Seaford Historical Society lectures once again underway at Manor House

By Lynn R. Parks

The mission of the Seaford Historical Society is to preserve, protect and present local history. As part of the present part of that mission, the society sponsors a series of monthly lectures on topics connected to the regions past.

The lectures are held in September, October and November, and from February through June, on the first Monday of the month (except for September, when the lecture is held the second Monday). They take place at the Manor House in Seaford, in a lecture hall in the retirement communitys main building. And admission to the lectures is free.

This is an opportunity for people to come and hear about things that they may not otherwise know about, said Phyllis Williams, publicity chairwoman with the historical society.

Recent topics have included the Storm of 1962, which struck on Ash Wednesday of that year and caused more than $70 million (in 1962 dollars) in property damage in Delaware, most of it in Sussex County. That lecture was standing room only, Williams said.

Lecturers have come from the historical society membership as well as from other area historical societies and the Delaware Public Archives.

The next lecturer in this falls series will hail from Dover. Bill Hutchison is the lead educator emeritus of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, Wilmington. On Monday, he will talk about the ship, a replica of the vessel that brought Swedish settlers to Wilmington in 1632.

In particular, Williams said, he will address how sailors on the 17th-century ship navigated and how the ships guns were fired.

Hutchison was a social studies teacher and administrator in the Capital School District, retiring after 35 years. In 1994, he won the National Council of Geographic Educations Distinguished Teacher Achievement Award for excellence in teaching geography. He also taught at Delaware State University, Wilmington University and the University of Delaware.

He has been a volunteer crew member with the Kalmar Nyckel since 2003 and was volunteer of the year in 2006.

In November, to close out the fall series, Bill Collison, a member of the historical society, and Dan Parsons, the countys historic preservation planner, will talk about the history of the Hearn and Rawlins Mill near Seaford. Collison is co-author of The Earliest Settlers of Northwest Sussex Co, Delaware and Their Lands (2016), which traces the histories of 850 tracts of land from 1673 to 1800.

Lecturers for the spring 2018 series have not yet been scheduled.

Lectures start at 7:15 p.m. For information, call Collison, 629-7110. For information about the historical society, visit its website,

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