The Lewes Historical Society offers tours this fall which explore rich local history: Lewes Museum Tour, Maritime Tour, Architectural Tour, Historic Lewes Trolley Tour, Kayak History Tour, Cemetery Tour or Sussex Heritage Tours.
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The Lewes Museum Tour guides visitors through The Lewes Historical Society Complex located in the block facing Shipcarpenter Street and edged by West Third Street on the northern edge of Lewes. The tour highlights the Hiram Rodney Burton House (c.1725), Burton-Ingram House (c.1785), Rabbit’s Ferry House (c.1741), Midway School #178 (1898), Doctor’s Office (c.1850), Early Plank House (c.1700), Thompson Country Store (c.1800), Ellegood House (c.1800) and Lewes Blacksmith Shop (c.1785).
Through Sept. 15, this tour will take place at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. From Sept. 16 through Oct. 28, the Lewes Museum Tour will be offered at 1:30 p.m., Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The cost is $10. Members, children and students are free. Lewes Museum Tours leave from the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop at the corner of Second and Mulberry streets in historic Lewes, where tickets can be purchased.
The Maritime Tour guides visitors through the salty history of Lewes’s past. Beginning at the Ryves Holt House and traveling down residential Second Street, docents share the early history of Lewes and the first explorers who came here on ships from across the Atlantic. This tour also includes some of the rich Native American history of Lewes and the Lewes Life-Saving Station (c.1884). The tour ends at the Cannonball House - Lewes Maritime Museum. This museum is self-guided and contains some of the society’s maritime collection. This tour is approximately 3/4 of a mile in length and takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, not including the visitors’ time in the Lewes Maritime Museum at the Cannonball House. The walk requires a moderate level of endurance and has uneven walking areas of stone and a short flight of steps.
Through Sept. 15, this tour will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. From Sept. 16 through Oct. 28, the Maritime Tour will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. The cost is $10 and includes admission to the Cannonball House. Members, children and students are free. Tours leave from the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop, where tickets can be purchased.
The Historic Lewes Trolley Tour will take place through Sept. 12 at 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students and children over 2. Children 2 and younger are free unless their parents want to guarantee a seat; then the price is $3 per child. Tours leave from the Trolley Stop at the corner of Second and Market streets in Lewes, beside St. Peter's cemetery. Tickets can be purchased at the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop, but reservations are preferred; call 302-645-7670, Ext.12.
The Historic Lewes Kayak Tour includes the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and Delaware Bay; depending on tides, the trip may include a quick jaunt along the Atlantic shores. Kayaking experience is not necessary, and a short paddling tutorial is given prior to each trip. Tours generally last three hours, weather permitting. The Historic Lewes Kayak Tour will take place at 9 a.m. on Thursdays through Sept. 26. The cost is $65 per person. The three-hour tour is guided. Reservations are required through Quest Kayak at 302-644-7020.
The final Cemetery Tour will be offered at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11. The cost is $10. Members, children and students are free. Tours leave from the Ryves Holt House Museum Gift Shop, where tickets can be purchased.
Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight.
The Sussex County Heritage Tour series, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on three Saturdays, continues through the fall. Discovering Delaware’s Atlantic Coast: Historical Landmarks of Coastal Sussex is scheduled for Sept. 14. Agricultural Roots of Sussex County comes Sept. 28. Where North Meets South: Slavery and the Civil War is set for Oct. 12. The final tour of the series, Haunted Southern Delaware, is set for 4 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19. All tours begin and end at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal in Lewes. Tours consist of multiple stops corresponding to topic.
Locations can be found at www.HistoricLewes.org. Tickets are $40 and one meal is included for each tour. Reservations are required. Purchase in advance by calling 302-645-7670, Ext. 10. Limited spaces are available. This series is sponsored by The Lewes Historical Society in coordination with Southern Delaware Tourism and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
Throughout the fall and winter, field trips and interactive educational group walking tours of historic Lewes can also be arranged to show the highlights of Lewes in a meaningful context.
Custom tours can last from 45 minutes to daylong excursions and can be experienced in a variety of ways including walking, biking, driving and even kayaking. All tours are led by engaging and well-trained staff and volunteers.
The Lewes Historical Society requires a minimum 30 days’ advance notification for school and group tours. To make reservations for a field trip or group tour, visit www.HistoricLewes.org or call 302-645-7670.