About our Soirees
soi·rée swäˈrā/noun 1. an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music.
Every year since 2006, the Nanticoke Historic Preservation has held a “Soiree” Fundraiser for the efforts to restore Handsell. The Soiree is held each year during a different season and always at a historic place in the Mid-Shore area. These locations are chosen to help garner public attention toward the distinction and value of historic resources on the Eastern Shore. The theme of the Soiree is tailored to the location or other seasonal themes. All the proceeds from the last five Soirees, and all those in the immediate future will benefit the “Handsell Restoration Fund” with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the restoration of the brick house.
The 2017 soiree fundraiser was held at the historic Wilderness Farm in Trappe, Maryland. Stay tuned for the plans for the 2018 Soiree!
“…She waits and more…
To see sunlight though new glassy eyes,
And feel breezes through her door”.
2017 Summer Soiree and Auction:
Let’s Go Window Shopping!
All funds dedicated to the restoration of the windows at Handsell. Help us send the sunlight into spaces that have been dark for 80 years.
Help us thank our first Window Sponsors:
$5000 Level – Nathan Foundation
$2000 Window Sponsor Level – Craig’s Drug Store
$250 and Up Window Pane Sponsors –
Bay Country Security
Cambridge Wine and Spirits
About Wilderness Farms
The Choptank Indians settled in the area that is now “The Wilderness” at the same time that the Chicone Village was occupied by the Nanticokes. Historical sites such as these dating to 10,000 B. C. have yielded artifacts evidencing the Native occupation. Wilderness Farm was the Home of Daniel Martin and his son Nicholas, who was captain in 38th Battalion of Maryland Militia during Revolutionary War and served in the Maryland House of Delegates 1780-1795 and as such was a contemporary of James Steele, son of the builder of Handsell. Nicholas built the present house here in the later part of the 18th century. Nicholas Martin’s son Daniel, twice elected Governor of Maryland added larger portion of the house c. 1810.
Perched amidst a rolling 250 acres on the waterfront of the Choptank River, the historic property is one of the jewels on Eastern Shore estates. The current owners, Carol and Earl Ravenal have spent many years restoring the house along with an important slave cabin on the property and a magnificent barn built in 1912, all of which will be open for the Soiree guest to view. The home is decorated in a modern, comfortable décor accented by the Ravendals collection of exotic trinkets, art and books representing their many interests and travels. The home’s rich history has produced several hauntings as in the first night the Ravenal’s daughter Cornelia slept in her bedroom and was awakened with a rocking chair on top of her.
The Board of the NHPA is grateful to the Ravendals for opening their magnificent property in order to help restore the windows at Handsell. We thank you for supporting the “Handsell Window Project”.
Our Soiree’s in the past have included:
The 2016 Soiree was held at the Albanus Phillips House in Cambridge!
Funds raised at this event helped FUND the new cedar shingle roof and rafter repairs at Handsell.
We even have Soirees in the winter–just find a warm fire to cozy up to!
Sarke Plantation circa 1790 was the location of the 2015 Winter Soiree.
2013 End of Summer Soiree at Hills Point Farm:
2012 Spring “1812 Soiree” at Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast
2011 Winter Soiree “A Night at Thomas’ Tavern” – held at “Addition to Rosses Chance”, circa 1750, Cornersville
2009 Autumn Soiree “After the Hunt” – held at Weston Farms, Vienna
2008 Summer Soiree – held at the Captain Levi Phillips House, Cambridge
2007 Spring Soiree – held at Friendship Hall, East New Market