This Weekend: Oktoberfest Walking Tours and PastForward Conference Livestream

The annual Old Town Winchester Oktoberfest returns on October 11-12. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy German inspired beer and food this evening and tomorrow while experiencing sights, sounds and traditions of Oktoberfest. This event happens throughout Old Town Winchester, including the Loudoun Street Mall, historic Taylor Pavilion and the 1840 Courthouse lawn.

Look for PHW-led walking tours starting near the Hideway Cafe to take you on a tour of historic haunts and lauded drinking spots from Winchester of yesteryear. The tours are free and open to all visitors. More information on the event can be found at oldtownwinchesterva.com.

If you prefer staying indoors this weekend, select events from the National Trust’s 2019 PastForward Preservation Conference will be livestreamed online. The stream can be found on the Trust’s website. If you couldn’t make it to Denver for the event, you can at least catch a few topics to feel like you’re part of the action.

While the Bough & Dough Shop is full of artists for this year, you have a second chance to join the action at the Hexagon House! Visit our upstairs neighbors at the Shenandoah Arts Council to learn about their event held concurrently with the Bough & Dough Shop.

This Weekend: “From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester”

Please join the French and Indian War Foundation and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Association for the next event celebrating Winchester’s 275th anniversary this Sunday, September 15 at the George Washington Hotel, beginning at 1:30 PM. This free presentation will be a lovely celebration in a lovely place, with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Everyone is welcome! More information is available on the French and Indian War Foundation’s website.

Also, mark your calendars for walking tours by PHW during Celebracion (location pending) on September 22 and Oktoberfest near the Godfrey Miller House, October 11 and 12.

Friday Roundup: End of Summer Events

We had a fantastic time at the open house last Saturday. If you couldn’t make it, you missed a chill afternoon full of art, food, and creativity. Don’t worry, though! You will get to enjoy the fruits of these labors (plus our upstairs neighbors ShenArts) starting in late November at the Bough and Dough Shop. If you haven’t yet, you can pick up an informational packet with an application form here.

Do you enjoy transcription of historic documents? The Library of Virginia has made the records of the Equal Suffrage League available for transcription. As part of the 2020 commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote, the Library is asking volunteers to help transcribe these records that document women’s campaign for the vote in Virginia. You can learn more at their blog, Out of the Box.

September in Winchester always conjures up Patsy Cline. Get your fix tomorrow with the Patsy Cline Block Party. The annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 31, 2019 in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St., Winchester. It is an old-fashioned style block party with live entertainment, food concessions by Shaffer’s BBQ and souvenirs staged on Kent St. between Monmouth and Germain streets. The block party is free to attend with tours of the historic house offered at the reduced price of $5 for the day. Four performances by returning and new entertainers includes tribute singers performing Patsy songs, singer-storyteller, and groups performing songs of her genre.


“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held September 15.

“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held Sunday, September 15 at the George Washington Hotel, beginning at 1:30 PM. This free presentation will be a lovely celebration in a lovely place, with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Join the French and Indian War foundation and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society for this 275th anniversary of the founding of Winchester event. Everyone is welcome! More information is available on the French and Indian War Foundation’s website.

Last, PHW will be closed on Monday, September 2 for Labor Day. Enjoy your long weekend as you say goodbye to summer!

Friday Roundup: Photos and Weekend Events

600 Block S. Loudoun St.
The 600 block of South Loudoun Street, primarily the Conrad Crebs properties, shortly after purchase by the Revolving Fund. See the rest of the images at Flickr.

This week, we added 20 more photos from the Revolving Fund documentation files to our Flickr. All the houses in today’s batch are on South Loudoun Street in the 500-700 blocks. Be sure to see the large limestone block that used to be the front porch at the Crebs House!

Explore a unique mix of food, history, and architecture with Taste Winchester History! The Winchester Food Tour is tomorrow, and the Beer and Cider Tour is Sunday. The tours repeat every weekend with a variety of restaurants and cafes. Find more details and book a tour at www.tastewinchesterhistory.com.

Marker-Miller Orchards is also celebrating peach season on Saturday, 9 AM – 5 PM. Stop by the orchard at 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, for homemade peach cobbler, peach pie, peach turnovers, peach ice cream, fresh peaches in the market, and of course pick your own peaches. There will be scenic wagon rides around the farm, multiple vendors and crafters, and Misty Mountain Meadworks will be sampling their mead. Robbie Limon will be on hand for musical entertainment from 1-3 while sitting in the pavilion or on the porch. Learn more at their Facebook page.

