Past Jamborees – 10 years!

PAST Jamborees

2022:  1780 Vienna Attacked!


2019: Celebrating Dorchester’s 350th Anniversary


2018:  Games Replayed


2017:  Slave Dwelling Project Comes to Dorchester

The Nanticoke River and the area around Handsell known as the Indiantown has had a rich and diverse history, which includes the stories of American Indians, African American men and women and English Colonists.
In celebration of Dorchester County’s rich African American heritage, the “Slave Dwelling Project Comes to Dorchester” brought attention to vernacular structures associated with this history including extant vernacular structures that served as dwelling houses, churches or other cultural and utilitarian uses in the lives of African Americans and well as provided an opportunity to “provide leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery”.   This project featured Joseph McGill of the who stayed one night in the Handsell Slave Chamber in Vienna and one night at the Bayly House Slave Cabin in Cambridge and discussions were led by Coming to the Table organization.
The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance is owner and caretaker of Handsell, a National Register of Historic Places Site on Indiantown Road.  NHPA planned this event as a demonstration of their commitment to two of their mission statements: (1) “Cultivate and encourage the appreciation of racial and cultural diversity by the public though programming and social interaction”; and “Engage the public by sponsoring historical and cultural living history events”.
The event began with a Friday Opening Reception at the Harriet Tubman State Park with a Introductive Presentation by Mr. McGill, followed by a “Candlelight Vigil” at the Bayly Slave Cabin with live vocal performances based on Negro Spirituals.
On Saturday, a living history event at Handsell featured two presentations and discussions (morning and afternoon)  led by The goal of this was to unite descendants of Slave owners and enslaved people to “Come to the Table” in unity to discuss their common history.   Other planned activities for Saturday at Handsell included the “Inalienable Rights” troupe,  African American living history performers representing early African American skills, crafts, military history and food historians.  During the day on Saturday, The Harriet Tubman Organization escorted  tours of Dorchester County African American historic sites, including the HT State Park which will include a stop at Handsell for all the festivities.  The bus tour helped promote Dorchester County Tourism.
Members of the

Members of the “Inalienable Rights” troupe of African American interpreters.

2016:  Games!   Unfortunately this event was rained out!  Games theme was repeated in 2018!

2015:  FIRE!


Thank you to our sponsors!

2014: 400 Years in Indiantown!


3rd Nanticoke River Jamboree “Waterway to Freedom” 


The NHPA  joined all of Dorchester County to commemorate the 100th year of Harriet Tubman’s death.  Tubman, born in Dorchester County, led over 300 enslaved people to freedom through the fields, woodlands and marshes of the Eastern Shore as she headed north to Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.  Along with our usual Environmental Displays, the 2013 Jamboree commemorated the of the struggle of those who sacrificed so much to find freedom along the Underground Railroad Byways.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Every year at this all-day family-friendly event, you can paddle along a protected and pristine Eastern Shore creek, ride a bike on country roads and enjoy displays from more than a dozen nonprofits.

Native Lodge under construction at Handsell pictured here August 2013.

Native Lodge under construction at Handsell pictured here August 2013.

Collage of the Filming of "Voices of the Indiantown"

Collage of the Filming of
“Voices of the Indiantown”Living History Re-enactors including Art Malestein, 17th century re-enactor of Christopher Nutter, early owner of Handsell trading post;  Jeff Dunkelburgher, a colonial blacksmith from Virginia; Warren Saunders, Maryland Master Apprentice and Decoy Carver; Frank Bittner, faux painting and much, much more!

*** Children’s Tent:  Featured in 2012, a Handsell Children Art Show.  Come let your child particpate in the coloring of four line drawings which will be displayed the day of the Jamboree.  Your child will receive a special “certificate” thanking them for participating in a Historic Art Show!!!  (All ages under 12)

The Dunkleburger boys from Virginia enjoy the Childrens Tent at the 2012 Jamboree.

The Dunkleburger boys from Virginia enjoy the Childrens Tent at the 2012 Jamboree.

Eastern Shore Militia performing at the 2013 Jamboree.

Eastern Shore Militia performing at the 2013 Jamboree.


The 2012 Nanticoke River Jamboree: “Life on the River 1612-1812” was held on June 23, 2012 at Handsell.  Virginia Blacksmith Jeff Dunkelburger had this to say about the 2012 Jamboree at Handsell:

“We were priviledged to demonstrate colonial blacksmithing at the Nanticoke River Jamboree, this past Saturday at Handsell to support the efforts to restore the house of Handsell and to celebrate the historic nature of the area.  It was an amazing event, filled with interesting people and fascinating history.  We’ve never been at a place before where the content of a festival was so solid – early American history and the war for Independance….the Underground Railroad and African American history… and Native American history all focused on one place.  I was so jealous of the folks that got to attend all the various talks.  There was so much to learn!”  —Jeff Dunkelburger, blacksmith

You can follow Jeff’s blog at:

For a complete Photo Album of the 2012 Jamboree go to our Handsell Facebook page at:     

All the photographs of the Jamboree posted on Facebook and shown here are by volunteer Beth Barbush.  Thank you Beth for the very professional photographs!

For a short video collage of the Jamboree on You Tube go to:

Presented last year – The Baltimore United Volunteers, War of 1812 Reenactors!  With full uniform dress, rifles and equipment!  Come join us for the Star-Spangled fun!

2011 Jamboree: Baltimore United Volunteer 1812 Re-enactors at Handsell!

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