Lewes, Delaware

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Lewes (pronounced /ˈluːɨs/ "Lewis") is an incorporated city in Sussex County, Delaware, United States, on the Delmarva Peninsula. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,116.[1] It is part of the Seaford, Delaware, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Because Lewes was the earliest town founded in the state, and because Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, the town refers to itself as "The first town in the first state." Lewes is named after the town of Lewes in England, which also is situated in a county named Sussex (from which Sussex County, Delaware, takes its name). Lewes, Sussex, England, also has the same seal.

Lewes and the towns of Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island constitute Delaware's beach resort area, Sussex County's most densely populated and fastest-growing area.



Lewes is located at 38°46′33″N 75°8′32″W / 38.77583°N 75.14222°W / 38.77583; -75.14222 (38.775939, -75.142101)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11 km2), of which 3.7 sq mi (9.6 km2) is land, and 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2) (14.69%) is water.


Lewes was the site of the first European settlement in Delaware, a whaling and trading post that Dutch settlers founded on June 3, 1631 and named Zwaanendael (Swan Valley).[3]. The colony had a short existence, as a local tribe of Lenni Lenape Indians wiped out the 32 Dutch settlers in 1632.

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