-Day-long series of activities explores the 1798 sinking of HMS DeBraak-

Visitors to Lewes, Del. will have an opportunity to learn about the 1798 wreck of the British warship DeBraak in the program “The Wooden World Revealed” that will take place outdoors on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., in Zwaanendael Park located adjacent to the Zwaanendael Museum at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del.

Photo of a painting depicting the capsizing of the DeBraak
Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

Held in conjunction with Lewes’ Maritime Day 2022, “The Wooden World Revealed” activities will include block-and-tackle demonstrations; “Life at Sea,” a program on day-to day experiences on an 18th-century sailing vessel; and, at 2:30 p.m., a presentation of the program “The Wreck of the DeBraak.”

Admission to “The Wooden World Revealed” is free and open to the public, but guests are urged to bring their own chairs. In the event of inclement weather, the program may be cancelled. Call the museum for additional information at 302-645-1148.

His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak was a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of British and American merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off Cape Henlopen on May 25, 1798. The remains of the ship’s hull and associated artifact collection have been curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by State of Delaware in 1992. An exhibit on the ship, “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World,” is currently on display at the museum.

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped façade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. The museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware.

Photo of the Zwaanendael Museum by Cindy Dolan
“Zwaanendael In April Bloom” by Cindy Dolan