Handsell Home in Dorchester County Sheds Light on Past - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Handsell Home in Dorchester County Sheds Light on Past

Posted: 10/11/2017 16:38:00 -04:00 Updated:

VIENNA, Md. - Sitting alone, the Handsell House is shaped a lot like a treasure trove. And it is - it's a treasure trove filled with stories including Shirley Jackson's.

"Most of my family didn't have an idea what the building was until about 15 years ago," Jackson said.

Jackson says her great-great-great-great grandmother, Rachel, lived as a free slave in the house. She and at least 200 other slaves all sharing a connection with the home and it's five owners.

"Now we have our own history," Jackson said.

Midge Ingersoll has been working for 10 years to preserve the house.

"We did a little research and discovered the property had just layers and layers and layers of wonderful history," Ingersoll said.

On Wednesday, Handsell is being prepped for an open house this weekend. Ingersoll says people will get a chance to learn about the house's history and interact with reenactors - all to bring people together and talk about a darker time in history.

"They literally sit down and talk about their history. Good, bad, and otherwise," Ingersoll said.

A history that may be painful.

"It will always be for some people but if they would understand, the gist of what we're trying to do, to bring families together," Jackson said.

This weekend's events are part of what's called the Slave Dwelling Project. A group from South Carolina will come to the to stay overnight at t Handsell House to reenact what slaves went through living in their owners' homes.

 More information about this weekend's events at the Handsell House can be found on the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance website.


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