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Shipwrecks, Storms and Science: Program at Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum on Oct. 5, 2013

Date Posted: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs

List of museum programs through Dec. 31, 2013 also included

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990.

Visitors to Lewes, Del. will have an opportunity to learn about the state’s fascinating maritime heritage in the program “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” that will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del.

Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast Maritime Festival, “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” will present maritime history and archaeology activities throughout the day including historical games such as “Crown and Anchor,” a dice game that originated in the 18th century which was played for gambling purposes by British sailors.

At 2 p.m., Zwaanendael Museum historic-site interpreter Elizabeth Gott will conduct a presentation on His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak and the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck, two British ships that sank in separate incidents off Lewes in the late 18th century. Through extensive historical research and examination of artifacts recovered from these shipwrecks, historians have gained valuable insights into life in the late 1700s during the time of the American and French Revolutionary Wars.

Admission to “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” is free and open to the public, but space is limited for the shipwreck presentation. For additional information, call 302-645-1148. For information on the Boast the Coast Maritime Festival, call the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at 877-465-3937.

His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak was a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of British and American merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off CapeHenlopen on May 25, 1798. The remains of the ship’s hull and associated artifact collection have been curated by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by state of Delaware in 1992.

The Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck is thought to be the remains of a British merchant ship loaded with cargo inbound for Philadelphia which ran aground and became stranded in the shallows off Lewes’ Roosevelt Inlet sometime between 1772 and 1800. The wreck was inadvertently discovered in 2004 during a beach replenishment project that mined sand from the floor of Delaware Bay. An underwater archaeological investigation located the shipwreck site in 2005, while a second investigation in 2006 recovered a wide range of artifacts representing the ship’s cargo. Recovered artifacts from the shipwreck are also curated by the division.

Zwaanendael Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. Current exhibits include “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” which tells the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century; and “Delaware and the War of 1812” which examines the service and sacrifice of Delawareans of 1812 to 1815, and the important role that the state played in a conflict that helped shaped the development of the United States.

Following is a complete schedule of Zwaanendael Museum special events through the end of 2013:

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
“Nanticoke.” Lecture by Sterling Street, museum coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro, Del., on the history of the Nanticoke tribe and its museum. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Mondays, Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14, 2013
Lecture/tour of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak. Program includes a trip to the hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a curator-led tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull. Programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 in advance by reservation only at http://shop.delaware.gov/.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
“Shipwrecks, Storms and Science.” Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast festival, the event will feature a day-long slate of historical games and maritime history and archaeology activities, plus a 2 p.m. presentation on the Roosevelt Inlet and DeBraak shipwrecks. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but seating for the shipwreck presentation is limited due to space restrictions.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
Colonial Scherenschnitte. Workshop to explore scherenschnitte—the art of papercutting design—with artist Kim Frey of Dagsboro, Del. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday Oct. 26, 2013
“Mysteries of History.” Walking tour explores the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Tour leaves from the museum at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1930s: ‘Visually Recording a Legacy of Hope From Despair: Jack Lewis and the CCC.’ ” Lecture by Ann Baker Horsey, curator of collections for the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Part one of an eight-part series exploring decades in Delaware’s history. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Dutch-American Heritage Day: “The Zwaanendael Settlement.” Program by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic on Delaware’s first European settlement established by the Dutch in 1631. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
“Starry Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program featuring star-gazing, music, festive décor and refreshments. 6–9 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission.

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
“Annie Jump Cannon.” Celebrate the birthday of the noted Delaware astronomer. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission.

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

 

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