Holiday House Tour Championship: Quarterfinal Round 1 Voting

You have chosen the last tour to enter the quarterfinals! Christmas in the Country (1988) emerged victorious over Stroll on Stewart Street (2013). While the first round of voting may be over, the next round of eliminations starts this week as we begin the quarterfinals. Here is the updated bracket:

It’s time for you to pick the first winner of the quarterfinals. Will it be At Home for Christmas or Amble Along Amherst? You can refresh your memory of the tours at the links, and then cast your vote when you have decided. The choice is yours – but remember to vote before midnight on Wednesday!

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Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Eight Voting and Quarterfinal Round 1 Match-up

As the end of the first round draws near, another house tour moves on through the bracket. A Candlelight Christmas (1982) bested Yesteryear & Beyond (2011). Now it’s up to you to choose which tour will face off against it in the quarterfinals. Will it be 2013’s Stroll on Stewart Street, or 1988’s Christmas in the Country? The choice is yours! Here is the updated bracket:

It’s time for you to choose the final tour that will advance to the quarterfinals. Your choices are Stroll on Stewart Street (2013) and Christmas in the Country (1988). You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, September 23, and results will be posted in the September 27 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

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The quarterfinal voting starts next Friday. Our first match is “Holiday Houses on Parade” versus “Amble Along Amherst.” The outcomes may be close as the competition heats up, so be sure to cast your ballot for your favorite tours. The choice of the Holiday House Tour Champion is yours!

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Seven Voting and Week Eight Match-up

As we draw to the end of the first round of the Holiday House Tour Championship voting, the public has crowned another fan favorite to move on through the bracket. Through the Centuries (2019) bested Travel Through Time (2016) in a runaway victory! It will be facing off against the equally-loved Potato Hill Promenade in the quarterfinals. Here’s our updated bracket:

It’s time for you to choose the next tour that will advance to the quarterfinals. Your choices are Yesteryear & Beyond (2011) and A Candlelight Christmas (1982). You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, September 16, and results will be posted in the September 18 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

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Week eight matches Stroll on Stewart Street (2013) against Christmas in the Country (1988). The tours were both memorable for different “first and only time” reasons. Stewart Street was to have been highlighted for the first time in the 2013 tour, which also reintroduced the larger tour booklet format and a wreath workshop at the Bough and Dough Shop. Unfortunately, it became the first time the Sunday general admission tour was cancelled for a snowstorm. The 1988 tour was the only time to date the Holiday House Tour visited Frederick County. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the tours:

Stroll on Stewart Street in 2013 was the first time the street received special attention from the Holiday House Tour. While only the Preview Party and Bough and Dough Shop were available this year, it was nevertheless an outstanding tour. The highlight was most likely the Bough and Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre, which offered a free wreathmaking workshop on Saturday morning. You can get a glimpse of the Bough and Dough Shop and the workshop in our albums on Facebook. The sites that were open on Saturday evening for the Preview Party and Candlelight Tours were:

520 South Stewart Street, Bruce and Donna Downing

The Downings moved into their 1929 Colonial Revival home in 1978. The house was built by Lucretia Wood Ely. Mrs. Ely, her two daughters and a son-in-law, Ben Arthur, all resided in the house at one time. The home borrows its styling from early American building traditions with small pane windows, a pedimented porch with columns protecting the sidelights and transom around the front entry and a symmetrical façade balanced by porch additions on both sides. The Downings maintained the historic integrity of their home over the years while making changes to accommodate their family needs. The rear sunroom was expanded in 1983 and an elevator was installed in 1984. A pergola connected the house to the garage in 1985 and a rear screened-in porch was added in 1999. The kitchen renovation done in 2003 extended the south façade while protecting the majestic oak tree outside their kitchen window. The house was furnished with family heirlooms and fine art pieces created by local and regional artists. Deirdre Cochran entertained guests during the party with live dulcimer music.

800 South Stewart Street, Tim and Barbara Bandyke

A brick wall topped with a wrought iron fence and rails neatly defines the yard of this vernacular Colonial Revival style house on the corner of Pall Mall and Stewart Streets. It was one of the latest structures on this tour with a construction date of 1935. Staying true to the characteristics of the Colonial Revival style this house exhibits the eaves-front symmetrical façade opened by small multi-paned sash windows with shutters. The full front porch with its Tuscan columns and denticulated entablature protects the center hall entry way with transom and sidelights. Inside, the home features several generations of family heirlooms.

After touring the main house, visitors could peek into the circa 1925 Craftsman-style cottage to the rear of the property at 205 West Pall Mall Street for a look at a renovation in progress.

704 South Stewart Street, Joe and Amy Ressa

Between the many Colonial Revival style houses on this street are other delightful examples of styles popular in the early 20th century, such as this Tudor Revival style home. Built in 1926, the first year of the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, this house exhibits the variety of the style with an asymmetrical brick façade defined with a high pitched shingled roof, front half-timber gable dormer and protruding front gabled façade. The round arched vertical board front entry with large strap hinges is decorated with a delicately painted bird in a wreath. Once inside the visitor enters a vestibule with tile flooring and an entry way with a 5-tier wedding cake chandelier, parquet floor and plaster moldings which continue into the living and dining rooms. Since milk was delivered fresh in the 1920s, the kitchen has a small milk delivery cupboard in the wall. In the front of this home are first story small paned French doors which open onto a front patio surrounded by a brick pillar and wrought iron railing.

407 South Washington Street, Thorn Hill Manor, George and Kim Craft

It is believed that the nucleus of Thorn Hill Manor was built in 1787 by Robert White, Jr. on land acquired from James Wood’s widow, Mary, on September 14, 1786. Mr. White was a private in the Continental Army until receiving a serious wound in 1778, sending him back home to Winchester where he began his studies in law with his uncle, Alexander White. After a stellar legal career he was appointed judge of the General Court of Virginia in 1793. He died in 1831 and by 1840 his home began to be passed down to some of the accomplished families in the area such as Joseph Tuley, who built the Tuleries in Clarke County, William Byrd, son of Colonel Richard E. Bird, W. Alexander Baker, City Council member and city treasurer, and Dr. Monford D. Custer, Jr. The original Federal-style house was probably one room deep, three rooms across and two and half stories high. It is believed that the intricate woodwork, mantel and crown molding in the dining room was carved by Hessian workmen who remained in this country after the Revolutionary War. There is evidence of a fire c.1850 after which the house was rebuilt adding two front rooms, lengthening the center hallway and adding the Greek Revival front door with its transom and sidelights. The grand two-story portico with its full pediment and Ionic columns was added c.1920 by Alexander Baker. In 1952 while Dr. and Mrs. Monford Custer were doing renovations, they came upon a message left by Nathaniel B. Meade regarding troop movements during the Civil War.

409 South Stewart Street, Susu Bearov

This house once belonged to Peyton Marshall, Winchester Clerk of the Court from 1940 until 1975. Built in 1910, supposedly by Mr. Marshall’s grandfather, William, it was the first house to stand on this block. Its symmetrical brick façade is opened by 26 sash windows with round arch brick lintels and louvered blinds. On the north and south sides of the house there are 2-story bays, one with slate shingles in the attic gable. In the front of the house a decorative tripartite window in the gabled dormer lights the attic. The full front Tuscan-columned porch with denticulated entablature has a small paneled pediment which accents the entry way to a vestibule opened by a double paneled front door. Once inside, guests are welcomed into a large hallway with a prominent multi-level staircase. The first floor plan is repeated on the second floor. Interesting features of the house are living room pocket doors, a working kitchen that originally had no cabinetry, and a back staircase that climbs from the basement all the way to the attic.

