Friday Photos: Slides and Stories from the Past

Kline's Mill

Happy Friday! We had a great time downtown on July 3, and we hope you had a great holiday, too. This week, we have twenty slides to share, including some sites in Frederick County, some Kurtz Cultural Center images, and a few stragglers for the Simon Lauck House. Catch them all at the top of the Flickr photostream!

Since this is a bit of a quiet week, we also wanted to transcribe the article accompanying the oldest photo we are aware of for the Piccadilly and Kent Street intersection on the Central Garage. We believe the following article was written in late 1914 or 1915.

Central Garage, 202 E. Piccadilly

Central Garage and Machine Shop
H. B. Sell, Proprietor
Repairs, Storage, and Automobiles for Hire

That the wonderful development of the automobile will go down in history as one of the greatest wonders of this wonderful age, no thoughtful man can for a moment doubt. Every season improvements are being made and it would seem that perfection is not very far away, though many contend that the machine of the present is comparatively nothing to what the future will bring forth. Winchester is one of the best automobile places in the country, when its size is considered. With the famous and historic Valley Turnpike and other fine roads leading to it from every direction, it is a favorite stopping place for tourists, between the North and South, and hundreds of machines owned by local people. One of the most popular garages in the city, and the only one that is steam heated, is the Central Garage and Machine Shop located at the corner of Kent and Piccadilly streets, opposite the B. & O. passenger station, of which Mr. H. B. Sell is the proprietor. There is ample storage room for a large number of cars. The repair department is by far the best equipped and most complete in Winchester. Only the most expert and skillful mechanics are employed, men who make a specialty of automobile work, and keep in touch with every advance that is made in automobile construction. Mr. Sell is himself and expert mechanist and gives his personal attention to all work entrusted to his care. His facilities for repairing and making broken parts are of the best, much better than are usually found in a small city. He also owns a number of cars which may be hired at reasonable rates. In addition to his automobile business he conducts a general machine shop and most of the large plants in this vicinity, such as the Virginia Woolen Mills and the Knitting Mills are among his patrons. There is no job too intricate or too difficult but that he is prepared to undertake and carry to a successful conclusion. Mr. Sell is a native of this section where he is well and favorably known. He has for years been identified with its business life and is always ready to aid in its upbuilding.

Images and History of Architecture and Industry Along Winchester’s Railroads on YouTube

Did you miss the September 29 lecture? You can now catch the event on YouTube. The three sections of the talk are in individual videos, so you may skip directly to the portion which interests you. The audience interactions are at the end of the third section. Although the audio is fairly muffled due to the location of the microphone at the live event, there were a number of good questions asked, and many others were not picked up on the audio at all. Thank you all for your insight and curiosity!


Part One on YouTube


Part Two on YouTube


Part Three on YouTube

Friday Photos Look at Newspaper Ads

Excursions to the Shenandoah Valley

Take a trip back in time with this sampling of advertising from the 1870s to the early 1900s to whet your appetite for PHW and Handley Regional Library’s National Preservation Month activities next week.

PHW uncovered a selection of interesting vintage Winchester advertisements during the research and preparation for the Saturday, May 16 program. Some are amusing, some are informational. Some businesses are still remembered today, but perhaps many more have been forgotten. Even the goods sold run the gamut from the expected homemade whiskey to the surprising imported Italian marble.

See what some of Winchester’s industries were making and selling over one hundred years ago. View the album on Flicker!

The “Hessian” Apple Tree

The Hessian Apple Tree, from the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives During the research into Conrad Crebs for the 2014 Holiday House Tour, there was a badly discolored newspaper clipping of a so-called “Hessian” apple tree in PHW’s Revolutionary War files. It was not able to be worked into the House Tour, but the story remained intriguing. When it again entered the PHW radar in relation to research on the local apple orchards, specifically the Bond Brothers, it was clear it was time to talk about the tree.

The tree was “bearing its first fruit when the Hessian Soldiers worked in this area [Apple Pie Ridge, near the foot of Gold’s Hill on the Bond land] after the Revolutionary War.” It was still bearing a small amount of fruit until the 1930s, when the photo was taken (reported as 1936). By the time the article ran in the Winchester Star on July 2, 1965, the tree had been cut down. No one was sure which stump on the Bond land was the remains of the tree in the photograph, but the tale and the photo of the Hessian apple tree was “still in circulation.”

