“Meet the Past” and “Lewes Legends & Landmarks” will each be the focus of the Lewes Historical Society’s ongoing efforts to keep citizens engaged in the history of America’s first town in the first state.
The Society will be launching its first in a series of videos on April 3, available for viewing on their web and Facebook sites every Friday. The series will alternate each week between the two subjects in an effort to provide outreach to their home-bound communities.
Meet the Past will focus on the events of, and the different perspectives and experiences of actual individuals during, the bombardment of Lewes in April 1813. A wide array of characters, in period attire, will introduce themselves to the audience over the weeks, ranging from a British Naval deserter to a local lighthouse keeper.
Each character portrayed will be an actual person from Lewes’ past — the first historic figure introduced will be Gilbert McCracken, played by volunteer actor Bill Hicks. Historically, McCracken was a Delaware River and Bay pilot who served as a sailor during the American Revolution and consequently in the Militia of Pilots, to defend Lewes during the War of 1812. The variety of personalities represented throughout the series depict the different viewpoints that were held during this pivotal time in American history.
Each segment will be filmed at the volunteer actor or staff member’s home and passed on to the Society’s staff for editing and distribution. The talking points and script for the videos will be based on the Lewes Historical Society’s popular Tavern Talks program and will be a segue into the Society’s new exhibition display, Breaking Britannia’s Grasp: Lewes, the Royal Navy, and the Legacy of 1812, due to open as soon as possible.
The Lewes Legends and Landmarks videos will also be brought to the public by characters in era-appropriate garb, highlighting Lewes historic sites and buildings. LHS staff and volunteers will individually share the history of local structures and entertain the audience with notable facts and stories. Their solo performances intend to bring Lewes’ significant past to those who literally cannot walk the streets of Lewes at this time.