Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Boeing’s Day of Service Brightens Up Sotterley

Sotterley exists due to the generosity of a community that cares, and gifts to Sotterley come in many packages: monetary donations, in-kind donations of goods and services, volunteer hours, etc. On Saturday, July 26th, we received a wonderful gift of time and talents from The Boeing Company when Sotterley was selected for Boeing's Global Month of Service project.

A team of Boeing employees came dressed to work first thing in the morning, and promptly began the task at hand: to prime and repaint two of Sotterley's historic buildings located just behind the Visitor Center. One building, the Creamery, is used by our Junior Docents as they greet visitors and share activities with them. The other building is located at the head of the Nature Trails, and Sotterley has plans to use this as a launching point for the trails with exhibits and information.  Both buildings were cleaned, primed, and most of a first coat finished before the end of Boeing’s day, and it has made such a striking difference!

Sotterley has a very lean operating budget and a small staff, and many maintenance and restoration projects can only take place when Sotterley is given the resources necessary complete important site and building preservation. Many companies and individuals have made projects come to fruition in the past several years, and The Boeing Company is the latest to put community first and has directly lent a helping hand. The Boeing Company also sponsors Sotterley's Speaker Series, and this continues to be a wonderful educational and cultural offering for Southern Maryland.

Our thanks to The Boeing Company and the many other organizations who believe that This Place Matters!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Effort to Bring Back Barn Owls

Southern Maryland Audubon, 
Sotterley Plantation
and SMECO 
Collaborate to Bring Back
Barn Owls to St. Mary's County

Are you a Barn Owl looking for a home? Thanks to an array of owl-friendly folks in Hollywood, MD, your housing options just increased.  A brand new Barn Owl Nest Box has been installed on private agricultural land adjacent to the Sotterley Plantation and it is ready for occupancy.

Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters and feed mainly on small mammals like voles and mice as well as small birds found in the fields and marshes. This medium sized owl has a heart-shaped face and screechy scream-like call and was once a common occurrence in St. Mary’s County.  But as farmland has been converted to development, or and fields turned over from fallow grassland to monoculture crops, this particular species of owl has become increasingly scarce in the Eastern United States. It is now listed as a Species of Concern in Maryland by the Department of Natural Resources due to the all time low numbers.

 photo courtesy of Mike Callahan

Now, thanks to the wildlife partnership collaboration of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society (SMAS), the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), and Historic Sotterley, Inc., as well as Sotterley's  generous neighbor and landowner, the welcome mat has been laid out in St. Mary’s County for the next generation of Barn Owls.  SMAS has been working for several years to reverse the owl’s decline by placing Barn Owl nesting boxes on poles and barns in the bird’s historic breeding range here in Southern Maryland.  “We are currently unaware of any active breeding pairs in St. Mary’s County,” said Mike Callahan, Raptor Conservation Chairman for SMAS, who is directing the effort. “Several nesting boxes in Charles County have been active this year, and just three weeks ago a pair of Barn Owls successfully hatched young ones in a box on St. Leonard’s Creek in Calvert County. This all gives us hope that we will soon be able to confirm Barn Owl breeding success in St. Mary’s County too,” concluded Callahan.

The new box adjacent to Sotterley was donated by SMAS, and its siting was facilitated by SMAS and Sotterley member David Moulton. Moulton gained the necessary permissions and worked with Joe Goldsmith and staff of the Sotterley Plantation as to complete the installation.  One critical component was the willingness of Southern Maryland Electric (SMECO) to donate its time, equipment and expertise to setting up the pole to which the nesting box is bolted.

“This nesting box was made possible by the generosity of many folks,” noted Moulton. “Thanks are due particularly to the manager of the site, Richard Knott, to SMECO’s professional team, and to Joe Goldsmith and Historic Sotterley, Inc.  We will all be celebrating the day a pair of Barn Owls takes advantage of these new digs,” he said.

