Friday Roundup: Annual Meeting Updates and Internet Reading

First, a quick update on PHW’s plans for the Annual Meeting in June. The expected date is June 28th, at our normal start time of 3 PM at the Hexagon House. The meeting will be a business-only event with a proposed bylaws amendment to allow for teleconferencing for meetings, clarify the mission statement, and minor consistency edits throughout. We will also elect the board of directors for the next year.

Because of the continuing restrictions on gatherings, the meeting will be held outdoors with spacing between people. No refreshments will be served. Only PHW members in physical attendance will be able to vote at the meeting for the bylaws amendment, but we plan to livestream the event on Facebook. More details and the proposed bylaws edits will be made available online in full and in a condensed version in your invitation. The Facebook livestream link will be made available approximately one week before the event.

Unlike past years, we will be keeping an RSVP list for PHW members who wish to attend so we can prepare for the proper spacing. Please respond at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577 with the number of attendees. This information will be included in your invitation as well.

We will still accept award nominations for a later event or for the next year’s Annual Meeting. Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions so far. Please know that your projects have been filed and saved for later discussion.

For your reading pleasure this weekend, we have a selection of links:

The Farmer’s Apprentice: African American Indentures of Apprenticeship in Virginia features a Frederick County document. At the end of the entry are the links to the Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative database and the transcription project Making History at the Library of Virginia.

To match the story of the plank house we shared on Facebook earlier this week, The History Blog has posted another incredible find beneath the floorboards of a private home in Norway.

If you’ve seen some interesting signs while you are out exercising or getting supplies and you like taking photos, the Library of Virginia is collecting signs from the pandemic for their collections of ephemera. You can find more information at RichmondMag or BoomerMagazine.com or visit the Library of Virginia’s Tumblr. If you just want to see the images, the Tumblr is the place to go!

History is a strange and twisting tale, and April White at Atlas Obscura highlights How the Influenza Pandemic Popularized Lemons. Without giving too much away, the article follows the tale of changing marketing strategies and timing to world events in 1918 turned what was once considered a luxury into a household necessity.

Friday Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

The PHW office will be closed Memorial Day. Stay safe and healthy as you enjoy your long weekend! For your reading pleasure, we have gathered links for you to enjoy:

Protecting Family and Heirlooms – If you started organizing photographs or sorting through other family memorabilia and are concerned on how to safely handle or sanitize them, this blog from the Library of Virginia may put some fears at ease and help keep your precious documents safe.

More Than Maintenance: Replacing the Glass at the Glass House – The National Trust offers a peek behind the curtain for a unique window replacement situation at the Phillip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut. This is an interesting look at how defining architectural features that wear out are replaced sensitively in respect to the building, its furnishings, and its function as an interpretive site for most of the year.

Atlas Obscura offers two articles, Fun Ways to Get Kids Into Photography and Dig This: An Online Field School for Junior Archaeologists to whet your children or grandchildren’s appetite for skills useful in historic preservation.

You may also want to check out Use Online Time with Family to Record Family Stories from West Virginia Public Radio. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for additional links to help you get started with question suggestions.

One of the things I have enjoyed is looking through some long forgotten boxes and finding treasures inside. If you like that thrill as well, you might enjoy the story On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive Detective following the discovery of missing items and the effort to recover them with Mitch Yockelson. (Sometimes, though, the items are just misfiled!)

If you’re looking for a longer read, Public Domain Review recently highlighted a book Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time (1896). In addition to the highlighted summary of what to expect from the Review, you can enjoy the entire book for free online and see what other traditions you may not have heard of before.

Clowser House Painting
Larry Webb shared ten more photos of the exterior painting progress at the Clowser House. You can drive by to see the exterior yourself at 152 Tomahawk Trail in the Shawneeland subdivision off Back Mountain Road in Frederick County. You can see the other photos at our Flickr.

Friday Roundup: Midway Through May

In celebration of National Preservation Month, we are making some of our past activity sheets available digitally. Click this thumbnail for a full sized file. If you create a masterpiece from the Hottle House in Winchester, let us know. We’d love to see your work!

As we reach the midpoint of May, PHW is still in a holding pattern to see how we may be able to conduct the Annual Meeting in June (originally planned for June 14). We plan to make a decision on how to conduct the meeting by the end of the month. Stay tuned for details!

