Victorian Fridays at the Lewes History Museum will depict Lewes-born Lydia Rodney in the first person at 1 p.m., Friday, May 7. Lewes Historical Society museum associate Debra Regan will be in period costume and portray Rodney as she may have appeared at age 60 in 1896. Rodney, an education pioneer, operated a girls’ school in the Rodney house in Lewes prior to 1869. She then ventured by ship and train to help her family set up what was to be one of the most prestigious girls’ schools on the Pacific Coast in Oregon.
Regan was inspired to interpret Lydia Rodney’s life in the upcoming Victorian Fridays program by an article she read in the Cape Gazette 10 years ago. Since she began working for the LHS, Regan kept Rodney’s story in the back of her mind and recently researched her life using LHS’s archival tools.
Regan will be followed Friday, June 4, by LHS associate Alan Jenson, who will share research on how the railroads transformed the sleepy town of Lewes. Jenson will focus on Lewes native Benjamin Bradley, who worked as a conductor on the Queen Anne’s Railroad for over 30 years.
The July 2 program will highlight the lighthouses in Lewes. LHS associate William Hicks will present as Dagsworthy Derrickson Joseph, a keeper of the Cape Henlopen Light from 1869 to 1910.
The Victorian Fridays program is new this year at the Lewes History Museum, and it offers the public the opportunity to explore the Victorian era through historic interpreters. Monthly topics will focus on Lewes during the second half of the 19th century. Admittance to each program is included with museum admission. These programs will be offered in-person between 1 and 3 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. For more information, visit historiclewes.org.