In 1993, Mabel Satterlee
Ingalls, Sotterley’s last private owner, passed away
at the age of 92. At that time, Sotterley officially
was turned over to the historic foundation she had
created in 1961. Items left at Sotterley that were
not claimed by family members became part of
Sotterley’s museum collection pieces. Since then,
several antique pieces significant to Sotterley’s
history have been donated by owner’s descendants.
Most of Sotterley’s collections date from the
Colonial Revival period and belonged to
and Louisa Satterlee. Some items were added
during Mabel Ingalls’ ownership, while donated
pieces from Plater and Briscoe descendants round out
Sotterley’s interior woodwork
and architecture, such as the Chinese Chippendale
Staircase c. 1770, are also considered valuable
Resources are needed to maintain, preserve, and
conserve Sotterley’s story through its material
culture. What people owned and collected tells us
much about the lives the people who lived here.
Collections give us insight into national and local
historical trends, wealth or lack thereof, and
personal tastes. Part of Sotterley Plantation’s
mission is to preserve this material culture through
Each collections piece is catalogued with a number.
Information associated with the item is recorded.
When did the item appear at Sotterley? Who was its
owner? Who was its maker? What is it made of? What
was its use? How old is the item? Was the item a
later acquisition? How much is the item worth?
Should the item be included in the collection or be
de-accessioned? Does the item need to be conserved,
restored, or both? What does the item tell us about
its owner? the time period? the styles and
priorities of the day?
Visitors and supporters of Sotterley, just like you,
help to preserve Sotterley’s collections. Donors can
contribute to the conservation and restoration of
Sotterley art work, documents, furniture, china and
To find out more about opportunities to
Adopt-a Collections piece,
or call 301-373-2280.