The Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will host a lecture at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 15. Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society, will speak about the history of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, as the 1960s chapter of Delaware Decades, an eight-part series of lectures exploring successive decades in Delaware’s history.
Admission to the event is free and open to the public, but due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling the museum at 302-645-1148 no later than March 13.
More than 14 million vehicles and 43 million passengers have crossed the 17-mile mouth of Delaware Bay via vessels of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry during its 50-year history which began July 1, 1964. Today’s modern ferry boats accommodate up to 100 vehicles and 1,000 passengers for the 80-minute cruise between Cape May, N.J. and Lewes.
DiPaolo has served as executive director of the Lewes Historical Society since September 2001. He is a member of the boards of the Delaware Heritage Commission and U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association and represents Delaware on the board of advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. DiPaolo was the 2011 recipient of the Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence presented by the American Alliance of Museums. In recognition of his service as chairman of the Lewes and Delaware 375th Anniversary Commission, he was named Southern Delaware Tourism Person of the Year in 2006 and was a recipient of the Delaware Tourism Award in 2007.
He has previously served as vice president of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation; as vice president of Preservation Delaware; as annual conference chair and president of the Small Museum Association; and as a board member of the Delaware Museum Association, Delaware Tourism Alliance and Delaware Governor’s Archives Council.
Upcoming events at the Zwaanendael include "The Environment in Colonial Delaware," a lecture by Alan Roth, 2 p.m., Saturday, April 5 (register by April 3); The Lewes Tulip Festival activities, Thursday to Saturday, April 10 to 12; and Dutch-American Friendship Day, Saturday, April 19.