One thing we did learn is that our bylaws do not allow for organization business to be conducted by means other than face to face meetings. To ease some of this uncertainty in the future, a bylaws edit is being discussed by the board of directors. It has been ten years since the last edit, so a few other changes and clarifications have also been proposed. As with the last time the bylaws were updated, digital and print versions showing the changes will be provided to the membership prior to the meeting if a bylaws change is to be considered.

Along with the Annual Meeting, we traditionally hold our preservation awards in June. If you have a person or project to nominate for a 2020 award, use our form. The awards are not a necessary part of the Annual Meeting, but it is always good to recognize preservation success stories and outstanding leadership that has happened in our community.

Although the state may be slowly reopening, PHW recognizes most of our members and clients likely fall into some of the high risk categories. We ask that you continue to contact us by email for most questions, as we can fulfill most of your needs for information through that method without requiring face to face interaction. If you would like to pick up a copy of the Limestone book or do other interactions that must be done in person, please email phwinc.org@gmail.com or leave a message at 540-667-3577, as we will continue to be open by appointment only. This state of operation will continue until ShenArts, our upstairs neighbor in the Hexagon House, is also ready to reopen their office on the second floor.

To end on a happier note, we are in the works planning for our Bough and Dough Shop. While we may not know exactly what our operation guidelines will be, we are currently working to create a curbside pickup ordering process for at least some of the goods we typically sell. That also means we are accepting applications for new artists. If you or someone you know creates unique items you’d want to see in our shop, download the informational packet and see if we’re a good fit!

Experience National Travel and Tourism Week from Home

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has launched a Virtual Preservation Month to help you explore and celebrate historic places from home. Be sure to check back every day in May to see the new tours, videos, and activities as they are added.

For other tours, workshops, and virtual exhibits you may want to enjoy this weekend or beyond, check out:

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley’s upcoming virtual tours and programs, including the online Heritage Plant Sale.

The Virginia Museum of History and Culture’s page of Virginia History At Home. You might especially enjoy exploring the archive of Banner Lectures.

The Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board’s Historic Cranford, NJ audio tour. Be sure to check out the fantastic tile sign posts in stop #20!

The Preservation Society of Newport County’s Virtual Exhibitions and Mansions of Newport, RI. The Tiffany Glass exhibit may be of interest to many of our readers.

The Delaware Digital History Museum website launched by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The Virtual Tours section may be of the most interest to our readers to explore architectural features and historic sites.

The National Museum of Industrial History has made many programs available virtually. Follow their programming on their Facebook page, or visit their website for more information.

Last, don’t forget you can download several tours and activities from PHW’s website to better explore our local history and architecture!

Kurtz Cultural Center
You can revisit some of PHW’s visual history operating a cultural center in our Flickr album Kurtz Cultural Center.

Apple Blossom Articles

Apple Blossom, 1959
Apple Blossom, 1959
Apple Blossom, 1959
Images of the 1959 Apple Blossom provided by Larry Webb

To tide you through a weekend without a celebration, we have uncovered and OCR corrected a number of historic articles on past Apple Blossom celebrations on the Virginia Chronicle website. Don’t forget you can watch last year’s Grand Feature parade on thebloom.com from 1-3 PM on Saturday to recreate some of the spring festivities in your home. Stay safe and enjoy a healthy Bloom!

Rappahannock Record, March 29, 1928: “Apple Blossom Festival

Highland Recorder, March 25, 1932: “Apple Blossom Queen of Family of Washington

Highland Recorder, May 13, 1932: “The Apple Blossom Festival in Retrospect

Highland Recorder, April 16, 1937: “Apple Blossom Festival

Highland Recorder, April 12, 1946: “19th Apple Blossom Queen

Highland Recorder, April 18, 1947: “Apple Blossom Queen

Southside Sentinel, February 19, 1970: “Winchester to Present 43rd Festival

Celebrate National Preservation Month in May

As hard as it is to believe, May is almost upon us. The month is special to preservationists, as we take time to celebrate National Preservation Month. If this is the first you’ve heard of it, last year the National Trust for Historic Preservation wrote a brief history of the event, which started as a week-long celebration in 1972 and has since expanded into a full month. Many organizations, like PHW, time their awards and recognition of endangered and preserved properties to coincide with the national event.

