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Lewes, Delaware Historical Markers

 
Breakwaters Marker image, Touch for more information
By Nate Davidson, December 31, 2010
Breakwaters Marker
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Breakwaters — Lewes * Maritime History Trail
Two massive breakwaters shield Lewes Harbor from the punishing seas where Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. They create an 800-acre anchorage that is nearly empty now, but in the early 1900s it was capable of sheltering 1,000 vessels from . . . — Map (db m39380) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-219 — David Hall House
This house was the home of Colonel David Hall (1752-1817), patriot of the Revolution and Governor of Delaware. Devoted to the struggle for American Independence, he enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 and was commissioned as a Captain in . . . — Map (db m38011) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-185 — Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse
Located on the eastern end of the Delaware Breakwater, this brown conical structure was built in 1885. The tower is composed of four tiers of cast iron plates lined with two feet of brick. It is twenty-two feet in diameter at the base and is set . . . — Map (db m39378) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station — 1884-1926
Many of the European immigrants who came to this country at the end of the nineteenth century brought with them a variety of epidemic diseases including cholera, typhus, smallpox and bubonic plague. This posed a serious threat to urban areas such as . . . — Map (db m39387) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Delaware Pilots — Lewes * Maritime History Trail
Marine pilots know the shoals, lumps, and ledges of the Delaware intimately. They know the bends of the dredged channel, the characteristics of every lighthouse and range light, and the location of wrecks. They understand tides and currents and the . . . — Map (db m39379) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Delaware’s Beachnesters
Each spring, upon arrival from their Central and South American wintering grounds, Delaware beachnesters establish colonies and take part in courtship rituals. The birds lay their eggs in shallow nests scraped into the sand mostly between the dunes . . . — Map (db m94322) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — deVries Monument — Dutch Settlement of Delaware
Erected By The State of Delaware To Commemorate The Settlement On This Spot, Of The First Dutch Colony, Under De Vries, A.D. 1631. Here was the craddle of a state. "That Delaware exists as a separate Commonwealth is due to . . . — Map (db m37400) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Dodds Corner
Serving Lewes with a general store and its harbor as ship chandlers, the Dodd family occupied this site from the latter part of the 18th Century until it was acquired in 1929 by Benjamin Ableman of Georgetown from one Joseph Frank Dodd, the . . . — Map (db m37099) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — German Submarine at Cape Henlopen — The Surrender of U-858
On May 14, 1945, the officers and crew of the German submarine, U-858 gave themselves up to U.S. Marines after hearing of Germany's surrender to Allied troops. They and their vessel were escorted here to the Fort Miles Army dock. Crew members were . . . — Map (db m39382) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — H.M. Brig DeBraak
On May 25, 1798 at 4:00 pm, H.M. Brig DeBraak capsized and sank off the coast of Cape Henlopen, Delaware during a sudden squall. This memorial honors the thirty-three members of the eighty-five man crew who were lost at sea. James . . . — Map (db m38436) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-186 — Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse
A temporary light was established on the south end of the recently completed National Harbor of Refuge Breakwater on January 1, 1902. It was replaced in 1908 by a three-story frame lighthouse. A series of storms damaged the structure, resulting in . . . — Map (db m39374) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC 180 — Hiram Rodney Burton House
The land upon which this house now stands was acquired in 1675 by Helmanus Wiltbank, a prominent early resident and property owner of Lewes. The oldest portion of the present structure is believed to have been constructed by Cornelius Wiltbank . . . — Map (db m48936) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-204 — Home of Major Henry Fisher — Hero of the American Revolution
A native and lifelong resident of this community, Henry Fisher (1735-1792) was one of Delaware's foremost leaders in the struggle for American Independence. His prominence as a skilled pilot and his firm support of the Patriot cause resulted in his . . . — Map (db m39377) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — John Penrose Virden
. . . — Map (db m49591) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — S-31 — Lewes
Under orders from Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch erected Fort at Hoorn Kil (Lewes Creek) 1659 but were soon dispossessed by Marylanders. Here was also a communistic settlement established in 1662 by Mennonites from Holland under Peter Cornelius . . . — Map (db m19404) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Lewes — Zwaanendael
On north side of town was Zwaanendael, first Dutch settlement on Delaware soil. Founded 1631 on creek, named by settlers Hoorn Kil in honor of town of Hoorn in Holland. Colony was destroyed by Indians same year. DeVries, a director of company which . . . — Map (db m19407) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Lewes
The Dutch in 1673 established a court in Hoorn Kil for the inhabitants “on the east and west sides of Cape Henlopen unto Bomties (Bombay) Hook.” Governor Andros of New York in 1676 established an English court at Whorekill, the . . . — Map (db m19408) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Lewes
Here lived Ryves Holt, colonial chief justice; and four governors, David Hall, who commanded a Delaware regiment in the Revolution, Daniel Rodney and Caleb Rodney, sons of John Rodney, and Ebe W. Tunnell; also Colonel Henry Fisher, Revolutionary . . . — Map (db m19409) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — S-31 — Lewes
Under orders from Peter Stuyvesant the Dutch erected Fort At Hoorn Kil (Lewes Creek) 1659 but were soon dispossessed by the Marylanders. Here was also a communistic settlement established in 1662 by Mennonites from Holland under Peter Cornelis . . . — Map (db m38194) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-157 — Lewes Presbyterian Church