407 South Stewart Street, Gina Sullivan and Steve Surber

Look for the large, ancient curb-side sycamore tree and you will know you have arrived at a home that exemplifies the vernacular Colonial Revival style. Built in 1918, when Americans were looking for correct proportions and details from our country’s early history, this brick home epitomizes the symmetrical, well balanced façade so loved by the turn of the century architects. An eaves front shingled roof protects the symmetrical brick façade with its six-over-one sash windows. The full front one-story porch supported by fluted Tuscan columns has a square spindle railing, wrought iron hand railing and brick stairs which welcome the visitor to the first floor center hall entry with transom and sidelights. The Surber-Sullivan home featured original artwork by local artists.

110 South Stewart Street, Wilborn and Martha Roberson

This Dutch Colonial Revival-style dwelling is an excellent example of domestic architecture built along South Stewart Street in the early twentieth century. Likely constructed circa 1905, this two-story, rectangular-plan home sits on a stone foundation, is clad in stucco, and is topped by a gambrel roof with overhanging eaves. An exterior end stucco-clad chimney with a corbeled cap rises at the north elevation of the home. The windows, a favorite feature of the current owners, are set in wood surrounds, flanked by louvered shutters and consist of one-over-one double-hung wood sashes with a distinctive diamond-light upper sash and a single-light lower sash. The home’s front entrance, comprised of a wood paneled door set in a wood surround with diamond-light sidelights and transom, is sheltered by a full-width porch with four Doric columns. Modifications to the home over the years include a modern kitchen addition completed in 2003 by the Roberson family. The warm yellow color of the home’s exterior and the wide front porch welcome guests in the neighborhood. Tour highlights of the Roberson home included art, furnishings and holiday decorations collected over the years through family and travel.


Indian Spring

Christmas in the Country in 1988 was one of the few times bus transportation was offered, almost surely because of the distance between the sites in the county precluded walking. The Bough and Dough Shop was located in the Frederick County Courthouse on the Loudoun Street Mall. Delicious home baked goods, wreaths, greens, and tree ornaments were available for purchase. Carolers, handbell choirs, and musicians were at various locations along the tour performing favorites of the season. Images of the homes can be seen in our Flickr album.

Monte Vista, Eve and Eugene Newman

This embellished Victorian farmhouse located on Route 11 south of Middletown sits on one of the highest points in the area and has a commanding view of the valley. Its current owners worked diligently to have the home listed on the Virginia and National Registers of Historic Places. Built in 1883 for Charles W. Heater, a prominent Frederick County farmer and businessman, the 14 room house has 15 inch brick walls, 12 foot ceilings and 56 windows. Surrounding the house are various outbuildings including a stone ice house, summer kitchen, large barn, show barn,
a granary, and a scale house. Guests stepped back into the warmth of a post-Civil War Christmas in this home.

St. Thomas Chapel

Completed in 1836, this Gothic style church patterned after the York Cathedral in England has seen many uses. During the Civil War the building was used as a commissary, stable and hospital. The church served as one of seven Episcopal Churches in Frederick Parish until 1946 when it was abandoned by the parish and fell into disrepair. In the 1960s a trust was formed and restoration began. The building is now listed as a Virginia Landmark and is in the National Register of Historic Places. Presently, the church is used for weddings, concerts, special interdenominational services. and public gatherings. The festive decorations in this tiny chapel at Christmas time are guaranteed to reawaken a tired spirit.

Indian Spring, Mrs. Helen Brill Betty and John B. Lumpkin

The stone house at Indian Springs was built in 1751 by Jacob Chrisman and his wife Magdelena. Magdelena was the daughter of Yost Hite who had arrived in the valley with his family in 1732. Her nephew, Issac Hite. Jr., built Belle Grove. The present owner, Mrs. Helen Brill of Strasburg, is a direct descendant of the third holders of the deed who acquired the land in 1826. Still surviving are two log structures adjacent to the house. There were slave quarters but they are no longer standing. Crossing this threshold brought guests back to a colonial Christmas in Frederick County.

Newtown Tavern, Lyda and Jonathan Bitto

Located on Main Street in Stephens City, this large home was originally built in 1819 for use as a tavern. Its location on the Old Valley Turnpike made it an ideal stopping place for travelers and it boasts such esteemed visitors as General Phillip Sheridan and General Andrew Jackson. The building was used as a tavern through the beginning of the twentieth century, being converted to a residence as late as 1906. The current owners operated a bed and breakfast from their residence, returning the building in a sense to its original use. The Bittos invited you to savor the hospitality of a Christmas of bygone days in this lovely home.

The Fawcett House, Carl and Martha Carroll

The Fawcett house was built in the late I700s by one of the Fawcetts, a Quaker family that had settled in the valley around 1744. There is some disagreement about which of the Fawcett sons actually built the home, though it appears that the original portion was a single room stone house only twenty-foot square. This simple structure was unique because it also had a cellar. It is presumed that the cellar is where the family lived until the upper portion was finished. The original home has since been incorporated into several larger and later additions. Surprisingly, the home was owned by one of the Fawcett family until it was sold to the present owners in 1971. The simple charm of this Quaker style home is particularly pleasing in this holiday season.

Hexagon House Preservation of Historic Winchester

Business was turned aside to celebrate the Christmas season with refreshments and traditional greens. This six-sided Victorian ltalianate villa was built in 1873 for James W. Burgess, a furniture and casket dealer in Frederick County. Orson Squire Fowler, an architect and phrenologist, inspired builders of that day to build on an octagonal plan. This house is particularly unique — because it has six sides rather than eight. The Hexagon House is on both the Virginia and National Register of Historic Places. It is the only six-sided house in Virginia and one of the few in the United States.

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Six Voting and Week Seven Match-up

Another week down, and another Holiday House Tour has emerged victorious from the poll of public opinion. Potato Hill Promenade (2014) bested December Delights (2015) with 100% of the votes! Here’s our updated bracket:

It’s time for you to choose the next tour to compete against Potato Hill Promenade in quarterfinals. Your choices are Travel Through Time (2016) and Through the Centuries (2019). You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, September 9, and results will be posted in the September 11 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

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Week seven matches Yesteryear & Beyond (2011) against A Candlelight Christmas (1982). Both tours were on the inclusive side with more than the usual five stops. Yesteryear & Beyond was concentrated on adaptive reuse projects and buildings waiting for their next phase of use, while A Candlelight Christmas focused on South Loudoun Street homes recently renovated for residential or commercial use. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the tours:

Holiday House Tour 2011

Yesteryear & Beyond in 2011 was an ambitious tour that visited eight historic buildings. It was different from the standard tour format in that instead of concentrating on homes, most of the sites were residential construction repurposed for commercial use. While it was not a traditional tour of houses, many of the buildings were still architecturally or historically intriguing. As with most modern house tours, the Bough and Dough Shop was held at the Winchester Little Theatre for the event weekend. Carolers were also present to brighten the event, led by Little Theatre volunteer Jim Carter. See some images of the tour at Flickr and refresh your memory of the sites below:

The Lewis Jones Knitting Mill, 120-126 North Kent St.

The Lewis Jones Knitting Mill was constructed in 1895 for the production of cotton knit goods. Founded by Lewis Jones, Sr. of Philadelphia and Albert Baker of Winchester, it was the only cotton mill in Winchester. The rehabilitation of the late Victorian-era brick building by Oakcrest was based around preserving the original brick and timber construction structure. All interior and exterior brick and wood timbers were restored to their natural finish. The Knitting Mill was open only for the Preview Party on Saturday night. Costumed carolers from the Winchester Little Theatre enlivened the party with seasonal music.

Red Lion Tavern, 204 South Loudoun St.

The Georgian-style limestone tavern known as the Red Lion was constructed circa 1783 by Peter Lauck, a member of Morgan’s Riflemen. Peter Lauck and his wife Amelia kept the Red Lion Tavern from 1783 to 1831. Peter sold the tavern to his son Issac in 1831 and retired to his home “Edgehill” at the end of Cork Street. However, he did not stay in retirement long, buying the property back from Issac three years later and living here until his death in 1839, with Amelia following him in 1842. The building retains a remarkable level of interior integrity, including the wide plank floors, the enormous kitchen fireplace, a moveable interior wall in the second-story ballroom, paneled mantels, early decorative hinges and pintles, and unique flying buttresses.