While it may be harder to get out and enjoy the fruits of historic preservation this year, you can explore the 31 ways the National Trust invited anyone to celebrate last year. Many are still doable, even with social distancing. If you take the list as a challenge, let us know about your adventures on our Facebook page!

Although it may be late notice, if you have wanted a Winchester historic building plaque, May is traditionally the time those applications are reviewed by the Board of Architectural Review. You can find the guidelines and form online at the City’s website. If you need some help locating history on your building, feel free to contact the PHW office at phwinc.org@gmail.com and we can email copies of digital material to you for your application (or just for your records).

If you have been out and about walking during quarantine, you might have the perfect eyes on the street to nominate projects for a 2020 PHW preservation award. You can find the form online at the PHW website. You can find the list of past people and projects that received recognition on our award page. If you can think of a person or project worthy of recognition this year, let us know as many details as you can and the PHW committee will do the rest!

Friday Photos: Bough and Dough Shop, Clowser House Painting, and Baker Street Mural

Happy Friday! While uncertainty abounds for our Holiday House Tour and Bough and Dough Shop for 2020, we wanted to share images of the 2019 shop to potential and returning vendors. We will be contacting past vendors soon with our tentative plans to host the Shop in 2020. If you are interested in joining the Shop as a new artist, please reach out to us at PHW at phwinc.org@gmail.com for an artist packet. You can find a selection of 113 images of the shop setup in 2019 at our Flickr album.

The Very Merry Mittens display in the Bough and Dough Shop, 2019.

Larry Webb also shared images of work taking place at the Clowser House in Shawneeland recently. The pictures show the beginning the exterior painting by removing the old shutters. A new front door and new shutters for all the windows will be installed once the house is painted. George Sobien, the Property and Preservation Committee Chairman, is pictured performing the work. View the nine images at the end of the Clowser House album at Flickr.

Painting at the Clowser House, April 2020.

Last, in preservation news, the public hearing for additional demolition requests around the former Winchester Towers site and the former Glaize Lumber yard and Baker warehouses was approved at Thursday’s Board of Architectural Review. In a glimmer of hope, however, a portion of the wall with the ghost signs for Baker and Co. Wholesale Groceries may be incorporated into the final project. No details on exactly how the former advertising may be incorporated were available at the meeting yesterday, but we hope to see them in future BAR applications. If you like the look of ghost signs and wish to learn and see more, visit the American Ghosts website, which has catalogued and photographed unusual and iconic signs around America. The Baker Street wall is included in the database.

Baker Street
This portion of the wall on Baker Street may be preserved and incorporated elsewhere in the project for the former Winchester Towers site.

Friday Roundup: History and Preservation News

The new state historical highway marker for Spottswood Poles, announced in March, has been installed in the 500 block of North Kent Street near where he lived. Poles was an outstanding player who was born before a time when his achievements could be more widely remembered. You can read a brief article on his career and life at the Society for American Baseball Research and check the Winchester Star article for more details on the new marker.

If you are feeling a bit disconnected from our local tourist spots, local 360 degree tours may help fill in the gap. The Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center has been posting videos on their Facebook page of local tourism spots like Bell Grove Plantation and Blandy Experimental Farm. If you’re feeling a bit shut in, you might enjoy a walk along rows of blooming peaches taken about two weeks ago:

Same video as a moment ago, just in full beautiful HD this time :)

Posted by Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau on Friday, March 27, 2020

The Shenandoahvalleytv Youtube channel also offers looks at Apple Blossom time, Belle Grove Plantation, Patsy Cline exhibits, and many other events, museums, and activities in our area. Check out their quick (one minute and change) video on Route 11 potato chips if you aren’t feeling too fried!

Are you looking for more interesting images of Winchester’s past? we found a collection of images primarily of a horse and pony show, listed as happening in Winchester, that were taken for a Life magazine article by Edward Clark in Google Arts and Culture section. While we have not found the accompanying article, we’d be interested in sharing it in the future to put more context to the images – if you have any leads on the story this may have appeared in, please let us know!

