Lewes museums offer summer visitors history on the spot
Summer is a fantastic time of year to come to Lewes to enjoy The Lewes Historical Society’s Cannonball House Maritime Museum, Lewes Life-Saving Station, and Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop. The Cannonball House Maritime Museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. The Lewes Life-Saving Station is open 1 to 3 p.m., Mondays and Saturdays, and available to explore during the Maritime Tour. The Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
Struck by a British cannonball during the War of 1812, The Cannonball House is home to The Lewes Historical Society’s Maritime Museum. Located on the corner of Bank and Front streets, the Cannonball House displays the society’s maritime collection, ranging from the Fourth Order Fresnel Lens from Fourteen Foot Bank Light in Delaware Bay, to some of the remains of the fallen Cape Henlopen Lighthouse. Admission is $5 per person, or is included in the ticket price of the Maritime Tour. Society members, students, and children are admitted free of charge.
The Lewes Life-Saving Station is open on Maritime Mondays and Shipwreck Saturdays, and is a part of the Maritime Tour. It is on the canalfront at the intersection of Pilottown Road and Shipcarpenter Street. The Lewes Life-Saving Station is best known for its heroic surfmen’s actions during the Great Blizzard of 1888. The third station commissioned in Delaware, the Life-Saving Station exhibits the tools and boats used by surfmen to rescue victims of shipwrecks up and down the coast. Admission is free during July and August. Donations are appreciated.
Located on the corner of Second and Mulberry Streets, the Ryves Holt House is the oldest house still standing in the state of Delaware. Built around 1665, it has survived fires and pirates, and has witnessed the growth and change of Lewes over the course of centuries. Today it serves as The Lewes Historical Society’s Visitor Center and Museum Gift Shop, offering a wide variety of items including books, prints, household goods, and a selection of Lewes-themed merchandise. All of the society’s walking tours begin at this charming Lewes landmark.
Nestled in the heart of historic Lewes, the historic complex offers nine historic buildings and exhibits to enjoy. Highlighting Lewes’s relationship to the sea and dedication to historic preservation, these museums help tell the story of Lewes through the centuries since its founding. Explore the buildings during a guided tour called Life in Lewes at 2 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays in July and August. Visitors can enjoy the society’s park-like grounds at any time.
For more information on The Lewes Historical Society, its museums and tours, go to www.HistoricLewes.org or call 302-645-7670.