Zwaanendael Museum

Early morning photo of the Zwaanendael Museum exterior.

Built in commemoration of Delaware’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631, the museum serves as a showcase for the Lewes area’s maritime, military and social history.

Bathing at Rehoboth, Del. - stamp: 1c Benjamin Franklin, Caley Postcard Collection, Courtesy of Delaware Public Archives

Segregated Sands: Beach-Going in Jim Crow Era Delaware

This exhibit brings to the forefront the history and stories of the Black American experience at Delaware’s segregated beaches during the Jim Crow era.

If you’re inspired by this exhibit and would like to tell your story, then we invite you to participate in the “Recapturing Black Beaches,” an oral history initiative.

Shared Truths

An exhibition exploring the people who witness, shape and record Delaware history.

The first person featured in this exhibition, Kathy Carpenter, has been advocating for transgender rights and community acceptance throughout her life. In 2022, she donated a small collection of objects that commemorate the moment she won the title of Miss Sussex County Amateur in 2000. On public display for the first time, these objects celebrate her work in LGBTQ+ advocacy in Delaware. 

Located on the ground floor of the museum.

Silver and purple evening gown in a glass case

Museum History

More information about the history of Zwaanendael


The museum is open to the public and admission is free. Donations are accepted.


Street parking is available in downtown Lewes within walking distance of the museum.


The first floor of the museum is wheelchair accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Restrooms are not available at the Zwaanendael Museum. Please use the facilities prior to your arrival.

Tours are self-guided, but museum staff will be on-hand to answer any questions and provide additional information.

Absolutely! Please visit the Delaware Digital History Museum, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Hours of Operation

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


102 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE 19958

Contact Information

Phone: (302) 645-1148

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