Part of the About Southern Maryland series
Older than Mount Vernon, older than Monticello, older than the nation itself, Sotterley Plantation stands majestically on the banks of the Patuxent river – the only Tidewater plantation in Maryland that is open to the public with a full range of visitor activities and educational programs. Located in St. Mary’s County, Sotterley Plantation encompasses nearly 100 acres of rolling meadows, gardens and shoreline – all of it fully accessible to the public.
The graceful lines of the main house date back to as early as 1703. Although open to the public, the Sotterley Mansion remained a family residence until 1933. The plantation was a frontier farm, a colonial port and a busy steamboat landing. The transition from one function to another was part of the plantation’s march through time in Southern Maryland.
Among the gardens and lawns stand an 18th century warehouse and smokehouse, the 19th century slave cabin, along with 25 other outbuildings – all of which stand as testimony to the plantation’s evolution during the last 300 years.
Sotterley has become not only a National Historic Landmark, but an educational site and a cultural venue as well. Hosting thousands of children on site each year, Sotterley provides hands-on learning through its award-winning education programs. Events such as the Quilt and Needlework Show, the Independence Day Concert, Riverside WineFest at Sotterley, Ghost of Sotterley Tours, Holiday Candlelight Tours, and the Family Plantation Christmas delight visitors and guests each year.
The grounds and trails are open to the public year-round. Guided tours of the mansion are offered from May 1 to October 31, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. with the final tour of the day at 3 p.m. There are no Mansion tours on Mondays during open season. Sotterley is also available for special occasion rentals with several different venues on site. Sotterley Plantation is located in Hollywood on Route 245 North. Admission fees are applied for tours and grounds; groups should make reservations in advance, and there is a discount for groups of 15 or more. Call 301-373-2280 or 1-800-681-0850, or check the information online at www.sotterley.org.