Delaware Maritime History series kicks off Sept. 8 at Lewes library

The Lewes Library is hosting the Delaware Maritime History Series beginning on September 8th.

Delaware’s rich maritime history will come to life with a series of lectures, music and historical theater performances throughout September, presented by Lewes Public Library and the Zwaanendael Museum.

The Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay are an integral part of Delaware’s history, connecting the small state to important global events and issues. The History Revival: Coastal Chronicles series will highlight many of the fascinating events, sites and traditions that make up Delaware’s celebrated maritime heritage, from shipwrecks and naval vessels to lighthouses and sea shanties.

The series kicks off at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8, with a lecture by Michael Dougherty, author of “The Wreck of the Faithful Steward on Delaware's False Cape,” which tells the story of a 1785 Irish shipwreck and the people on board. At 6:30 p.m., performers from Possum Point Players will re-create an old-time, laughter-filled radio broadcast from the 1940s, including “The Bickersons at Sea.”

A presentation of the history of the Lightship Overfalls and the Overfalls Lightstation is set for 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, with Overfalls curator John Bolster. At 3:30 p.m., Delaware historian Claudia Leister will discuss the famous 1798 shipwreck of the British warship HMS DeBraak and the efforts to salvage the wreckage, including Leister’s personal experiences working on the project.

Additional History Revival events scheduled for the following two weekends include presentations about Delaware’s naval history, the history of oyster farming in Delaware, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse and the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, plus a look at the history of sea shanties, including a lighthearted sing-along.

All events will be held in person at Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave., Lewes. Most will also be available for live viewing online via Zoom.

Registration is required. To register, go to or call the library at 302-645-2733. At registration, participants will be asked to select in-person or virtual attendance.

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