The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance has been working hard to establish a brand with goals and mission, research the Indiantown area including the African, Native and Colonial stories, and raise enough money to begin the restoration of the brick house at Handsell. Through all this, we have had to do the archaeology ($20,000) and engineering ($18,000) required by the Maryland Historic Trust before we could begin ANY work on the house! Not to mention getting the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places AND the Historic American Buildings Survey (no, sometimes we don’t sleep).
After five years of fundraising, NHPA finally declared 2015 “The Year of the House” and moved forward with the critical structural support of the house by rebuilding the basement fireplace and chimney stack above that was an important structural component to the entire western gable wall. Once that this was complete, all other brick repairs continued on the exterior of the house thanks to Mid Shore Community Foundation, the Nathan Foundation and a $15,000 MHAA grant. Our goal was to have ALL the exterior brick repairs complete by the end of 2015.
All of 2016 was focused on the “Handsell Roof Project” and with it brought a new cedar roof and rebuilt dormers and dormer windows thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Bartus Trew grant. Total cost of this important repair was $76,000 and almost completely depleted the Handsell Restoration Fund.
2017 is a year for rebuilding the Restoration Fund, sprucing up anything we can do as volunteers, grant writing, caring for our newly planted trees and more research. Once funds are in place, the next phase of restoration will include installing historically accurate windows, starting with the basement, street end gable and front facade. You can help by attending our June 10 Soiree fundraiser at the Wilderness Farm!
Please enjoy the dramatic before and After photographs of the work we have done at Handsell. (just in case you thought we were just sitting around). NHPA is an ALL-Volunteer organization. Except for Insurances, marketing and printing expenses, all your donations go completely to where you want them to go–the restoration of the house, the Chicone Village Project or the African American Research. Please DONATE at the button to the right of this page.