THE CANNONBALL HOUSE The War of 1812 had a major impact on the town of Lewes and surrounding area. The naval blockade that was initiated by the British in March of 1813 lasted for most of the next two years. With maritime commerce limited, the local economy suffered. The regular presence of troops resulted in the use of many structures in the town for military purposes, and a camp for militia and U. S. Army Regulars was established near Blockhouse Pond. During the bombardment of Lewes on April 6th and 7th, 1813, numerous homes and businesses were damaged by naval fire from the British squadron. Known today as the Cannonball House, this structure still bears visible traces of the engagement including an iron cannonball that is lodged in its foundation. Built circa 1760 and enlarged in the 1790s, the house was then the residence of the McCracken family. Owner Gilbert McCracken and his son Henry were among the many bay and river pilots who served in Delaware militia companies that provided important service in the successful defense of Lewes during the war.

The Cannonball House was purchased by the Lewes Historical Society in 1963. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: Lewes, Front Street, 1 block north Savannah Road