Coming This Weekend: Glen Burnie Day and Second Battle of Kernstown Events

We have two free events to share with you. First, July 22 is Glen Burnie Day at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Between 10 AM-5 PM, the MSV will open its doors for family friendly activities and a classic and modified car show. Learn more at the MSV website.

Also this weekend, the Kernstown Battlefield Association will commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the Second Battle of Kernstown with a series of events on July 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2017. All events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, July 22nd, author and historian Scott C. Patchan will give a special battlefield tour at 10 AM. Scott is the author of Shenandoah Summer; The 1864 Valley Campaign, among other books. Scott will be signing his books before and after his tour. Please meet at the Visitors’ Center.

Saturday afternoon, Shenandoah University Professor Dennis Kellison will be available in the Visitors’ Center to discuss his research about his ancestors that served in the Civil War and how he found them.

On Sunday, July 23rd, at 11 AM, volunteer Larry Turner will present a program on the manufacture and use of artillery fuses in the Civil War. Larry’s presentation will take place in the new conference room.

At 1 PM on Sunday, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Park Ranger Rick Ashbacker will give a presentation on the 1864 campaign called 1864 in a Box. The program is designed to give an overall understanding of the 1864 campaign and where events took place.

The Battlefield will be open on Monday, July 24th, the actual date of the battle, from 10 AM to 4 PM.

For more information, visit

Friday Photos: More Holiday House Tour

Please excuse the abbreviated update for this week, as we have been busy at PHW leading walking tours and attending meetings out of the office, in addition to several days of tree work at the Hexagon House. We added twelve photos to our Holiday House Tour photo collection this week. This batch is tentatively dated to 1998 and 1999 and features the Bell House, the Kurtz Building, the Feltner Building, and the Old Frederick County Court House. See the photos at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of the Holiday House Tour album. Happy viewing!

Holiday House Tour

Friday Photos: Holiday House Tour and Valley Avenue

Happy Friday! This week, we have added 50 photos to our Flickr account. Seven images are recent photos taken of the block of Valley Avenue at the McDonald’s, from Gaunt’s Drug Store to James Street. They may be found at the end of the Valley Avenue album.

The remaining 43 images are from miscellaneous Holiday House Tours, all likely in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Until the years of the tours can be verified, the new Holiday House Tour images will be at the end of the generic Holiday House Tours album.

You can also see all the new additions at the very top of the photostream. Happy viewing!

Holiday House Tour

The Italianate Trend in Winchester Walking Tour

Looking for a different walking tour of Winchester? PHW is making “The Italianate Trend in Winchester” walking tour by intern Ashlee Anderson available for download. The capstone intern project was presented at PHW’s Annual Meeting in 2011 and was slightly edited and expanded upon by PHW board members and staff. If you would like a leisurely hour to hour and a half walk through some of the residential areas of Winchester’s Historic District not covered by other walking tours, download the walking tour now.

The tour was set up to depart from and return to the PHW Office at the Hexagon House; there are usually spaces available to park in the PHW lot at the top of the hill if you would like the full tour experience. Otherwise, you may wish to start your tour closer to the downtown to utilize the parking garages. Happy exploring!

Matching Donation Challenge for the Clowser House

From The Clowser Foundation, an anonymous donor has offered to match donations made to The Clowser Foundation between June 1st and September 4th (Labor Day) of this year up to $2,500. Help them meet this challenge by sending your check to:

The Clowser Foundation
152 Tomahawk Trail
Winchester, VA 22602

And if you are on Facebook, be sure to check out their page at to keep informed of their activities and progress.

Friday Photos: Pittsburgh Bridge Co. Bridge, Fairmont Ave.

Private bridge with working rail line beneath
Happy Friday! Although we could not show any photos at our Annual Meeting, we thought you would like to see the progress pictures for one of our Award of Merit winners, Charles and Kelly Hyre, for the work done to retain their unique private driveway bridge at 445 Fairmont Ave. The bridge images submitted in the award nomination packet have been added to the 2017 Annual Meeting album on Flickr. The house, known as Dunheath or more commonly Glen Lee, was built in 1869 for Judge William Clark, Jr. At the time, it was one of the first houses built so far north on Fairmont, and as such it was set much farther back from the street than any other home. All was well until a rail line was slated to run along Fairmont Avenue, cross the Amherst and Boscawen Y-intersection, and terminate at the Cumberland Valley Railroad depot at the corner of Boscawen and Stewart Streets. While the rail line passed in the rear of all other homes on Fairmont, for Glen Lee it would cut directly across the main driveway. In exchange for the right-of-way for the tracks, the railroad company elevated the driveway, constructed the bridge, and lined it with a wrought iron fence.

The bridge was constructed by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company, with the firm Nelson and Buchanan as agents, in 1889. At the time, it was common for Pittsburgh Bridge Company to prefabricate the steel trusses and Nelson and Buchanan would act as the agents and contractors for the installation. To help sell their prefabricated bridges, railroad companies and local government officials were the primary targets for aggressive and sometimes ethically suspect marketing pitches.

While an untold number of bridges were constructed in our region by Pittsburgh Bridge Company from the 1880s until their consolidation with American Bridge Company in 1901, many of the large highway bridges have now been lost to age, accident, or new construction projects. The bridges that seem to still be in service are smaller back road bridges or the driveway examples, like the one at Glen Lee. Almost all are facing structural or maintenance issues after more than one hundred years of faithful service. See some other Pittsburgh Bridge Company examples from around the country at and through the search function at For more in-depth information on steel truss bridges, check out Bradford County’s Truss Bridges, which includes construction history, engineering information, and historic bridge manufacturer history. And you can see the Glen Lee driveway bridge at the end of the 2017 Annual Meeting and the Fairmont Avenue Flickr albums.

