"The Nelson Homestead / Wood and Stone Retreat is a very exciting project with a high probability of success. It is unique in its multiple contributions to Historic Preservation, Arts & Culture, Education and Tourism. We believe it is an important piece of the puzzle toward re-energizing the economy of Crisfield and a wonderful utilization of an existing 'at risk' Heritage resource here on the Lower Eastern Shore."
-- The Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Areas Council
Our project is turning this endangered, unique, historic and architecturally significant farm house, into a key contributor to the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland's Heritage and Tourism goals and to the broader local and national Music and Arts community.
Thank you for your interest and continued support!
None of this would be possible without you.
In 2014 the Nelson Homestead was designated one of the top 10 most important endangered sites in Maryland by Preservation Maryland, partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Our plan will bring this once beautiful property back to life by first rehabilitating the building and then making the facility available for artist retreat, music programming and heritage tourism.
We are collaborating with local agencies to offer community outreach in the form of free concert performances and educational opportunities for Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore students, young & old. See what we made happen in 2015 - 2017 with our partners, The Crisfield Heritage Foundation, Parks & Rec, The City of Crisfield and Somerset County Arts Council.
Thanks to everyone who made our Stage 1, $50k Funding Goal a reality. With your help we were able to:
Hire engineers for perc testing, elevation survey, geo/soil reports, architectural engineers reports & certificates as required prior to work.
Bring historic carpenters and masonry specialists, along with preservation consultants, to do inspections and scope of work guidance.
Make minor ongoing repairs and maintain acreage.
Repair and resurface the almost impassable driveway.
Remove dead trees and overgrowth from around the house.
Cap the chimneys and waterproof the roof.
Install outdoor temporary electric panel.
Cap off broken plumbing inside house.
Restore the graveyard with the help of UMES honors students, historian Joe Paden and the Anderson family.
Begin researching and documenting the family histories of past residents of the house.
Build relationships and relevance with the local community, municipal agencies and non-profits that will continue to strengthen our programming well into the future.
JANUARY 2020: The Nelson Homestead
is For Sale. House & 9.25 acres $65,000.
I am hopeful that I can find the next steward who can continue the project to rescue and restore this fine property. Serious inquiries can contact me directly at: or 410-882-1606.
August 2018: Due to issues outside of our control and not related to the Nelson Homestead, the FEMA grant funding and resulting work scheduled for May - July did not happen this year. I have contacted and refunded all of the 2018 donors who chose to be refunded. I'd like to thank everyone for your support and encouragement. I will be taking this Winter off the Nelson Homestead project and will give everyone an update in early 2019.
“We give our full support to Mrs. Smith's plans. We believe saving the Nelson Homestead is an important project and look forward to incorporating the property into our heritage programming. The City of Crisfield and the surrounding area benefit economically and culturally if Jennifer is able to realize her goal of preserving the Nelson Homestead to become a destination center for music, writing and culture.”
-- The Crisfield Heritage Foundation
"Mrs. Smith is a native of this area and therefore has a unique perspective of the potential for enrichment of both visiting artists and the interaction of artists with the people. Her plans for an arts center in an authentic homeplace setting will foster both the creativity of the artists and serve as an inspiration and center to further the folk crafts of the region."
--The Somerset County Arts Council