History Field Trips
Delaware has lots of fascinating history. After all, we are the First State.
We’ve got Native American History. We’ve got Agricultural History. We’ve got Maritime and Military History (tons of those!) We’ve got scads of Natural History as just a quick look around will tell you (for instance, did you know that Indian River Bay is actually a drowned river valley?) And of course, there’s Industrial History (Seaford was the birthplace of Dupont Nylon and the now $90 billion broiler chicken industry started right here in a little house in Ocean View...)
We’ve got charming seaside and riverside towns each with their own fascinating histories and even some stories that you might not want to listen to after dark. We’ve got war stories. We’ve got pirates and shipwrecks and tales of buried booty. We’ve got a rock that fell from the sky several years and thousands of miles from the volcanic eruption that sent it into orbit. Boy, do we have some stories. And we love telling ‘em.
Southern Delaware history is the history of the United States but on a smaller scale, just the perfect size to capture young imaginations. Take a look at the resources below and also check out our Museums page.
Students: Don't forget to print out your Field Trip Passport!
The information below was provided by the individual sites. For additional information, please contact each site.
Delaware Aviation Museum21781 Aviation Avenue Georgetown DE 19947 Phone number: 443-458-8926 Website Email: email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: Always best to phone ahead to be sure someone will be there and that the aircraft are in town. Due to minimum number of volunteer docents we are only scheduled open first Saturday of each month from 10am-2pm or by appointment for groups and schools. Some weekends the flying aircraft will be out of town at air shows. Visitors are welcome at any time during posted hours but cannot be in the hangar without staff escort.
Mission: The Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation (D.A.M.F.) is dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of aviation, focusing on aviation in Delaware and the Delaware Coastal Airport. The museum maintains a display of classic, vintage and military aircraft and aviation artifacts as well as an extensive reference library. The D.A.M.F. promotes tourism to Sussex County by hosting events at the airport and museum, providing an educational venue for students and the community.
Ages/Grade levels: Ages 6 and up will benefit most from visiting our museum and maintenance facility. Small children must be under close supervision of adults.
Materials: Brochures are available at our facility or by mail. Most information can be obtained best by visiting out website www.delawareaviationmuseum.org
Cost: B-25 Mitchell Bomber rides - $425.00/seat. Rides on the B-25 are only pre-arranged basis or on dates we publish to make rides available, such as at Wings and Wheels Fall Festival.
Delaware Seashore State Park & the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum25039 Coastal Highway Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 Phone number: 302-227-6991 Website Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook (IRLSS) Facebook (DSSP)
Days/Hours of operation: April – October; 7 days/ 8 – 4:30 p.m.; November – March: Monday-Friday, 8 – 4 and Saturdays, 9-3
Tours: Guided tours available. We prefer that if a group wants to come to a program that they call ahead to set up their own private program (instead of joining a public program).
Programs: Focus mainly on maritime history and coastal ecology. Many programs for a variety of age groups/grade levels are available. See the Delaware State Parks Teacher’s Guide – Delaware Seashore State Park Pages. Programs include Beach Survivors (grades 2 – 4); Seining the Bay (grades 1 – 8); March Walk (grades 2 – 12); Squid Dissection: From Pen to Ink (grades 2 – 8); Jelly, Jelly, Jellyfish (grades K – 2); Coastal Predators (K – 3), Build & Fly a Kite (STEM) (grades 3 – 6); Shipwrecks & Buried Treasure (STEM) (grades 4 – 9); Life of a Surfman (grades 4 – 10); and others. Also offer crafts classes, tours of the historic Lifesaving Station, etc. Check schedule for programs including Breeches Buoy Rescue demonstrations, lantern tours, etc.
Cost: See website for fees (nominal).
DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum708 Coastal Highway Fenwick Island, DE 19944 Phone number: (302) 539-9366 Website Email: email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: June, July & August Open Daily 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. September Open Daily 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. October to April call for hours. April & May, Sat - Sun 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Tours: Motorcoaches & Group Tours Available Year Round. Guided and self-directed tours available. Please provide a week’s notice for large groups. Otherwise, visit anytime during posted hours.
Focus: Ever changing displays focus on maritime history, ocean/dune ecology, archeology, shipwreck salvage, colonial history, East Coast and world shipwrecks
Ages/Grade levels: All ages
Materials: Handouts available. Can be mailed in advance with one week’s notice.
Suggested reading: See website.
Fort MilesAddress: Cape Henlopen State Park
Phone number: 302-644-5007
Days/hours of operation: Contact the museum at 302-644-5007 for hours.
