7 Reasons to Tour Sotterley
Sotterley Plantation, located in Hollywood, Maryland is an 18th century plantation that is a popular tourist destination in St. Mary’s County.
In 2000, Sotterley was designated a National Historic Landmark. It is today the only remaining Tidewater Plantation that is open to the public, with a wide range of educational activities. Note reasons why you should visit this gem of a locale!
- MANSION TOUR:
The Coloniel Gardens are kept in pristine condition for the pleasure of its tourists. Guided and Audio Tours offer visitors insights into the mansion and grounds and into the lives of the people who filled various roles that kept Sotterley as a functioning farm over the decades and centuries. The Plantation house and a full array of outbuildings, including 94 acres of fields, gardens and river front are in excellent condition.
- SPECIAL ANNUAL EVENTS:
Special Annual Events draw 9,000 visitors at various times of the year including the following: The Riverside Wine Fest, Garden Fest, The Speakers Series. Of highest recommendation is the Riverside Wine Fest! Where else can you sip wine from all over the country and soak in the sights of the water like this!
- NATURE PRESERVE:
Ecological zones can be viewed by visitors and which allows them to learn about the Chesapeake Bay. This beautiful plantation is situated on the Patuxent River, a teeming estuary of all sorts of flora and fauna. Many school children come here for Nature Hikes with knowledgable guides, sharing with them the wildlife that makes Southern Maryland truly unique.
- CULTURAL HERITAGE:
Visiting Sotterley allows the visitors to look back on the past of this nation in order to learn from it and to now celebrate a spirit of community in the present. Sotterley has survived into its fourth century now and is truly a gem of St. Mary’s county.
Over 6,000 Maryland school children are provided with excellent educational field trips, teaching them about the Brackish Water, Salamanders, and Blue Heron that are the treasures of the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River.
The site is an absolutely stunning ground overlooking the Patuxent River- Your premier destination to host your wedding!
Let’s finish this with a History lesson to whet your appetite for whats in store!
Sotterley was initially 2,000 acres of land that was purchased in 1699 by a man by the name of James Bowles. He built a two-room house now overlooking an inlet now known as Sotterley Creek. 1703 is the approximate dating of that original two room house, making it one of the oldest museums in the nation that is a house.
Bowles made his living growing tobacco, other crops and livestock. He also gained further wealth through Government ascension. Bowles died in 1727. In 1729 his widow Jessica Bowles married George Plater. During this time Maryland went from being a colony to a state. At it’s height, Sotterley’s 7,000 acres made the Platers one of the largest landowners in Maryland.
In 1826 – Walter Hanson Stone Briscoe – a progressive doctor, continued to operate this mix cropped farm. Sotterley Wharf became a busy steamboat landing around this time.
However, between 1861 and 1865 Sotterley was affected by the Civil War. Well after the end of the Civil War, Herbert and Louisa Sotterley purchased Sotterley in 1910. It was named Sotterley in memory of an ancestors home in Suffolk, England.
Mayble Sotterly purchased the property in 1947 and gave it to the public as a gift, making the house and farms accessible to all. Sotterley continued as a farm and farm operations were overseen by Charles H. Knott, who served as farm manager around 1960.
Sotterley Farm has passed hands many times throughout the ages. The fields, creeks and main buildings leave living remembrance of the ones who worked here in the past. The people who resided here in Sotterley left a legacy that is recorded in the Plantation’s surrounding landscape.
Hopefully, you can have the opportunity to visit this beautiful St. Mary’s County Estate. If you ever need to remove trees on your St. Mary’s County Estate, contact Southern Maryland Fellers Tree Service today!