Summertime is almost upon us, and everyone has started making plans to head down to the beach. One town, in particular, is known for its spectacular beach this time of year. I wanted to use this time to dive into the history of Lewes, Delaware, and its beach. Lewes, or “First Town,” was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609 and first settled by voyagers from Holland in 1631. Thirty-two Dutchmen claimed the area that would one day become Lewes but soon abandoned the area due to disagreements with the local Lenni Lenape tribe. HEADED TO THE BEACH The Fascinating History of Lewes, Delaware 11974 Willow Grove Rd., Camden, DE 19934 93C Saulsbury Rd., Dover, DE 19904 APRIL 2019 The Dutch returned to the area in 1658 and built Sekonnessinck, their first permanent settlement and trading post. In 1663, a second settlement was built by a group of Mennonites calling themselves the Plockhoy Colony after their founder Peter Cornelis Plockhoy. However, this colony was soon overrun by the English, who pushed the Dutch settlers out. The Dutch tried to reclaim their land but the English maintained control through 1670 when the town was given its modern name, Lewes, after the English town of the same name.
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being someplace where people hundreds of years ago once stood. I mentioned something similar in a previous newsletter. Walking where the people of the past once walked, standing where they once stood, and seeing what their efforts have turned into in today’s modern world — it’s all absolutely fascinating to me. We can enjoy the history and stories of the town because of the people who were here years before our time. If you’re heading off to Lewes Beach this year, now you’ll know a little about the history of the town. And who knows? Maybe when you’re walking down the beach, you’ll kick over a rock and find a gold coin underneath.
The stories of Lewes don’t end with its beginning. Another interesting tale that’s passed along the coast concerns the many pirates who roamed the seas. Sometime between the 1690s and mid-1700s, many infamous pirates, including Captain Kidd, were said to have visited the town. Even more interesting to some are the rumors of hidden treasure. A pirate burying their gold in the sand might seem like a fairy-tale, but for the people of Lewes, it’s closer to the truth. There are many rumors that pirates buried gold along the beach and that some visitors were lucky enough to have found parts of that treasure.
As for me, the lure of the beach isn’t only the promise of a good day or treasure; it’s
“The lure of the beach isn’t only the promise of a good day or treasure; it’s being someplace where people hundreds of years ago once stood.”
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