BERLIN – The preservation of Worcester County’s 1752 bayside plantation house has been recognized with a timely grant from the France-Merrick Foundation of Baltimore.
The “challenge match” is being funded to double the amount of donations being received from the local community — up to the maximum figure of the award.
Nearly a terminal case of neglect and old age, the manor house structure is being restored by the Rackliffe House Trust, a private non-profit foundation that has entered a long-term curatorship agreement with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The mission of the Trust is to recreate one of the outstanding early residences on the Lower Shore and to open the doors to the public as the Coastal Bays Heritage Center.
The rich heritage of the property spans from a prehistoric past as an Assateague Indian campground, through the age of early English “merchant-planters,” up to its most recent renown as The Haunted House of Worcester County. This is a colorful story that will be interpreted as part of the Heritage Center programs, when the reconstruction phase is completed.
Restoration is now at a critical point: an original-style 18th century roof is replacing a 20th century model and the handsome Flemish bond brick exterior undergoing major repairs. Finishing the exterior work and protecting the structure prior to the onset of winter depends on raising more money to meet the “challenge match.” Rackliffe House Trust is actively campaigning to raise its part of the match as quickly as possible.
Persons interested in preserving this unique example of the heritage of Worcester County may send tax-deductible donations to: Rackliffe House Trust, P.O. Box 578, Berlin MD 21811. See www. rackliffehouse.com for background history.