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.
The Rehoboth Beach Museum 511 Rehoboth Avenue
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.
The entrance of the museum
There is the history of the Methodist camps and as an early Victorian resort.
The front gallery of the Rehoboth Beach Museum and its various displays
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.
Rehoboth Beach started as a Mormon Retreat
Camp Rehoboth has shown how much the resort has changed to include everyone
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. As the hotels came, so did the restaurants and amusement areas. Rehoboth Beach morphed from a religious colony to one of family please and recreation.
Sand buckets at the Rehoboth Beach Museum
The growth of hotels in the area
The restaurant and food service industry grew as well to cater to the hungry crowds
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’.
On recent visit, the museum displayed businesses of ‘Rehoboth Beach Past and Present’. It had a lot of old signs from businesses that have been in the resort for years.
The signs of the businesses in Rehoboth Beach DE
The second floor displays
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.
The storms that have hit the resort
The museum also discusses the people who make Rehoboth Beach their home. This covers regular citizens who live here on a daily basis and tells their story. With the growth of the community so did civic minded people and people who represented the town during the wars. It has a nice display on the high school students and their participation in Rehoboth Beach.
The Military display
The High School display
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).
The Gift Shop 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.
Outside the museum, there is an interesting park along the canal with walking paths and a small dock to walk down. On a nice to it is a great way to cool off.
Grove Park Dock
The path that leads to the dock
The view of the canal behind the museum
The iconic Dolles sign was moved here when the store closed on the Boardwalk
2 thoughts on “Rehoboth Beach Museum/Rehoboth Beach Historical Society 511 Rehoboth Avenue Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971”
Don’t miss this little ‘gem’ by the sea!
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Check with the museum’s website to check on the revolving exhibitions on the second floor.
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