Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy 2019

Diaristfamily was invited to  spend the waning days of 2018 with friends in a rental beach house in Lewes, Delaware.  We gladly accepted.  The weather was warm for the end of the year, and for the  most part dry.

We climbed to the "crows nest" (aka roof top balcony of the house) and were greeted by this view of the breakwater lighthouses to the east.

The view to the south presented one of the World War II fire control towers for guns positioned along the coast to protect the mouth of the Delaware Bay.  The towers and guns which were once known as Fort Miles, are now part of Cape Henlopen State Park.
The house was less than a mile from the Lewes terminal of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
Lewes has an interesting historic district.  Lewes was first founded as Zwaanendael by the Dutch in 1631.  Zwaanendael (Swan Valley) was a short lived colony.  The local tribe of Lenape Native Americans wiped out the 32 colonists in 1632.

The Zwaanendail Museum features a status of Captain David Pieterszoon de Vries, leader of the expedition that founded the colony.

The building, which dates to 1931, the  300th anniversary of the colony's founding, features many 17century architectural details.

Sadly, the museum was closed during our visit.

The old part of Lewes has many fine and interesting buildings.  My cell phone camera was almost full and so this post gives  just a  taste.

This house dates to the 1770s.

One of my main objectives while in town was  to see a very early Moth Boat which is supposed to be on display.

Sadly, that will have to wait for a subsequent visit since the museum was closed.
We had booked a table at this restaurant, but over Christmas a pipe burst and the restaurant was closed until further notice--I was not having much luck in this town!  Never mind, we managed to get seated in another place close by.
The next day we took a walk in the state park.  A close up of one of the fire control towers.  Yes, like seemingly everything else in Lewes this was also closed!

A number of these towers still stand on both the Delaware and the New Jersey side of the bay and provided coastal defense for the oil refineries which are located up the Delaware River to the north.

Some of the old barracks still stand.

Guns, guns, everywhere guns.

This 16 inch monster was once on the battleship Missouri.

Don't get in the way.

In addition to the coastal guns, which, BTW, never fired a shot in anger, Cape Henlopen is famous for the surrender of a U-boat at the very end of the war.

Cape Henlopen State Park has large dunes, some of which are close to 100 feet tall.

Your old diarist watches an empty tanker as she heads out to sea.
There's much more to see in Lewes, including a lightship, old grave markers, many more interesting buildings and of course, that  elusive Moth Boat.  I plan to go back, and next time bring along a proper camera.


  1. Looks fun in spite of the closed buildings! I'm glad the weather was nice and you got some good photos (even without a "proper camera!") Nice way to kick off the new year.

  2. It was a fun weekend even if the closest ice rink was a tiny one at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland (~25 miles away). I went skating yesterday once we returned home--oh how clumsy after all that eating and drinking!

  3. Clumsy? I haven't been on skates in 50 years, and they were hockey skates. Getting out on the ice now would be a life threatening act. Being from Minnesota I am pretty good at icey sidewalk shuffle though.

  4. I had a 35 year break in ice skating and, after being dragged kicking and screaming to the ice, was horrified by how badly my skating had deteriorated. But, I was determined to regain at least to the skill level of a creditable recreation skater/low level ice dancer, which is where I currently am. The first trip back on the ice is scary but with coaching I'm sure you could get to the level where skating would be enjoyable rather than life threatening.