Northampton Historic Preservation Society

Enriching lives through the preservation of historical sites and culture.


Ever wondered about your family’s journey through history or need to find the missing names in your family tree?

Join us Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Cape Charles Civic Center to find the answers to your questions. The NHPS is proud to host an ancestry workshop led by prominent genealogist M. K. Miles.  An Eastern Shore native, Mr. Miles is the author of MilesFiles, a prime resource for use by researchers and historians around the world.

The workshop will begin at 10 A.M., will break at noon for an on-your-own lunch, and continue from 1 PM to 3 PM.  Participants have several wonderful restaurants in Cape Charles from which to choose.  You may bring an iPad or laptop to the workshop and wifi is available. There are a limited number of outlets, so be sure to charge your batteries. Each participant will receive an extensive workshop notebook.

We look forward to seeing you March 3rd. The Cape Charles Civic Center is located at 500 Tazewell Avenue.  Twenty-two seats are available for this program and the deadline for registering is February 26th. The cost of the program is $30 for NHPS members and $35 for non-members. Please register using the PayPal button below (use any credit card by clicking on the buy now button and scrolling down to the gray button named "Pay with Debit or Credit Card") or you can register by calling Randy Stuart at 757-442-3471.

Directions from Rt. 13: Turn at light on Stone Rd. (180) toward Cape Charles. Stay on Stone Rd. as it becomes Randolph Ave.  Turn right on Plum St. The Civic Center is on the right at the intersection of Tazewell Ave. and Plum St. The address is 500 Tazewell Ave.


Eastern Shore of Virginia

House and Garden Tour

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

9:30 to 5:00

Visit the website by clicking on the button below to learn more about these featured houses and to buy tickets online.

NHPS Annual Membership
Meeting and Holiday Dinner
 Speaker:  Dr. William Kelso 
Director of  Archaeology
,  Historic Jamestowne

The NHPS Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Dinner was held on December 6th at The Oyster Farm at Kings Creek.  An annual meeting highlight was guest speaker Dr. Bill Kelso, the world renowned Director of Archaeology at Historic Jamestowne. Dr. Kelso’s well known archaeological projects at Jamestown, Monticello, and his earlier work at  Pear Valley and Arlington Plantation, have made him a popular figure in Northampton County and Virginia. In 1993, he was named Director of Archaeology for Preservation Virginia’s Jamestown Rediscovery Project where he set to work immediately to find the exact location of the original fort of the Jamestown colonists on the James River.

By the end of 1996, he had uncovered evidence of palisades and the foundations of other structures that confirmed the identity of the fort. Since then, Dr. Kelso’s work has continued in Jamestown with the excavations of numerous additional buildings, including the settlement’s first church and the burial place of four Jamestown leaders, and the governor’s rowhouse during the term of Samuel Argall. Over two million objects have been found and catalogued. These objects reflect the lives and trials of the early English settlers. They reveal stories of hope, determination, desperation, and sometimes cruelty. Dr. Kelso is the author of numerous books on American archaeological projects, including his latest book, Jamestown, The Truth Revealed (May 2017).


In late October, Dr. Garrison “Doc” Brown was awarded the Council of Virginia Archaeologists “Virginia Sherman Award” for his significant contributions both above and below ground to historic preservation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  “Doc” was nominated for this award because of his above and beyond efforts in supporting historic preservation.   


In receiving this award, Brown’s active membership in the Northampton, Virginia Historic Preservation Society and role as caretaker of Pear Valley, an 18th century yeoman’s cottage which is significantly unique to this region was highlighted. His nomination specifically recognized his involvement in the current excavations at Newport House/Eyreville where a second/third quarter 17th century dwelling was discovered. 


Last winter, Dr. Brown identified the research value of the site when a Northampton county land owner removed a tree stump which in turn lead to a recovery of a casting counter, Irish farthings and yellow Dutch bricks. He immediately notified the DHR and the site remains under study to this day. His quick and thoughtful action will uncover many precious artifacts to tell our regions history.


NHPS Walking Tour of Historic Accomac - October 26, 2017

Great day in Accomack and Onancock.  Enjoyed a visit to the Saint James Episcopal Church in Accomac with tour guide Drummond Ayres.  Followed by a tour of the Accomac Historic District - significant for its well preserved architecture and rich history as a government center for over 300 years.

The Roman Revival style of the Francis Makemie Presbyterian Church, built in 1837, was next on the tour. The history and furnishings of the Church was highlighted by Fitzhugh Godwin, Chairman of The Francis Makemie Society. He  also addressed the recent archeological dig at the Makemie Monument Park. Francis Makemie founded the organization.  Then the group went on to lunch at Onancock's Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant.

Cugley Lecture on the Lawn

Sunday,  Nov.   12th 

Cugley is located on the north side of thCugley is located on the north side of the peninsula called "Savage's Neck. The property’s history extends back to Thomas Savage, (the boy traded to the Indians, became an interpreter, and was the first permanent settler on the Eastern Shore) his widow, and her second husband Daniel Cugley. It is estimated that “Cugley” was built by Thomas Lyttleton Savage sometime in the 1790's.This house was once part of a large plantation with numerous outbuildings. The cemetery headstones include the names from the Eyre, Parker, Wilson, Savage, and Stringer families.


Lecture on the Lawn at Coventon

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

On October 22nd, Coventon in Eastville was the site of the 2nd Lecture on the Lawn for the year, 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. 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's long and fascinating story was told by David Scott, Randy Stuart, and the home owner.

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.

The Lecture on the Lawn Series reflect our passion for and dedication to preservation, education and history.  Enjoy afternoons with NHPS Lectures on the Lawn & the opportunity they provide to gain insights about the history of Northampton.     ~     No fees are charged, but we hope that participants will consider a $10 donation to support future NHPS preservation and educational efforts. Please be sure to bring a lawn chair and dress comfortably!

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 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     NHPS Historic Jamestowne Bus Trip

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, you’ll find the exact same vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, 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 will result in a donation.  You will have to enter Amazon through 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!