Don’t forget tomorrow is the Rt. 11 Yard Crawl. It is probably NOT the best day to leisurely enjoy our scenic byway for sightseeing; however, if you are into shopping for unique and vintage items, this could be the event for you. The official crawl is from New Market to Stephens City. You may start your shopping adventure at any point. It will be held rain or shine. Expect traffic congestion along Route 11 most of the day and watch for pedestrians.

Stay safe this weekend, remember your sunscreen, and have fun!

Friday Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

Hexagon House Sign
Found! This sign was on the Hexagon House in the mid to late 1980s. We’ve spoken with more than one person who remembers having their portraits taken on the Hexagon House staircase with Cookie and Larry Sullivan, so we were delighted to find this little bit of history tucked behind some boards.

First, the PHW office will be closed on Monday, May 27. We hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Second, we are closing in on the end of PHW’s fiscal year on May 31. If you haven’t renewed your membership from the 2018-2019 fiscal year or want to make a donation, you can still send in a check to 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601. We also have two online credit card options. If you want to make a one-time payment or donation, we recommend the donation option. If you’d prefer to have yearly renewals set up automatically, you can select your membership level from the drop down menu on the Subscription option.

Third, if you have noticed a preservation project that deserves recognition in Winchester or Frederick County at PHW’s Annual Meeting, fill out a nomination form and let us know! For best consideration for a 2019 award, please return nominations by May 31. You don’t need to have all the information, but as much as you can provide will be helpful. Winners will be recognized at the 55th Annual Meeting on June 23.

If you know or have children in the 10-14 year age range and you need some ideas for summer activities in July, check out “Expedition Winchester.” This summer camp is themed around Winchester’s 275th anniversary and has a fantastic slate of programs, sites, and activities. Week 1 (beginning of Winchester through late 19th century) runs from July 8-12, and week 2 (late 19th century Winchester to today) runs July 15-19. Both camps are held between 9 AM and 3 PM. Each week is $55, or you can register for both weeks for just $100. Spots are still available as of May 23, but make sure you register by June 12! Go to https://webtrac.winchesterva.gov, click on “Special Events and Trips,” and you should see the options for Expedition Winchester.

Last, we found another history account of Winchester in the August 1, 1900 edition of Musical Million this week. While we spotted a few factual errors, there were also some tidbits we had not seen before. You may read the article “The City of Winchester and its Historic Associations” on Virginia Chronicle.

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events and Winchester Woodwork

Belle Grove Plantation opens for the 2019 season tomorrow, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manor House tour admission will be free of charge. Throughout Opening Day, guided tours will begin at :15 and :45 past the hour with the first tour beginning at 10:15 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 3:15 p.m. You can find more details on Facebook.

Handley Regional Library is getting a new website next week. On March 27 between 6 a.m.-8 a.m., the website and catalog will be updating, so you may experience a brief interruption of service. The website URL will still be www.handleyregional.org.  You can find more information about the upcoming change on this page of their site. This will probably impact some links in the PHW website’s research section, so we will update those when the changes go live.

Tim Youmans, Winchester Planning Director and local historian, will provide an overview of Winchester’s history at the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society’s annual meeting on March 28 at 7 p.m. in Rouss City Hall, 15 N. Cameron St. This event is free and open to the public. You can find the event on Facebook here.

From “Interior Woodwork of Winchester Virginia” by Virginia Miller and John G. Lewis, page 121.

We also had a question about “Winchester mantels” this week. You might have heard us or other groups point them out at house tours in the past. They are a visually distinctive mantel ornamentation that contains one to three very sharply tapered “knife shelf” ledges of molding beneath the mantel shelf. Many examples are much more pronounced and deeply cut that the example photo (roughly, the finer the home, the more deeply the molding was cut). The term appears to have been coined by Irvan O’Connell, Sr. as he worked on restoring homes in the 1960s. The mantels are believed to date to 1820-1840, but examples have been transplanted to different locations around town over the years and should not be used as a sole indicator of house age. If this has whetted your appetite to learn more about Winchester’s local woodworking styles and expressions, a few copies of Interior Woodwork of Winchester, Virginia are out in the wild, or you may stop by PHW’s library to check out our non-circulating copy.

