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Delaware’s first settlers landed at Lewes in 1631. To coordinate the 300th anniversary of that event, the Legislature created the Lewes Tercentenary Commission. The seven member commission received an appropriation of funds and was mainly responsible for the site location and construction of a replica of the town hall in Hoorn, Holland – point of departure for the settlers.1
The building (later named Zwaanendael) was constructed, as was a monument honoring Peter deVries. Care and supervision of these sites was coordinated by the Commission.2
In 1945, the name of the Commission was changed to the Lewes Memorial Commission, with the seven existing members continued and augmented with three additional members. The Commission’s custodial responsibilities remained intact, with jurisdiction over any subsequently constructed memorials or monuments.3
The government reorganization of 1970 transferred the Commission’s responsibilities to the newly-created Division of Archives and Cultural Affairs.4 That organization subsequently became the present Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs within the Department of State and the aforementioned sites are administered by the Division’s Bureau of Museums and Historic Sites.

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1 37 D.L., ch. 31.

2 Ibid. 38 D.L., ch. 65.

3 45 D.L., ch. 295.

4 57 D.L., ch. 570.
jrf/April 23, 1988; May 2, 1988; May 2, 1989

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