Christmas Tour of Lewes

Painting By Petterson

The Lewes Historical Society invites you to a Christmas Tour of Lewes:

Advance tickets are now available online!

Lewes, Delaware – One of Lewes’s most beloved holiday traditions – the 43rd Annual Christmas Tour of Lewes, benefiting The Lewes Historical Society–  is set for Saturday, December 3, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Advance tickets are $25.00 each; tickets purchased the day of the tour are $30.00.  Children under 12 are FREE when accompanied by an adult.

Advance tickets are now for sale online at or by calling 302-645-7670.  All tickets from online sales and phone requests will be held at The Lewes Historical Society’s Zwaanendael Club Museum Store located at 302 Savannah Road.  They will be available for pick-up mid-November.

Beginning mid-November, tickets can also be purchased at The Lewes Historical Society’s Zwaanendael Club Museum Store, Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Zwaanendael Museum, and The Inn at Canal Square.  In Rehoboth Beach, tickets can be purchased at the Rehoboth Beach Museum or Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue.

A wonderful selection of homes is on this year’s tour, from 18th century delights and 19th century beauties to 20th century masterpieces. The Society’s Director Mike DiPaolo notes, “The purpose of the tour is not only to experience the fabric of Lewes history and to learn about great architecture, but to recognize the important role historic preservation plays in our community.”

Houses on tour will include:

  1. 7 Jefferson Court, home of Pat and Bill Arvidson
  2. 9 Jefferson Court, home of Libby and Tom Owen
  3. 117 Jefferson Street, home of Jane Donohue and Darica Ward
  4. 128 Manila Avenue, home of Terry and Ken Kehrer
  5. 130 Manila Avenue, home of Deb Stokes and Jim Semivan
  6. 903 Savannah Road, home of Dianne and Charlie Jacobini
  7. 410 Mulberry Street (extended), home of Pam Costanzi and Kevin Murphy
  8. 24 Shipcarpenter Square, home of Annie Steinberg and Harvey Feldman
  9. 300 Gills Neck Road, home of Betty and Steve Rogers

Beyond the nine private homes on tour this year, the Society’s museums will be open and decorated for the season.  The newly renovated Lewes Historical Society Campus, located at 110 Shipcarpenter Street, will be bustling with fun activities:

During the tour, The Lewes Historical Society will host a Christmas Antiques and Collectibles Sale, held at the Rabbit’s Ferry House (c.1741) at Third and Shipcarpenter Streets on The Lewes Historical Society Campus from 9:00am until 5:00pm.  This year’s sale will honor two unique women.  First, in remembrance of Cornelia Hurdle, one of the charter members of The Lewes Historical Society when it began in 1962, serving as Treasurer for many years as well as the progenitor of the bake sale that has always accompanied the Christmas Tour of Lewes.  Also recognized and present at the sale will be Carol Orr, who has been involved with the Society’s activities since 1962, and will be supervising her last sale this year as she passes the torch to a new member in order for this tradition to continue for another fifty years!  This will be a wonderful chance to do a bit of shopping for the holidays, as the sale will feature a selection of small furniture, collectibles, dishware, jewelry and more.  Also enjoy delicious homemade baked goods such as holiday cookies for sale.

Also this year, beginning at 9:00am at Freddie’s Barn on the Campus, there will be a fabulous display of holiday greens for sale- featuring fresh magnolia, pine and holly- while supplies last.  In addition, homemade wreaths and swags will be for sale.

Explore the Burton Ingram House (c.1785) decorated in period fashion.  Encounter several historic interpreters who will tell you about the history of the home and holiday traditions of the past.  Sample American Heritage Historic Chocolate®, a 1765 historic recipe which is available for purchase- while supplies last.

At the Midway School #178 on the Campus, the Ladies of the GFWC Zwaanendael Club will hold an open house from 9:00am until 5:00pm, hosting a raffle and Chinese Auction as well as introducing people to the mission of the Club.  Built in 1898 adjacent to the Rehoboth Presbyterian Church at Midway, this school was active until the late 1930s.  It was acquired and restored by the Society in 2000.

Christmas Tour of Lewes tickets and a great selection of gifts will be on hand at the Zwaanendael Club Museum Store at 302 Savannah Road in historic Lewes.   This building was constructed in 1898 by the Sussex Trust Title and Safe Deposit Company at a cost of $5,000.  For many years a group of public-spirited women owned the GFWC Zwaanendael Club.   The Club was transferred to The Lewes Historical Society in June 2015 and is currently the Museum Store and Information Center.  Members receive a 10% discount on all purchases.  Please stop by and enter the raffle for the Original Artwork by Local Artist, Barbara Petterson to benefit The Lewes Historical Society.  After the Christmas Tour of Lewes, while shopping in the Museum Store from 6:00pm-8:00pm, enjoy hot cider during the Lewes Christmas Parade. Donations for the cider are appreciated.

During the Christmas Tour of Lewes, the Col. David Hall DAR Chapter will open the doors of the Maull House to the public.  In addition, several area churches will have events and luncheons, and Children’s Beach House will have a Holiday Art Show & Sale.  The Lewes Christmas Parade will take place from 5:00pm-7:00pm. After the parade, wander over to Zwaanendael Park for the tree-lighting and caroling.

The Christmas Tour of Lewes benefits The Lewes Historical Society.  Sponsors include Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty, County Bank, I.G. Burton & Co., Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, PNC Bank, Schell Brothers, Sombar & Company, CPAs P.A., and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group.  Private House Sponsors include Brenda Jones-Architectural Drafting and Design, Cape Gazette, Griswold Home Care, Jeanine O’Donnell State Farm Insurance, Russ Palmer Builders, Stephanie Boright-Coastal Cottage Renovation, and The Inn at Canal Square.

For more information about the Christmas Tour of Lewes or about The Lewes Historical Society, please visit or call 302-645-7670.

Image Above: This original watercolor painting by local artist Barbara Petterson is a wintery scene of the East End Lighthouse in Lewes. It is the official cover of the 2016 Christmas Tour of Lewes, to be held for the 43rd year on December 3.  Raffle tickets for the painting are available at the Zwaanendael Club Museum Store at the 302 Savannah Road in downtown Lewes.  Raffle proceeds benefit The Lewes Historical Society.  The drawing will be on December 23.   Christmas Tour of Lewes tickets are on sale now at  For more information call 302-645-7670 or visit