The Lewes Historical Society Campus will offer free historic chocolate-making demonstrations and an antiques sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24. A team of Lewes Historical Society volunteer living history interpreters in period garb will offer chocolate samples. Drinkable chocolate (better known today as hot chocolate) will be available.
Visitors will learn how chocolate arrived in America during the Colonial period. The most likely source of chocolate arriving in Lewes would come into port en route to and from Philadelphia. The Delaware Bay and River acted as a major trade route in the 18th century and continues to be a hub of activity to this day. Records show that from 1768 to 1773, 1,300 pounds of chocolate were imported and passed through Lewes.
Attendees will hear about a local Lewes connection to Colonial-era chocolate. In 1798, the English sloop DeBraak boarded and captured a Spanish ship, which contained a cargo of cocoa beans. The DeBraak later sank in a squall off Lewes' coast, the crew perhaps never having had a chance to enjoy their acquired chocolate.
Inside the Burton Ingram House, visitors may listen to Chocolate at War, an interactive lecture which has historic chocolate paraphernalia that travel across the seas with soldiers of various nations through multiple conflicts in time.
Inside the Midway School House #178, members of the Lewes Beekeeping Club will present information on the art and science of beekeeping and outline ways listeners can help to protect these important creatures that play such a vital role in the production of more than 30 percent of the food supply, including strawberries, apples and coffee. Presentations will occur at 11 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m., with honey-tasting samples occurring at each session.
Proceeds from all sales will benefit The Lewes Historical Society. The address is 110 Shipcarpenter St. in Lewes. For more information, call 302-645-7670 or go to www.HistoricLewes.org.