Shipwrecks, Storms and Science Program at Zwaanendael October 2

by Dave on September 12, 2010

Visitors to Lewes, Delaware will have an opportunity to learn about Delaware’s fascinating maritime heritage in the program “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” that will take place on Saturday, October 2, 2010, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., at the Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Delaware 19958.

Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast festival, “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” will present maritime-history and -archaeology activities throughout the day including historical games such as “Crown and Anchor,” a dice game that originated in the 18th century which was played for gambling purposes by British sailors.

At 2 p.m., Zwaanendael Museum Historical Interpreter Elizabeth Gott will conduct a slide presentation on HMB DeBraak and the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck, two British ships that sank in separate incidents off Lewes in the late 18th century. Through extensive historical research and examination of artifacts recovered from these shipwrecks, historians have gained valuable insights into life in the late 1700s during the Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War periods.

Admission to “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science” is free and open to the public, but space is limited for the slide presentation. For additional information, call 302-645-1148. For information on the Boast the Coast Maritime Festival, call the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at 877-465-3937.

HMB DeBraak was a British naval vessel that sank in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Henlopen in 1798. The ship was raised, and badly damaged, during a commercial salvage operation in 1986. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) has curated the remains of the ship’s hull and its contents since they were acquired by the State of Delaware in 1992.

The Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck is thought to be the remains of a British commercial ship that ran aground near present day Roosevelt Inlet in the late 1700s. The wreck was inadvertently discovered in 2004 during a beach replenishment project that mined sand from the floor of Delaware Bay. An underwater archaeological investigation located the shipwreck site in 2005, while a second investigation in 2006 recovered a wide range of artifacts representing the ship’s cargo. Recovered artifacts from the shipwreck are curated by HCA.

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.

Zwaanendael Museum

Zwaanendael Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military, and social history. Current exhibits include “Maritime History on the Delaware” which explores over 11,000 years of Lewes history and culture supported by an array of artifacts, maps, sketches, lithographs, and photographs; and “Rediscovery Through Recovery” which displays artifacts from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck. In addition to “Shipwrecks, Storms and Science,” The following special events will also be taking place through the end of 2010. All Zwaanendael Museum programs are free and open to the public:

¨ October 30, 2010

“Tall Tales and Tattoos.” Andrew “Spider” Miller will share his bizarre collection of Fiji Mermaids and other creatures, and Peggi Hurley of Ancient Art Tattoo will discuss the art and history of tattoos.10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

¨ November 6, 2010

Lighthouse Lecture Series: Lightship Overfalls. Featuring Bob Gibson of the Lightship Overfalls Foundation. 2 p.m. Seating is limited due to space restrictions.

¨ November 13, 2010

“Dutch American Heritage Day.” Learn about the contributions that the Dutch have made to the economic, social, political, and cultural life of Delaware and the United States.10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

¨ December 2, 2010

“Hospitality Night at the Museum.” Holiday-themed activities including music, demonstrations, and refreshments.6–9 p.m.

¨ December 4, 2010

“Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Tour the Zwaanendael Museum which was modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and learn about Delaware’s Dutch heritage. Demonstrations and craft activities will also be part of this event which is being held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour).10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. HCA 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. HCA’s diverse array of services includes administration of the state’s historic preservation office, operation of museums and a conference center, and management of historic properties across Delaware. Primary funding for HCA’s programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.

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