Friday Roundup: Preservation News

Do you follow us on Facebook? While we are in quarantine mode, we have been posting a link a day to small content, articles, and virtual tours that don’t make sense for a full blog post. If you find anything in your own online travels that would be interesting to share, send a link via email to phwinc.org@gmail.com. We will likely feature it in a future post here or on Facebook.

In preservation news around the state, the Jefferson Pools are soon to be rehabilitated, although it will take longer than the initial projections. As stated in the article, “Virginia has a storied history surrounding its hot-spring resorts, which attracted people seeking health and relaxation. Few structures survive, however, and it looked as if Virginia might lose two more, which were said to be at risk of collapse.” Instead the two bathhouses have been painstakingly documented and their appearance will be reverted to circa 1925.

Matthew Meltzer has compiled the most endangered building in every state. Virginia’s listing is the Carr-Greer Farmhouse in Ivy Creek. If you’re curious to learn more and help save this landmark, visit the Ivy Creek Foundation’s website.

Diana Schwartz penned Monuments to yesteryear: Restoring downtown Danville buildings adds value, money for the entire community. The points she brings up are familiar to anyone working with historic buildings. One section that stood out was: “A great example of this is the story of a developer who long ago flew into Danville to meet with city leaders about a potential economic development project, and along the way decided to drive though the downtown . . . . At that time downtown Danville was mostly desolate, abandoned and in terrible disrepair. He saw broken sidewalks blocked off in sections due to disintegration of some of the building facades. Without hesitation, he turned around and left without even showing up to the meeting. Afterward, when asked why he left, the developer explained that he was not interested in making an investment into a community that did not invest in itself.

The Strong Towns discussion with Ben Stevens: Every Building is a Startup is a helpful reminder not to over-correct in cases like Danville. Towns are more resilient than many people give them credit, and slower, smaller changes do make a difference in revitalizing and honoring the past and future of a place. Winchester was fortunate to head off the sense of desolation and abandonment downtown when it began to occur in the 1970s. While the current crisis may be impacting our historic downtown in ways unexpected and unfamiliar to historic preservationists, we hope you will continue to believe in and invest in our historic buildings and niche businesses and restaurants during and after the pandemic.

If you are involved in an organization in need of funding for a preservation project, you may wish to check out the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program. The goal of the program is to support subgrant programs that enable the rehabilitation of rural historic properties at the national, state, and local level of significance and rehabilitate, protect, and foster economic development of rural communities. States, Tribes, Certified Local Governments, and non-profits are eligible. The deadline for applications is April 21, 2020.

Things to Do Online This Weekend and Beyond

We’re sure you may be looking for some activities to get your mind off the current situation. Luckily, many resources are being made available online to help ease your burden. Handley Regional Library has a webpage dedicated to activities for the whole family. If you’re of the historical bent, don’t forget their many local history resources available online (some require a library card and some are open to the general public).

If you are looking for more scholarly reading material, Project MUSE has a list of resources that have been made free to access. One of those publishers is the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the entire catalog of Forum Journals are available. The list of material and publishers may change frequently at Project MUSE, so check back often!

The Library of Virginia has also compiled a blog post of databases you can access digitally. These resources can be accessed at home with a Library of Virginia account. If you are looking for free access materials without an account, check out the blog post A Library Is More Than a Building for even more resources you can access at home.

Open Culture is also a fantastic place to find educational resources so you can learn and hone skills while you are in quarantine. We suggest starting with Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Coloring Books & More and Live Performers Now Streaming Shows, from their Homes to Yours: Neil Young, Coldplay, Broadway Stars, Metropolitan Operas & More to get you started with their offerings.

While museums and other indoor entertainment venues are closed, at least some offer virtual tours. Check out 10 Historic Homes You Can Virtually Tour for worldwide sightseeing. Historic sites operated by Preservation Virginia and other locations in Virginia are available on Encyclopedia Virginia’s website. The Virginia’s Travel Blog site has also compiled a listing of virtual tours. You’re sure to find a new building or place to virtually explore!

Last but not least, if you want some visual entertainment, we have a YouTube channel to recommend. Some of you may remember episodes of About Your House with Bob Yapp. The show was filmed between 1996-2000 and aired on PBS channels. About half of the episodes are now available for anyone to enjoy on YouTube. To get you started, here’s a commonly asked question: repairing plaster walls.