Hill’s Keep 126 South Loudoun St.

This vernacular limestone dwelling was constructed circa 1810. The deeply recessed wood door is flanked by 6/6, double-hung, wood-sash windows with wood sills and board-and-batten wood shutters typical of the period. The building, originally part of the Red Lion Tavern complex, has served as an ice cream factory, candy store, dwelling, printing shop, and the office of Preservation of Historic Winchester. At the time of the tour, is was the office of Winchester Storm. The building was moved from its original location at 8 East Cork Street in 2004.

Christ Episcopal Church, 142 West Boscawen St.

Christ Episcopal Church has been in continuous use as a sacred site in Winchester since its construction in 1828. Before entering the church, visitors were encouraged to view the side yard which contains the tomb of Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The original church building was situated at the corner of Loudoun and Boscawen Streets on land given by Lord Fairfax. In 1827, the Parish took the name Christ Church and began the relocation process to the present location on Boscawen Street. The fashionable new church was built with the proceeds of the sale of the original church. The interior of the church is lined with plaques commemorating rectors and parishioners from the 18th to 20th centuries. In the chancel, a glass top case holds silver and pewter pieces; one of the oldest being a pewter communion cup inscribed “Frederick Parish 1746.” Visit Christ Episcopal Church online for more information about their history and parish programs at www.christchurchwinchester.org. Further history may be obtained from the book The History of Christ Church, Frederick Parish, by Katherine L. Brown, et. al., available at the Handley Regional Library.

109 Amherst St.

This charming office was once part of the Federal-style dwelling facing North Braddock Street erected circa 1820 by Samuel Brown. From 1856 until the Civil War, the building was home to a school for girls run by Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Powell. The ell containing 109 Amherst Street was later converted to a single-family dwelling. The whimsical asymmetry of the façade draws the eye to the single-leaf, paneled wood door flanked by five-light sidelights.

106 North Washington St.

Constructed in stages from the early 19th century on, the present house is the home of Harry and Debbie Smith. Its external appearance is typical of late 19th century Victorian remodeling with German wood siding, bracketed eaves, and a center gable highlighted with fish scale wood shingles. Before you enter this home on the tour, be sure to note the slightly asymmetrical facade that resulted from the expansion of two bays to the north. The stairways, mantels and pine flooring are original elements from the 19th century enlargement of the house.

302 West Boscawen Street

The professional office of J. Douglas McCarthy & Associates is constructed in the Queen Anne style with Eastlake influences. Through the front door, guests are greeted in the entry hall by a classic gilded female figure atop a tall incised oak newel post. Her upraised arms support a milk glass globe lighting the oak staircase. The parlor is highlighted by a grand walnut over-mantel with beveled mirrors backing bric-a-brac shelves. The dining room fireplace mantel, though less ornamental, is carved with turnings and simplified geometric designs in the English tradition of Charles Locke Eastlake. The carvings of this mantel repeat the design of the front double doors. This engaging structure is located on the site of the Winchester Medical College. The first College opened in 1827 but was closed shortly after. The second attempt in 1847 proved more successful and the College remained in operation until the beginning of the Civil War, when the building burned in 1862. Charles L. Crum subsequently purchased the lot to construct his residence, the current building, in 1881.

The Cabell House, 324 West Boscawen Street

This late Federal-style dwelling was built for Mrs. Elizabeth W. Cabell around 1843. The clean lines of the facade are accented with rosetted corner blocks on the window lintels. Delicate fluted columns in the manner of Minard Lefever surround the front entrance. The stately symmetry of the exterior is repeated in the two parlor rooms flanking the entry hall with its main staircase composed of delicately turned balusters and a boxy, geometric patterned newel post. Large 5-paneled doors with box locks open into each room with classical fireplaces made with Winchester knife-shelf mantels supported by Tuscan columns. In the center of one fireplace is a carved classical urn panel and on the other is an American eagle in profile. The west room has a cast iron decorative stove insert. This home is featured in Garland R. Quarles’ book The Story of One Hundred Old Homes in Winchester, Virginia.


Holiday House Tour

A Candlelight Christmas in 1982 saw Loudoun Street bustling with vendors calling out their wares, strolling carolers, and the scent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies and spicy hot cider emanating from Kitty and Nancy’s Custom Drapery Shop at 220 S. Loudoun Street. All but two homes were bought and sold through PHW’s W. Raymond Jennings Revolving Fund, making it another Revolving Fund-centric tour. After the tour, guests were encouraged to continue down the Loudoun Street Mall to experience the town’s 1890s Christmas celebration. Merchants were in costume and the shops were festively decorated. See photos of the tour homes and the miniature rooms on display at the Godfrey Miller Home on Flickr and refresh your memory of the houses below:

Old Friendship Fire Hall, 12 E. Cork Street

Friendship Fire Hall, built at this location in 1892 and used as a firehall until 1957, was the site of the Christmas Shop, featuring delicious homemade baked goods, fresh greens, and handmade wreaths made by Preservation of Historic Winchester volunteers. The old firehall housed Friendship Fibers, an arts and craft shop owned by Winnie Crew, at the time of the tour.

Godfrey Miller Home, 28 S. Loudoun Street

This impressive home was built c. 1780. Purchased by John Miller in 1812, it remained in the Miller family for 125 years. It became the home of Godfrey S. Miller, John’s son, shortly before the Civil War. His daughter, Miss Margaretta (Gettie) Miller left the home to the Grace Lutheran Church in 1938. In the fall of 1976, the Godfrey Miller Home became a permanent fellowship center for senior citizens. The thirteen spacious rooms were decorated for the Christmas season. Miss Gettie’s diary was on display for visitors. Eight miniature rooms handmade in the 1940s by Mr. William P. Massey, Sr. and four miniature rooms owned by Mrs. Dorothy Hippler were also on display.

Mr. & Mrs. William Morrell, 215 S. Loudoun Street

This two story brick house was built c. 1840 and later remodeled in the Victorian style. The front entrance has a bracketed cornice, turned balusters and elaborate scroll work. Fine Arts Limited, an art gallery in the front room, was owned by the residents, Mr. & Mrs. Morrell. Three fireplaces and fresh greenery brought this home aglow with the warmth of the holiday season.

Mr. & Mrs. John G. Lewis, 422 S. Loudoun Street

The Peter Miller House is an excellent example of an early Federal style log home. Godfrey Miller, a stocking-weaver, migrated to Winchester in 1768 and built 424 S. Loudoun St. in 1774. Shortly before his death in 1803, he built 422 S. Loudoun for his son, Peter. Of the remaining c. 1800 mantels, one in the front room is in the Winchester style. Note the wide pine flooring, beaded backboard moldings, original chair rail and interior paneled doors. This home lets you step back in time to experience the charm of a colonial Christmas.

Dr. Steven Cooksey, 501 S. Loudoun Street

This log home was built nearly two hundred years ago by Benjamin Sidler. Originally a small cabin, it was later enlarged during the ownership of Godfrey Miller and his heirs from 1797 until 1871. Music is always in the air, as the present owner, Dr. Cooksey, is the chairman of the keyboard division at Shenandoah College & Conservatory of Music. The natural greenery of the decorations remind one of an 18th century style celebration.

Marian J. Rhodes, 513 S. Loudoun Street

A colonial feast awaited holiday guests at this home with a groaning table of traditional fare – turkey, ham, oysters, potatoes and pies. This 18th century log structure sits on a high stone foundation due to the cutting away of Loudoun St. in the mid-1800s. The c. 1790 house has original pine floors and paneled wainscoting in the front hall, living room and den. The charm of this restored house was highlighted by the 18th century style decorations.

Emily J. Farrington, 11 E. Monmouth Street

Around the corner to Monmouth Street visitors could see this charming log duplex, built pre-1850. The owner’s son, Gary S. Farrington, restored much of the house, including the original brick and stone fireplaces downstairs and the two upstairs bedrooms. Original wood beams were left exposed in the upstairs. Traditional holiday trimmings highlighted the style of this home.

