Northampton Historic Preservation Society

Enriching lives through the preservation of historical sites and culture.

NHPS Fall Lecture on the Lawn Series

NHPS is pleased to offer the Fall Lecture on the Lawn Series.  These lectures reflect our passion for and dedication to preservation, education and history.

Lecture on the Lawn at Coventon


October 15th, 2017 at 2:00 PM


(Rain Date October 22nd)


On October 15th, join us at Coventon, One of the oldest houses in the County, Coventon is thought to have been built at the end of the 18th century by Coventon Simkins.  Mary Catherine Winder Howard of Coventon was featured in the Kellee Blake play, Stronger Than Steel, On the Eve of the Civil War,  The home was occupied by Federal troops during the Civil War.  Coventon has a long, fascinating story and we will see the remaining boxwood which formed part of a magnificent formal garden.

Enjoy afternoons with NHPS Lectures on the Lawn and the opportunity they provide to gain insights about the history of Northampton County.  ~  No fees are charged, but we hope that each participant consider a $10 donation to support future NHPS preservation and educational efforts.   ~  Please be sure to bring a lawn chair and dress comfortably!  Directions will be available on this website a week before the program.


Join the NHPS Walking Tour of Historic Accomac

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 (Rain or Shine)

At 9:30 a.m., participants will park and meet at Saint James Episcopal Church in Accomac. In recognition of its Greek Revival design and interior trompe-l'oeill frescos, St. James Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The Accomac and St. James portion of the tour will be led by Drummond Ayres, who is a member of the church and longtime resident of Accomac. 


The walking tour will continue through the Accomac Historic District which is significant for both its well-preserved architecture and its rich history as an important government center for the Eastern Shore for over three hundred years. Among the town's architectural resources are many examples of early to mid-19th-century regional building types (both formal and vernacular), several important mid-19th-century builder and architect-designed houses, and a distinctive, late Victorian county courthouse complex. “It is said among Virginia’s old towns only Williamsburg has more historic architecture than Accomac.” Kirk Mariner’s Off 13, Chapter 5.

 

The Roman Revival style of the Francis Makemie Presbyterian Church, built in 1837, will be next on the tour. The history and furnishings of the Church will be highlighted by Fitzhugh Godwin, Chairman of The Francis Makemie Society. He will also address the recent archeological dig at the Makemie Monument Park. Francis Makemie founded the organization.

The excursion will conclude with lunch at 12:30 p.m.at Onancock’s Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant, which will open exclusively for our tour. The award-winning restaurant will offer a special menu featuring a garden salad with a choice of toppings – salmon, chicken or vegetarian. Bread and butter, dessert, and tea or coffee will be included. Additional beverages may be purchased. 


The cost of the tour, which includes lunch, will be $50 per person. The tour will be limited to 25 people and registration will be necessary by October 10th, 2017.* Parking will be available across the street from St. James Episcopal Church (23309 Back Street) and near the Charlotte Hotel (7 North Street). 


We recommend that you hold your spot by registering with a credit card at the button below. If you choose, you can mail a check to NHPS, P.O. Box 501, Eastville, VA 23347. Please email us at [email protected] so that we can register the number in your party and your lunch selection(s) by the October 10th deadline.


When the program is at capacity, the NHPS website will indicate the program is “sold out.”


PC USERS:  This "Add to Cart" button will allow you to place one or more registrations at a time. Lunch selections can be made at the restaurant.  (MOBILE DEVICE USERS - See directions below.)


Please note that PayPal is not required for registration for this program. After you finish completing your order, scroll to the bottom of the opening page to select any credit card.
Registrations
MOBILE DEVICE USERS can register with this "Buy Now" button,  On 2nd screen in PayPal, you can choose the PayPal option or scroll to the bottom and pick "Pay with Debot or Credit Card."
Number of People
Lecture on the Lawn at Cugley

November 5th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

(No Rain Date in 2017)


Owners David and Maureen Lingle will welcome us to Cugley, in Savage’s Neck. This house which once was part of a large plantation.  Its history extends back to the widow of Thomas Savage, a key figure in American history. The cemetery headstones include names of Eyres, Parkers, Wilsons and Stringers connecting the families of this house to many others in our lecture series.



