2019 Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” activities

The adventure, romance, excitement and hardships experienced by seafarers will be brought to life at the eighth annual Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” that will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Zwaanendael Museum located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del. A complete schedule of activities is included below. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148


2019 Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” activities

“Commodore Jacob Jones,” 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Theatrical performance in which Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Dennis Fisher portrays one of Delaware’s heroes of the War of 1812


Maritime-themed lectures

Note: Lectures will be held on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator)


“Perils Afloat,” 11 a.m.

Presented by author and historian Michael Morgan


“American Naval Ships Named Delaware,” 2 p.m.

Presented by author and retired U.S. Navy Captain Bill Manthorpe


Displays and demonstrations on local maritime history, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Presented by the Bethel Historical Society; Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation; Fort Miles Historical Association; Kalmar Nyckel Foundation; Lightship Overfalls/Overfalls Foundation; and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR)

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 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.