Eleanor S. Rutledge, 610 S. Loudoun St. and Mary E. Farabaugh, 612 S. Loudoun St.

Conrad Crebs, a Hessian soldier, who was brought here as a prisoner during the Revolutionary War, built these log structures c. 1785. He used 612 as his residence and 610 as his wagon-making shop. The buildings have original beaded weatherboard siding and large stone end chimneys. Note the massive corner fireplaces in 612. Both dwellings have wide pine floors, original hinges, and board and batten doors. Follow the twisting staircase in 610 to the spacious second floor bedroom. Mr. & Mrs. David G. Simpson restored the two dwellings. The homes were decorated for the holidays in a festive country manner.


Voting for this match-up will begin on Friday, September 11 and run through Wednesday, September 16. We will post the link to the poll across social media next Friday and encourage you to share and participate. Results from each match will be announced in the Friday Roundup post and the bracket graphic will be updated. Have fun and feel free to comment with memories you may have of the tour to sway the outcome!

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Five Voting and Week Six Match-up

The polls have closed and another tour progresses through the bracket! The old-fashioned Christmas trappings of Yuletide Traditions in 1981 bested the the family traditions highlighted in the 2004 tour Holiday Houses on Parade. Yuletide Traditions will be facing off against Tradition and Transformation in the quarterfinals. Here’s our updated bracket:


It’s time for you to choose the next tour moving on to the quarterfinals. Your choices are Potato Hill Promenade (2014) and December Delights (2015). You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, September 2, and results will be posted in the September 4 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

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Week six matches Travel Through Time (2016) and the Through the Centuries (2019). The similar-themed tours combined old and new construction. Travel Through Time presented through the adaptations of buildings to new uses and new owners, while the 2019 tour Through the Centuries aimed to present a “best of the best” guided tour of one home for each century of Winchester’s development. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the sites:


PHW’s 40th tour, Travel Through Time (2016) featured different activities and tour sites open on the two tour days. Two local nonprofits opened their buildings for one day each of the tour to complement the privately-owned homes. The Bough and Dough Shop was once again located at the Winchester Little Theatre. Both Saturday and Sunday, Braddock Street United Methodist Church hosted free public concerts – a handbell concert by 6th Dimension on Saturday and the Shenandoah University choirs on Sunday. Costumed carolers from Winchester Little Theatre, organized by Nancy Ticknor, strolled the streets and serenaded tour-goers on Sunday with festive holiday music.

Braddock Street United Methodist Church, 115 Wolfe Street

Although young by Winchester standards, the 1974 Postmodern-style Braddock Street United Methodist Church is almost certain to become a landmark of Winchester’s recent past architecture. The brick sanctuary at the corner of Washington and Wolfe Streets is capped by complex cross-gabled slate roof. Emanating from the center of the roof is a massive metal spire. Inside, the space is lined with bold abstract stained glass windows. The organ, designed and built by Orgues Létourneau Limitée of Canada, has 2,332 pipes. Five hundred pipes and nine restored stops were saved from the previous organ, which had been in operation for over sixty years. Learn more about Braddock Street UMC at braddockstreetumc.org.

Levi Wickham House, 203 South Braddock Street

Levi Wickham, a weaver, built this limestone home and the adjoining Samuel Noakes House circa 1818-1823. While the exterior maintains its appearance as a Federal-style residence, the interior has been updated with modern amenities for an artist’s loft studio. While the front sitting room is cozy with traditional club chairs and a sofa upholstered in sea-foam velvet, the primary living area is spacious and light-filled thanks to an array of south-facing windows and Velux skylight. The architect-designed open floor plan encompasses a dining area with seating for six, a modern kitchen featuring a spacious granite countertop, and a two-story vaulted sitting area. The Wickham House was the site of the Preview Party and was also open for Daylight Tours on Sunday.

Selma, 514 Amherst Street

Union troops destroyed the original house named Selma which stood upon this site and used its stones to construct Fort Milroy during the Civil War. After the war, a new Selma was built in grand style by Judge Edmond Pendleton in 1872. T.K. Cartmell writes that Judge Pendleton held his first term as Judge of the District Courts from 1869-1870. He continued to reside in Winchester following his term, but retired from his profession. Instead, he “erected a splendid mansion. There he and his small family . . . maintained a royal establishment.” The interior is richly detailed with architectural features and fine carvings, and the western side of the first floor is largely a ballroom. The dining room table can seat thirty-five family members and friends.

The Fuller House, 220 West Boscawen Street

The Fuller House is an excellent example of Winchester’s Greek Revival residential architecture. The brick and stucco home was built prior to 1854 by Joseph S. Denny and subsequently enlarged by Dr. William McPherson Fuller, a dentist. An advertisement in the Winchester Times for June 30, 1898 locates his office as the “fifth door west of the Episcopal Church on Water Street.” The Fuller House was furnished with period pieces and artwork belonging to Susan Winkeler, the new owner.

Das Swartzenreader Haus, 314 Courtfield Avenue

Originally an ordinary two-story house built in 1968, this home has been transformed by the husband and wife architectural team Reader & Swartz Architects. Although the house had an excellent corner location with an amazing view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, there was virtually no way to appreciate it due to the boxy, conventional floor plan and the minimal number of small windows. While ultra-modern at first glance, the skeleton of the old house can still be seen in the new design. The outline of the old gable roof on the main block can be seen in the line of the new clerestory windows. Existing studs on the gable ends were retained and stripped to support the new library shelves, accessed on one side by a rolling ladder salvaged from an old telephone building, and on the other by an alternating tread staircase. The three-story, inverted shed-roof addition is made of glass, exposed structural steel, and cedar. The dramatic design created an open, light-filled loft space, which takes advantage of the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east.

The Bell House, 106 North Cameron Street

The handsome Federal-style residence known as Linden Hill was built in 1809 by John Bell, a successful Winchester merchant. The property remained in the Bell family until shortly before the tour, when it was purchased by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. The home is still filled with a number of the Bell family furnishings and collections which have been passed down for generations. The Foundation plans to use the Bell House as part of their interpretation of the civilian life during the Civil War and to share this special building at events like Holiday House Tour.

George Washington’s Office Museum, 32 West Cork Street

George Washington used the middle room of this little house as a military office from September 1755 to December 1756 while Fort Loudoun was being constructed. It was subsequently owned and treasured by the Adam Kurtz family from 1778 to 1908. The City of Winchester acquired it at that time, recognizing its historical significance. Today, the building is a museum operated by the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.


Through the Centuries in 2019 was one of the rare chances for PHW to show the progression of architecture and history via the Holiday House Tour. Aligned to cap off Winchester’s 275th anniversary year celebrations, a representative home was chosen to tell the story from each century of Winchester’s development. Not only was the tour fun and festive, but it also fulfilled our educational mission. The Preview Party, restricted this year to a members-only event, was hosted in a second eighteenth century home with lavish food and drinks as a special treat. The Bough and Dough Shop, held at the Hexagon House, enjoyed its second year of artist expansion and longer operating times.

The Daniel Morgan House, 226 Amherst Street

The Daniel Morgan House, home of the Revolutionary War General, was built in 1786 by London merchant George Flowerdew Norton on a slight knoll of Amherst Street known as Ambler Hill. It is one of the few surviving homes of the period to be built of timber frame construction and is among the dozen oldest non-log buildings in Winchester’s Historic District. General Morgan, famed rifleman, moved here as his retirement home in 1800 and reputedly built the western portion of the house in brick. He died in the upstairs master bedroom on July 6, 1802. Found throughout the home are the original Dutch elbow locks, doors, and red pine flooring. Most of the eight mantels date to the 1830s when the house was upgraded by Alexander Tidball. Other major architectural features, including the staircase, room layout, paneling and wainscoting, would have been familiar to Morgan himself. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

The Obed Waite House, 214 West Cork Street

The Obed Waite House contains a secret—behind the 19th century facade is one of the oldest inhabited residential homes in Winchester. The original part of the log and stone house was built in 1795 by Obed Waite, a lawyer. As his prosperity grew, he added onto the house in 1806 and the 1820s, eventually building 119 South Washington when he outgrew his first home. Renovated after the Second World War, the original woodworking, floors, and architectural details have largely been preserved. The Eberhardts have focused on additional restoration of features, such as the fireplaces, and accenting the Federalist architecture by using period colors and removing some of the modern changes, like closets, to the house. The home was open only for the Saturday night Preview Party.

