Delaware’s Dutch heritage to be featured at Lewes’ Zwaanendael Museum in April 2017
(LEWES, Del.—April 4, 2017)—During the month of April 2017, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will participate in three special events that 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. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
From Thursday to Saturday, April 6 to 15, the museum will be participating in the Lewes Tulip Celebration, a city-wide series of activities including tours and displays. As a part of the celebration, the museum has been brightened with fresh tulip arrangements provided by the Sussex Gardeners, one of the oldest garden clubs in the United States and a member of the Federation of Garden Clubs, and part of The National Garden Clubs, Inc., Central Atlantic Region. Founded in 1937, the Sussex Gardeners’ mission is to bring together members of the community who have an interest in the fine art of gardening, landscape design, floral design and horticulture. The group’s community outreach includes programs in garden therapy, conservation and civic beautification.
Also in coordination with the Lewes Tulip Celebration, the Zwaanendael Museum will offer a display of Delftware ceramics, Dutch and Colonial games and a tulip craft-project on Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, April 22, 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. Activities will include Dutch historical information, games and crafts.
Finally, on Saturday, April 29, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in which visitors can learn about the Dutch royal family and participate in games and a crown-making craft activity.
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.
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.