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Press Releases

Monday, April 4, 2005

Cellar House is Site of Nabb Research Center Fund-Raiser

SALISBURY, MD---Privately owned plantation houses from the earliest days of this country are open to guests at fund-raisers held to support history and the arts. Last year the Clifton House on the Manokin River, located on one of the first land grants, was open for a fund raiser for the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University. This year the Cellar House on the Pocomoke River hosts Nabb's annual event Saturday, May 21. This 1730s Cellar House is located on the banks of the Pocomoke River and dates back to the early 1730s. A tunnel runs from a trapdoor under the plantation house and extends to the swamp so the residents could escape the pirates, remnants of men like Captain William Kidd, who were such a danger in this period.  The Cellar House was at one point owned by a French pirate who might have used the tunnel to stash illegal brandy. It has been whispered that he departed rather suddenly after murdering his young wife, leaving her body and ghost. The Cellar House rests upon a foundation of an earlier house dating back to an early land grant from Lord Baltimore. A skeleton in the cellar of the old house was the first evidence that there might have been some basis to this tale of violence, but Delaware archaeologists concluded that Cellar House might rest on the remains of an even earlier Native American hut within a Native American community. The home, which is owned by Jack and Martha Graham, includes full paneling of cypress planking in the great room and great room chamber, and elaborate cornices and chair rails appear throughout the house. More than a hundred interesting pieces of sculpture adorn the property surrounding the Cellar House. Why May?  Because that is when the Cellar House ghosts, like the bride of the French sea captain, return to the Cellar House?  Because this is the best month to view ghost ships if French smugglers slipping past the Cellar House on the Pocomoke?  No, because it is the annual Nabb Research Center fund-raiser to support Nabb's ongoing efforts to preserve the unique history of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. For more information call Becky Miller at the Nabb Research Center at 410-543-6312 or e-mail

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