In 1905, thirty women met to organize a Lewes chapter of the
Century Club, later to become the Delaware Federation of Women's Clubs. They called the club Zwaanendael, commemorating the town's Dutch settlement of the same name in 1631.
Dreams of their own clubhouse were realized when Virginia Mustard, widow of Lewis W. Mustard, deeded the Lewes property located at the corner of Savannah Road and 3rd Street to the club for the sum of $1.00. The first meeting in their new clubhouse was on October 7, 1930. The decision was made to establish a lending library and offer use of the building to various community organizations.
In 1980 the Zwaanendael Club Building in Lewes, Delaware, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2015 was sold to the Lewes Historical Society, again for one dollar. The club’s emblem remains on the building.
The building is important in the club's early history, but brick and mortar don't tell the whole story. More importantly is the work of the organization and it's civic-minded members for over 100 years. Click on the links below to read about those accomplishments.
This photo of the first club members was taken on the site of the now DeVries Monument located on Pilot Town Road that marks the landing place of the first Dutch settlers in 1631. The Dutch Flag in the picture is being held by Rev. C.H.B. Turner who later gave the original picture to the Queen of Holland. She in turn, gave him a picture of herself and a statue of a unicorn which is now located in the Zwaanendael Museum.
Entry in Recording Secretary's Book #1
Z Club Collection
Lewes Historical Society
The Z Club collection is comprised of 25 archival boxes containing artifacts; 7 ring binders containing club history from 1905 to present day; and 15 scrapbooks, and is housed at the Lewes Historical Society.
Thanks to our club historian, this collection is maintained and kept up to date.