Lewes prides itself for its “First Town, First State” status.
What most beach visitors probably don’t realize is the depth of the town’s history, its historical importance – particularly its geographical significance – and how this Dutch town shaped the future of Delaware and nautical strategy throughout the last three centuries.
There is a ton of pride in Lewes history, as evoked by the Lewes Historical Society’s ongoing programming. One of the most interesting programs it hosts includes its popular Tavern Talks, complete with re-enactments of period events, resplendent with volunteer characters in period costume. Done with a combination of veracity (historic accuracy) and ferocity (wonderful energy), we have dubbed this group as having a “Verocity for History.”
Of particular interest, especially for history buffs is the infamous 1813 situation in which the little town (then known as Lewistown) found itself blockaded by the British. Yet, it defended itself famously while being bombarded with cannonballs. One is still embedded in the “Cannonball House” on Second Street as a nod to Lewes’s perseverance.
Tavern Talks is a popular ongoing series of episodes that explore Lewes history. But that is not all that the Historical Society offers. They also offer the curious public several other programs that give clues and fascinating history about the uniquely situated town in the mouth of the Delaware Bay.
It is a place that was settled early (First Town, First State as its motto attests). A walk through Front or Second Street is well worth the visit. If walls could speak, just understanding the architecture amplifies the historical significance of Lewes history.
The founding Dutch of Lewistown in 1631 would certainly be proud to learn of Tavern Talks and the ongoing pride the Lewes Historical Society provides to its residents and visitors.
Cheers (or “proost” in Dutch) to Tavern Talks and all of the volunteers who keep the historical spirit of Lewes thriving.
Get to know the Lewes Historical Society More.