CMS athletes ride into county’s past in Vienna

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Special to Dorchester Banner
Members of Cambridge Multi-Sport Club’s beta group rode from North Dorchester to Handsell House in Vienna on Saturday

CAMBRIDGE – Turns out there’s more to sports than just who wins the race.

Members of Cambridge Multi-Sports Club’s beta cycling group gathered in North Dorchester on Saturday for a ride to Vienna’s historic Handsell House. The club organizes rides for athletes of all experience and ability levels – the alpha group is the fastest and most competitive, followed by the betas.

The riders got an early start to beat the worst of the mid-summer heat. In the course of a 36-mile ride through rural Dorchester County, the athletes enjoyed scenes including a field of bright-yellow sunflowers, and a tour of the partially restored Handsell House.

“In 1665, Thomas Taylor was granted 700 acres of Land called ‘Handsell’ along the Nanticoke River in the location of Chicone Indian town. In 1704, this land was made part of an Indian reservation by an Act of the Maryland Assembly,” a statement on www.restorehandsell.org said. “In 1769 the properties were returned to the ownership of the English families who had possessed the land grants.”

“Handsell is one of the last remaining 18th-century brick dwelling houses in Dorchester County,” the statement continued. “Originally a grand, two-story Georgian home, a major event, possibly a fire at Handsell, gutted much of the interior and weakened the rear exterior wall, causing a partial collapse of the structure.”

Handsell was rebuilt to its current one and one-half story structure. The interior woodwork is all original to the period of the rebuild in 1837.

Special to Dorchester Banner Members of Cambridge Multi-Sport Club’s beta group rode from North Dorchester to Handsell House in Vienna on Saturday

Special to Dorchester Banner
During a tour of the historic site, the athletes examined artifacts, including this oven.

This brick dwelling is now listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

CMS members Cindy Gilbert and Rob Davis organized the ride and the tour of the house. To learn more about the club, visit cambridgemultisport.wordpress.org. To learn about Handsell’s restoration, visit www.restorehandsell.org or call 410-228-7458.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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