Rehoboth Beach Museum/Rehoboth Beach Historical Society
511 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Memorial Day through October 31st: Monday-Friday-10:00am-4:00pm/Saturday and Sunday-11:00am-3:00pm
November 1st through Memorial Day: Friday-10:00am-4:00pm/Saturday & Sunday-11:00am-3:00pm
Closed: Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day
Fee: Please make a donation
Don’t miss this recently reopened and renovated museum by the shore. The Rehoboth Beach Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts on the history of the resort from a Methodist camp to modern times.
On the first floor, there are displays of early Native American artifacts with the history of the Native tribes that lived in the area. Take some time to look over how the tribes lived in the area and the influence they had before Rehoboth Beach became a Methodist Camp.
There is the history of the Methodist camps and as an early Victorian resort. There are maps of the set up of the camps, how the resort developed from a Methodist Camp to the growth of the hotels and amusement areas. They also describe the growth of the Boardwalk and how storms over the years shaped the resort and rebuilding period.
Bathing Suits from the turn of the last century
There are all sorts of items such as old post cards, bathing suits, beach items like shovels and pails, amusement items, historical items from all eras of the resorts including hotel and restaurant information and even the history of the LGBT community with the history of Camp Rehoboth.
The museum also showcased the restaurants that once dotted the town, hotels that have since disappeared but left their dinnerware, menus and the events that once happened there. The development from a Methodist Camp to resort for the Philly and Washington DC crowd grew very quickly with the popularity of sunbathing and ocean swimming.
Sand buckets at the Rehoboth Beach Museum
There was also a nice display and video on the Rehoboth Beach Rescue Squad and the development of the lifeguards that watch over the beaches. They showed the various squads over the last fifty years and it was interesting to see how many of them came back year after year.
The top floor is for special exhibits and when I was visiting there, the museum was displaying a needle point exhibition on early works and ‘starter kits’, which young girls would do to practice their needlepoint. There is a current exhibition on ‘Sea life by the Shore’.
A recent exhibition showed the disastrous “1962 Nor’easter” that destroyed most of the shoreline, all the boardwalk businesses including the Boardwalk and how the town rebuilt quickly to open by Memorial Day that year. Anything that had been along the coastline had been destroyed in this three day period in March of 1962. The Boardwalk looked like matchsticks.
They offer exhibits, walking and bus tours, programs for adults and children, membership benefits and a gift shop. The gift shop has a nice variety of items for sale that are beach themed. They sponsor the Annual Museum Beach Ball, a beach party on the first Saturday of August (Rehoboth Beach Museum).
Artifacts at the Rehoboth Beach Museum
The museum, founded in 1975, collects, preserves and displays artifacts and memorabilia tracing the history of the town’s 19th century Camp Meeting origins through its development into today’s popular summer resort (Rehoboth Beach Museum).
The museum also has a nice gift shop to buy gifts from Rehoboth Beach as well as a selection of beach magazines and books. Check it out.
Think of becoming a Friend of the Rehoboth Beach Museum.