The story of the Hessian apple tree may be fading from popular memory as Winchester moves farther away from its agricultural heritage, but this once-famous photograph is still available at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives.

The History of Preservation of Historic Winchester

What is Preservation of Historic Winchester all about? Watch this quick intro video to learn what started the organization and some of our major projects over the past fifty years. Versions of this slideshow were presented several times in 2014, most recently at the July 26, 2014 Design Expo on the Old Town Mall in Winchester, Virginia.

Background music from OverClocked ReMix http://ocremix.org
“Aeris Lives” by Kevin Lau – http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01295
“A Healer’s Touch” by Level 99, Avaris – http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02230

Watch on YouTube.

Friday Photos: 1976 Winchester Architectural Survey

Time to revisit our old friend, the 1976 Winchester Architectural Survey. This inventory, which took a team of volunteers and students approximately three years to complete, formed the basis for the successful National Register Historic District nomination in 1980. Although the 1976 inventory has been superseded by the 2011 survey, the older survey has an important legacy in documenting how the district changed – mostly for the better – over thirty years.

Take some time over the weekend and click through the album for a dose of nostalgia – and don’t forget to check back later, as there are still hundreds more photos to be digitized and added to this collection!

1976 Architectural Survey

Friday Photos: The War in America, 1863

Retreat of the Federals from Jefferson Co.Civil War Weekend is only hours away, and in a nod to those activities, this week PHW dives into the oldest printed document in our collection, a copy of the Illustrated London News (Canadian Edition) from January 7, 1863. The first thing, you might rightly ask, is why PHW would have this in our collection. A cryptic handwritten note directs you to the middle of the paper, at which point you find a two page spread of sketches documenting the war in America. The paper writes:

Our Special Artist and Correspondent at the head-quarters of the Confederate army of Northern Virginia has forwarded to us some Illustrations, which we have been fortunate enough to receive. This, it seems, is far from being the case generally, many of his sketches and letters having been intercepted. . . . Indeed, our Special Artist on one occasion recently ran a great risk of being taken prisoner, having galloped past a cross-road only a few minutes before a Federal scouting-party dashed through.

The two sketches supplied by this unnamed artist feature Jefferson Co., Virginia (now West Virginia). The third is a sketch of the Confederate flag, along with a story:

Confederate Flag, 1863When Banks, commanding the Federals, was attacked by Jackson last spring and driven pell-mell through the streets of Winchester, Miss Laura Lee, of that city, boldly stood forward on the street amidst the flying bullets and waved this little flag of her own make, cheering on the Confederate soldiers as they charged through the flying ranks of those who had covered her and her fellow-citizens with abuse for months. More than one Confederate fell at her feet as they swept triumphantly past, and, still waving her little flag in one hand, with the other assisted the wounded men. This lady is a fair type of all her Southern sisters – womanly, but brave in her country’s cause, and now praying by the dying beds of those brave men who have fallen victim to patriotism.

The final image of the set is from a different, also unnamed artist, depicting men claiming exemptions from the draft in New York in the fifteenth ward in November of 1862. The paper records that “there has been a great rush” to claim exemptions, which were granted for those under age 18 or over 45, physical disability, color (“no negroes or mulattoes being accepted”), “alien birth and non-naturalized” status, or “membership in the scholastic and clerical professions.” The most numerous exemptions were granted to non-naturalized citizens, with allegedly 50,000 exemptions being granted.

View the set on Flickr.

Friday Photos: People and Places in Winchester, 1914

We continue our peek into the past this Friday with the 1914 historical and trade edition of the Winchester Evening Star. It is no stretch to say Winchester has always been proud of its history, and this can clearly been seen here. The paper leads with a promising block of introductory text:

Winchester, Virginia
Situated in the “Vale of Shenandoah” between the enchanted Blue Ridge and Alleghenies in a God-blessed and sun-kissed land of peace and plenty. Situated 70 miles from Washington, capital of the nation, and 112 from Baltimore, the “Metropolis of the South.” Located in a magnificent agricultural country in the famous apple belt. Once the home of George Washington and other noted men. Here sleeps Daniel Morgan, “Thunderbolt of the American Revolution” and the proud Lord Fairfax. An important educational and financial centre. Brief review of her past and present history with sketches of leading men and enterprises which have placed her in the present pre-eminent and exalted position she holds in the sisterhood of American cities.

