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Lecture on the history of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to take place at Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum

Date Posted: Friday, March 7th, 2014
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs

Listing of museum events through June 2014 also included

On Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will present a lecture on the history of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry by Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. The program is the 1960s chapter of “Delaware Decades,” an eight-part series of lectures exploring successive decades in Delaware’s history from the 1930s to the 2000s. Admission to the event is free and open to the public but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling the museum at 302-645-1148 no later than March 13, 2014.

MV Cape May. Constructed in 1985, the vessel served as a Cape May-Lewes ferry until 2007.

More than 14 million vehicles and 43 million passengers have crossed the 17-mile mouth of Delaware Bay via vessels of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry during its 50-year history which began on July 1, 1964. Today’s modern ferry boats accommodate up to 100 vehicles and 1,000 passengers for the 80-minute cruise between Cape May, N.J. and Lewes, Del.

Mike DiPaolo has served as executive director of the Lewes Historical Society since September 2001. He is a member of the boards of the Delaware Heritage Commission and U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, and represents Delaware on the board of advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. DiPaolo was the 2011 recipient of the Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence presented by the American Alliance of Museums. In recognition of his service as chairman of the Lewes and Delaware 375th Anniversary Commission, he was named Southern Delaware Tourism person of the year in 2006 and was a recipient of the Delaware Tourism Award in 2007. He has previously served as vice president of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation; as vice president of Preservation Delaware; as annual-conference chair and president of the Small Museum Association; and as a board member of the Delaware Museum Association, Delaware Tourism Alliance and Delaware governor’s Archives Council.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.

Zwaanendael Museum

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 His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798; 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 shape the development of the United States as a nation.

Following is a schedule of Zwaanendael-Museum-sponsored events through June 2014. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE 19958. Admission is free for all events listed. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Saturday, March 15, 2014
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1960s: ‘History of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.’ ” Lecture by Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. J. Fred Coldren, former business manager of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and historian for the 50th anniversary of the ferry. Part four 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. Due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than March 13, 2014. Note change in speaker.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“The Environment in Colonial Delaware.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Alan Roth. Held in commemoration of Earth Day. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than April 2, 2014.

Thursday–Saturday, April 10-12, 2014
Lewes Tulip Festival. City-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch heritage including Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics at the Zwaanendael Museum. Sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Lewes, Del. 302-645-8073.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
King’s Day. Help celebrate the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a program that will also explore royal titles and Delaware’s Dutch connection. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Third 
Annual Zwaanendael Maritime Festival. Maritime-themed activities, games, displays by local organizations and more. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Sunday and Monday, June 15 and 16, 2014
“16th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: ‘With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War.’ ” Day-long series of activities culminating with re-enactors portraying historic personalities. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE 19958. Times TBA.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
“16th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: ‘With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War.’ ” Concert. Performer TBA. Stango Park, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes, DE19958. 7 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday, June 18 and 19, 2014
“16th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: ‘With Malice Toward None…Delaware Life During the Civil War.’ ” Day-long series of activities culminating with re-enactors portraying historic personalities. Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes, DE 19958. Times TBA. 302-645-7670.

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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