Historical society asks public for opinions on future programs, building use

May 11, 2013

As The Lewes Historical Society begins its next 50 years of celebrating the history of Lewes, it is asking for feedback from the public regarding the future of its programs and the usage of its buildings.

The society hosts numerous community events including the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass Festival, summer and fall craft fairs, an annual Antiques Show, the growing Cannonball Race and the ever-popular Christmas Tour of Lewes.

It also features a variety of tours of historic Lewes including the Museum Tour, Maritime Tour, Architectural Tour, Historic Lewes Trolley Tour, Maritime Trolley Tour, Historic Kayak Tour, Haunted Lewes Tour and Lewes Cemetery Tour.

In addition, other programs appeal to both locals and visitors, such as the Lewes Lunch & Learns, History Happy Hours and popular Speaker Series, in which specialists share their knowledge of regional history.

The society maintains and utilizes a total of 12 historic buildings including a blacksmith shop, Burton-Ingram House, Cannonball House (the society’s Maritime Museum), Early Plank House, Hiram Rodney Burton House, Lewes Life-Saving Station, Midway School No. 178, Old Doctor's House, Rabbit's Ferry House, Ryves Holt House (the society’s Museum Gift Shop) and Thompson Country Store.

To date, the society has more than 100,000 photographic images, at least 100,000 pages of archives, more than 10,000 artifacts, and over 4,000 library volumes, making The Lewes Historical Society the largest depository of Delaware history in Sussex County.

“With the immense growth of our programs and collections, we are rethinking the usage of our buildings and considering what we can do to grow gracefully,” says Lewes Historical Society Board President Russ Allen.

The Lewes Historical Society’s Museum Planning Committee is asking the public to visit to answer a quick survey that will allow the committee to more accurately reflect the thoughts and desires of Lewes’s diverse community as the society continues to serve the greater Lewes community. The survey includes questions regarding the community’s interaction with the society, additional programs the society could provide and how the society can grow in general. The survey will be available through May 31.

For more information on this survey or on The Lewes Historical Society in general, go to or call 302-645-7670.

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