Guided Tour Season is Over
But you can still visit our site for self-guided tours and fresh air! Restrooms and inside buildings will be closed.
Welcome to Historic Sotterley
Using the Reality of our Shared History to Build a Better Future
With honesty and integrity, Sotterley embraces our responsibility to interpret all aspects of our shared history.
We are dedicated to being an exceptional educational and cultural resource, with a full range of formal education programs, as well as events and visitor programs. We are 94 acres with over 20 authentic structures providing a stunning backdrop for our stories. In the tradition of our ancestors, we farm sustainable, and donate most of what we grow to local food pantries.
We pay it forward.
"They survived, they endured, they are the people that gave us our strength."
Angela Wilson, Historic Sotterley Descendant
Support Sotterley's Future
Sotterley at one time was seen only as a unique keeper of the past. Because of your support over the years, however, it has now also become a vibrant place that strives for real and positive change. You have made today possible. Together we can ensure Sotterley's tomorrow.
"Sotterley is genuinely interested in its grounds and using them differently- being a productive farm and community gathering place that is working toward more ecological improvements. It's far more than a museum."
David Moulton, Member since 2012
"Recognition of slavery- not a monument to slavery but a place for learning- Sotterley is doing a great job talking about this"
Francie de Peyster, Member since 2012
"As an architect, I am intrigued by the timeline the house itself reveals- where roof lines stop and start. The evolution of 300 years of families, buildings, and stories is fascinating."
James W. Ritter, FAIA, B&G Committee since 2017
"Years ago I chaperoned my daughter's 4th grade field trip. I remember experiencing her joy and excitement."
Mary Lynn Stone, Member since 1999
"Sotterley's stories are just as relevant and well-preserved as any major National Park or site like Mount Vernon and Monticello."
Julie Woods, Volunteer & Docent
"Why Sotterley, indeed? Sotterley is fearless in its effort to offer first-rate programs confronting head-on America's original sin: slavery. Sotterley shows us how, by acknowledging this fundamental historical truth, we really can build a fairer, more just society."
Julie King, Professor of Anthropology, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Historic Sotterley Board of Trustees, Former member
"I was educated on the contributions of the enslaved population that built our communities while enduring unthinkable situations. I could pull strength and courage from what my ancestors endured to assist me with everyday challenges. My ancestors have a story that needed to be shared. Learning in a safe place built on transparency keeps the dialogue alive. Sotterley literally allowed me to have a voice!"
Gwendoline Bankins, Historic Sotterley Board of Trustees, Sotterley Descendant
"You can't know where you're going, if you don't know where you came from. My great, great grandmother Caroline Williams was enslaved on Sotterley Plantation, owned by Mr. Key. That specific information defines the strength that is the trait of the women who are her descendants, my family."
Trudy Bradfield Taliaferro, Sotterley Descendant
"I think it is important to preserve our history, all of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. It enables a thoughtful person to weigh our mistakes, our good decisions, and where we could have done better. Hopefully, we will leave a better history for our descendants."
Rebecca MacDonald, Sotterley Member Since 1997
"A place like Sotterley has begun to look at what has been done and why it was done. The narrative is not always easy to hear – the history “is complicated”. But in laying out and studying this portion of history perhaps we all can learn, better understand, and even change, so that things can improve in the future. I feel Sotterley is taking on many of these questions directly and working to create a space where insights and possible solutions to current problems can be placed within reach of any who want to make the effort to reach out and achieve consensus. There is goodness in any place that tries to achieve such lofty goals."
Jerome Spears, Sotterley Descendant
"We appreciate how Sotterley has expanded its mission beyond the historic house and grounds to include the site's relationship to larger threads of American history and culture. The recent work to research, preserve, and present the stories of African Americans at Sotterley is not only important but critical to our understanding of southern Maryland's past and present. Supporting Sotterley is an investment in the future."
Paula Johnson & Carl Fleischhauer, Sotterley Members Since 1998