Orrick Cemetery is the only surviving African-American cemetery that is still active in Winchester, Virginia. It will be celebrating a century of incorporation on April 13, 2022, but has served our community for over two centuries.
Presenter Brenda Nelson will give a comprehensive history of Orrick Cemetery. She has been researching her and her husband’s genealogy and has shared what she has learned and the family she has researched by writing and publishing three articles for the Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter. Brenda’s latest project had been researching the history of the Orrick Cemetery here in the City of Winchester.
Markers educate the public, encourage pride of place, promote tourism and generate economic benefits. Despite their importance, many have not received ongoing care to maintain their luster. Road salt, pollen and other contaminants can take their toll. Markers must be regularly cleaned so they can be enjoyed now and for future generations. That’s where volunteers for National Historic Marker Day make a difference.
Visit the official National Historic Marker Day webpage for details about registering as a volunteer, planning a service project, tips for cleaning markers, and the benefits of participating. PHW will be sprucing up our markers at the Hexagon House before closing early that afternoon for Apple Blossom festivities.
PHW is planning a National Preservation Month event in mid-May at the Hexagon House. We are ecstatic to have finally completed an updated history brochure on our wonderful office space and are looking forward to celebrating its launch this spring. More details will be coming soon!
Are you an artist interested in being part of the Bough & Dough Shop this year? The dates have tentatively been set for November 18-December 11. Artist application forms will be completed soon; if you are a prospective artist drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a digital copy when they become available.
Did you procrastinate on getting tickets? You are in luck! Tickets are available for purchase at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. at the Bough & Dough Shop this weekend, as well as at Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, and Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. Tickets are also available for order online through EventBrite (until noon on Sunday). If you are still not sure, tickets can also be purchased at the door of any of the houses on Sunday for $25 (cash or checks only).
If you ordered tickets online via Eventbrite, remember to bring your PDF ticket (printed or on your phone) as you start your tour. If you’d like an official ticket, you should be able to pick them up at any of the houses on the tour or the Bough & Dough Shop.
The weather forecast for the weekend appears decent, with overcast skies and low chance of precipitation. Winds may be your only damper to waiting outside, so be sure to dress warmly if you have to wait in line or for walking between sites. Along with dressing for the weather, remember to bring your masks for interior tours. Stay safe while you are having fun!
We heard 25 West Piccadilly may be the hardest address to spot from the street, but if you are familiar with Winchester, it is the former Joe’s Steakhouse or Colonial Arts and Crafts building at the corner of Indian Alley and Piccadilly Street. You can also check the map of all the tour sites on your phone via Google Maps. All homes will have the Holiday House Tour yard signs out front as well to help you.
While you are touring the homes, remember no photography is allowed inside the private residences.
We have heard two homes may be providing small refreshments for tour-goers, and we will have our free hot drink station going at the Bough & Dough Shop while supplies last. Please remember to be courteous to homeowners and other tour-goers while enjoying your snacks!
Be on the lookout for the Winchester Little Theatre costumed carolers again this Sunday to enliven your tours. Be sure to thank the volunteers, as well!
The Holiday House Tour is a huge undertaking every year, and it would not be possible without a number of volunteers, in-kind donors, and behind the scenes helpers making the magic happen. Below is a non-exhaustive list of helpers – say thank you to them for helping us make the tour and shop happen!
Advance ticket sale locations Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, and Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center
Winchester Little Theatre costuming and carolers, organized by Dolly Vachon
Holiday House Tour chairmen Dan Whitacre, Bruce Downing, Anne Gillespie Scully, and Callie Fitzwater
Homeowners Scott and Barbara Bessette, Micheal and Lauren Peterson, and John and Jade Manuel
Volunteer docents, decorators, and door greeters for each house
While printed booklets should be available at the physical ticket sale locations now, if you would prefer a digital copy to have on your phone during the tour or ordered your tickets online, please feel free to save our digital version and refer back to it.
You may also want to keep the digital version of the tour map handy as well for navigating between the sites. The QR code for the map is also available on all the printed physical tickets if you are out and about during the tour and need some navigation help.
As you may know, PHW has pledged $10,000 to the Godfrey Miller Home and Fellowship Center to assist with their repairs to the facade of the historic 1785 limestone structure. The Historic Home and Fellowship Center serves seniors, in accordance with the wishes of Margaretta Sperry Miller, who bequeathed her home to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church to be operated as a home for elderly ladies. The fellowship center is also available to rent for meetings, receptions, luncheons, and more. On the history side, the home is opened for tours and you may be familiar with the summer lecture series on local topics of interest. There is something at the Godfrey Miller Home for anyone to enjoy.