The stellar team from SMECO

The Sotterley maintenance crew with the new Barn Owl box

For more information, contact Mike Callahan at   
or David Moulton at or 240-278-4473

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Photographer's Dream Package!

Open Auditions for Ghosts of Sotterley 2014!

It’s (Almost) Showtime!

Open Auditions for Actors
Ghosts of Sotterley

Love, Life, Liberty & Loss”

Hollywood, MD - Announcing open auditions for our wildly popular annual signature event – The Ghosts of Sotterley! Whether you are a seasoned actor or have a new-found interest in acting, we invite all from age 12 and up to try out. You will be in great company with an enthusiastic group of talented wonders who enjoy performing and love Sotterley!

Auditions will be held at the Sotterley Warehouse on:
Tuesday, August 5th    6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 9th    10 am - 12 pm
Tuesday, August 12th    6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 16th   10 am - 12 pm

This year’s Ghosts of Sotterley, Love, Life, Liberty & Loss” will run on October 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. If you are able to commit to rehearsal dates and to all of these show dates, then you just may be the perfect fit for one of the roles. Just bring yourself and your undeniable talent; we will provide the reading.

If interested in Tech Support, Costuming, or Hair & Make-up
please contact our Events Manager, Mellanie Teed
301-373-2280 or

Monday, June 30, 2014

Speaker Series #6 ~ Monuments Men

Sotterley Plantation is proud to partner with 
The Boeing Company in announcing 
the upcoming 2014 Speaker Series 
presentation entitled:

Michael J. Kurtz, Ph.D.
“Monuments Men”
Wednesday, September 17  |  7:00 p.m. in the Barn
In the long saga of cultural looting and destruction, the Nazi war was unprecedented in its ideological ferocity and brutal effectiveness on Europe’s cultural heritage. Yet, in the midst of the destruction wrought by the Nazis, a band of men and women serving in the U.S. military during World War II, known as the Monuments Men, fought a valiant struggle to preserve what could be saved and to restore precious objects to devastated communities.  This presentation will explore why the Nazis sought to obliterate the cultural heritage of the Jewish people and others who were considered “inferior races.”  Front and center will be the work of the Monuments Men, who fought to counter Nazi depredations and the successes they achieved.  From the 1930’s until today the story of cultural restoration continues! 
This event is FREE to the public. 
Advance reservations are required due to limited seating. 
Call 301-373-2280 to make your reservation.
Because of the generous grant and continued support from The Boeing Company, Sotterley Plantation is able to offer this important community outreach, fulfilling its mission to preserve, research, and interpret Sotterley Plantation’s diverse cultures and environments and to serve the world as an educational, cultural, and community resource.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Speaker Series #5 ~ Admiral Stephen Rochon

Admiral Stephen Rochon
“Called to Serve: 
Over 40 Years Journey from 
The Customs House to The White House & Beyond”
Wednesday, August 27  |  7:00 p.m. in the Barn

Admiral Rochon has had a long, impressive career; from being a highly decorated military officer, to his work as Head Usher of The White House, and recently, The White House consultant and advisor for the #1 box office hit movie, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler.” In his presentation at Sotterley, ADM Rochon will speak about his personal journey as both Head Usher during the Bush and Obama administrations and his consultation on this well-known film. He is now a private consultant, speaker, and writer.  
This event is FREE to the public. Advance reservations are required due to limited seating. Call 301-373-2280 to make your reservation.

Because of the generous grant and continued support from The Boeing Company, Sotterley Plantation is able to offer this important community outreach, fulfilling its mission to preserve, research, and interpret Sotterley Plantation’s diverse cultures and environments and to serve the world as an educational, cultural, and community resource.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

With Gratitude to Many for Mambo in Miami!

The 5th Annual Gala in the Garden was held last night in the Sotterley Colonial Revival Gardens and was a truly memorable and marvelous event! In keeping with the theme of “Mambo in Miami” attendees wore bright blues and pinks as the garden resonated with the distinctive South Beach Art Deco influences and the rhythms of the Miami Sound Machine & the Buena Vista Social Club. Exceptional Latin and Cuban infused cuisine brought a right amount of spice! Guests were wow-ed and generously bid on the incredible Silent & Live auction items.