421 West Clifford Street

Based on the richly ornate and polychromatic houses of the elites of society, Folk Victorian style homes were designed for the everyday family. Colloquially known as “painted ladies,” these homes often sport color schemes ranging from bold and bright to whimsical pastels. The colors draw the eye to the interplay of decorative materials and key architectural features common in Victorian construction. The exterior of this home retains its deeply shaded porch with delicate spindles, a pseudo-tower feature, and complex intersecting gable and hip rooflines of the Folk Victorian style. The Craftsman-inspired bay window and otherwise restrained exterior decorative elements hint at the return of architectural simplicity in the early 20th century. Over the years this home was used as a boarding house and a private nursing home, hosting people known and forgotten in Winchester’s history. It was returned to a single-family dwelling in the 1970s.

512 Courtfield Avenue

In 1938, Raymond Saxe, a local antique dealer, took his builders to Williamsburg to learn about Colonial craftsmanship. They constructed this Georgian-style home with old bricks, using a Flemish bond pattern. The interior features mantels, woodwork and hardware salvaged from local buildings which were being demolished. Rich dark pine doors and woodworking create a warm and receptive atmosphere. Stairs rise from a center hallway, flanked by pine-trimmed front rooms used now as the dining room and study. Distinctive chair-rail molding lines the walls. Of the six fireplaces, three are in corners, and all feature salvaged woodwork. The Masons purchased the house from the Saxe estate in 1979. Visitors enjoyed seeing abundant greens and floral arrangements by friends from the Hawthorne Garden Club. 

163 Academy Lane

Built in 2006, this contemporary home was constructed for Richard Nanna by Joseph Mohr. The brick façade, perhaps a tip of the hat to the brick and stone Winchester Academy that once stood nearby, shows Neoclassical and Palladian influences, as well as a Craftsman-inspired bay window. The complex and multilevel gable roof lines, however, are a hallmark of early 21st century residential design. The interior presents an excellent example of the open floor plan concept, with the kitchen, dining and living areas combined into a single space. In a true post-modern style, the interior features a combination of elements from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  The house truly brings you Through the Centuries of Winchester’s history up to the modern day.


Voting for this match-up will begin on Friday, September 4 and run through Wednesday, September 9. We will post the link to the poll across social media next Friday and encourage you to share and participate. Results from each match will be announced in the Friday Roundup post and the bracket graphic will be updated. Have fun and feel free to comment with memories you may have of the tour to sway the outcome!

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Four Voting and Week Five Match-up

The results are in! Tradition and Transformation in 2012 won out over the similar Something Old, Something New in 2007. The adaptive reuse of the historic buildings won out for our voters over the new construction based on reinterpretations of historic styles. Here’s our updated bracket:

It’s time for you to choose the next tour moving on to the quarterfinals to face off against Tradition and Transformation. Your choices are Holiday Houses on Parade (2004) and Yuletide Traditions (1981). You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, August 26, and results will be posted in the August 28 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

Create your own user feedback survey

Week five pits the 2014 Potato Hill Promenade and the 2015 December Delights tours against each other. The 2014 tour looked back on the foundational history of PHW by touring some of Winchester’s oldest homes near South Loudoun Street, most of which had a connection to PHW’s Revolving Fund. The 2015 tour looked to the expansion of the Winchester Historic District along the western corridors of Amherst and Stewart streets, encompassing homes from the founding days to the early twentieth century. Both tours utilized the Winchester Little Theatre for the Bough and Dough Shop, and proceeds from the shop sales benefited the restoration of the freight station’s exterior. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the sites:


Potato Hill Promenade took visitors through one of the oldest neighborhoods in Old Town Winchester. The area encompasses the gentle hill on South Loudoun and South Cameron Streets and the adjoining side streets. The origin of the name Potato Hill is lost in the mists of time and subject to fanciful speculation. Whatever sparked the first use of the name, Potato Hill was cemented into the history books by the 1850s when “Potatoe Hill” was a frequent identifier of property transfers on South Loudoun Street. Many of the buildings in this area are log, and many of those likely contain remnants of Fort Loudoun. Several homes were saved by Preservation of Historic Winchester’s Jennings Revolving Fund in the 1970s and 1980s. Others were “spin off” restorations enabled by PHW’s neighborhood stabilization efforts. All of these buildings remain because of owners who were willing to peel back the layers of inappropriate changes and reveal the early American history waiting beneath. There was no better time to see these success stories than during PHW’s 50th anniversary year!

610 & 612 South Loudoun Street, Dr. John Chesson

These two buildings were originally owned by Conrad Crebs, a Hessian soldier from Hesse Cassel. Crebs came to America as a soldier under British General John Burgoyne during the Revolutionary War. He was later captured and brought to Winchester as a prisoner of war. He remained here after his release, married, and built several houses on Potato Hill. 612 South Loudoun was Conrad Crebs’ residence. The log dwelling is clad in beaded weatherboard siding, capped by a copper roof with dormers. The interior features four huge limestone fireplaces, while the living room includes an exposed log wall. The narrow, winding stairs to the second story lead to a seven-sided hall. A small study has a trap door and pulley used to haul large items from the living room to the second story.

610 South Loudoun was used as Conrad Crebs’ wagon-making shop. There are two large, forge-like limestone fireplaces and intriguing round holes in the interior exposed log wall, presumed to be relics of the shop. Both properties were purchased by the PHW Jennings Revolving Fund in 1979.

602 South Loudoun Street, David and Margery Wingenbach

The house at the corner of South Loudoun and East Monmouth is an impressive example of early Federal-style limestone construction in Winchester. It stands on land granted to Charles Grim by Lord Fairfax in 1759. Charles Grim was a member of Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen during the American Revolution. The property passed to his son Jacob Grim, then Jacob Anderson, before being purchased by Conrad Crebs in 1786. Accounts vary as to whether the Grim family or Conrad Crebs built the existing stone house; one theory suggests Crebs enhanced a structure built by the Grims. By 1908, the Charles Grim House was altered for commercial use, later a tourist home, and subsequently modified into three apartments. Traces of this modification can be seen in the stone patchwork above the entrance and the first floor windows where there had been two doors and a porch.

221 South Cameron Street, Eugene and Sarah Smith

This house sits on part of Lot 202, which was granted to (Johann) Adam Haymaker, an immigrant from Hachenburg, Germany, in 1759 from Lord Fairfax. The Haymakers were primarily gunsmiths and blacksmiths, but also boasted skilled mechanics and carpenters in the extended family. In Adam Haymaker’s will of 1808, Lot 202 was subdivided and the portion along Clifford Street was given to his grandson, also named Adam, to be held in trust until his twenty-first birthday by Christiana Haymaker. It is presumed the house at 221 South Cameron was built by this Adam Haymaker circa 1820. Later, the log structure was imbued with Italianate style through the addition of brackets and a porch with turned posts and sawn balustrades.

219 South Kent Street, Martha Shickle

This charming log cottage is one of the oldest extant structures on South Kent Street. It was likely built shortly after 1823 when part of Lot 142 was sold for $20 to Elizabeth Conrad. The cozy cabin still retains many of its hallmarks as an early vernacular structure, such as a wood shingle roof, a solid vertical batten wood door, and a one story shed wing that formerly served as the milk and wash house. The home also incorporates Victorian-era gingerbread additions with delicate, stylized tulip sawn balusters on the porches. This cottage, as well as several other nearby homes, was owned by the Hodgson family from 1899 until 1979, when the Hodgson Estate properties were purchased through PHW’s Jennings Revolving Fund and rehabilitated by the new owners.

