A beautiful day today so we toured Fort Miles. We were last here in 2010 and so many changes have taken place. The fort is located in Lewes,DE. After touring the fort, we drove up to Dover AFB as we had not been to this base.
Fort Miles is located in what is now Cape Henlopen SP on a high bank overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The purpose of the fort was a coastal defense system against the German invasions in WW II. Gun batteries and observation towers were built with more than 2500 soldiers stationed here. Heavy guns, searchlights, mine fields and observation towers defended Wilmington, Philadelphia and major areas of the region. Later during the cold war against the threat of Soviet invasion, the fort shifted to highly classified operations defending the coast against submarine threats.
Fort Miles never saw any action and in 1991 it was deeded to the State of Delaware.
Since the museum was closed..only open Friday and Saturday this time of year, we plan to return before we leave.The museum is housed in Battery 519.
After we visited the fort, we drove into the town of Lewes located on the Delaware Bay. The city claims to be the first town in the first state founded by Dutch settlers in 1631 and named Zwaanendael (Swan Valley). The town was wiped out in 1632 by a local tribe of the Lenape destroying the population of 32.It was then settled by a group of Mennonites in 1662 and destroyed by the English. In 1673 when held briefly by the Dutch, it was again attacked and burned by the English. In 1682, the Delaware colonies were given to William Penn by King Charles II in payment for a family debt and renamed Lewes.
During the War of 1812 British vessels briefly and ineffectually bombarded the town and in 1818 the town was incorporated.
During the Civil War Lewes was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Safe houses were identified by placing a candle in the window.