The Gala in the Garden is our second largest fundraising event of the year, which allows Historic Sotterley, Inc. to continue our mission of preserving, researching, and interpreting our diverse cultures and environments and to serve the world as an educational, cultural, and community resource. This could not be possible without the generous support of the following:

Thank You
Thank You
Thank You

2014 Gala Sponsors

Gold Sponsorship - $2,500
Cherry Cove Hospitality and Brian & Kim Norris
John Felicitas and Christine Wray
MedStar Health, Inc.
Skip and Ellen Zahniser

Silver Sponsorship - $1,000
Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C.
Dave and Erna Brown
Community Bank of the Chesapeake
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Bronze Sponsorship - $500
Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC
Jan and Tom Barnes
Jan Mandel - Weitzel and Harry J. Weitzel, Jr.
Don and Jean McDougall, Jr.
Resource Management Concepts, Inc.
Nancy Ruyle Dodge Charitable Trust
Sabre Systems, Inc.

Special Thanks
Michael Whitson and Lynn Erwin
Our Auctioneer, Dan Raley
Carol and Tom Davis, Your Journey Studios
Maryland Country Caterers
Wentworth Nursery
(for the magnificent plants & flowers)
Bailey’s Party Rentals
Busy Corner Buggies
Mark Bailey
Communications Facilities
Sotterley’s Maintenance Staff
Top Hat Party Design

Live & Silent Auction

Asahi Restaurant
Bob & Jane Aldridge
Alexander Chiropractic
JaeNee and Paul Ausley
Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C.
Baltimore Orioles
Bollywood Masala
Bonnie Briscoe
Breton Bay Golf & Country Club
Jan Briscoe and Sam Baldwin
Brome Howard Inn
Bernadette Brooks
Dave and Erna Brown
Café des Artistes
Calvert Marine Museum
Mary Ada and Jack Candela
Cassie the Black Lab
Linda and Mike Colina
John Cook and Eve Love
Betty Currie
VADM Joseph Dyer and Susan Dyer
Nancy and Alan Easterling
Evolve Yoga & Wellness
Marian and Jack Fegeley
Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts
John F. Gardiner, III
Missy Geimer
Frank and Patricia Greenwell
Sheila Gibbons Hiebert and Ray Hiebert
Glenn Guy & Guy Distributing
Hilton Garden Inn
Historic St. Mary’s City Foundation
Sarah Houde
Loic and Karleen Jaffres
Bert and Beverly Johnston
Becky Kozak
Karl Mattis
Morris Point
Picker’s Paradise
Pink Beach
Michelle Radez
Joe and Sherri St. Clair
St. Mary’s College Arts Alliance
St. Mary’s College River Concert Series
Spider Hall Farm
MaryAnn Stamm
Katherine Stormont
Rick and Paula Tepel
The Front Porch
The Light House Inn Restaurant
The Right Mix
The Ruddy Duck Brewery
The Sharper Cut Landscapes, Inc.
The Vintage Source
Megan Thomas, Scentsy Consultant
Top Notch Grooming
Traditions of Loveville
Travel Leaders
Linda Tucker Jones
Walt Disney World
Washington Capitals
Washington Mystics
Washington Nationals
Washington Redskins
Washington Wizards
Jan Mandel - Weitzel
Ellen and Skip Zahniser

The 2014
Gala in the Garden

Ellen Zahniser, Committee Chair
Jan Briscoe
Linda Colina
Nancy Easterling
Marian Gardiner Fegeley
Joe Goldsmith
Sheila Gibbons Hiebert
Linda Tucker Jones
Eileen Miller
Katherine Stormont
Mellanie Teed
the Sotterley Staff

and to all of the volunteers
that helped the day of the event!