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.

Please listen to this wonderful video on the Handsell site thanks to Ryan Anthony and Dave Whelan of the Talbot Spy, released June 2024.

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


Watch for Summer programs and workshops.  We will start posting dates in June.

Saturday, October 12, 2024  Nanticoke River Jamboree at Handsell “1864 Emancipation”

You just missed:

Thank you to all who made the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage comes to Dorchester on JUNE 1, 2024 a complete success.  All proceeds from this event go to the Handsell Three Cultures Building Fund.

NHPA was proud to partner with the Neck District Volunteer Fire Company for the delicious Crab Cake Lunch that was served during the MHGP tour. Proceeds from the lunch benefitted the NDVFC.

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