaeology and architecture of downtown Chestertown, Maryland.

This presentation will be held live at 7 p.m., the Lewes History Museum located at 101 Adams Avenue, Lewes, De 19958. For questions call 302.645.7670.