17 East Monmouth Street, Tommy and Sarah Beavers

Conrad Crebs bought the land that this house sits on from James Marshall on March 4, 1799. This clapboard-sided log house likely was built for one of the eleven Crebs children. Some portion of this house was standing by 1823 when the property, including “lot and improvements,” was transferred to John Crebs, a grandson of Conrad Crebs. It is one of the oldest structures on Monmouth Street, and as such it has seen many alterations over the years to keep up with fashions. The last was a twentieth-century addition of pebbledash siding and a Craftsman-style porch. The current owners removed the stucco and replaced the porch, as well as adding solid paneled wood shutters. This façade improvement earned them an Award of Merit from Preservation of Historic Winchester in 2013.

510-512 South Loudoun Street, Joseph and Sharon Collette

The Grim-Moore House consists of two separate buildings, now joined into one residence by a modern kitchen addition. The circa 1760 log house at 512 South Loudoun was built for the Grim family, while the larger brick structure at 510 was built circa 1796 for Henry and Kate Moore. Henry operated a granary on the property, while Kate was renowned for her dress shop and ladies’ merchandise. The home was purchased from PHW in 1977 by Bill and Virginia Miller. During the initial renovations, traces of the shelves which once lined the living room indicated its use as Kate Moore’s shop. The dining room mantel of yellow pine features acorns. Extensive corrective work was required to level the log house, which can still be seen in the slant of the mantel in the log house. The home was the site of the Preview Party, with delectable catering provided by Becky Parrish of A Matter of Taste, and samples of holiday home-brewed beers provided by Jeff Rudy. Linda Beavers set the mood with piano accompaniment.


Holiday House Tour 2015

December Delights in 2015 was PHW’s 39th Annual Holiday House Tour. The tour traveled around Winchester’s newly expanded Virginia Landmarks Register Historic District. The homes were primarily located along the Amherst-Boscawen corridor and South Stewart Street, major thoroughfares for anyone traveling through town. The western corridor is the artery to the former Northwestern Turnpike, now Route 50 West. The need for a western road had been recognized by General Daniel Morgan and George Washington as early as 1748. The turnpike, constructed between 1831-1838, connected Winchester to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Toll houses were located at twenty mile intervals along its length. Although the Northwestern Turnpike was supplanted by railroads and canals to the north shortly before the Civil War, it was vital to the westward movement. It remains one of our area’s scenic routes, populated with historic sights and homes along its length.

24 South Washington Street, David Look and Terry Frye

This Queen Anne style home was built in 1888 by Alexander M. Baker, a local businessman. The exterior is distinguished by its complex patterned slate rooflines, including the prominent bell-shaped tower in the front. The house boasts seven chimneys and a wraparound front porch supported by fourteen columns. The second story projection features two sets of paired windows with concave lozenge-shaped upper lights. The house was purchased in 1983 and painstakingly restored to a single family residence and appointed with Victorian furniture and ornamentation by Hal and Betty Demuth. The current owners, David Look and Terry Frye, moved into the home in 2014, and they retained a portion of the Demuth’s collections.

220 West Boscawen Street, Richard Oram and Debra L. Johnson

The Fuller House is an excellent example of Winchester’s Greek Revival residential architecture. The brick and stucco home was built prior to 1854 by Joseph S. Denny and subsequently enlarged by Dr. William McPhee Fuller, a dentist. An advertisement in the Winchester Times for June 30, 1898 locates his office as the “fifth door west of the Episcopal Church on Water Street.” The house contains ten fireplaces and the original cherry circular staircase which spirals from the first to the third floor. Found throughout are intricate moldings and woodwork showing a master’s touch. The kitchen and a butler’s pantry converted to a wet bar have been completely modernized by Richard Oram. The carriage house to the rear of the property, which has been restored, will be included on the tour. Artifacts of Dr. Fuller will be displayed in the home.

530 Amherst Street, Preservation of Historic Winchester

The Hexagon House, owned and maintained by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, has been the location of Preservation of Historic Winchester’s office since 2006. This six-sided Italianate villa was constructed between 1871-1874 by James W. Burgess, a local furniture and casket dealer. Burgess listed the Hexagon House for sale in the Winchester News in September of 1873. It was advertised as “one of the most convenient and substantial new brick dwellings in the valley” with a basement cistern, spacious rooms, and multiple closets. It is the only known hexagonal house built in Virginia, and one of only a dozen across the United States. The MSV purchased the property in 1985 and restored the building to its 1870s appearance. It was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The PHW Office on the first floor is furnished with Henkel-Harris furniture, maps of Winchester, and artwork relating to Winchester’s architecture and the history of PHW.

226 Amherst Street, George and Jeanne Schember

The Daniel Morgan House, home of the Revolutionary War General, was built in 1786 by London merchant George Flowerdew Norton. General Morgan, famed rifleman, moved here as his retirement home in 1800 and reputedly built the western portion at that time. He died in the upstairs master bedroom on July 6, 1802. Found throughout the home are the original Dutch elbow locks, doors, and red pine flooring. Most of the eight mantels date to the 1830s when the house was upgraded by Alexander Tidball. Other major architectural features, including the staircase, room layout, paneling and wainscoting, would have been familiar to Morgan himself. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Mr. and Mrs. Schember’s eclectic collections of artwork, furnishings, and Christmas tree decorations were acquired during their extensive foreign and domestic travels.

608 South Stewart Street, Joe and Julie Curran

The 1920s home of Joe and Julie Curran incorporates a number of eclectic design decisions to form a Winchester vernacular Colonial Revival style home. The shed roof dormer with paired windows adds light and headroom beneath steep roofs. The flat porch roof is surrounded by a turned baluster railing, continuing a longstanding Winchester tradition of double stacked porches. The front porch itself is supported by fluted Doric columns symmetrically arranged to frame the large windows and central Craftsman style door. The home has an elevator, which replaced the back staircase in 1940 to add accessibility for the homeowner, C. A Robinson. Tim Bandyke restored the home from apartments in 2005, making the Currans only the second family to use the dwelling as their home.

703 South Stewart Street, Bill and Katy Wiley

The spacious porch on this 1943 Colonial Revival brick home invites you to step inside for the Preview Party on Saturday evening. The dwelling was built on Lot 14 of the Handley Lands. It was sold to Mrs. Jessie I. Butler on March 30, 1936, with the stipulation that no building valued at less than $8,000 would be built. The clean lines of the brick exterior are subtly accented with a denticulated cornice and fluted porch columns. The windows are framed by panel shutters with crescent moon cutouts. Such silhouettes were common in Colonial Revival architecture in the period between World War I and II. Solid panel shutters with cutouts could be securely closed, with the open patterns still admitting some natural light and ventilation to the home in the days before air conditioning.


Voting for this match-up will begin on Friday, August 28 and run through Wednesday, September 2. We will post the link to the poll across social media next Friday and encourage you to share and participate. Results from each match will be announced in the Friday Roundup post and the bracket graphic will be updated. Have fun and feel free to comment with memories you may have of the tour to sway the outcome!

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Three Voting and Week Four Match-up

The results from the second bracket are in! “Amble Along Amherst” (2000) won by a landslide. We’ll look forward to seeing the results in the second round when it goes up against the 2003 tour “At Home for Christmas.” Here’s our updated bracket:

It’s time for you to choose the next tour moving on to round two. Your choices are 2012 tour Tradition & Transformation or the 2007 tour Something Old, Something New. You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, August 19, and results will be posted in the August 21 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

Create your own user feedback survey

Week four features tours that focused on family traditions and old-fashioned holiday charm, separated by almost twenty years. Both tours took place primarily in the South Washington Street and South Stewart Street areas, two very popular streets for home tours. Which tour appeals more to you? Your options for week four are the 2004 tour Holiday Houses on Parade or the 1981 tour Yuletide Traditions. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the sites:

517 S. Washington St.
517 S. Washington St., one of the homes open for the 2004 tour.

Holiday Houses on Parade in 2004 featured holiday traditions and decorations that reflect the owner’s tastes, family, and interests that in turn made the houses enjoyable to visitors. Exterior photos of some of the homes used in the creation of the brochure are available at Flickr.