Civil War Weekend Events, August 15-19, 2018

There is a full weekend of events planned with local historical organizations, starting on Thursday and continuing through Sunday, for adults and children alike. Get the full schedule and downloadable flyer at visitwinchesterva.com or peruse a sampling of events below:

Thursday, August 16, 2018, 7pm
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Civil War Roundtable Meeting: “Stuart’s Finest Hour: The Ride Around McClellan”
Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, 20 N. Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601.
Author John Fox will speak about Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s famous around ride the Federal troops besieging Richmond in the summer of 1862.
Cost: Free

Friday, August 17, 7pm
History at Sunset “When the conflict is ended mercy again asserts it: Treating the Wounded at Cedar Creek”
St. Thomas Chapel, 7854 Church Street, Middletown, VA.
The Battle of Cedar Creek left over 8,600 Americans killed, wounded or missing in its wake. This special program includes living history demonstrations presented by staff of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and will be held at St. Thomas Chapel, which was used as a hospital following the battle.
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 9am
“Monuments and Signs: Sentinels on the Cedar Creek Battlefield”
Meet at the Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645.
A 2-hour car caravan tour exploring the monuments, markers and memorials on the Cedar Creek battlefield. Who built them? Who do they honor? And what do they symbolize?
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 2:30pm
“Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life Judah the Enslaved Cook”
Meet at Belle Grove, 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA.
A 30 minute program on the life of Judah, the enslaved cook at Belle Grove.
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 7:30pm
Legends by Lanternlight, Berryville: Using a County Seat to View the Civil War
Clarke County Historical Association, 32 E. Main St., Berryville, VA 22611
Partnering with the Clarke County Historical Association, the members of the Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group (MHAIG), in a twilight-lanternlight walking tour, will bring alive the memorable experiences of Berryville during the American Civil War through costumed first-person interpretations in the historic downtown. Learn how our preserved landscape still tells us stories.
The period-dressed Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group will offer their story-telling ability against the backdrop of historic Berryville, featuring stories of Clarke County’s commissioner to the Virginia Secession Convention, the visits of two famous Civil War generals, Mosby’s Wagon Train Raid in Berryville, and the story of Eugene Ferris, a Medal of Honor recipient from his days of fighting Mosby’s Rangers.
Cost: $15 per adult, $8 per student; tickets can be purchased at the door of the event or in advance HERE.
www.mosbyheritagearea.org

Sunday, August 19, 1, 2, and 3pm
“Saving Newtown” Escape Room Experience
Newtown History Center, 5408 Main Street, Stephens City, VA.
Experience an exciting challenge based on the events related to the near burning of the Town of Stephens City (Newtown) on the 1st of June 1864. Solve puzzles in an historic house and help prevent soldiers of the 1st New York “Lincoln” Cavalry from carrying out General David Hunter’s order to burn the town.
Advanced RSVP Required. Call (540) 869-1700 to RSVP or for questions.
Groups of 2 to 5 people per session.
Cost: $10 adult (age 18+); $5 child (age 6-17); not recommended for children 5 and under.

There are many other activities taking place – this is just a sampling of unusual experiences you may not have had before during Civil War Weekends of the past. Please see the full schedule at visitwinchesterva.com



Friday Roundup: Summer Memories Edition

Although it feels like summer is already winding down, we have links and activities to share with you this week that can extend the season a bit longer.

The next time you enjoy some ice cream, you can compare the experience to the ice cream parlors of the late Victorian era. Not only were they a place to enjoy cool treats in the summer, they filled an important void for solitary women who needed some lunch. As Jessica Gingrich writes, “The growing demand for ladies’ lunch spots inspired the creation of an entirely new restaurant: the ice-cream saloon. At a time when respectable women were excluded from much of public life, these decadent eateries allowed women to dine alone without putting their bodies or reputations at risk.” Read the full article and enjoy some historic images on Atlas Obscura.

You might also have some fond memories of spending all day at a playground. The Preservation in Pink blog has hit the right level of childhood nostalgia recently by photographing a number of classic playground equipment sets. Check out The Imagine City and see if it stirs some memories in you, too.

I have had a hard time finding preservation-related podcasts that will keep me interested for more than a single topic or two, but a few weeks ago I came across the Defunctland YouTube channel and promptly binged on all their offerings. Episodes typically cover the rise and fall of theme parks or individual attractions across the country, big and small. Some of you may remember the topic covered in Defunctland: The War for Disney’s America specifically, but you also can’t miss the story of Action Park, whether you have heard of this place or not.

Get ready to mark your calendars! We have two notices of upcoming events to share with you.

We would like to invite you to step around the corner during August’s First Friday event downtown for a new gallery opening. The Alley Gallery is an intimate working studio-gallery at #15 Indian Alley. The artist, David Sipp, recently moved to Winchester from Northern New Mexico where he regularly showed his work in the High Road Art Tour and area galleries. “I am absolutely excited to be able to explore the incredible natural and architectural beauty that is Winchester…I have finished three pieces in the four months I have been here with the most recent being the Hexagon House.” The Alley Gallery will be celebrating its unveiling on First Friday, August 3, 5:00-8:00 pm with the support of MerchantDice, an Arts and Entertainment company. We are looking forward to sharing stories and seeing his other works of our local buildings. Please stop by and welcome him to Winchester!