Guided tours: Available. Self-directed tours are also available in the historic area, including the observation tower and Orientation Building when open.
Focus: The Fort Miles Museum and Historic Area interprets the history of coastal defense in the region. Visitors can explore Battery 519, an underground gun battery, the scenic Tower 7, the 16 inch gun barrel that was on the USS Missouri when Japan signed the surrender documents ending WWII, and more. Special arrangements can be made for school groups, scouts, or clubs.
Ages/Grade Level: Tours are of interest to ages 7 years and older.
Lewes Historical Society - Life in Lewes, Maritime Tour110 Shipcarpenter Street Lewes, DE 19958 Phone number: (302)-645-7670 Website Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days/Hours of operation: Tuesday- Friday: 10am-4pm
April-October- Historic Campus
Year Round- Lewes History Museum & Cannonball House Museum
Life in Lewes’s Maritime Past Field Trip Experience: K-12
Field trips for grades K-12 to The Historic Campus’ buildings including sites such as; the 1898 Midway Schoolhouse, The 1850’s Old Doctor’s Office, and the Country Store are available with advanced reservations seasonally from April –October. Visitation to the Lewes History Museum and the Historic Cannonball House War of 1812 Exhibit are available all year round for student groups. Cost is based on per student requested. Parents, teachers, and chaperones are at no cost. For the safety and comfort of your class and the integrity of our historic sites and museums, class groups are split into 15 students each and assigned their own rotational docents.
For more information or to schedule a K-12 field trip experience please contact Director of Education, Marcos Salaverria, at email@example.com
Step-on Guide Services: Adult Education- Bus Tours & Community/Church Groups
If you are traveling through Delaware aboard a coach-line aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, or visiting from a major city such as Philadelphia, Washington D.C., or Baltimore consider visiting Lewes, “The first town in the First State” a sea-side town with a rich history. The Lewes Historical Society can provide a step on Guide who will regal your group with 300 years of maritime history ranging from Dutch Settlement, to past pirate raids, to the fishing industry boom of the 1960s, to modern day tourism. Stopping for photo opportunities at the Society’s campus of historic buildings, as well as a waterfront overlook of the Delaware Bay, visitors will soon learn that Lewes, is not “just a beach town”, but “a town with history that just happens to have a beach!”
A $300 flat rate for 25-50 persons on a coach for or a 60-90 minute step on/step off guide service with a single or double photo op.
Small group transports of 25 persons or under the cost is $8 per passengers with minimum group size at 10 persons.
For questions or more information on Adult Education please contact, Director of Education, Marcos Salaverria at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors Should: Call ahead, or e-mail, a minimum of two weeks in advance to reserve a tour time.
Suggested reading for all tours:. This web link is a time line of Lewes’s history and should give visitors a rough idea of some of the highlights of the town’s past that they will hear about on their tour.
Student groups (K-12):
Cost is based on per student requested. Parents, teachers, and chaperones are at no cost.
$300 flat rate for 25-50 persons on a coach for or a 60-90 minute step on/step off guide service with a single or double photo op.
Small group transports of 25 persons or under the cost is $8 per passengers with minimum group size at 10 persons.
VITURAL FIELD TRIPS AVAILABLE- LATE OCTOBER 2020!
Lewis Town Looks Out: History Makers- Grades 8 & 9
“A Meet & Greet With the Past”
Lewes as a port town was influenced locally by national “current events” including;
•The American Revolution.
•The War of 1812
•The American Civil War
•The Women’s Suffrage Movement
This educational program allows students to engage virtually (in the classroom) or on an campus visit with historic Lewes citizens of several eras of America’s past, covering three different centuries. Portrayed by Lewes Historical Society’s volunteer living history characters, educators can expect historic accounts to be presented with accuracy, integrity, and sensitivity towards younger audiences. Offered not by widely recognized historic figures, but by “everyday” citizens a unique perspective of Lewes’s evolving role as a maritime town can be appreciated, past and present.
For questions or more information please contact, Director of Education, Marcos Salaverria at email@example.com
Marvel Carriage Museum510 S. Bedford St. Georgetown, DE 19947 Phone number: 302-855-9660 Website Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days/hours of operation: Open year round (weather permitting) by appointment only. Call number above to schedule your visit.
Tours: Guided tours available. Complete tour takes at least 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. Small gift shop is located in Welcome Center. Call at least a week in advance to schedule your tour. The museum complex consists of several buildings and some walking is necessary.
Focus: Exhibits include horse drawn carriages and related memorabilia, telephone memorabilia, working church, one room school house, blacksmith shop, small gas station, barns, and original 10’ wide frying pan from Delmarva Chicken Festival. Also, Civil War Confederate monument and other miscellaneous displays too numerous to mention including Sussex County Return Day information.
