Lewes Historical Society renovations underway

$200,000 project upgrades four buildings in complex
Construction workers complete roof renovations at the Lewes Historical Society. BY NICK ROTH
April 2, 2014

The Lewes Historical Society complex is undergoing a facelift.

Executive Director Mike DiPaolo said about $200,000 is being invested in renovations in several of the society's 12 properties. The work varies in nature, from minor exterior work to electrical upgrades.

Crews are anticipated to work until May then finish whatever is remaining in the fall. DiPaolo said the project's commencement is the culmination of months of work securing grants and raising funds.

“When people support the society, the funds are carefully managed and utilized so we can get the best bang for our buck,” he said. “We could not do this without our members and supporters.”

The society's structures vary in age from 1665 to 1898, DiPaolo said, so specific material is required when performing historical preservation projects, as set forth by the Department of the Interior.

Among the buildings receiving work include the Thompson Country Store, Ellegood House, Hiram Rodney Burton House and Blacksmith Shop. Grants from the Crystal Trust and Welfare Foundation helped make the project possible, DiPaolo said.

The historical society is constantly working to preserve its properties, but the organization undertakes larger projects every five to 10 years, he said. The last major project occurred at the Cannonball House, with work taking place over a few years. That work included security, electrical, structural and exhibit upgrades, DiPaolo said.

Offices will remain open, research will continue and tours will still be offered as work proceeds. Access to the historical complex via Second Street is limited, though.

For more information about the Lewes Historical Society, go to