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Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” in Lewes, Del. over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend

Date Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs News Sussex County

(LEWES, Del.—April 7, 2017)—Adults and children alike will have an opportunity to experience seafaring lives of adventure, romance, excitement and hardships, and to honor mariners who made the ultimate sacrifice, during the Zwaanendael Museum’s two-day maritime celebration, “A Sailor’s Life for Me,” that will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations on May 27 and 28, 2017. A preliminary schedule of events is included below. Except for tours of the Lightship Overfalls, admission to all events is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Zwaanendael Museum historical interpreter Andrew Lyter portraying a World-War-I-era British sailor.

Zwaanendael Museum historical interpreter Andrew Lyter portraying a World-War-I-era British sailor.

2017 Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me”
Preliminary schedule as of April 7, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes

–“Life at Sea” demonstrations, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Swab the deck, learn about shipboard food, play “Crown and Anchor” and other Colonial-period games and serve on a block-and-tackle station where visitors will be drilled by a demanding mariner looking for new crew members

–Displays and demonstrations on local maritime history, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Presented by a variety of local organizations including the Indian River Lifesaving Station; the Lewes Historical Society; the Lightship Overfalls and the Overfalls Foundation; and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR)

Canal Front Park, 211 Front St., Lewes

–Living-history encampment, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Historical re-enactors will portray sailors and mariners from the American Revolutionary War to the Korean War with a spotlight on World War I in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entrance into the Great War. Activities include displays, demonstrations and musket drills

Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road, Lewes (next to Canal Front Park)

–Sound pipe demonstrations, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Demonstrations on the use of sound pipes which were used by the Overfalls to produce distinct and powerfully audible warnings during the presence of thick fog or mist

–Tours of the Overfalls, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Visit this National Historic Landmark that was the last lightship built by the United States Lighthouse Service. Last tour at 3:30 p.m. Admission $5 for adults and children over 14 years of age

Lightship Overfalls

Lightship Overfalls

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes

–“Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak,” tours at 9 and 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.
Participants will meet at the Zwaanendael Museum where they will board a van that will transport them to an offsite conservation facility for a guided tour of the surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak which sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Admission is free, but due to limited seating, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Friday, May 19, 2017

–Colonial games, 1:30–4 p.m.

–Wreath-laying ceremony honoring crew members of the DeBraak, apx. 3:30 p.m.
Featuring historical re-enactors, a bugler and a bagpiper, this ceremony will take place at the DeBraak Memorial located on the museum grounds. The site is believed to contain the remains of several crew members who lost their lives in the sinking of the DeBraak

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

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

Canal Front Park, 211 Front St., Lewes

–Living-history encampment, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Historical re-enactors to portray sailors and mariners from the American Revolutionary War to the Korean War with a spotlight on World War I in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entrance into the Great War. Activities include displays, demonstrations and musket drills

Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church cemetery, 211 Mulberry St., Lewes

–Wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of James Drew, captain of the DeBraak, 3 p.m.
Featuring historical re-enactors, a bugler and a bagpiper, participants will lay a wreath on Capt. Drew’s grave, followed by a walk to the Zwaanendael Museum for a wreath-laying ceremony honoring other crew members of the DeBraak

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. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Zwaanendael Museum

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, operation of museums and a conference center, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections and management of historic properties across Delaware. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

-End-

Contact:
Bridget Warner
Zwaanendael Museum
Phone: 302-645-1148
E-mail: bridget.warner@state.de.us
Web: http://history.delaware.gov/museums/zm/zm_main.shtml

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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