Grade levels/ages: All ages, although carriages and telephone memorabilia would likely be of most interest to younger elementary students.
Milford Museum121 South Walnut Street Milford, DE 19963 Phone: 302-424-1080 Website Email:email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 to 3:30, Sunday 1:00 to 3:30, Closed Mondays and major Holidays.
Focus: Exhibits focus on local Milford History including businesses, hospital, post office, shipbuilding, baseball, medical, military, ladybug & doll collections.
Guided lesson/tours: Available, as are self-directed tours. Large groups and those wanting guided tours are asked to call ahead to reserve times.
Ages/Grade levels: Tours can be made specific to all grade levels. Hunt and Search handouts are available for school groups.
Cost: Free. Donations accepted.
Milton Historical Society & Museum
210 Union StreetMilton, DE 19968 Phone number: 302-684-1010 Website
Facebook Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days/Hours of operation: Wednesday through Saturday from 11am – 4pm. We can also open upon request.
Guided lessons/tours: Available. For groups larger than six, we request at least a week’s notice. Visits anytime during posted hours are welcome, but staff would appreciate advance notice. Handouts available with advance requests. Will mail materials based on interest prior to visit with a month’s notice
Focus: Maritime history, local history, environment, African American history, local industry, hands-on children activities, art gallery, research library, archives. We have activities for children of all ages and designed educational programs to fit a variety of needs. All are based off of current educational standards set forth by the state. We work with local school children in the area as well as homeschooled families. Suggested reading: It Began with a River, a book about Milton’s history. We have an active Education Committee comprised of all retired teachers who have worked to created curriculum-based programs for visiting students.
Cost: FREE. Suggested donation $3 pp.
Nanticoke Indian Museum26673 John J. Williams Hwy. Millsboro, DE 19966 Phone number: 302-945-7022 Website Email: email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: January 1 thru March 31: Thursday thru Saturday - 10:00AM to 3:00PM, Sunday - 12:00PM to 3:00PM. April 1 thru December 31: Tuesday thru Saturday - 10:00AM to 4:00PM, Sunday - 12:00PM to 4:00PM
Tours: Guided tours are available.
Focus: Native American Museum exhibiting stone artifacts, implements, clothing, resource library, animals that have been restored by a taxidermist, and animal skins for the children to touch and identify. Museum also contains a gift shop.
Ages/Grade levels: Age 6 to and including adulthood.
Materials: Handouts that give facts about the Nanticoke people, word games, herbs used by the Nanticoke and a Turtle calendar.
Suggested Reading: Delaware's Forgotten Folk, The Nanticoke Indians, The Nanticoke, The Delaware Indians
Cost: Adults - $3.00, Children 12 and under - $1.00
Ocean View Historical Complex39 Central Avenue Ocean View, DE 19970 Phone Number – 302-593-8814 Website Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days/Hours of Operation: Wednesdays, late May - early September, 1:00PM-4:00PM and anytime, by appointment
Guided Lesson/Tour: Educated Docents always present, Study Guide available. Call ahead to reserve time when not open or visit anytime during posted hours.
This is a charming little village which will give students a chance to return to their roots and learn to appreciate the modern conveniences we now have in comparison to life a century and a half ago. The Complex is located adjacent to a wonderful park with picnic tables and a playground. This is a family story which leads us through 4 centuries of life in a small coastal town in the small, yet mighty, first state of Delaware.
Focus: Life in the 19th century, house from 1860 with artifacts and furnishings appropriate to the 1860’s-1900’s, outhouse and functioning water pump, post office from 1889 with milliner’s shop, and poultry house which is a replica of Cecile Steele’s chicken house where the broiler industry began. Impact of location on occupations and lifestyle – farming, maritime, poultry industry. Exhibited items include furniture, deeds form 1700’s, artifacts, post office boxes, poultry relics. Games and lifestyle experiences available for different age groups.
Ages/Grade levels: K-12 – younger students can experience living in time period; older students can research, determine relationships between families, neighbors, and community, and do historical research of local history.
Materials: Flyer and study guide, which will be mailed in advance upon request. The study guide contains a list of books, articles, and links. The guide contains a list of suggested readings.
Overfalls Foundation, Lightship Overfalls219 Pilottown Road Lewes, DE 19958 Phone number: (302) 644-8050 Website Email: email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. After Labor Day weekend until the beginning of October, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Beginning of October until season close, Saturday and Sunday only. Check website to confirm schedule.
