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Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum at Delaware Seashore State Park
25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
(302) 227-6991
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Type: Specialty Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum is a historic site located within Delaware Seashore State Park. Self-guided tours of the museum are offered year round and provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the history of the United States Life-Saving Service, precursor to the current day U.S. Coast Guard.Not only is the Indian River Life-Saving Station open for tours, it also acts as the "hub" for all educational and recreational programs held within Delaware Seashore State Park. Programs cover a wide range of topics and activities from local maritime history to guided kayak tours.
Ocean View, Delaware
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Great Place to Learn!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

The Lifesaving Service was the precursor to our modern day Coast Guard and the tales of the men who served (and the women who supported them) are incredible, to say the least!

My husband was a tour guide/docent there, before it was taken over by the state. He headed the U.S. Coast Guard HQ Photo Team, for many years and worked closely with their historian, so he knew an incredible amount about its history. Sadly, he was replaced by volunteers, who were young and well-meaning, but didn't have the wealth of knowledge he possesses.
Too bad the state didn't realize what it had!

It's still worth a visit, though, because this is a part of our history that few of us know about and really should!! And this should also motivate visitors to get to know more about the present day Coast Guard - an incredible military/humanitarian service, for SO many reasons!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura S, Manager at Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum at Delaware Seashore State Park, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Hi Marilyn! Thank you so much for the positive review! It sounds like you are just as passionate as we are about the U.S. Life-Saving Service and the brave men that protected our coast.

I can assure you that the Indian River Life-Saving Station is in GREAT hands as it is managed and maintained by Delaware State Parks. You are correct in that there was a window of time when there were several Americorps volunteers leading programs and furthering historical research. The work that they contributed and the projects that they completed over the years is tremendous, invaluable, and greatly appreciated!

Our staff members, myself included, are dedicated to effectively interpreting the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service for park visitors. We work closely with the U.S. Coast Gaurd Historian's office, the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, other Life-Saving Station museums, even active Goast Guardsmen! We have also furthered research on the station and the surfmen by visiting both National and State Archives.

One of our "signature" interpretive programs is the Breeches Buoy Demonstration. This program is a reenactment of the Beach Apparatus Drill that the surfmen performed on a weekly basis. We perform the whole drill, following the USLSS regulations from start to finish - we even fire the Lyle gun! This program began just a few years ago and was a collaboration between State Park staff, Americorps volunteers and the U.S. Coast Guard. We are one of only three locations in the country that do this demonstration and I invite you to come out this summer and see it for yourself!

Again, thank you so much for the positive feedback and please come back and see us!
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33 reviews from our community

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English first
bronx ny
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
142 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Small but interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

A very small museum house, but a beautiful house so very worth the 4$ charge, plus the private entry to the beach makes it all worth it.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Virginia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Different type of Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

Great place to stop in if you want to learn about the lifeguards when the beach first had them. From the bracelets they wore to the suits and the difficult conditions it was a great learning experience.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, CT
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Serf Men”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

While on our two-week motorcycle trip this fall we found the government had shut down most of the museums we had wanted to visit. So we had the opportunity to stop in at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum that was still “OPEN” for business. This was probably one of the best stops on our trip. I personally learned so much about the “Serf Men” as they were called back in the day. I loved the fact that they always set the table for dinner in advance so even when the men we called out into the storm they knew there was a place for them at the table upon their return. It ended up being an emotional visit for my partner. He had been on a ship that unfortunately sank at sea and was rescued by the Coast Guard. For him it was an honor to visit this museum. Put it on your bucket list, it is worth the stop.

Visited October 2013
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Georgetown, Delaware, United States
1 review
“Awesome docent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

We took our 8 year old grandson for "something to do local" on Friday, Sept. 20th and WOW! The docent, John told us he had just transferred from Assateague (MD) National Park to this site. He was absolutely terrific and made our outing a wonderful visit. We would highly recommend this site to anyone who has any interest in the seashore history - we will definitely return.

There was also a great gift shop - not just typical souvenirs! Something for all ages and interests, most very affordable.

Visited September 2013
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