Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Boeing’s Day of Service Brightens Up Sotterley

Sotterley exists due to the generosity of a community that cares, and gifts to Sotterley come in many packages: monetary donations, in-kind donations of goods and services, volunteer hours, etc. On Saturday, July 26th, we received a wonderful gift of time and talents from The Boeing Company when Sotterley was selected for Boeing's Global Month of Service project.

A team of Boeing employees came dressed to work first thing in the morning, and promptly began the task at hand: to prime and repaint two of Sotterley's historic buildings located just behind the Visitor Center. One building, the Creamery, is used by our Junior Docents as they greet visitors and share activities with them. The other building is located at the head of the Nature Trails, and Sotterley has plans to use this as a launching point for the trails with exhibits and information.  Both buildings were cleaned, primed, and most of a first coat finished before the end of Boeing’s day, and it has made such a striking difference!

Sotterley has a very lean operating budget and a small staff, and many maintenance and restoration projects can only take place when Sotterley is given the resources necessary complete important site and building preservation. Many companies and individuals have made projects come to fruition in the past several years, and The Boeing Company is the latest to put community first and has directly lent a helping hand. The Boeing Company also sponsors Sotterley's Speaker Series, and this continues to be a wonderful educational and cultural offering for Southern Maryland.

Our thanks to The Boeing Company and the many other organizations who believe that This Place Matters!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Effort to Bring Back Barn Owls

Southern Maryland Audubon, 
Sotterley Plantation
and SMECO 
Collaborate to Bring Back
Barn Owls to St. Mary's County

Are you a Barn Owl looking for a home? Thanks to an array of owl-friendly folks in Hollywood, MD, your housing options just increased.  A brand new Barn Owl Nest Box has been installed on private agricultural land adjacent to the Sotterley Plantation and it is ready for occupancy.

Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters and feed mainly on small mammals like voles and mice as well as small birds found in the fields and marshes. This medium sized owl has a heart-shaped face and screechy scream-like call and was once a common occurrence in St. Mary’s County.  But as farmland has been converted to development, or and fields turned over from fallow grassland to monoculture crops, this particular species of owl has become increasingly scarce in the Eastern United States. It is now listed as a Species of Concern in Maryland by the Department of Natural Resources due to the all time low numbers.

 photo courtesy of Mike Callahan

Now, thanks to the wildlife partnership collaboration of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society (SMAS), the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), and Historic Sotterley, Inc., as well as Sotterley's  generous neighbor and landowner, the welcome mat has been laid out in St. Mary’s County for the next generation of Barn Owls.  SMAS has been working for several years to reverse the owl’s decline by placing Barn Owl nesting boxes on poles and barns in the bird’s historic breeding range here in Southern Maryland.  “We are currently unaware of any active breeding pairs in St. Mary’s County,” said Mike Callahan, Raptor Conservation Chairman for SMAS, who is directing the effort. “Several nesting boxes in Charles County have been active this year, and just three weeks ago a pair of Barn Owls successfully hatched young ones in a box on St. Leonard’s Creek in Calvert County. This all gives us hope that we will soon be able to confirm Barn Owl breeding success in St. Mary’s County too,” concluded Callahan.

The new box adjacent to Sotterley was donated by SMAS, and its siting was facilitated by SMAS and Sotterley member David Moulton. Moulton gained the necessary permissions and worked with Joe Goldsmith and staff of the Sotterley Plantation as to complete the installation.  One critical component was the willingness of Southern Maryland Electric (SMECO) to donate its time, equipment and expertise to setting up the pole to which the nesting box is bolted.

“This nesting box was made possible by the generosity of many folks,” noted Moulton. “Thanks are due particularly to the manager of the site, Richard Knott, to SMECO’s professional team, and to Joe Goldsmith and Historic Sotterley, Inc.  We will all be celebrating the day a pair of Barn Owls takes advantage of these new digs,” he said.

The stellar team from SMECO

The Sotterley maintenance crew with the new Barn Owl box

For more information, contact Mike Callahan at   
or David Moulton at or 240-278-4473

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Photographer's Dream Package!

Open Auditions for Ghosts of Sotterley 2014!

It’s (Almost) Showtime!

Open Auditions for Actors
Ghosts of Sotterley

Love, Life, Liberty & Loss”

Hollywood, MD - Announcing open auditions for our wildly popular annual signature event – The Ghosts of Sotterley! Whether you are a seasoned actor or have a new-found interest in acting, we invite all from age 12 and up to try out. You will be in great company with an enthusiastic group of talented wonders who enjoy performing and love Sotterley!

Auditions will be held at the Sotterley Warehouse on:
Tuesday, August 5th    6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 9th    10 am - 12 pm
Tuesday, August 12th    6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 16th   10 am - 12 pm

This year’s Ghosts of Sotterley, Love, Life, Liberty & Loss” will run on October 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. If you are able to commit to rehearsal dates and to all of these show dates, then you just may be the perfect fit for one of the roles. Just bring yourself and your undeniable talent; we will provide the reading.

If interested in Tech Support, Costuming, or Hair & Make-up
please contact our Events Manager, Mellanie Teed
301-373-2280 or