The origin of this church can be traced to the earliest days of Presbyterianism in America. A congregation was established here in 1692 under the leadership of the Reverend Samuel Davis. The steady flow of immigrants from Scotland and Ireland . . . — Map (db m38573) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Lewes-Rehoboth Canal
The Lewes-Rehoboth Canal connecting Rehoboth Bay and Delaware Bay was authorized by the U.S. River and Harbor Act of 1912. Initially, the canal was envisioned as a means of access to the sea for farmers and saw mills along the Indian River and Bay. . . . — Map (db m19307) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — 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, repectively, the Cape Henlopen and Lewes stations worked together to save thousands . . . — Map (db m38472) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Lighthouses — Lewes Maritime History Trail
Lighthouses Two of the many lighthouses that have guided mariners on Delaware Bay for nearly 250 years can be seen from Lewes beach. The rust-colored Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was built in 1885. It replaced an earlier . . . — Map (db m38524) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-175 — Lightship Overfalls
Responsible for establishing aids for the navigation of our nation’s waterways, the United States government Initiated the use of manned lightships or “floating lighthouses" in 1820. These vessels addressed many needs. They could be placed in . . . — Map (db m19312) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC- 138 — Maull House
This house is believed to have been built by Samuel Paynter, a carpenter who purchased this property in 1737. Following its completion, the house and surrounding land was sold in 1741 to Luke Shields, a prominent bay and river pilot. The . . . — Map (db m48920) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Menhaden Fisheries — Lewes Maritime History Trail
Menhaden, a small bony, oily fish was pursued not to be eaten but to be pressed for its oil and ground into fertilizer. Lewes' fisheries began in 1883 and reached their zenith in 1953 when the docks at Lewes strained unde the weight on . . . — Map (db m38820) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-214 — Menhaden Fishing Industry
The Atlantic Menhaden is a small herring-like fish found in the coastal waters of the Eastern United States. Used by Native Americans to fertilize crops, these oily fish were also used by European settlers to produce fuel for lamps. In the mid-19th . . . — Map (db m19428) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Old Bethel Church
Built in 1790 as a meeting place for Methodists, this structure originally stood at third and Market Streets and consisted of one large room with an end gallery (slave box). In 1828 it was moved to Church and Mulberry Streets and enlarged to . . . — Map (db m48916) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Old Court House
In 1680, Governor Andros authorized the erection of a court house of logs to cost 5000 pounds of tobacco. Near this wall was the second building used from 1740 to 1791, when the county seat was moved to Georgetown. The church rented building . . . — Map (db m37347) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Otis H. Smith City Dock
In Honor of Otis H. Smith Entrepreneur, Civil Servent Mayor, City of Lewes 1950-1968 Otis H. Smith was the founder and President of Fish Products Co., one of the country's largest menhaden processing operations. During his long . . . — Map (db m38597) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Overfalls Lightship — Lewes Maritime History Trail
The Lightship Overfalls is one of the 179 ships that servrd as floating lighthouses on America's three coasts and the Great Lakes between 1820 and 1985. Lightships were used where it was not feasible to build a lighthouse, possibly because . . . — Map (db m38840) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Quarantine Station — Lewes * Maritime History Trail
In 1880, the fear that foreigners were bringing epidemic diseases to the United States led the federal government to create the National Quarantine System. Around the country, from stations like the one that was here, doctors were dispatched to . . . — Map (db m39385) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Ryves Holt House — Oldest Building Standing in State of Delaware
In this house lived Ryves Holt Chief Justice of “Three Lower Counties On Delaware,” 1745 to 1763 Member of Assembly of “Three Lower Counties On Delaware,” 1734-1737, 1742-1744, 1746-1755, And Speaker . . . — Map (db m48877) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-202 — St. Peter's Episcopal Church
In 1680, the Justices of the County petitioned Governor Edmond Andros for the right to grant lands. Under this authority, a lot of ground at this location was reserved for “publick use.” Many of the settlers who came to this area . . . — Map (db m38630) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Standing Guard
Built from 1939 to 1942, the 11 concrete observation towers along Delaware's coast were built to protect the shores during World War II - and to last about 20 years. They are still standing after 60 years. The towers were the eyes for the guns of . . . — Map (db m39595) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC221 — The Blizzard of 1888
Known as the “Great White Hurricane,” the Blizzard of 1888 was one of the most devastating weather events in recorded history. Affecting coastal states from Virginia to Maine, this paralyzing storm resulted in widespread death and . . . — Map (db m19316) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-167 — The Bombardment of Lewes
In March of 1813, the Royal Navy established a blockade of the Delaware Bay and River. The British squadron, under the command of Commodore John P. Beresford, RN, took up stations off Lewes and the Delaware Capes, and began to conduct raids along . . . — Map (db m19308) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Bombardment of Lewes
. . . — Map (db m38633) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-168 — The Cannonball House
The War of 1812 had a major impact on the town of Lewes and surrounding area. The naval blockade that was initiated by the British in March of 1813 lasted for most of the next two years. With maritime commerce limited, the local economy suffered. . . . — Map (db m30358) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse — Beacon in the Night
For more than 150 years, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse guided ships into Delaware Bay on their way to the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia.