Tours: Guided tours available. With groups of six or more as well as groups with special needs, it is best to make advanced arrangements. Small groups (five or less) are welcome anytime we are open (last tour starts at 3:30). We will try to accommodate any schedule even when we are officially closed. Special arrangements for any size group can be made by contacting Guy Townsend at Guy-Townsend @comcast.net or through our website www.overfalls.org
Focus: The attraction is the Lightship Overfalls, a floating lighthouse. From 1820 until 1985, 170 U.S. lightships served on a total of 116 stations on all three coasts and in the Great Lakes. Few of these historic ships have survived and today. Only nine of the survivors are open to the public as museums. Eight of the nine, including the Overfalls, are considered significant in the nation’s history and have been designated National Historic Landmarks by the National Park Service. The guided tour of the ship tells the story of the sailor’s life aboard and how the ship operated. The site also includes the American Lightship Museum, a small land-based facility dedicated to telling the story of lightships in general and the crews who served aboard them.
During the summer months there may be occasional special activities on weekends such as knot tying, Morse code etc. These would be announced on Facebook and our website www.overfalls.org
Ages/Grade levels: The site is appropriate for all ages. For students in grades 2-12 there are some interactive experiences we can offer, especially if we know in advance.
Materials/Suggested Reading: Ship brochure (handout) at the site and coloring fact sheets for pre-school-2nd grade level. The Ship’s Store has several publications of interest to both children and adults for sale. Also, on the website in the Archives section, there is an article entitled Lightships-Historical Background written by the late Willard Flint, a U.S. Coast Guard historian and considered the preeminent authority on U.S. lightships. While it is not a prerequisite to board the ship, reading this piece will make the experience much more meaningful for the mature visitor. The book, “Lightship” by Brian Flocais a good starting point for the younger visitor and even adults appreciate the information presented in such a charming fashion.
Cost: $5 per person 15 and older up to max of $40/family. Members ($40/year) and their families are free. For larger groups we usually suggest a donation appropriate for the size and ages of the group.
Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and Museum511 Rehoboth Avenue (Museum) & 17 Christian Street (Anna Hazzard House) Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 Phone number: 302-227-7310 Website Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days/Hours of operation: Memorial Day through October 31 – Monday thru Friday 10-4, Sat & Sun 11-3. Nov 1 through the day before Memorial Day - Friday and Monday 10-4, Sat &Sun 11-3
Guided Tour: Guided tours are available with advance notice. Self-directed tours are fine.
Focus: Rehoboth Beach history
Ages/Grade Levels: With notice we can accommodate any age. We have a children’s room for little ones.
Governor Ross Mansion23669 Ross Station Rd. Seaford, DE 19973 Phone number: 302 - 628 - 9828
Days/Hours of operation: Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4; last tour at 3:30.
DURING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, THE MANSION IS OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL AT LEAST ONE DAY IN ADVANCE.
Admission: Adults $7, or $12 for a combo-ticket including the Seaford Museum. Children 12 and under are free.
Field Trips and Group Tours: Full- and half-day guided tours are available for students of all ages. Contact us about pricing and your curriculum needs.
Dining: Individuals and groups may picnic on the mansion grounds, or groups may arrange for boxed lunches in the adjacent Ross Station Event Center.
Accessibility: The first floor of Ross Mansion is wheelchair accessible. There is no elevator access to the second floor, but visitors with limited mobility can enjoy a video tour of those rooms.
Parking: There is plenty of room on the grounds for cars, busses, and RV’s.
Gift Shop: Books about local history, souvenirs, candy, and period-appropriate toys.
What You’ll See: The Governor Ross farm includes the 1850’s Italianate mansion, an A. J. Downing-designed cottage, outbuildings, and the only documented log Slave Quarter in Delaware. Visitors will learn about a prominent household in the mid-19th Century, including the architectural and agricultural innovations of Governor Ross, and the social and political lives of the Ross and enslaved families in the pre- and post-Civil War eras.
The Gov. Ross Mansion is a part of the Delaware History Trail and is a geocaching location.
Treasures of the Sea Exhibit
Zwaanendael Museum102 Kings Highway Lewes, DE 19958 Phone number: 302-645-1148 Website Email: email@example.com
Days/Hours of operation: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, self-guided tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Sunday, self-guided tours at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. All days and times by advance registration only. Call 302-645-1148 for registration.
Focus: Lewes History, Royal Navy shipwreck and merchant shipwreck, Dutch history, original settlement of Zwaanendael, and current exhibit driven.
Ages/Grade levels: K-6 (predominantly 4th grade.)
Cost: No fees, do accept donations