BERLIN — Rackliffe House, a beautifully restored 1740s merchant-planter’s Georgian home overlooking Assateague Island and Sinepuxent Bay, outside of Berlin, opens for the season on Sunday, May 18, which just happens to be International Museums Day.
New this year is an exhibition, “Native Americans: First Contact on Lower Delmarva,” on loan from Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.
The exhibition examines – through images and first-hand accounts — how Native Americans lived and worked at the time of first contact with Europeans. It also depicts ways in which Native American life changed shortly thereafter.
Docents will interpret life on the 18th-century coastal plantation through artifacts on display in the kitchen, spinning room, and children’s room in the main house as well as in the original milk house. Children will enjoy an interpretive activity booklet for use inside the house as well as outdoor 18th-century games (the latter are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month only).
“This is a big step forward in our educational mission, since we now can interpret local life before and after the arrival of the Rackliffes, and get kids hooked on history through activities designed by our incredible team of docents,” said Joan Jenkins, Trust President.
Rackliffe House will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to
4 p.m. as well as the second Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through October. The three acres of grounds are open to hikers every day from dawn to dusk, and all activities outside of Rackliffe House are free.
To enter Rackliffe House and tour the exhibitions, visitors must pay an entrance fee of $5 per adult and $2 per child ages 4 through 12 (age 3 and under are admitted for free). The last house tour begins at 3:30 p.m. Entrance fees are critical in continuing the preservation of this historic property.
To reach Rackliffe House, turn into Marsh View Lane, off Stephen Decatur Road (Route 611), at the Assateague National Seashore Visitors Center. On opening days, visitors may drive a half-mile down Tom Patton Lane and park in the designated area near Rackliffe House. On non-opening days, visitors are asked to park in the visitor center lot and hike or bike the half-mile trail along Tom Patton Lane.