History Lives at Handsell !

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The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance welcomes you to the 

Restore Handsell Project

It is time now for the 2023-2024 annual Membership Renewal and Capital Campaign Support!  Please join us!

The NHPA was formed in 2005 to purchase and restore one of Dorchester County, Maryland’s most interesting and intriguing historic structures, an old ivy-covered brick building located in the middle of what is known as “the Indiantown”.  After just a little bit of research, we knew we were on to something BIG.  As the layers of the story unfolded, through research in archives, deeds, Wills and historic family letters, a better yet not fully complete story emerged of Native people, licensed Indian traders, English settlers, British attacks, merchant activity and structural devastation.  Much of the Handsell story is STILL a mystery, but it seems each day brings a little more light to this amazing, yet previously unknown saga of the Steele family’s mark on the Eastern Shore.

There is much here to learn about and see.  So please stay awhile, explore our pages and get to know us!  Listen to the latest WHCP Radio interview about Handsell taped October 2023: https://on.soundcloud.com/ZnVXi

The “old brick house” at Chicone, known as Handsell, located in the Indiantown north of Vienna, Dorchester County, Maryland, was purchased by the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance with a Preservation Easement from the Maryland Historic Trust.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, the site will be used to interpret the Native People’s contact period with the English, the enslaved and later African American story and the life of all those who lived at Handsell.

Handsell in October 2021

The Board of the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance dedicates our mission to the loving memory of Shirley Selena Jackson, NHPA President  2019-December 21, 2022.  We mourn her loss and will be guided by her dedication and spirit, always.


Saturday, April 27, 2024 – Chicone Village Day at Handsell


Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage comes to Dorchester (fundraiser for the Three Cultures Center) on JUNE 1, 2024.  Purchase your tickets online here for a 10% savings over the day of the Tour.  8 historic Sites including 6 private waterfront homes will be on the tour.  Luncheon at the Neck District Fire Hall will benefit the volunteer fire company.  Tickets sold separately here. 

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