The Zwaanendael Museum

A looking glass for Delaware's early beginnings.

Location: 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE, 19958
Contact: (302) 645-1148

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Delaware's first European settlement, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. The museum's exhibits and presentations illustrate the rich history of Sussex County by highlighting its maritime connections and by telling the stories of the people who lived and worked along Delaware's southeastern coast. The first floor of the museum re-opened in April 2006 with an exciting exhibit, "Lewes: The First Town in the First State." The second floor is now open with a new exhibit, "Rediscovery through Recovery: Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck Site," which offers a look into the fascinating world of maritime archaeology.

  • open year-round on Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • offers school tours and interpretive programs, as well as a family friendly Archeological Festival the last weekend of every May; also houses a gift shop admission is free