The First State’s Dutch heritage to be featured at Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum in April 2015
-Listing of museum events through September 2015 also included-
(DOVER, Del.—April 2, 2015)—During the month of April 2015, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will present four special programs for public enjoyment. Three of these programs will explore Delaware’s long-standing connection to the Netherlands—which stretches back in time to the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631 in present-day Lewes. Except where noted, programs listed are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
From Thursday to Saturday, April 9 to 11, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Celebration, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots.
On Saturday, April 18, the museum will celebrate Dutch-American Friendship Day which commemorates April 19, 1782, the day that John Adams, who would later become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. It was also the day that the house he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague was to become the first American embassy in the world. The day’s festivities will include a 2 p.m. lecture by Mike Tyler, advocacy chairman for Sussex Cyclists, an all-volunteer group promoting safe cycling in coastal Sussex County, who will discuss bicycling in Lewes and the Netherlands; the importance of bicycling in Dutch society, and bicycle safety and history. Finally, on Saturday, April 25, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
In addition to its Dutch-themed programs, the museum is participating in the Wilmington University Alumni Association’s Wildcat Prowl in Lewes which is presenting two days of activities in Delaware’s historic first town.
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.
Following is a schedule of Zwaanendael-Museum-sponsored special events through September 2015. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del. Museum hours from April 1 to Oct. 31 are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. From Nov. 1 to March 31, museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Except where noted, admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
Zwaanendael Museum upcoming special events
Thursday–Saturday, April 9–11, 2015
Lewes Tulip Celebration. 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. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-8073.
Friday–Saturday, April 10–11, 2015
Wildcat Prowl in Lewes. Explore one of America’s oldest towns including programs at the Zwaanendael Museum and tours of the DeBraak hull. Sponsored by the Wilmington University Alumni Association. Downtown Lewes. Admission fee. 302-295-1174.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Event features a program at 2 p.m. on bicycling in the Netherlands and Delaware. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
King’s Day. Celebration of 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 23, 2015
Fourth Annual Zwaanendael Maritime Festival: “A Sailor’s Life for Me.” Maritime-themed activities, games, displays by local organizations and more. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Mondays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Sept. 14, 21, 28; 2015
Lecture/tours of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak. Explore the history of the DeBraak which was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Program begins at the Zwaanendael Museum, followed by a trip to the hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a 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 through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click the “tours” link). Note: Tours will not be conducted on Sept. 7.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
17th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Programs begin at Noon and culminate at 7:15 p.m. when David Scott Taylor of the American Historical Theatre performs “Gideon Olmstead—Adventures of a Sea Captain During the Revolution.”
Monday, June 22, 2015
17th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Programs begin at Noon and culminate at 7:15 p.m. when Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre performs “Phyllis Wheatley’s Voyage to Britain” which explores an episode in the life of the first published African-American poet.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
17th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Summer concert (performer TBA). Stango Park, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
17th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Programs begin at Noon and culminate at 7:15 p.m. when Christian Johnson of the American Historical Theatre portrays William Augustus Newell founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service. Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
17th Annual Chautauqua Tent Show: “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Programs begin at Noon and culminate at 7:15 p.m. when Kim Hanley of the American Historical Theatre portrays first lady Abigail Adams discussing trade and embargoes during the American Revolution. Lewes Historical Society complex, 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes. 302-645-7670.
Zwaanendael Museum exhibits
“Delaware and the War of 1812.” Exhibit 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.
“A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798 to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century.