Friday Photos: Annual Meeting 2017

Happy Friday! If you could not join us last weekend at PHW’s 53rd Annual Meeting, you can experience the event through some photos taken during the business portion of the meeting. Bruce Downing, President of PHW, presented the following six preservation awards on June 11.

Bruce Downing, President of PHW, leading the meeting

Awards of Merit recognize renovations that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city. PHW presented two Awards of Merit this year:

  • Ann Brady and Gary Farrington, restoration of 317 South Braddock St. following the fire last year.
  • Charles and Kelly Hyre, restoration of the private steel and wood bridge (c. 1889) leading to their home at 445 Fairmont Ave.

The Katherine G. Rockwood Revolving Fund Award is named in honor of Katherine G. Rockwood. Mrs. Rockwood was the driving force behind the original 1976 architectural inventory of Winchester, PHW’s Jennings Revolving Fund, and innumerable other programs and activities of PHW. This award recognizes the outstanding renovation of a Jennings Revolving Fund property. PHW presented one Rockwood award this year:

  • E.G. and Joanne Hamill for the exterior restoration and porch reconstruction at 513 S. Loudoun St.

The Ben Belchic Award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. He was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic Award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours. This year, PHW recognized one scholar:

  • Wil Johnston for On the Town! Celebrating James Wood and the Founding of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Carroll H. Henkel Award is named in honor of Carroll H. Henkel, PHW’s first president in 1963-1964. This award recognizes outstanding leadership for historic preservation in the Winchester-Frederick County area. This year, we recognized one outstanding coalition:

  • The family members, residents of Shawneeland, and elected officials who came together to formulate the plan to save the Clowser House, recognized under their official organizational name the Clowser Foundation, and accepted by its president, Larry Webb.

PHW presented a special President’s Award to recognize the over fifty years of service put in by the entire Orndoff family, stretching all the way back to before PHW was even an organization itself. Betty Orndoff is one of the last people left who stood in protest in 1962 before the bulldozers came to raze the Conrad House. Edwin, Betty, and their daughter Eydie have since volunteered at almost every Holiday House Tour and attended nearly every major event of the organization since that time. It is truly a remarkable record of service!

PHW also elected the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, quickly recapped our last year, and we heard some brief remarks from Terry Heder, our host at the Bell House, about the plans for the building’s future uses and roles in telling the story of the Civil War in Winchester. After the meeting, guests could see the inside of the house for guided tours, or stay outside for some light refreshments. All in all, it was a beautiful and joyous afternoon!

See all the photos in our album at Flickr. Happy viewing!

Annual Meeting and Clowser Memorial Service Photos

The Bell HouseReminder: PHW’s Annual Meeting is this Sunday, June 11, at the Bell House, 106 North Cameron Street in Winchester. We will begin the business portion of the meeting, including election of the PHW board members, at 2 PM, followed by six preservation award presentations, and finish up the meeting with some remarks by our host, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Afterwards, please stay for light refreshments, socializing, and building tours. If you have stories to share of the Bell House and its history, our hosts would also love to hear them.

Last weekend, we attended the Clowser Foundation’s memorial service and lease signing celebration at the Clowser House in Shawneeland. If you weren’t able to attend, you can catch a few images of the event in our Flickr album. Happy viewing!

Clowser House Memorial Service

Friday Photos: More Holiday House Tour 1991

Happy Friday! We have added 30 new images from the 1991 Holiday House Tour to our Flickr album this week. The houses featured in this batch are 2848 Windsor Lane, which was designed by William E. Poole in the style of an antebellum planter’s cottage and was featured in the April 1989 issue of Colonial Homes magazine. The second home in this week’s set, 3106 Windsor Lane, was designed by the owners Mr. and Mrs. Robert Snyder and their builder Kay Dawson. In keeping with the home’s sleek and modern design, even the greenery featured in the home was unusual in materials and composition.

Catch all the new images at the top of the photostream, or at the end of the 1991 House Tour album.

Holiday House Tour 1991

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events and a Free Webinar

Friday RoundupHappy Friday! There are two events coming in June. First, on Saturday, June 3 at 10:30 a.m., the Clowser Foundation will have a memorial service at the Clowser cemetery (152 Tomahawk Trail, Winchester, VA 22602) for the massacre in which members of the Clowser family and other settlers were killed or taken prisoner by Delaware Indians in 1764, followed by a lease signing celebration. Please join them for this free event and help them start off their efforts to save the Clowser House.

Second, on Sunday, June 11 at 2 p.m., PHW will hold its 53rd Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards at the Bell House, 106 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA 22601. Please join us at this free for members event to celebrate local preservation projects and people and start PHW’s year on the right foot. If you were unable to attend the Holiday House Tour, this will also give you another opportunity to see the Bell House and learn about the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields and their plans for the building.

The Preservation Leadership Forum and NeighborWorks America hosted the webinar “Preserving and Supporting Businesses in Historic Neighborhoods” on April 27. The webinar examined how small businesses contribute to the vitality of older neighborhoods through offering essential services and serving as community anchors. This builds upon previous studies that have identified historic buildings as incubators for small businesses. Check out the webinar and the addition related materials here.