LHS History Happy Hours continue July 19

Surfmen topic at Hotel Rodney
July 11, 2013
The Lewes Historical Society’s History Happy Hours will take place every Friday at 4 p.m. through Sept. 27 at Hotel Rodney, including topics such as the history of the Lewes Life-Saving Service.  This image depicts a life-saving service rescue in the mid-1800s and is from the book "The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues & Architecture of the Early Coast Guard," by Shanks and York, 2009.

Lewes Historical Society’s History Happy Hour offers interesting dialog led by local history buffs, ranging in topic from early explorers of the Delaware Bay to Lewes during the Revolutionary War.  Every Friday through Sept. 27, featured presentations will be offered free of charge at 4 p.m. for 20-30 minutes, followed by a question-answer period.

During the presentations, a glass of wine will be served by Rose & Crown, Lewes’s upscale British pub.  Due to the public’s overwhelming support, the Lewes Historical Society needed to relocate these programs to a larger venue.  All History Happy Hours will now be held at the program's sponsor, Hotel Rodney, at 142 Second St.

On Friday, July 19, at 4 p.m., Mike Morgan will lead a History Happy Hour titled “By Land and By Sea, Lewes and the Revolutionary War.”  During the early days of the American Revolution, General John Dagworthy, commanding the Patriot forces in southern Delaware, assessed the situation at Lewes, “There are five British men-of-war in the bay right opposite us - not more than a half mile off - and we are surrounded by about 1,500 Tories…The Tories are most armed with guns, and those that have not guns have pitchforks and…clubs.” The story of the War for Independence at Lewes is one of determination, intrigue and courage.

A retired history teacher, Michael Morgan has been writing free-lance newspaper articles on the history of southern Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region for more than three decades. He is the author of the “Delaware Diary,” which appears weekly in the Delaware Coast Press and the Sussex Journal, which is a weekly feature of The Wave. Morgan has also published articles in The Baltimore SunMaryland Magazine, Chesapeake Bay MagazineCivil War TimesWorld War II MagazineAmerica’s Civil War and other national publications. He is the author of "Pirates and PatriotsTales of the Delaware CoastRehoboth Beach," "A History of Sand and SurfBethany Beach," "A Brief HistoryOcean City, Going Down the Ocean," and "Civil War Delaware."

At History Happy Hour Friday, July 26, Marilyn McMahon presents, “Life-Saving: The Breeches Buoy and the Surf Car.”  During the era of the lifesaving stations, when a ship's crew and passengers were in peril, it was up to those manning thestation to bring them to safety.  Among the tools at their disposal were the Lyle Gun, the breeches buoy, and the surf car.  Come to learn about the exciting adventures of those who used this equipment in their day-to-day struggle to bring endangered passengers and crew to dry land.

Marilyn Jones McMahon was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and moved to Delaware in the early 70s.  She taught English at Seaford High School for 26 years, as well as teaching at the James H. Groves Adult High School.  She has been a docent at the Rabbit's Ferry House in the Lewes Historical Society Complex and at the Lewes Life-Saving Station Boat House.  She is also education chair for the Sussex County Genealogical Society.

For a complete listing of speakers, subjects and locations of The Lewes Historical Society’s History Happy Hours, happening every Friday through Sept. 27, go to

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