While you are shopping in Old Town Winchester and supporting other local businesses, be sure to walk by the building at 28 South Loudoun Street. See first-hand the work that needs to take place – and what progress may be underway already.
If you find this project as worthy of support as we do, please donate directly to the Godfrey Miller Home, and let them know you heard about them from PHW. We’d like to see our supporters match our pledge and make a substantial dent in the $109,000 project. Thank you for helping keep this historic building a functional and beautiful asset to our historic downtown!
The pebbledash-covered late Italianate-style home was built for Maurice M. Lynch around 1890. Lynch entered the University of Virginia in 1885, but he withdrew for financial reasons before completing his studies. While teaching school, he studied law in the office of Judge William L. Clark and was admitted to the bar in 1887. His own struggles to receive education drove him to better the schools for the area’s children. He served on the Handley Board of Trustees, the State Board of Education, and as Superintendent of Winchester and Frederick County Public Schools.
The new owners, John and Jade Manuel, have spent the last four years bringing colorful life back into their home. The Italianate styling was the inspiration for the arched openings with black and white Italian marble floors in the foyer, as well as the Italian range in the updated Art Deco-themed kitchen. The home is filled with original character including the original 130- year-old antique heart pine floors, three brick chimneys, picture rail, and 9-foot windows in the living room.
John and Jade have partnered with the extraordinarily talented Desiree Chandra Lee, owner of Hunt Country Gardens, as well as donations from The Little Garden Club of Winchester, to decorate their home with luscious garlands and wreaths. The home will feature three themed trees: A whimsical forest tree, a family heirloom tree, and a Childhood Leukemia tribute tree in honor of their nephew, Oliver Manuel.
Julia Beverley purchased the corner lot on Stewart and Cecil streets on July 14, 1911. The pebbledashed Colonial Revival-style house was built by 1913, when the Beverley family hosted an elegant supper for a number of out of town guests visiting their daughter Miss Frances Beverley in their newly-built home. The property remained in the Beverley family until 1957.
The house has remained largely unchanged on the exterior since its construction. The classic facade harkens back to the mid-1800s and the era of Greek Revival style in American construction with its clean white exterior, dark shutters, and a pedimented entry. The gentle arch in the pediment, along with the understated dentil molding, is carried around to the Cecil Street side of the home on the small southern addition. Look carefully for the arched window with Y-tracery tucked behind this sunroom.
The current owners Michael and Lauren Peterson bought the house in 2018 to fit their multi-generational family. Their own design elements have been used to refine the traditional living and dining spaces. Most recently they have renovated their kitchen to a more contemporary and comfortable space for their active family of eight, including their four daughters and Lauren’s parents, Arlene and Dennis Torbett.
The Philip Williams House was constructed in 1838 in the Greek Revival style. On Nov. 5, 1845, John R. W. Dunbar of Baltimore deeded this property to his brother-in-law Philip Williams, Jr. It was described as “a lot of land in Winchester on which the said Philip Williams, Jr. has lately erected a dwelling house.” Williams, who was born in Frederick Co., was admitted to the bar in 1832, was Commonwealth Attorney for Shenandoah and Warren Counties and also represented Shenandoah County in the Virginia House of Delegates. His first wife was Ann Hite of Belle Grove.
In 1898, the dwelling and property were sold to Minnie A. Miller, and under her stewardship several additions were constructed to the rear of the building. The interior enlarged room openings, mantel changes, and pressed metal facade design are similar to those seen in other grand homes receiving attention after the Civil War.
In the early 20th century, the building began its second life of commercial uses, including a tea house, an inn, and perhaps the best remembered, the Colonial Arts and Crafts Shop. After the closure of Joe’s Steakhouse, the current owners Scott and Barbara Bessette undertook a historic tax credit project to rehabilitate the structure for an event center.
Tickets officially go on sale today for the 45th Holiday House Tour – and our Bough & Dough Shop opens at 10 AM! Adult tickets are $20, children ages 12-6 are $6, and children under 6 are free.
You can pick up Holiday House Tour tickets, along with PHW memberships (including a free copy of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture, valued at $25) at the Bough & Dough Shop at 530 Amherst Street. Remember to get your renewals in to PHW by the end of this year if you would like to take advantage of the free book offer!