Lecture on the Lawn at Selma


Held September 17th, 2017 at 2:00 PM 



Selma in Eastville is a beautiful example of a mid-eighteenth century two story house with outstanding architectural details. Home to numerous influential Northampton families over the centuries, the house evolved into the “big house, little house, colonnade, kitchen” form particular to the Eastern Shore.  The owners/speakers shared with the audience the history of this amazing property at this well-received event.


NHPS Guided Walking Tour of Historic Eastville - June 25th, 2017



On June 25th, in the 2nd year of the well-received NHPS Guided Walking Tour of Historic Eastville, town historian and NHPS board member David Scott continued to add new material to his informative presentation.  In addition, new research pertaining to the "forgotten" history of the Eastville Court Green jails during the 1800’s and 1900’s, was featured in a presentation by NHPS president Joyce Kappeler.

 

Looking  at the Court Green, one of the oldest in Virginia,  you can imagine how it looked at various times during its 300+ year history. Eastville features commercial and residential architecture within the historic district which showcases a significant collection of high-style and vernacular buildings. Picture Eastville as the bustling city it was while in the midst of an economic, agricultural, and transportation boon and Courthouse Road was a major thoroughfare in the county. In fact, did you know that by 1921, Northampton and Accomack were considered the richest agricultural counties in the United States?


Excavations in Northampton at Pear Valley and Newport House/Eyreville

From May 9-21, 2017, the Department of Agriculture/Forest Service  sponsored a George Washington and Jefferson National Forest - Passport in Time excavation project in Northampton  Virginia.  In conjunction with the Archaeological Society of Virginia, Chesapeake Bay Archaeological Consortium, Department of Historic Resources, this field school, will test and document two important sites in Northampton County - Pear Valley and Newport House/Eyreville.



Pear Valley, owned by the Northampton Historic Preservation Society, is the earliest surviving, single-room-plan house in Virginia. The site was a small Yeoman’s Cottage, dating to ca. 1740, once occupied by a gentleman farmer raising crops for market. The field school undertook to test excavations in an attempt to locate the foundations of the structure’s outbuildings, which will aid in site management and interpretation.

The Newport House/Eyreville Site, is located on the grounds of a late 17th - to 19th-centuries plantation house. During initial testing, numerous artifacts dating to the 17th-century were recovered. The assemblage, to date, includes rose-head nails, bricks, blue and grey stoneware, tin-glazed ware, gin and wine bottle fragments, and numerous pipe stems. Also recovered, were Dutch yellow bricks several elaborately-decorated Dutch pipes, farthings and a jetton (counter). With field testing and documentary research, the excavations may isolate the structure’s foundations and other features in order to determine the site’s function and to obtain more precise dates of its occupation.




See Virginian Pilot Article here

NHPS  Newsletters

View the NHPS 2016 Summer Newsletter online at: Spring Newsletter 2017

View the NHPS 2016 Summer Newsletter online at: Summer Newsletter 2016

View the NHPS 2016 Winter  Newsletter online at : Winter Newletter 2016

View the NHPS 2015 Summer Newsletter online at:  Summer Newsletter 2015

NHPS Annual Meeting, December 14, 2016

On December 14th, the membership of the NHPS met at the yearly meeting portion of the Holiday Dinner at the Historic Eastville Inn in Eastville, VA. At this meeting, the slate of Officers and Board Members were elected for 2017. 

Kellee Green Blake, retired director of the National Archives-Mid Atlantic Region in Philadelphia was the featured speaker for the program. Over a 25-year coast to coast career with the National Archives, Kellee administered the treasures of our nation, including the papers of Abraham Lincoln, the confiscation of Arlington House, the Nixon pardon, and the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Files.  Now a popular speaker and writer, she authored two plays and is currently writing a book about the Virginia Eastern Shore during the Civil War. 

Kellee provided an extensive presentation and slide show about the Civil War and how it impacted Northampton residents.  The role of many of the families and historic properties in the County were addressed, including the Eastville Inn, and the personalities and actions of the soldiers representing both sides were revealed in great detail.



