Cape Gazette

Aug. 3 History Happy Hour to explore Lewes during War of 1812

LHS events continue through Oct. 12
Aug 01, 2012

The Lewes Historical Society will offer free History Happy Hours every Friday through Oct. 12, featuring presentations by local history buffs on a variety of area topics. Each session will last for 20-30 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Raymond Bradley will present "The War of 1812 and the Bombardment of Lewes" at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, at the Cannonball House on the corner of Front and Bank streets in historic downtown Lewes. Guests can enjoy a discussion about historical highlights of the War of 1812 and the events surrounding the bombardment of Lewes and its aftermath.

Bradley was a professor emeritus of philosophy at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa.; he received his PhD from Duquesne University. Bradley moved to Lewes with his wife in 2009. Bradley is also a descendent of two veterans of the War of 1812 and an amateur historian.

Jim Bertholet will introduce “The Life and Work of a Surfman in the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1870s-1915” at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10, at the Lewes Life-Saving Station at Front Street next to the Lightship Overfalls. Surfmen had very interesting lives both at home and while on duty.

Bertholet is a Vietnam veteran who retired after 40 years in sales, sales training and sales management. He is a lifelong history buff who grew up on the Jersey shore and always had a particular interest in maritime history, especially the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. lighthouses. He moved to Delaware in 2010, where he currently conducts Lewes Historical Society Maritime Tours, presents at the Lewes Life-Saving Station and works on the Wooden Boat Building Volunteer Crew.

History Happy Hours continue at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, at the Cannonball House with Tom Brown as he presents “Lewes: Its Rise and Fall as the Largest Fishing Port in the Country, 1883-1966.” Find out how Lewes became the No. 1 fishing port in the country in terms of tonnage landed. The menhaden industry in Lewes began on the bayfront in 1883 and ebbed and flowed as the fish came and went until World War II. Then Lewes became the nation’s largest fishing harbor in 1953, retained its preeminent status through the 1950s, and saw its decline during the early 1960s until menhaden fishing ended in 1966. This presentation will explain the menhaden fishing industry, its growth, its quick demise and its Lewes legacy.

Brown has been an LHS volunteer since 2007 as a tour docent, a processing archivist and a researcher. Before retiring and moving full time to Delaware in 2006, he was an archivist at the National Archives for more than 30 years, with the last 18 as the manager of archival services in the Center for Electronic Records. Brown was elected a distinguished fellow of the Society of American Archivists in 1996, became a certified archivist in 1989 and has since been recertified three times. He earned an MA and PhD in American history and sociology from Oklahoma State University.

Carl Hunt will present on “Five Centuries of Information Technology”: The First Town of the First State at the Cutting Edge,” at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, at the Cannonball House. People live today in a highly interconnected world. It was not always this way, yet the information and communications technologies that connect them in 2012 find many of their roots in the times that Lewes and surrounding areas were first settled. Delawareans have leveraged the benefits of information science and technologies from the earliest points in area history. Lewes, Cape Henlopen and Sussex County have had a strong innovative spirit starting even before the days of William Penn, who gave Lewes and Sussex their names.This special region of America embraced and still embraces the entrepreneurial spirit made possible by information technology no matter what the age.

Hunt, a retired U.S. Army colonel, was an information technology officer during the last half of his 30-year Army career. A graduate of the U.S. National War College, Hunt studied U.S. military history and technology policy throughout various stages of his tenure in the Army and in joint assignments. His final posting before retirement was as the director of technology and analysis, Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations, U.S. Strategic Command. He holds a PhD in information technology from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

Bradley will give an encore presentation of "The War of 1812 and the Bombardment of Lewes" at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at the Cannonball House.

For a complete listing of speakers, subjects and locations of History Happy Hours, go to

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