Program on historic African American beaches and resorts at Lewes’ Zwaanendael Museum on Jan. 18, 2020

(DOVER, Del.—Jan. 8, 2020)—On Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 2 p.m., the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will host “Black Footprints on White Sands: Historic African American Beaches and Resorts,” a presentation by Chase Jackson, program and grants manager at New Jersey’s Bayshore Center at Bivalve. The program will take place on the Zwaanendael Museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator) and is free and open to the public. However, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling the museum at 302-645-1148 no later than Jan. 17, 2020.

Photo of to the Rosedale Beach Hotel and Resort
Visitors to the Rosedale Beach Hotel and Resort in Millsboro, Del. enjoyed boats rides on the Indian River Bay, among other activities.

Held in celebration of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, Jackson’s presentation will explore beaches and resorts that African Americans could visit without fear of discrimination or violence during the segregation era. One such destination in Delaware was the Rosedale Beach Hotel and Resort in Millsboro which was run by, and for, people of color. During its heyday, the resort presented some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century including Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, among many others.
Poster advertising Lionel Hampton performance at Rosedale Beach
Chase Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina which she parlayed into a 30-plus-year career in non-profit administration. She is also an accomplished storyteller, producer, director, actor and blues vocalist. In addition to managing its office, she handles all of the Bayshore Center’s publicity, promotion and special event/program coordination.

Photo of Chase Jackson
Chase Jackson

The Zwaanendael Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 1 to March 31; and Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., from April 1 to Oct. 31. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Photo of Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum

The 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), it is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.

Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. Current exhibits include “Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport” which explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State; and “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.

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. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. 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.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums logo


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787