The history of Winchester through the founding by James Wood through the Civil War was brief but full of intriguing tidbits of local lore. Most residents have heard the story of Winchester changing hands 72 times during the Civil War; a lesser known exchange happened at our Taylor Hotel and was recorded in this history of Winchester:

In a single day the old and famous Taylor House on Main [Loudoun] Street was taken and retaken five times in a single day, and was literally drenched in the blood of contending troops. . . . It was used as a hospital for the wounded of both armies, and thousands of limbs were amputated there. It is related by residents of the city that they have seen in the alley running along the side of the building, large and grewsome [sic] piles of arms and legs. These were carted away daily and buried, with little ceremony, in unmarked graves on the outskirts of the city with no distinction being made between the Blue and the Gray.

The list of famous guests at the Taylor were noted in this article to include George Washington, Daniel Morgan, and Davy Crockett, all of whom most assuredly visited the log tavern that operated at the site of the current Taylor Hotel, and which was replaced in the 1830s by the brick structure following a fire at the log structure. Also new on this list, though not surprising, is William McKinley, as many know he was made a Mason here in Winchester.

While history is a focal point of the paper, its real aim was to promote the people and businesses of of Winchester in 1914. One possibly surprising statistic cited was that New Winchester (so-called for the rebuilding of the town after the ravages of the Civil War) had nearly every important business enterprise in the town (80%) operated by someone “born and bred” in the area.

The Shenandoah Valley Pike, 1914 The Valley Pike, along with eight other macadamized roads that lead to Winchester, was praised as the reason Winchester is a hub of trade. Apples, of course, received the lion’s share of coverage in the section on agriculture. Perhaps the best nugget is the legend of how Apple Pie Ridge was named. According to the author, the German settlers on the ridge brought young apple trees with them, and when the trees began bearing fruit, the housewives “baked apple pies incessantly for their families.” The pies became so famous that people “from far and near” would visit to feast on the tasty treats.

Cork Street Baptist Church, 1914 The churches of Winchester received a very brief paragraph of coverage, but the lack of written information is offset by the inclusion of a photograph of the Cork Street Baptist Church, which has been demolished. The church, which appears to have been a brick building with highly ornamental Gothic embellishments, was once located between the Old John Kerr School and the Red Lion Tavern.

The topic of Winchester’s many benefactors was again raised, with this edition focusing on the Handley bequests to the City, said to amount to about $1.5 million. Although not a native or resident of Winchester, Handley was fond of the town and set aside a portion of his wealth (primarily derived from anthracite coal discovered on property he owned in Lackawanna Co. in PA). Lesser known educational benefactors John Kerr and R.A. Robinson were also mentioned in passing for their contributions to public schools.

The volunteer fire companies of Winchester also had a lively write up on which company could lay claim to being the oldest in town, with Friendship, Charley Rouss, and Sarah Zane all having their share of “firsts.” The author, however, dismisses all three as being the oldest fire company in Winchester, as “none of them are the original fire company, for files of old newspapers prove that there were at least two companies organized in Winchester considerably more than a century ago.”

Maurice M. Lynch, 1914 The people in this edition are primarily judicial and civil servants. It is interesting to note that while all the businessmen previously detailed in earlier Friday Photos posts were honest and upright citizens, the paper has a slightly different angle for these fellows. They have “a large circle of friends” and are “public spirited” and “progressive” citizens. Among those pictured are Winchester’s Mayor Julian F. Ward, Hon. Thomas W. Harrison, Hon. Richard Evelyn Byrd, Major Holmes Conrad, Hon. Hal D. Flood, Commonwealth’s Attorney Herbert Larrick, Commisioner of Revenue J.E. Correll, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Reardon, Superintendent of County Schools Maurice Lynch, and Superintendent of Water and Sewers Thomas J. Trier. Each has a biographical sketch, but the most interesting may be that of Maurice Lynch. He had struggled to receive an education, and could not complete his schooling at UVA for financial reasons. He persisted, however, by teaching school himself (eventually becoming superintendent) and studying law on his own in the office of Judge William Clark, and was subsequently admitted to the bar in 1887.

View the full set of photos on Flickr.