Monday, October 27, 2014

Making History in November!

Middle Passage Ceremony & Marker Placement

Historic Sotterley Plantation will hold a ceremony on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. to place a marker remembering those who perished during the Middle Passage. On this special day, we will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of Emancipation in Maryland. The public is invited to attend this ceremony to remember and honor ancestors.
Sotterley Plantation is part of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, a non-profit organization that is helping to discover and recognize middle passage sites. Sotterley served as a trans-Atlantic arrival site in the early 18th century. James Bowles, owner of the then 2,000 acre plantation, was an agent of the Royal African Company. Bowles ordered slaves to be bought along the Gold and Windward Coasts of Africa and shipped to his plantation on the Patuxent River.

On November 1, 1864, slavery was finally abolished in Maryland. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to those in bondage in Maryland, a slave-holding Union state. Emancipation was accomplished by the Maryland State Constitution of 1864, not popular with a large portion of the voting public. But with the final votes of Maryland's Union soldiers, the state constitution was ratified and 165 years of slavery at Sotterley Plantation came to an end.

Please join us at Sotterley on Saturday, November 1, 2014 to remember and celebrate ancestors who perished and those that endured to seek their freedom.

The Unveiling of Dave Brown's  
NEW Sotterley Book

Three years after the publication of his first book entitled, Sotterley: Her People and Their Worlds, Sotterley Trustee Dave Brown will soon unveil his second book, George Plater of Sotterley with the companion book The Letters of George Plater. On Friday, November 7th at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to attend a Meet the Author and Book Signing event in the Sotterley Warehouse. Once again, Brown is generously contributing all proceeds to benefit Sotterley. This biography will only be available for purchase at Sotterley's Museum Shop and through the Sotterley website:

Fleshing out a fair assessment of George Plater's personal character and significant political accomplishments was Brown's motivation. With little information available about the sixth Governor of Maryland in the Sotterley archives, Brown had his work cut out for him as he began a three year journey of research to breathe some life into a largely under-studied and under-appreciated Maryland Patriot, who was the owner of Sotterley Plantation from 1755 to 1792.

George Plater of Sotterley - Price: $17.00

The Letters of George Plater 
Available online free of charge at   

Sotterley’s Unveils New Signage
and Extends Season!

Hollywood – Each year as the end of October approaches, we begin preparing for the end of the guided tour season and the closing of our Visitor Center. This year, however, we are pleased to announce that our Visitor Center will remain open every weekend through Saturday, December 20, 2014 (with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend), and this will enhance the experience of all visitors coming to Sotterley.

Once checked in at the Visitor Center, guests will be invited to view our introductory film and shop for unique gifts at the Sotterley Museum Shop. They can also take our fascinating Self-Guided Audio Tour, hike the over six miles of Nature Trails, stroll the Colonial Revival Gardens, and check out the NEW exhibit panels displayed throughout the grounds while being guided by our new site brochure.

Sixteen panels have been installed on site to engage, inform, and direct viewers through our rich history, telling the stories of the people who lived and worked at Sotterley over three centuries. The panels combine text and images that bring to life the experiences of owners, servants, workers and members of the enslaved community. Many panels have interactive components designed especially for children, in which a question is posed, and part of the panel moves or changes to reveal the answer. Some panels also feature textured objects that help visitors learn about crops, textiles, and materials and equipment used during Sotterley’s many years as a working farm.

Sheila Gibbons Hiebert of Communication Research Associates, Inc. in Colton’s Point, researched the historical content and wrote the text that appears on the panels and worked on our new brochure. She worked closely with Sotterley Education Director Jeanne Pirtle, an impeccable source of Sotterley history, who chose the images for the panels, and with St. Mary’s College Professor Emerita Merideth Taylor, chair of Sotterley’s Interpretation Committee.  The signs were fabricated by exhibits specialist Dennis Kund. The signage project was funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

“The new site exhibits have enhanced the Sotterley experience and we wanted to give the public more opportunities to come and be re-introduced to the site,” stated Nancy Easterling, Executive Director of Historic Sotterley, Inc. “Our dedicated volunteers are also making it possible for us to extend the season by their willingness to man the Visitor Center every weekend – and we couldn’t be more grateful!”

November 1 ~ December 20, 2014
Saturday Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm                    Sunday Hours: 11:45 am - 4 pm

Looking Ahead to December!
Sotterley Christmas Traditions by Candlelight
December 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20  
Beginning at 6:30 p.m.  

Family Plantation Christmas
December 13
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Pay $5 at the gate; children 2 & under FREE.
Breakfast with Santa:  
Purchase tickets online only: $15 per person

For complete details on our events, please visit:  

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