The Lewes Historical Society announces new winter hours for the Cannonball House Maritime Museum and Ryves Holt House. Through March 31, the Cannonball House will be open noon to 3 p.m., Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The Ryves Holt House will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays, Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Struck by a cannonball during the War of 1812, the Cannonball House at the corner of Bank Street and Front Street has become a symbol not only of the society but also of the town of Lewes. Prior to The Lewes Historical Society's purchasing the then-called Rowland House in 1963, the Cannonball House served a variety of functions including a sundries store, the mayor’s office, a sandwich shop, a restaurant, and a laundry. It was also the home of Pilot Gilbert McCracken and Pilot David Rowland, both of the Bay & River Delaware. It is now home to the society’s impressive collection of maritime artifacts and continues to carry a long relationship with the sea. Artifacts tell of Lewes’s storied past, including nationally recognized pieces of the collection such as the Fourth Order Frensel Lens of Fourteen Foot Bank Light in Delaware Bay. Admission is free through March 31. Donations are appreciated.
The Ryves Holt House, corner of Second and Mulberry streets, is the oldest house in Delaware, with sections of the house dating back to 1665. It has survived pirate invasions, fires, and just under 400 years of architectural change. The house, named for the first chief justice of Delaware, now serves as The Lewes Historical Society’s Visitor Center and Museum Gift Shop, which offers regional reading, maps, cards, original artwork, prints, posters, and Lewes items. Society members enjoy a 10 percent discount on all items. A Visitors Services volunteer will be happy to give a brief history and answer any questions.
Come April, both the Cannonball House and Ryves Holt House will be open additional days, The Lewes Historical Society will offer tours of its other historic buildings at the Lewes Historic Complex and the Lewes Life-Saving Station, and entry fees will begin at the Cannonball House. For more information on The Lewes Historical Society or its properties, go to www.HistoricLewes.org, or call 302-645-7670.