From our friends at the French and Indian War Foundation is a special invitation to a September event:

On September 30, the French and Indian War Foundation will sponsor a fundraising event at Fry’s Fort in Shenandoah County, VA. Fry’s Fort, rarely open to the public, is arguably the most important and best preserved F&I War site in the Shenandoah Valley. It is also the finest example of the German vernacular architectural style known as the flurküchenhaus in the Valley. Don’t know what a flurküchenhaus is? Come join us and find out.

When: Sunday, September 30, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Where: Fry’s Fort—direction will be provided later
Cost: $50.00 per person (No refunds)

RSVP required—No payments at the door — Attendance will be limited. First to RSVP will have best opportunity to attend the event.
A catered event, with heavy hors d’oeuvres

Tours of house and arboretum — house and grounds are not ADA compliant

Short talks on Fry’s Fort during the F&I War and on Mercer’s Company and the Fort

Formal invitations will be sent soon with more details. If you have questions or wish to RSVP early to attend this event feel free to contact us via e-mail or telephone:
Telephone: 540-678-1743
E-mail: fiwf.dsg@comcast.net
Website: FIWF.org



Friday Roundup: Events, Lectures and More!

Friday RoundupIt’s been a busy week at PHW as we wrapped up another fiscal year. But the administrative drudgery is not all we have been up to. Get ready to mark your calendars!

Tomorrow, June 2, 10 AM, the Clowser Foundation will hold their annual memorial service at the Clowser House, 152 Tomahawk Trail, in Shawneeland. Come out and see the progress that has been made in stabilizing this Frederick County landmark!

Also tomorrow at 1:30 PM, PHW will host the make up Preservation Month walking tour event. Look for the sign at the Harrison and Johnston law offices, 21 S. Loudoun St., to meet with a guide. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Tuesday, June 5, starting at noon, PHW will host Eric Bennung, Vice President of Acrymax Technologies, Inc., to discuss the care and maintenance of historic metal roofs. We will be meeting at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St., in the first floor board room. We will be able to seat approximately 25-30 guests. This event is free and open to the public, but we strongly recommend carpooling due to the limited parking at the Hexagon House.

Wednesday, June 6, Turner Ashby Chapter 184 United Daughters of the Confederacy will host their 152nd Confederate Memorial Day service at Stonewall Cemetery in Mount Hebron Cemetery, 305 E. Boscawen St. The event starts at 7 PM and will be held rain or shine. The speaker is Mr. Steve Ritchie, “Defending Home and Hearth.”

Don’t forget to get your award nominations in to PHW before Monday, June 11, so we can finalize our lineup of award recipients at PHW’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 24, 3 PM at the Hexagon House.

And look toward July when the Godfrey Miller Historic Home and Fellowship Center presents their Summer Lecture Series, Our Community Response to World War I. The lectures will be held at 28 S. Loudoun St., 7 PM, on the following dates:
Tuesday, July 10 – Memorial Avenue 1924 WWI Plaques, Gene Schultz
Thursday, July 12 – Soldiers Stories behind the Plaques, Gene Schultz
Tuesday, July 17 – WWI and the Women of Winchester, Nancy Braswell
Thursday, July 19 – Historical Significance of Veteran Robert Conrad’s Home, Sandra Bosley
The cost is $10 per lecture or $35 for the entire series.



Friday Roundup: Walking Tour, Photos, Links, Office Schedule

We’re back and hoping for good weather! Please join us for the make-up walking tour to celebrate National Preservation Month on Saturday, June 2. Meet in front of 21 South Loudoun Street at 1:30 PM, the first building to be marked with the oval plaque, to join a tour guide. We will go past the exteriors of homes in the Potato Hill neighborhood, with a small break for refreshments at 125 E. Clifford St., the latest home to receive the building plaque. The tour will loop back to the edges of the Old Town Mall on Boscawen Street. The overall time is estimated to take one hour to an hour and a half. The tour is approximately one mile in length. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Some of the sidewalks are uneven or narrow, and there are a few hills and one set of steps on the final leg of the tour.

Friday Photos returns this week with 26 slides, most featuring the Simon Lauck House or 401-403 S. Kent, with a few other events and houses tossed in. Catch all of the photos at the top of the photostream. One photo location is unidentified; if you recognize this house, please let us know!

Unknown location

Looking for some extra reading this weekend? Here are some assorted links we’ve bookmarked with interesting historic tidbits to pique your curiosity.
How communities around Va. are restoring, reviving black cemeteries
Exquisite Rot: Spalted Wood and the Lost Art of Intarsia
Dead Brutalist Buildings
Untapped Potential: Eight Top-Line Strategies for Promoting Building Reuse
How a Hole Punch Shaped Public Perception of the Great Depression

PHW will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day. We’ll be back to usual on Tuesday. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!