The Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will host a lecture on Fort Miles by Dr. Gary Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18. The program is the 1940s chapter of Delaware Decades, an eight-part series of lectures exploring successive decades in Delaware’s history from the 1930s to the 2000s. Admission to the event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited due to space restrictions. For more information, call 302-645-1148.
Built in 1941, Fort Miles was an American military installation located on Cape Henlopen at the mouth of the Delaware Bay near Lewes. The fort was built to defend the Delaware River and Bay from attack by the German navy during World War II. After the end of the war, military use of the fort decreased incrementally. In 1964, 543 acres of the facility were returned to the state of Delaware, forming the heart of Cape Henlopen State Park. Over time, more land was transferred to the park until the military ceased all operations in 1991. In April 2005, Fort Miles was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Fort Miles Historical Area is now available for public visitation throughout the year.
Wray has been president of the Fort Miles Historical Association since its founding in 2003 and is responsible for leading the organization in its goal of preserving, protecting and defending all aspects of Fort Miles. Wray is co-author of a book (with the late Lee Jennings, a Delaware State Parks historian) on Fort Miles published by Arcadia Press in 2005. He has served as both president and vice president of the Cape Henlopen school board and is an elected trustee of the Delaware Historical Society. In 2008, he was chosen by the state of Delaware as the State Volunteer of the Year for his work in support of Fort Miles. Wray is currently a professor at Wilmington University, the University of Maryland, and Delaware Technical Community College.