Lewes in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Life Saving Station
Lewes Maritime History Trail
The United States Life Saving Service (U.S.L.S.S.) was commissioned to rescue shipwrecked mariners along our nation's coast. Established in 1876 and 1884, respectively, the Cape Henlopen and Lewes stations worked together to save thousands of lives, hundreds of ships, and recover millions of dollars worth of cargo.
Perhaps the most significant event in the history of the Cape Henlopen and Lewes stations was the Great Blizzard of March 12 -14, 1888, when a clear and calm late winter's day turned into a ferocious "white hurricane". Years later, the Life-Saving Service Surfman recalled that the winds blew ice and sand so hard it "could cut your eyes out." Sailors lashed themselves to the rigging to avoid being washed overboard, but it meant death for many who froze and died there.
In 1915, as sailing ships were replaced by steam-powered vessels and wrecks occurred with less frequency, the U.S.L.S.S. merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard.
Erected by City of Lewes.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1876.
Location. 38° 46.686′ N, 75° 8.486′ W. Marker is in Lewes, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Shipcarpenter Street near Pilottown Road when traveling north. Located at the end of Shipcarpenter Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewes DE 19958, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Overfalls Lightship (here, next to this marker); The Blizzard of 1888 (a few steps from this marker); Menhaden Fishing Industry (a few steps from this marker); Lightship Overfalls (within shouting distance of this marker); Frederick E. Hudson (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hiram Rodney Burton House (about 600 feet away); Votes for Women (about 700 feet away); Harbeson Railroad Station Privy (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewes.
Also see . . . The U.S.L.S.S. Living History Association. These poor, plain men, dwellers upon the lonely sands ...took their lives in their hands, and, at the most imminent risk, crossed the most tumultuous sea..., and all for what? That others might live to see home and friends.- Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Live-Saving Service, 1885.... (Submitted on November 28, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 28, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 710 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 28, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on February 18, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.