The public is invited to an open house from 10:30 am to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Maull House, 536 Pilottown Road, Lewes, to tour the house and see the recently restored Fountain of Youth.
Many people don’t know that Lewes has a Fountain of Youth. It sits on the canal side of the historic Maull House property at 536 Pilottown Road, and is owned by the Colonel David Hall Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Maull family included patriots who served in the American Revolution and were longtime owners of the house, which was built in 1739.
Legend has it that the Fountain of Youth in Lewes was discovered by the area's first Dutch colonists in 1631. The tiny gazebo that marks the fountain was built by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce in 1937. At one time, the fountain had a spiral conch shell cup that hung from the gazebo and was said to boost the waters’ regenerative powers. The cup is now missing, but the spring is still producing water.
DAR member Patti Haas and her husband Ted recently removed 2 feet of muck from the wellhead and dumped 15 buckets of dirty water. Within one hour, the well filled completely from the same spring that supplies water to Black Harry’s Spring on Pilottown Road closer to Front Street. That spring also has a gazebo built in the same time period. This gazebo is believed to be part of the 1930s Works Progress Administration. The Haases also scraped and painted the gazebo.
The name of Black Harry's Spring on Pilottown Road may have roots in Methodism. Harry Hosier (aka Hooiser) was a coach driver for Francis Asbury as he traveled around America during the early days of the religion. Asbury made several stops to preach in Lewes. Although Hosier was illiterate and never ordained, he was able to memorize scripture and became a well-respected preacher. He was better known as “Black Harry.”
In Lewes’ early years, the canal was lined with cottages. Many of the occupants relied on this spring for their household needs. It isn’t difficult to picture ship carpenters making good use of the spring as well as builders of the Queen Anne Railroad back in their day.
The NSDAR is a service organization for women who are descended from a patriot who served in the American Revolution. The group is dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through education.