Coastal Sussex Maritime History / Attractions

by Dave on September 1, 2008

Maritime Attractions

“Treasures of the Sea” Museum

Treasures from the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Senora de Atocha, one of the richest treasure finds of all time, located at the “Treasures of the Sea” museum at Delaware Tech in Georgetown. The Atocha went down off the Florida Keys in 1622. What a story there is behind the hunt for this elusive wreck. See the cliffhanger video of the find, then meander through the museum where you’ll be able to put your hands on cannon and silver bars. Groups are welcome too! (302) 856-5700.

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum

Search for sunken treasure washed ashore with local treasure expert Dale Clifton. DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum represents a lifetime of diving off Delaware’s coastline for Clifton, who notes that there are literally hundreds of wrecks in the Atlantic, at least 300 between Cape May, New Jersey and Ocean City, Maryland, where the sea still promises treasures from days gone by. Learn where to hunt for coins and artifacts washed ashore, or visit the museum, located at 708 Ocean Highway in Fenwick Island. (302) 539-9366.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

This 87-foot tall light was authorized by the U.S. Government Lighthouse Board in 1858 as a navigational point for sailors who could see the light from 15 miles at sea. Its brick walls are 27 inches thick. The site includes early photos of Fenwick Island, artifacts and a souvenir shop. Located just off Route 54, Fenwick Island. Call for hours. Open on most days in season. Free admission. 302.436.8100

Fisherman’s Wharf

Venture into Lewes to Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can go whale and dolphin watching along the Delaware Coast with the seafaring Parsons’ family. This four-hour cruise provides a lighthearted educational cruise fun for the whole family. Evening sunset cruises exploring the historic Harbor of Lewes and the Delaware Breakwater areas are held nightly in season. (302) 645-TUNA (8862).

Indian River Lifesaving Station Museum

Originally constructed in 1879, this historic landmark has been restored by the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation, and is now open to the public as a state-of-the-art learning center and museum. Learn about the drama of heroes who risked their lives during rescues at sea. Located on Route 1 north of the Indian River Inlet between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. Open most days with admission fee. 302.227.6991

Transpeninsular Marker

A carved stone below the Fenwick Island Lighthouse marks the eastern terminus of a 70-mile long survey line connecting the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. The Transpeninsular Line marks the southern boundary of Delaware.

The Overfalls Maritime Museum

The LV 118, known as the Lightship Overfalls, was the last lightship commissioned by the office of U.S. Lighthouse Services. Built before World War II, the lightship is open to the public for guided tours. The Lightship Overfalls is docked in the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal north of the Savannah Road bridge. For information call 302.644.8050 or visit

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