Enjoy Sussex County’s Historic Festivals and Museums This Autumn


Photos courtesy of Zwaanendael Museum

Historical re-enactments, stories of marine adventurers and a plethora of festivals await you in Sussex County during the autumn season.

Fall in southern Delaware means historic tours, events and festivals that will keep you entertained throughout the shoulder season.

Devon Filicicchia of the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes is very excited about an exhibition that can be viewed online from anywhere. The recently inaugurated museum Separated Sands: Separated Beaches of Delaware in the Jim Crow Era.

The Oral History Project explores 18th and early 19th century African American stories on Delaware beaches during segregation.

separate sands was created by Zwaanendael Museum staff members and intern Kelli Racine Coles, a PhD student at the University of Delaware. As part of his internship, Coles researched and collected oral histories of people visiting Delaware beaches.

The library is looking for people to share their stories as part of the project. To register or learn more, visit history.delaware.gov/zwaanendael-museum.

On display at the East Lewes Museum Delaware Railroad: Stylish Travel and Fast Transit, an exhibit highlighting the importance of railroads in southern Delaware. The collection includes photographs, vintage posters, train tickets, timetables, maps and historical artifacts that tell the story of rail travel in the first state.

The Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes highlights some of Delaware’s most iconic historical landmarks, such as the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse and the Delaware Railroads.

Visitors to the museum can learn about historic railroads significant to the Delaware Coast of the early to mid-1800s, including the Junction & Breakwater, Queen Anne’s, Delaware, and New Castle and Frenchtown.

Ahead are two of Sussex County’s most popular autumn events: the Chautauqua Tent Show and the Mysteries of History Walking Tours.

It’s the 24th year for Chautauqua in Lewes and the theme is entertainment. Live performances, seminars and events will focus on a variety of topics, from hamilton in Rosedale Beach, the hotel and resort established as a destination for African Americans from the early 1900s through the 1970s.

Mysteries of History walking tours take participants through Lewes’ spookier and lesser-known history, including visits to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Cemetery and Cannonball House.

“Many of our fall visitors are history buffs whose fall tours focus on exploring our many history-related museums, events, tours, and historic sites,” says Tina Coleman of Southern Delaware. Tourism.

Because of this interest, the tourist organization has a Web page dedicated to sharing upcoming historical events and tours.

In addition to historical exhibits, there are also many popular events this fall, including the annual Sea Witches Festival in Rehoboth Beach in October. This event draws people from all over Delaware and beyond, Coleman says.

“Fall visitors support the local economy the same way our peak season visitors do,” she says.

Other popular fall events in Sussex County include the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival (September 10), Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival (October 13-16), Apple-Scraple Festival in Bridgeville (October 14-15) and the Winter WonderFEST (from mid-November). .

In addition to the festivals, here is an overview of the museums of the south whose treasures are waiting for you:

DiscoverMuseum of shipwrecks at sea

This unique collection of shipwreck finds includes over 10,000 maritime artifacts. Seasonal exhibits highlight Delaware’s maritime history.

Coastal Route 708, Isle of Fenwick; 539-9366; decouvertemer.com

Indian River Lifeboat Station

The original station was used as part of the US Life-Saving Service, which rescued shipwrecked sailors along the Delaware coast. It has been restored to its 1905 appearance and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

25039 Coastal Road, Rehoboth Beach; 227-6991; destateparks.com/centers/irlifesavingstation

Marvel Carriage Museum

In addition to vintage horse-drawn carriages, the museum also features historic and restored buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse built in 1833. The horse-drawn carriages date back to the 1800s.

510 S. Bedford Street, Georgetown; 855-9660; marvelmuseum.com

Rehoboth Beach Museum

This kid-friendly museum features postcards from bygone eras, beach-themed memorabilia, and a gift shop.

511 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach; 227-7310; rehobothbeachmuseum.org

Seaford Museum

Learn about the Nanticoke Indians and the history of the DuPont nylon factory. Other exhibits highlight shipbuilding and the infamous murderess Patty Cannon.

203 High Street, Seaford; 628-9828; seafordhistoricalsociety.com

Related: Add This Guide to Delaware’s Must-See Museums


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