Any Port in a Storm

Greenans believes in preserving and celebrating communities - their beginnings and diverse flowering.

We are pleased to support the Lewes Delaware Historical Society’s efforts to create a new historical museum at the Margaret Rollins Community Center. This month, Greenans donated its record of the January 3, 1827 United States Senate Committee on Commerce decision to construct an “artificial harbor” or breakwater at Cape Henlopen in Lewes.

Lewes is the “first town in the first state.” The city has a long maritime tradition as it guards the Delaware River shipping channel. For centuries, Lewes pilot boats expertly guided merchant, immigrant and naval vessels between the Atlantic Ocean and ports of Philadelphia, Wilmington, and New Castle.

The Delaware coast is no stranger to shipwrecks. To lessen the loss of life and impact to trade, the 19th United States Congress aimed to build a breakwater to “provide a place where ships could run for shelter.”

Two breakwaters were constructed in 1828. The first was 1700 feet and the second was more than double that size at 2800 feet. The breakwaters were the first engineering project of their kind in the Western Hemisphere and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Fundraising for the Margaret Rollins Community Center is underway. The 10-acre cultural campus will include the community center, history museum, public library and 18-miles of hiking and biking trails. If you are interested in donating to the project, note that there is a one-to-one match (up to $1 million) provided by an anonymous donor thru December 1, 2017.