Northampton Historic Preservation Society
Please join us for the first NHPS “Lecture on the Lawn” in 2021 at Pear Valley. The home was constructed circa 1740 and is a rare example of a single-family dwelling on The Eastern Shore from that period. It is a story and a half building with one room on the first floor, a loft upstairs and a large fireplace with hearth for cooking. It is the only remaining example of this architecture on the Eastern Shore and is a National Historic Landmark. “Pear Valley” is owned and maintained by The Northampton County Historic Preservation Society in an “as is” condition in order to facilitate academic study by scholars of architectural history.
Dr. David Scott will discuss the history of this house, including its significant architectural features as examples of 18th century construction. He will also discuss the Nottingham family which owned “Pear Valley” for several generations.
This will be an out of doors lecture by Dr. Scott (please dress comfortably, bring your own folding chair, wear masks, and socially distance) and the interior of the house will be open for viewing. NHPS has organized a drawing for a sculpture of “Pear Valley” constructed by the noted artist, Albert K. "Buck" Doughty. The sculpture will be present for viewing and raffle tickets available for purchase. The actual raffle will take place in June.
Directions to the program: “Pear Valley” is located in Wilsonia Neck about one half mile west of route 13. Turn west on Wilsonia Neck Drive at Blue Heron Realty and follow the NHPS signs.
Why are the historic buildings on the Court Green in Eastville significant? A quick look at the history of the Northampton County Historic Court Green.
A court green or courthouse square in the first settlements in America became the central location for all classes to hear and determine legal activities, transact business, and gather for news and social activities. They typically consisted of a courthouse, clerk’s office, and jail.
By 1634, the Virginia colony was divided into eight shires (including Accawmack) and each was required to hold monthly courts. Accawmack was renamed Northampton in 1642, and by 1663 was divided into two counties; the southern being Northampton and the northern being Accomack.
Learn more about Courts and Courthouses and the Clerk's Offices here and about the Debtors' Prison and Jails here.
We're Fundraising To Restore the 1907 Jail as a Museum
The Northampton Historic Preservation Society (NHPS) has commissioned local artist Albert K. "Buck" Doughty to sculpt a metal rendition of "Pear Valley," a colonial-era yeoman's cottage near Machipongo. "This sculpture exceeds my expectations," Mike Ash, NHPS's president, said. "Buck is known for his metal artistry, but I've never seen one quite like this. We are very pleased to offer this opportunity for someone to own it."
Buck was nicknamed "Man of Steel" in a 2019 Chesapeake Bay Magazine article written by Bill Sterling. Well known for his exquisite metal sculptures of wildlife, sea life, and marshland vegetation, Buck embraces a challenge. He visited Pear Valley before beginning this project and, with a craftsman's eye for detail, decided that the final form had to include the exposed attic joists which are a unique feature of this 1740 cottage. "It is an incredible house," Buck said. His appreciation of Pear Valley, a National Registered Landmark, shows in this unique sculpture.
Tickets ($10.00 each) for a spring drawing are on sale on this website (tickets will be mailed to you) and at Book Bin, Rayfield's Pharmacies, Lemon Tree Gallery. Check this website for news of when and where the drawing will be held. (You don't have to be present to win.) Proceeds go toward the preservation of the Court Green's 1907 Jail in Eastville. The sculpture's dimensions are 10x13x13 inches and 33 pounds. It can be seen at Lemon Tree Gallery in Cape Charles. Don't miss this opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind, Buck Doughty sculpture of a national, yet local, historic treasure!
Tickets may be purchased here. Any credit card or PayPal account may be used. If you wish to purchase more than 10, add the first 10 to the cart and use the "continue shopping" arrow on the upper right of the PayPal page to return to this website page to select more.
If you wish for a different name and contact number than is given with payment to be placed on your ticket(s), please send the desired contact information to [email protected] at the time of your purchase.
More Fundraising Opportunities
NHPS has designed special notecards featuring two of the historic buildings on Northampton's Historic Court Green in Eastville, Virginia. They are perfect for sending messages of thanks, greetings from your vacation, get well notes, or just to send a little hello. Eight folded notecards and envelopes are included in each package and shipping is included.
Order your package(s) with any credit card using the button below or a paper mail in form can be found HERE.
ABOUT THE 1907 JAIL
NHPS needs your help to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum about Northampton County jails and an information center for genealogy research. With the restoration of the 1907 Jail, the Northampton County Court Green is certain to be one of the most intact and restored court greens in the Country.
If you would like to contribute to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum, a donation button is available below. The museum will feature the role jails played in county governance in Eastville, Virginia from Colonial times until today.
To place the restoration of the 1907 Jail in perspective, in 1913 the founder of NHPS saved the 1800 Clerk's Office, 1814 Debtors Prison, and the 1731 Courthouse from destruction. Think about what a significant historical loss that would have been. This time it is our turn to save this 113-year old structure for future generations to understand the role jails played in Northampton County governance, in conjunction with the other remaining historical structures, for over 300 years.
Learn more about the 1907 Jail and all the other jails that once stood on the historic Northampton County Court Green
by watching the video on Northampton jails found by clicking here.
Northampton Historic Preservation Society Awarded $50,000 Challenge Grant from The Cabell Foundation to Restore Northampton Court Green 1907 Jail
The Northampton Historic Preservation Society (NHPS) is pleased to announce that The Cabell Foundation has awarded a one-to-one $50,000 challenge grant to support the restoration and preservation of the 1907 jail building on the Northampton County Court Green in Eastville, Virginia. The Society plans to use the 1907 Jail as a museum to recognize the history of all the jails that once stood on the historic court green.
This project will complete a five-building combination of exhibits and buildings reflecting Northampton County governance over the past three hundred years. The existing self-guided tour includes an overview of the Northampton Court Green history in an exhibit room of the 1899 Courthouse (now County Administration Building) and exhibits in the 1731 Courthouse, the Old Clerk's Office (ca.1800) and the Debtors Prison (ca.1814). The addition of the 1907 Jail Museum will become the fifth stop on this educational tour.
Northampton Court Green buildings showcase architectural styles from the last three centuries and provide informative exhibits for students, academicians, and other visitors about activities that took place on the historic court green. With the restoration of the 1907 Jail, the Northampton County Historic Court Green is certain to be one of the most intact and restored court greens in the country. In order to receive The Cabell Foundation challenge grant, NHPS must raise $50,000 in cash and pledges.
The Cabell Foundation challenge grant relies on community involvement for the project through contributions to support preservation efforts! Every gift counts! One-time or monthly donations may be made with the donation button below. Contact Mike Ash at 757-678-0963 or email: [email protected] for more information about the project or to discuss your pledge, contribution, or becoming a sponsor.
For a form to use to send a donation by mail, click here: Donation Form
Please help support Northampton County's preservation efforts!
Already a member? Consider volunteering for the various NHPS activities.
If you wish to learn more about the Northampton Historic Preservation Society before becoming a member, receive our emails about our programs and exhibits by sending your email address to the link below and indicating you would like to be added to our mailing list.
Click here for: Membership Information
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 and shop at smile.amazon.com for NHPS to receive a donation.
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 as the Northampton Branch of Preservation Virginia (a.k.a. the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities).