Diego’s Hideaway, a nightclub in Rehoboth Beach, is hosting a GiveBackNight Thursday, Feb. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., for the Lightship Overfalls. Delaware’s own Cathy Gorman will provide live music and Diego’s Hideaway will donate 10 percent of their proceeds from the evening to the Overfalls Foundation. This event is free and open to the public (21 and over).
The Lightship Overfalls and surrounding facilities rely solely on donations, membership fees and other aid. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the general membership of the foundation, learn more about Overfalls, and consider membership and volunteering opportunities. The foundation is always looking for volunteers to help with ship and other asset maintenance and preservation, operation of the museum and store, serve as docents and provide tours, and help with social events.
Lightship Overfalls is Delaware’s only maritime National Historic Landmark. Built in 1938, she was the last lightship built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service. In 1939, just one year after the ship was commissioned, the U.S. Lighthouse Service was merged into the U.S. Coast Guard where the Overfalls served the rest of her active life until her decommissioning in 1972. Known by her hull number, LV-118, she served at Confield Point, off Old Saybrook, Conn., from 1938-57; Cross Rip near Martha’s Vineyard just south of Cape Cod from 1958-62; and just east of Boston Harbor from 1962-72.
The U.S. Coast Guard donated the ship to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973 and it was then that she was named Overfalls, in honor of the lightship station closest to Lewes. The Overfalls station is in the mouth of Delaware Bay where lightships had served as mid-channel markers from 1898 to 1960 when the station was discontinued.
In October 2000, the Overfalls Foundation was formed and took over the care and preservation of the ship. Since then, Overfalls has been turned into a full-fledged floating maritime museum, and the property surrounding the ship has been improved to include a park, museum and store, and a restored wooden Monomoy lifeboat. The ship is open for tours from Memorial Day weekend in May through Columbus Day weekend in October.
Details about the Overfalls and other upcoming events can be found at www.overfalls.org.