Not a member of NHPS yet?  Consider becoming a member to be the first to learn about NHPS programs and receive newsletters about interesting preservation activities in Northampton County, VA.


Amazing "Artifacts & Arrowheads "  Program Held October 23, 2016 

An interactive exhibition of Eastern Shore artifacts with local archaeologist David Duer was held on October 23rd. He shared his insights and personal collection which illuminates thousands of years of Eastern Shore history.  Mr. Duer has been exploring the Shore for over 30 years. His discoveries comprise a fascinating and diverse collection of artifacts and treasures which reveal much about life in the region.  It was an exciting journey that helped participants to connect to the early peoples of the Shore  and the factors that contributed to the "amazing" artifacts that can be found.

October 11th, 2016     Historic Jamestown Bus Trip - What a Wonderful Day!

Since the discovery of the original James Fort walls by Dr. William Kelso  in 1995 Historic Jamestowne has attracted world attention by continuing to unearth the lost remains of America's first permanent English settlement.  Last year, Archaeology magazine once again named them for one of the Top Ten discoveries of 2015 for their landmark excavation efforts and identification of four early burials. In 2016, they began focusing on the excavation of the historic church of 1617 where the first elected assembly met in a landmark step toward the founding of the United States. On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 the Northampton Historic Preservation Society visited the recently excavated site of the oldest successful settlement in the New World.

The morning included a guided tour by Joe Burkart with the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society and remarks from Dr. Kelso, now the Director of Jamestowne Rediscovery, about his remarkable path to unearthing the south palisade of the original fort. An exclusive guided tour of the 7500 square foot  Archaearium, which houses over 4,000 artifacts, was also included. The building itself was carefully placed over the original site of the Jamestown Statehouse and the 17th-century structural features are visible through glass sections in the floor.

 

Following lunch, the group headed to Colonial Williamsburg to visit two connected museums, the first being the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.  A guide was on hand to help navigate and answer questions regarding the special exhibit: "We Are One: Mapping America's Road from Revolution to Independence.  On loan from the Boston Public Library this 90 map exhibit traces America?s story from the French and Indian War all the way to the creation of our great nation.  At the second, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, a guide interpreted the "American Ship Paintings" exhibit. In the mid-19th century, ship captains and owners commissioned artists to depict their sea-going vessels in all their glory.

Past Programs

NHPS Lecture on the Lawn at Park Hall Held September 25, 2016

NHPS Launches 1st Guided Walking Tour of Historic Eastville - June 26,  2016

Lecture on the Lawn at Rinie’s Rest -- Machipongo    -  Encore Presentation - June 5th, 2016


Court Green Added to PVA's 2015 List of Virginia's Most Endangered Sites

While the Court House and many supporting structures have been lovingly preserved over the years, it is the uncertain future of the two old jails. State and local historians and preservationists are concerned about the two structures, and in turn, the integrity and continuity of the court green complex.

Lack of funding and threat of demolition by neglect have dominated the conversation recently as county and town officials struggle to come to some viable agreement about the future of the buildings. Northampton Historic Preservation Society remains an integral part of these conversations as an advocate of protection, stewardship, and feasible solutions.

The 1914 Jail, a four-square brick, currently sits vacant. In use until 2000, it was shut down in 2009 after the conclusion of lead and asbestos abatement. In its time, it was considered a large, modern facility "worth a dozen of the dinky little hovels" now in use as a jail. And one which "could handle a good portion of the speak-easy crowd even if they are numerous." The  smaller 1907 jail, which sits behind the 1914 building, is a one-story brick structure needing repair though it still retains many of its original architectural elements. 

NHPS Holiday Dinner and Annual Meeting - December 9,  2015

The annual dinner meeting for the Northampton Historic Preservation Society was held December 9th at  Cheriton, Virginia.  The featured guest speaker, Dick (DeCourcy) McIntosh, gave a thought provoking presentation encompassing his life and experiences on the Eastern Shore and an ongoing current public debate that impacts historical preservation: the uses and potential misuses of history. He warned that one must be careful with history and that ?historic preservation? should mean preserving history, real history, as well as historical buildings.

Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 NHPS Lecture on the Lawn at Stratton Manor

Stratton Manor was the topic of this October NHPS Lecture on the Lawn. Stratton Manor is a delightful mid-eighteenth century house, built by Benjamin Stratton and enlarged by his son. It is an outstanding example of architectural innovations in Colonial America.  Karl Wagner, owner, provided an interesting and extensive presentation about the history and various renovations of this fascinating house. 

Elkington Lecture on the Lawn Held October 11th, 2015

In October, Elizabeth Dodd shared the history of her lovely home called Elkington. Located on historic Savage’s Neck, Elkington was named for the wife of Thomas Savage, Hannah “Ann” Elkington. Thomas Savage, considered to be the first permanent European settler on the Eastern Shore, received a tract of land from Debedeavon, Chief of the Accawmacke tribe, in the 1600s.  Known as Savage’s Neck, the land has seen a number of beautiful homes over the centuries, including Elkington. An exquisite example of late 18th and early 19th century architecture, Elkington has been the home of many of the Shore’s civic and political leaders.  During the 1800s and 1900s this “big house, little house, colonnade, and kitchen” style home was either inherited or sold by the Parker, Upshur, Scott, Willing, Nottingham, and Willis families. 

In 1790, Thomas L. Savage sold the property to John Stratton who served in the U. S. Congress from 1801-1804 and was a descendant of the builders of Stratton Manor.

NHPS Joins AmazonSmile Program - An Easy Way to Donate to NHPS

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon remembers your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.  You will have to enter Amazon through smile.amazon.com for NHPS to receive a donation.

See The Activities of  the Northampton Historic Preservation Society on YouTube

Dedication of the 1899 Courthouse Court Green Historic District Exhibit

The Northampton Historic Preservation Society dedicated a Historic Exhibit in the 1899 Courthouse on Sunday, April 7,  2013 at the Northampton County Court Green in Eastville. 

A life-size figure in Colonial attire holding the Declaration of Independence is one of the first exhibits to greet visitors as they enter the historic display room which is a partnership between Northampton County and NHPS.

During renovations of the county administration complex, Northampton County administrators designated the front room of the 1899 Courthouse to be used for the historic display. This room was formerly part of the county records vault. It retains features of its former use and includes the original interior window shutters and fireplace built in 1899 with a replica of the original mantel and the vault door.

The exhibit affords visitors the opportunity to take self-guided tours through three centuries of history on the Northampton County Court Green. This historically significant story is told through exhibits that include period pieces, artifacts, narratives, and photographs.

Exhibits in the display room have items pertaining to three buildings, the 1731 Courthouse, the Old Clerk's Office dating to the late 1700's, and Debtor's Prison, ca. 1815. An original walnut raised-panel book press and a scale model of the 1731 design of the Courthouse is also included.

Exhibits also continue down the adjoining hall from the historic display room and feature early Northampton County photographs along the walls and five exhibit cases featuring items from the NHPS collection and the Barrier Islands Center and Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society

 The Northampton County Court Green is one of the earliest and most complete in Virginia and listed as a Historic District on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Directions to Eastville

From the North:  From the Maryland state line, Eastville is about 50 miles south on US Highway 13. Turn right on Business Route 13 (Courthouse Road) or Route 631 (Willow Oak Road).

 From the South:  From the end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Eastville is about 15 miles north on US Highway 13 (Courthouse Road). Turn left on Business Route 13 or Willow Oak Road (Route 631).

More information about the Exhibit Hours  can be found under the Properties tab above. 

 Watch the dedication at this link of the Historic Exhibit:  Dedication

 Northampton Historic Preservation Society History

In 2013, the Northampton Historic Preservation Society was granted 501 (c) (3) status. The mission of the NHPS is to preserve the historic heritage of properties primarily in Northampton County, Virginia through education, advocacy, and restoration activities. 

The NHPS is dedicated to continuing its century long historic preservation mission (previously known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Northampton Branch, and later as the Northampton Branch, Preservation Virginia).

Northampton Historic Preservation Society

P.O. Box 501

Eastville, VA 23347


email address: [email protected]


Donations Appreciated!

Photos