Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Event of 2010!

The Haunting of Sotterley Plantation
Legends and Lore Tours
January 23, 2010
Two Tours: 5 pm & 7 pm

Over the years, many have lived at Sotterley Plantation … and died. Some have gone to their rest, yet others continue to be restless. On Saturday, January 23rd, Education Director, Carolyn Hoey will lead guests on this eerie after-hours tour experience through the over 300 year old Mansion.

Over the past few years, the Legends and Lore Tours have grown in popularity, with visitors coming from both near and far. At various times, some have had “experiences” of their own while taking this tour. For those who have longed to hear about actual spirit sightings from past to present at Sotterley Plantation, this is the tour to take. Stories of unexplained happenings will be shared, providing guests with enough information to decide whether or not they believe.

Space is limited.
Limited to ages 16 and up
Price: $20 per person
Two Tours: 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Group tours available.

For more information on Sotterley events, visit our website at www.sotterley.org.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And So This Is Christmas ...

As I look out my office window at a snow covered Sotterley Plantation, I am, yet again, blown away by the magnificent beauty of this place. No matter how many times I walk the site, no matter what season, I always manage to see something new or something from an entirely different perspective. With three more days until Christmas, before heading out my office door, I wanted to share some photos from today's hike.
To you and yours, I wish the Merriest of Christmases!
Eileen Miller
Marketing Manager

Friday, December 11, 2009

Board of Trustees Bids Farewells and Welcomes New President

Jan Briscoe, Esq. and Ellen Zahniser

At the October 23, 2009 meeting, the Board of Trustees for Historic Sotterley, Inc. bid farewell to three trustees as it voted in a new Board President. Stepping down from the Board in 2009 are Nancy Dodge, Dr. Maggie O’Brien, and Board President Ellen Zahniser, and all three trustees were thanked for their dedication and years of service. Jan Briscoe was unanimously voted in as the new President of Historic Sotterley, Inc.

A special tribute was paid to Ellen Zahniser at CafĂ© des Artistes following the meeting, not only for her 10 year tenure on the board, but for serving her last years as President of the Board. Dick Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was present at the event, and awarded Ms. Zahniser a commendation for her tireless efforts on behalf of Sotterley. Board of Trustee Vice President Julia Moe also paid tribute to Ellen as did others, and Ms. Zahniser’s generosity of spirit and can-do attitude will leave an impressive legacy behind, with special credit for starting and growing Riverside WineFest at Sotterley.
Historic Sotterley, Inc. is extremely fortunate as it continues its Board leadership with new President Jan Briscoe. Ms. Briscoe came onto the board in 2006, and is well aware of this National Historic Landmark’s challenges and special needs. A descendent of former owners of Sotterley, Ms. Briscoe follows in her father’s footsteps, the Honorable John Hanson Briscoe, who also served as Board President during the 1990’s. Her dedicated leadership will serve Sotterley well in the upcoming year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beautiful Touches

Today I walked over to the shed behind the Barn and there I found several Sotterley Garden Guild members busily and happily working - trimming, arranging, tying - creating the most beautiful touches of the season. And the great news is that they will be selling these expertly crafted items during this weekend's holiday events! As an artist, they are the ones who quench my visual thirst, making me very proud to be part of this place.
The Sotterley Garden Guild consists of 40 volunteers whose dedication tallies beyond 4,000 hours per year. Every Wednesday and Saturday, whether braving the extreme heat and humidity of a Maryland summer's day or bundled up with thermoses braced against the chill-you-to-the-bone February winds, they are here on site. They suit up and show up. Because of their passion for beauty, their fundraising efforts have brought in tens of thousands of dollars over the last 15 years. Because of their combined effort and dedication, all those involved with or who visit Sotterley Plantation, are beholden to the Garden Guild.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Three more days until our Holiday Candlelight Tours

This holiday season, Sotterley Plantation hosts its Holiday Candelight Tours with the theme, 'Sotterley Under Siege.' The dramatic production, based upon historical facts, is set in the year 1814 reenacting the effects of the War of 1812 that were felt at Sotterley Plantation.

The drama unfolds as the Plater family struggles to stay in the home and celebrate Christmas with family and friends. Unfortunately, the British Red Coats have claimed the home for their own, and smugly speak of their victories across the region, which begs the question, "Whose party is it, anyway?"

In each room of the 1703 Mansion, guests will be treated to the varying perspectives. Carrying candles, they first meet the ghosts of George Plater II and his wife Rebecca, past residents of the plantation who are up to no good. Winding their way from room to room, eventually guests will find themselves in the dining room – and the question is, "Is he who sits at the head of the table in control?"

This entertaining performance combines wit and humor with an important history lesson of Sotterley Plantation in the past. The script and production are the efforts of long-time Sotterley volunteers who give of themselves to make the Holiday Candlelight Tours a success event, year after year.

Set foot upon the grounds of Sotterley Plantation for the Holiday Candlelight Tours and become completely enchanted by the entire experience – be greeted warmly by the Sotterley staff and volunteers, listen to the live seasonal music and enjoy wassail and treats. Walk over to the Mansion and immediately enjoy a sense of being transported back in time.

The tour itself is a well-orchestrated performance combining the ever-important entertainment value with the true history of the time period. Reservation are required, but the cost is only $15 per person. Call (301) 373-2280 or visit www.sotterley.org for more details.