520 South Stewart Street, Bruce and Donna Downing

This Colonial Revival Style home was built by the Ben Arthur family in 1929. The interior of the house is characterized by high vaulted ceilings, spacious rooms and wide hallways. The design is enhanced by several porches, including an old fashioned screened-in summer sleeping porch over the rear sunroom. Christmas trees formed the centerpiece of the tour’s decorations. A cedar tree in the south sunroom of the house was decorated with World War II antique ornaments and old fashioned tinsel. A full-sized tree outside of the east sunroom was decorated with lights and items for birds and squirrels.

517 South Washington Street, David and Renee Thompson

This home was built around 1905 by Robert Doran on part of the original lot of Robert’s parents. Shortly before 1940, Dr. George and Helen Smith purchased the home and owned the property until the Thompsons bought the house in 1994. Most of the home’s antiques were from Soldier’s Rest, as well as an original watercolor of Soldier’s Rest painted in 1895. Renee, a seamstress, created all of the window treatments and textile accents. A collection of nearly fifty Santa Clauses were scattered throughout their home. A tall silver ornamented tree extending up their staircase in the entrance foyer was a family holiday tradition.

800 South Washington St., Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Lauer

Built circa 1914, this American Arts and Crafts style home has a wonderfully simple open floor plan with distinctive woodwork. The rooms on the first floor are large and, though the kitchen has been recently updated, retain all of the original charm. The owners’ love of art is reflected in their growing collection of regional paintings. Several pieces are by the owner, designer and artist, Robert Lauer.

516 South Stewart Street, M.B. “Pete” and Caz Clowe III

The Clowes are the third family to have lived in this wood framed, Williamsburg-style house built in 1932. It has two fireplaces, one in the formal living room framed by a beautiful old Winchester mantel, and the other in the master bedroom. Miff and Becky Clowe moved into the home in 1947 when Miff returned from World War II. During the war, Becky searched for antique furniture especially for this house, even though they didn’t own it at the time. Their son, M.B. “Pete” Clowe, III, now lives here with his wife, Caz. On display will be some newly-found pen and ink drawings by H.W. Clowe, founder of Clowe’s Jewelry Store in 1876, and his son, Mifflin, Sr. Old mantle clocks, furniture pieces, advertising displays and Civil War letters were also part of the home’s furnishings.

215 West Clifford Street, Stan and Jan Corneal

This brick home was built by Joseph P. and Edith Hicks Miller. Miller was the great grandson of the original Godfrey Miller, who owned Miller’s Dry Goods Store. The house contains Winchester mantels and other architectural elements from area homes, adding an old-fashioned feel to the interior. The original ledger for expenses in the building of the house was found and a copy was on display. Artwork by Stan’s grandfather, who was a friend of W.C. Wyeth, grace the home. Jan is also an artist and illustrator. Family tradition has the Corneals decorating their Christmas tree on the winter solstice and lighting candles to celebrate the turning point of the year.

515 South Washington Street, Dr. and Mrs. Llewellyn Kitchin

Legend has it that this Victorian house was built by a father for his spinster daughter. When the house was built, the owners were so proud of the radiators, or the “new way to heat,” that there is only one fireplace in the house. The large dining room features family pieces from Dr. Kitchin’s side of the family, as well as a painting that has been restored after sustaining damage from a stick going through it. Outside of the dining room windows are tombstones that are a part of the sidewalk. They may be misprints that were “recycled.” The home has been improved by the Kitchins by the addition of a kitchen and family room. These rooms have turned this proud Victorian into a home that suits the lifestyle of the modern day family. As you drive or walk down South Washington Street, you are sure to notice the lit Christmas tree on the front porch of the Kitchin’s home.


Horse drawn carriage ride during 1981 "Yuletide Traditions."
Guests enjoyed horse-drawn carriage rides on a snowy tour in 1981.

Yuletide Traditions in 1981 was the epitome of a classic Christmas house tour. The homes spanned most of the length of South Washington Street, going back to the roots of Winchester with Thorn Hill and progressing through to the 1950s with the Patton home. Horse-drawn carriage rides were held on Washington Street, which was closed for the event. A Christmas Festival Sing was held in the yard of 300 S. Washington Street. Images of the homes decorated for the tour, as well as the Christmas Festival Sing and the carriages are available at Flickr.

222 Handley Boulevard, Mr. and Mrs. David Tharpe

Travel the seas to merry olde England as you step across the threshold of this charming English country cottage-style home. The house, built in 1933, is constructed of local limestone and was extensively renovated by the owners. The Tharpes’ love of England was evident in the English antique furnishings, paintings, and garden which well-suited the architecture of the house.

801 S. Washington Street, Mr. & Mrs. Philip Boyd Glaize, Sr.

This impressive Colonial Revival stucco house, built c. 1922, features beautiful Oriental carpeting, traditional furnishings, and needlepoint items stitched by Mrs. Glaize. Some of the fine pieces of furniture were made by the Glaize and Brother Lumber Company of Winchester, which was founded by Mr. Glaize’s grandfather in 1854. An interesting feature was the airy rattan furnished sunroom with a free-flowing fountain.

407 S. Washington Street, Dr. & Mrs. Monford D. Custer, Jr.

The original portion of this Georgian-style house known as Thorn Hill was built in 1787, although its present hip roof and appearance date to an extensive remodeling after a fire in the early 19th century. A long, wide entrance hall leads the visitor to the Custer’s paneled library, a beautifully appointed sitting room and a spacious dining room, each with a fireplace. The ornate woodwork in the dining room was believed to have been carved by Hessian soldiers, following the Revolutionary War. The fascinating collection of autographs in the family room was of particular interest.

300 S. Washington Street, Mr. & Mrs. J. Sloan Kuykendall

Samuel Atwell built this stately Georgian-style home in 1874, although subsequent owners have since made numerous renovations and additions. Note the attractive entrance with leaded glass transom and sidelights. Of particular interest was Mrs. Kuykendall’s amber glass collection and the wood carved fireplace mantels which match those at the White House.

205 S. Washington Street, Mr. & Mrs. Harold D. Patton

Signs of Christmas were everywhere in this spacious contemporary house built in 1951. The traditional living and dining rooms were handsomely furnished in Henkel-Harris furniture, sold exclusively at Patton’s Furniture Sales in Winchester, established by Mr. Patton in 1957. The holiday season found the Patton family gathered in the cozy kitchen for their annual cookie bake.

122 W. Cork Street, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Yerkes

This two story Federal-style residence is one of three stucco-covered houses on the north side of Cork Street erected by Mr. O.M. Brown in the 1850s. The home was the site of the Christmas Shop featuring delectable homemade baked goods, greens, and handmade wreaths made by Preservation of Historic Winchester volunteers. Guests could warm themselves with gingerbread cookies and hot apple cider.


Voting for this match-up will begin on Friday, August 21 and run through Wednesday, August 26. We will post the link to the poll across social media next Friday and encourage you to share and participate. Results from each match will be announced in the Friday Roundup post and the bracket graphic will be updated. Have fun and feel free to comment with memories you may have of the tour to sway the outcome!

Holiday House Tour Championship: Week Two Voting and Week Three Match-up

The results from the first bracket are in! “At Home for Christmas” (2003) beat out “Christmas Morning Long Ago” (1979) by one vote! It was a close race, so thank you to all who voted. Here’s our updated bracket:

Now it’s up to you to choose which tour will face off against “At Home for Christmas” in round two! Will it be Clifford Street Aglow for the Holidays or Amble Along Amherst? You can refresh your memory on the tours here, and take the poll when you’re ready. Voting is open to anyone. The poll will be open until Wednesday, August 12, and results will be posted in the August 14 blog post. Have fun, share the poll and don’t forget to leave comments or replies on the social media channel of your choice that might persuade voters to your favorite tour.