The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse had its beginnings in 1761. Philadelphia merchants and ship owners . . . — Map (db m79167) HM

Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-230 — The Coursey-Daisey Nanticoke Indian Burial Ground
​ Located with in this neighborhood, a short distance south of here, is the burial ground of the Coursey and Daisey families, members of the Nanticoke Indian tribe. The graveside is unmarked except for a family tombstone noting the site. It . . . — Map (db m104206) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The De Vries Monument
Commemorates the establishment of the first permanent European presence on the Delaware Bay 1631 In 1631, a group of settlers under David Pietersz de Vries landed near this spot to form a whale hunting station and agricultural . . . — Map (db m38631) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Ever Changing Cape Henlopen — Cape Henlopen, Delaware
Cape: a piece of land jutting into a body of water beyond the rest of the coast line; a headland; a promontory. Delaware's coastline is constantly changing. The daily effects of wind, tidal currents, and wave action are reshaping and redesigning the . . . — Map (db m39388) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Explorations of Giovanni da Verrazzano
This stone is from Castello di Verrazano, the explorer's ancestral home in Val di Greve Chianti, Italy. He was engaged by the King of France in 1524 to lead a voyage of discovery to North America aboard his ship Dauphine. That Voyage is . . . — Map (db m63067) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Great Dune — Living Sands
You are standing on the Great Dune, the largest sand hill between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. This is the dune's highest point, about 80 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

It took thousands of years and the actions . . . — Map (db m79166) HM

Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The New Devon Inn
The New Devon Inn Has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places By the United States Department of the Interior 1926 — Map (db m38157) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The Osprey
The Osprey or Fish Hawk is found April through October in both salt and freshwater areas of the state. Almost as large as a Bald Eagle, the Osprey looks like a cross between a hawk and a gull.

Osprey can spot fish from extreme heights. . . . — Map (db m94323) HM

Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The U.S. Navy at Cape Henlopen — A Century of Service
The United States Navy's ties to Cape Henlopen spanned nearly 100 years. The Navy first came to the Cape in 1898 to build a signal tower during the Spanish American War. In the 20th century, the Navy kept a communications station he, beginning with . . . — Map (db m79201) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — The War of 1812 — Lewes Maritime History Trail
During the War of 1812, British vessels blockaded the mouth of Delaware Bay in an effort to disrupt shipping patterns and supply lines and cause economic hardship in the Mid-Atlantic. But when crews attempted to land at Lewes to replenish . . . — Map (db m38598) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — SC-161 — The Zwaanendael Club
This building was constructed in 1898 by the Sussex Trust Title and Safe Deposit Company. It was opened in October of that year, and continued to serve as the Lewes branch of the bank until being replaced by a new structure on Second Street in 1911. . . . — Map (db m37396) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Unknown Sailors' Cemetery
Lewes has been a Port-of-Call and a Harbor-of-Refuge since the 17th century. For generations during the ages of sail, a public burial ground in this immediate locality became the final resting place for hundred of sailors who lost their lives and . . . — Map (db m39373) HM
Delaware (Sussex County), Lewes — Zwaanendael House
Zwaanendael House A memorial of the first settlement in Delaware by the Dutch, on Lewes Creek A.D. 1631 — Map (db m63578) HM

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