Hollywood, MD – In addition to hosting Family Plantation Christmas Saturday, Dec. 10, Historic Sotterley Plantation was also marking a milestone.
Twenty years ago the National Historic Trust listed Sotterley among the 11th most endangered places in the United States.
“We’re completely off the list now,” said Anna Harrison, marketing director for Historic Sotterley. “It’s been 20 years of change,” she added, “even when we’re growing so much faster, getting more people.”
Most of that change, Harrison admitted, comes from dispelling old myths.
There were never any pirates historians know of, to bury pilfered loot.
George Plater V didn’t lose his inheritance in a game of dice, nor does his restless spirit roam the halls trying to win it back—not that there isn’t a restless spirit or two about.
The historic 18th-century plantation has become a popular destination for special activities such as Saturday’s holiday celebration.
Clydesdale horse-drawn carriage rides were tremendously popular among young and old alike. There were wreath and holiday greens in the barn, historic demonstrations, and tours of the historic plantation house.
There’s a lot about Sotterley folks probably don’t realize. George Washington was a frequent visitor there, and the so-called “Red Room” has art in which America’s first president is paramount.
The Mahogany staircase in the main hallway, crafted by an indentured servant in the early 18th century, is among the finest such examples known in the country.
The Satterlee room, when the plantation was owned by Herbert Satterlee, contains a photo of him with American business icon J. P. Morgan, also known to visit there.
The history of Hallmark Cards also has an interesting connection to Sotterley, but that’s a story for the tour guide to tell.
The National Historic Trust’s 1996 designation of the historic plantation was in fact, warranted. Twenty years ago, the privately owned site was in dire need of restoration and an infusion of TLC.
Now, under Director Nancy Easterling, the historic site is thriving. Its research team has impressively unearthed past documentation, bringing chapters of Sotterley to light in new and dynamic ways.
“Nancy is incredibly personable and has the needed long-term vision and has a plan on how to get there,” Harrison said.
Contact Joseph Norris at email@example.com