Northampton Historic Preservation Society

Enriching lives through the preservation of historical sites and cultural heritage in Northampton County, Virginia.

 
 

NHPS Begins Donation Drive to Restore the 1907 Jail for Use as the Northampton County, Virginia Court Green Jail Museum


Please consider donating to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum about Northampton County jails.  This project will complete a five-building combination of exhibits and buildings reflecting Northampton County, Virginia governance over the past three hundred years.  The existing self-guided tour includes an "overview of the Northampton Court Green history" exhibit in 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 the educational tour.  Northampton Court Green buildings showcase architectural styles from the last three centuries and provide informative exhibits about activities that took place on the court green.

  

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 clicking here.

 

The Northampton Historic Preservation Society is pleased to announce the winners of an essay contest the NHPS sponsored on the life and contributions of Peter Jacob Carter.

 

Victoria Arvidson won the First Place prize of $100.00. Second Place for the $75.00 prize went to Ramsey Revelle, and Jacob Morrison won $50.00 for Third Place. (Picture, left to right - Jacob Morrison, Victoria Arvidson, and Ramsey Revelle,)

 

NHPS congratulates the winners for rising to the challenge and submitting such outstanding essays!   The Northampton Historic Preservation Society is committed to promoting the history and preservation of 300+ years in Northampton County, Virginia, and encouraging this interest in our young people is one of our priorities. Thank you to all who participated.

 

NHPS 2019 Holiday Dinner and Annual Meeting

A well attended 2019 Holiday Dinner and Annual Meeting was held  December 4th at the Mimosa Barn in Cape Charles. Mr. Bo Lusk, a Coastal Scientist at The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve was the featured speaker.  Mr. Lusk's main focus is on marine habitat restoration in the seaside lagoons, restoring oyster reefs, seagrass meadows and the bay scallops. Mr. Lusk, who grew up on Cherrystone Creek and graduated from the University of Virginia with an Environmental Science Degree, discussed how history, science and restoration have come together in Northampton County.


One hundred years ago, the shallow bays of the Eastern Shore's seaside were covered by seagrass that provided food and shelter for a variety of marine life, including scallops which were harvested by Eastern Shore fishermen.  Due to a combination of factors, the habitat of the scallops was destroyed. In the mid 1990's, scientists discovered a small patch of native eelgrass behind Wreck Island.  Scientists for the Nature Conservancy, working in cooperation with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, developed a method for restoring this lost habitat to the shallow bays of our seaside.  Over the last several years, progress has been made and now there are over 700 acres of natural eelgrass beds on the seaside.  Researchers world-wide have come to the Eastern Shore to see what is being done. 
 

2019 NHPS Lectures on the Lawn

Northampton County continues to provide amazing sites for the NHPS "Lectures on the Lawn" Series. More information about past lectures can be found on the "Past Lectures" tab at the top of this page. 2019 Lectures are featured below.  Be sure to check this website should adverse weather conditions occur on the dates of the program.

 Lecture on the Lawn at Prospect Hill - Held November 10th at 2:00


The Northampton Historic Preservation Society held a “Lecture on the Lawn at Prospect Hill” on Sunday, November 10th.  Prospect Hill was part of a 1200-acre plantation belonging to Colonel William Kendall in the late 1600s and then a 675-acre plantation in the 1800’s. Mr. John W. Leatherbury built Prospect Hill around 1824.  He was a wealthy prominent merchant whose trading interests extended to the West Indies and his activities included smuggling.


Prospect Hill has been vacant for many years. The owners have graciously offered it for a lecture on the lawn in its current, “as is” condition.  Come to the lecture to learn about John W. Leatherbury, the history of this land, the house, its architectural features and the owners’ plan for restoration.

Dr. David Scott is generously donating his research notes for this lecture.  They can be found at:  Prospect Hill.




Lecture on the Lawn at Chatham - Held Sunday, October 13th

The Northampton Historic Preservation Society offered a “Lecture on the Lawn at Chatham” on October 13th.  Chatham, a stately Federal-style house located on Church Creek, is celebrating its 200th birthday. Surrounded by almost 300 acres of land protected in The Virginia Land Trust, it was originally part of a land patent granted in 1640 and has been the home of only five families. Built by Brigadier General Pitts in 1818, a prominent citizen of Northampton County, it was attached to an earlier structure that now serves as a kitchen.


The house features a Federal-style, barrel-vault brick porch with limestone steps built on the footprint of an earlier porch. The ruin of the Quarters Kitchen now shelters a kitchen garden that is enclosed by old fencing and boxwood. Restoration began by the Wehner family in 1979, and a winery completes the property which has been a working farm for four centuries.


Dr. David Scott is generously donating his research notes for this lecture.  They can be found at: Chatham Lecture.

Lecture on the Lawn at Eyre Rectory - Held September 29th

Eyre Rectory was built in the 1850’s as a rectory for the minister of Hungars Parish on six acres donated by Maria Robins and additional funds contributed by Mr. John Eyre of "Eyre Hall". This house served as a home for the ministers of Hungars Parish until about 1908 when a new rectory was built in Eastville, across Courthouse Road from Christ Church.  Since then it has had a number of owners, including Dr. Raymond Brown who was a general practitioner in Eastville for many years. 

The land where "Eyre Rectory" was built was originally given to the local Native Americans in the 1640s.  They lived on this seaside land until the 1830s when they gradually sold their property to their more prosperous neighbors. The sad story of the Eastern Shore Native Americans will be addressed.

Dr. David Scott is generously donating his research notes for this lecture.  They can be found at: Eyre Rectory Lecture.


 

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



2019 Historic Eastville Walking Tour


Town historian and NHPS board member David Scott led the Northampton Historic Preservation Society’s Guided Walking Tour of Historic Eastville this year. In addition to a general informative overview of Eastville, he offered a new segment covering more houses on Willow Oak Road this year.


The walking tour started at the Court Green, one of the oldest in Virginia, where you can imagine how it looked at various times during its 300+ year history.

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).