Create your own user feedback survey

Week three pits two tours of similar themes against each other. Which one highlighted the combination of holiday traditions with new construction and adaptive reuse best? Your options for week three are the 2012 tour Tradition & Transformation or the 2007 tour Something Old, Something New. To refresh your memory, here are the descriptions of the sites:


Christ Epsicopal Church
One of the stained windows at Christ Episcopal Church.

The Tradition and Transformation tour invited visitors to explore historic sites decorated for the holidays and transformed for modern uses. The Blue Ridge Blend Barbershop Quartet serenaded party-goers on Saturday, while carolers in period costumes organized by Todd and Theresa Apple of the Winchester Little Theatre strolled the streets Sunday. The tour brochure with the images of all the houses is available at PHW’s site. A select number of photos from Christ Episcopal Church during the tour can be seen at Flickr.

230 West Boscawen Street, New Lifestyles

Known as the George Seevers Residence or the Holly House, this circa 1854 building combines Greek Revival-style frieze windows and pedimented doorway surround with Italianate arched windows, brick quoins, and hood molds. Union General Banks used this building as his headquarters in 1862. The building was later owned by various members of the Conrad family from 1879-1940 before being converted to office space.

140 West Boscawen Street, Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church has been in continuous use as a sacred site since its construction in 1828. The Gothic Revival-style building is dominated by the three-story bell tower crowned with finials and quatrefoil balustrades. A pointed-arch accented with a flower motif surrounds the double-leaf paneled wood doors. Of particular interest and beauty are the stained glass windows, installed in the late 19th century by the Gernhardt Company of Baltimore. A select number of photos from Christ Episcopal Church during the tour can be seen at Flickr.

103 South Washington Street, Chuck Alton and Judith Omslaer

This Italianate style home was constructed circa 1880 for the Willis family. The elongated first-story windows, segmental brick arches, and modest detailing typify domestic architecture in Winchester during this period. Paired scrolled brackets, cornice returns an ogee-molded cornice, and jigsawn brackets and pendants complete the Italianate styling.

205 South Washington Street, Ardis Cullers

Constructed circa 1951 by Boyd Hamman, this home was designed in the Colonial Revival style with a Cape Cod form. Two dormers extend from the eastern slope of the roof. The central bay on the facade contains a single-leaf, paneled wood door surrounded by four-light side-lights and a semi-elliptical fanlight. This was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Patton, who established Patton’s Furniture Sales in 1957.

211 South Washington Street Erich and Kristin Bruhn

Historically known as the Richard Byrd Residence, this Federal-style dwelling was constructed in 1832 for the prominent Winchester lawyer and member of the Virginia House of Delegates of the same name. Built of Flemish-bond brick, the home is topped with a hipped roof featuring a central Palladian dormer window. The Queen Anne-style porch embellished with a dentilated cornice and spindlework was added circa 1870. This house was willed to PHW by Mrs. Lucille Lozier, an early president of the organization. It is now owned by the Bruhns.

201 South Braddock Street, John Chesson and Anne Schempp

Constructed circa 1810 with a Federal-style form, the building was altered in the 1840s to reflect the fashionable Greek Revival style. Samuel Noakes purchased the property in 1857. The house was altered again in the twentieth century for commercial use as the Peoples Barber Shop. The building is a mixture of limestone and brick covered with a low-pitched, side-gabled roof, covered with standing-seam metal. The house was undergoing renovation at the time of the tour. Images of the process were highlighted on the tour and documented in the PHW blog. The process is summarized on the Reader & Swartz website.

15 South Washington Street, Richard and Pamela DeBergh

Built circa 1899, the DeBergh house, one of the Baker family homes constructed on this block, features an eclectic assembly of Colonial Revival-style details. The second floor has a central bay window festooned with carved swags. Note the Gothic tracery in the second-floor windows, an unusual feature for any house at the turn-of-the-20th century. The house is topped by dormers with alternating triangular and broken-arched pediments in the Dutch Colonial Revival-style slate gambrel roof. The house was only open for the Saturday evening Preview Party.


Holiday House Tour 2007
One of the houses open in the 2007 tour in Glen Lea Court development.

Something Old, Something New in 2007 was a concept tour essentially split into two halves – modern construction adjacent to the Historic District, and adaptive reuse projects inside the Historic District. The homes on this tour were newly constructed in the Glen Lea subdivision, created on land that was once part of 445 Fairmont Avenue, the Glen Lee or Dunheath property. The two commercial buildings highlighted on the tour featured the City Meat Building and the Baker and Co. stone warehouse, both adaptive reuse projects. The Shop was held in the Centre Friends Meeting House, while the Preview Party was held on Saturday at 119 South Washington Street, a c. 1820 home modernized around 1870 by Maj. Robert Hunter. See the PHW blog post with the images and descriptions of all the houses. More photos are available at Flickr.

225 West North Street, Chad Bales and Lori Fountain Bales

Chad and Lori designed their home to fit in with the neighboring historic houses. From the preservation of a stately 200 year old tulip poplar to the use of natural materials throughout, they have adapted their modern, spacious home to its gracious neighborhood. The outdoor fireplace, gourmet kitchen, radiant floor heating and multiple exterior porches are just some of the highlights of this lovely residence uniquely crafted by Fountain Homes.

465 Glen Lea Court, Tom Dillon and Margaret Galloway

Built in 2004, this Ryan Home design includes a side solarium, a quiet and cozy sunroom, and a morning room off the kitchen. Hardwood flooring and ceramic tile grace the main living areas. Commercial grade appliances and granite countertops make the kitchen a gourmet chef’s delight. Many antiques and family heirlooms were found throughout the house as well as artwork from local and national artists.

441 Glen Lea Court, Les and Sabra Veach House

This French Traditional style home was designed by the owners and can claim the distinction of being Winchester’s first all steel frame residential construction. The interior boasts exotic wood floors, a paneled handmade library, an entry hall with double staircase, luxurious master bath, and a gourmet kitchen. A pool house, four car garage, and spectacular landscaping complete the home’s elegance.

420 Glen Lea Court, Dr. Richard and Annoica Ingram House

The Ingram home is composed of bold, contemporary forms blended with traditional elements from Northern European architecture. The main level of the home is floored with Red Ironbark, prized for its durability as well as its beauty. The custom cherry cabinetry in the library was designed by Paul Miller of MakeNest Interiors and was inspired by elements of Maymont Park, an historic estate in Richmond, Virginia.

205-213 North Cameron Street, The City Meat Building

Historical research revealed a long mercantile life for this property, housing meat markets, grocery stores, and furniture stores. The exterior was restored based on photos from the 1950s and enhanced by light-reducing fabric scrims depicting a 1930s butcher shop. The interiors were executed in a modern approach, with new wood and glass walls and exposed structural steel. Light reaches the lower levels through cracked glass floors, which are lit from above by clerestory windows and a skylight. See more photos and details of the interior at www.citymeatbuilding.com.

145 Baker Street, Habitat for Humanity

Built between 1888 and 1897, this building is the only remaining limestone warehouse in Winchester. Baker and Co. Wholesale Grocers built and used this structure to receive and distribute grocery merchandise from the adjacent railroad line. After changing hands several times, the property fell into disrepair and was purchased by Habitat in 2000. Many area businesses donated materials and services to complete the extensive renovations.


Voting for this match-up will begin on Friday, August 14 and run through Wednesday, August 19. We will post the link to the poll across social media next Friday and encourage you to share and participate. Results from each match will be announced in the Friday Roundup post and the bracket graphic will be updated. Have fun and feel free to comment with memories you may have of the tour to sway the outcome!