December 31st, 2010
Toot the Horn, Lightship Overfalls, New Year’s Eve, Event, Historic Lewes, Delaware Beaches
In the information available on the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s website I found out about “Toot the Horn”. It is a celebration in Historic Lewes; New Year’s Eve, at the Overfalls Maritime Museum on Front Street. It will take place at midnight so be there before that time because it will be just “Toot the Horn” as we welcome 2011!!
One of the advantages of having a blog or passing information along is that at the same time I am learning about my own backyard. I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know what the Lightship Overfalls was. So, I took a little drive to where it is located. I had seen it before but, once again, have passed it by without giving it another thought.
And there it was. Bright red and white; the snow covered ground made the whole area so pretty.
The following information came from the Delaware Public Archives, 2003, SC-175 and is also in the marker explaining its history.
“The Lightship Overfalls was built in 1938 at the Rice Brothers shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. It was one of the last lightships constructed. Duty stations included Boston Harbor and two locations near Long Island, New York. After retirement from active service it was given to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973. The ship was renamed to recognize the lightship station on Overfalls Shoals that marked the southern entrance to the Delaware Bay. On December 2001, ownership of the ship was transferred to the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. The Lightship Overfalls is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”
“The United States government initiated the use of manned lightships or “floating lighthouses” in 1820. These vessels, like Lightship Overfalls, addressed many needs. The beacon on the lightship’s mast and the sound of its foghorn contributed greatly to the safe passage of ships in various weather conditions. My the mid 20th century the increasing use of automated lights and radio signals made these vessels obsolete.”
It is so easy to get to where it is located. If you are on Savannah Rd. by the bridge, you will take a right or left, depending where you are coming from, on Front Street. Right past the tennis courts on the right you will see it. Plenty of parking is available.
Lightship Overfalls is one of ony 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820 to 1952; also one of 7 lightships in this country still open to the public.
At the present time group tours and off season tours can be arranged by request. There are a few telephones: 302-645-7377, 302-645-5071 or 302-645-4773.
The website is very complete and informative. Please visit www.overfalls.org. You can even take a virtual tour.
But please remember to be there tomorrow, New Year’s Eve; the beautiful town of Historic Lewes at 11:59 p.m.!!
Have a great time………