Welcome to July!

PHW held its annual meeting last weekend and we are happy to report the event went off without issue. We had a number of views on the Facebook livestream, but if you want to get right to the meat of the abbreviated meeting, a copy is also available for review on YouTube.

As you may have heard, the City of Winchester is seeking your input on the potential renaming of Jubal Early Drive. Get your thoughts in by July 13! More background information and the survey can be found at http://www.winchesterva.gov/jubal-early-drive-renaming

Although it sounds hard to believe, we are indeed following the promise made at the Annual Meeting and we are in the early stages of transforming the interior of the Hexagon House to be shop-friendly. You can follow along on our Bough and Dough Shop progress this summer and fall at our dedicated Instagram account. The early start is in part due to making sure the new table layouts will work with the need for one-way traffic inside the building this year. (It also helps us judge how many artists we can accommodate.) If you have not completed your application for this year, apply soon!

As you celebrate the holiday this weekend, you may want to brush up on some safety tips. The Red Cross has 20 tips for you this year with specific tips for the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an article from Prevention.com on the rise of fireworks this year and how to stay safe while enjoying them. Have a happy Fourth of July from everyone at PHW!

Friday Roundup: RSVPs and Reading Links

PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting will be held on June 28th. The meeting will be held at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street, beginning at 5:00 P.M. The Annual Business Meeting will consist of the Proposed Bylaws Amendment, President’s Annual Report, and Election of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.

A full copy of the bylaws is available on PHW’s website.

Only PHW members with current dues who attend the meeting in person may vote on the actionable items. If you plan to attend the meeting, RSVP your name and number of attendees to 540-667-3577, phwinc.org@gmail.com, or on the Facebook event page. The meeting is capped at 50 guests.

The meeting will be held outside and no refreshments will be offered. Social distancing due to COVID-19 will be in effect. Wear face coverings and do not attend if you have been exposed or feel ill. Please bring your own seating. A livestream of the meeting will be hosted on Facebook. The link will be made available approximately one week before the event. The meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

For further reading and researching this week, we have a selection of links:

It seems many people are taking the pandemic time to research their homes and towns. Atlas Obscura has been providing a steady stream of informative articles on how to get started, including How to Dig into the History of Your City, Town, or Neighborhood.

If you are looking for early Winchester Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to help with your research, you can find them at the Library of Congress. You can also look at other maps PHW and other local researchers use to date local buildings at Historic Map Works.

Do you like transcribing old documents or going on deep history searches? East End and Evergreen Cemeteries in Richmond are accepting remote volunteers to help make their documents more accessible and preserve Richmond’s African American history. Follow the links to register for Biography Writer, Cemetery Research, or Record Transcription.

If you are interested in similar efforts to document, preserve, and tell forgotten stories, you may also enjoy Architectural History Fieldwork Project Seeks to Find ‘Suppressed and Erased Histories’ and When Architecture and Racial Justice Intersect.

AmazonSmile customers can now support Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc. in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
  2. Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into ‘Settings’
  3. Tap ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app, update your app. Click here for instructions.

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.

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.

PHW’s Spring Update and Virtual Limestone Launch

Spring is just around the corner, and so Preservation of Historic Winchester draws closer to the end of another year. We usually take this time to let our current members know what we accomplished last year and invite you to renew your membership. This year, we are reaching out to all our members and social media followers to let you know some important news.

Last year was filled with high points like the 275th anniversary of the founding of Winchester activities, the republication of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture, and the presentation by Tom Mayes of Why Old Places Matter. The end of 2019 was capped by the Holiday House Tour and the Bough and Dough Shop, both successful fundraisers and educational programs.

At the same time, the year was marred by losses of buildings in the Historic District and to our own membership. All those who passed will be sorely missed, but perhaps none as much for the day to day operations of PHW as Sherry Bosley. After essentially acting as a volunteer secretary for the past fourteen years, the hole she left is still being felt. To honor her legacy of willingness to learn and humble yet unwavering work ethic, the PHW board approved a scholarship for local students bearing her name.

While we hope you will renew your membership, we also hope you will be generous enough to add a few extra dollars to the scholarship fund. We are currently just over $2,000 of an initial $10,000 funding goal. Our aim is to encourage students who have a passion for historic preservation who can continue the memory of Sherry Bosley and the goals of PHW.

While we may need to curtail in-person activities for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus restrictions, we invite you to follow our weekly updates on social media for further programming changes or updates. The PHW office will be open by appointment only for the foreseeable future in keeping with the arts and historic preservation community response.

The much anticipated Limestone book launch party on April 3 and 4 was one of the casualties of the coronavirus restrictions. In an effort to make the book accessible, it is now available for purchase on PHW’s website. Orders will be shipped in as timely a manner as possible.

Thank you for continuing your support of PHW as we live through a period of change and uncertainty. We will do our best to continue supporting our members, the community, and the city.

Around the Internet: Historic Education and Volunteer Opportunities

March is Women’s History Month. We know many groups are exploring the suffrage movement this year, and with that in mind, you may wish to check out “Let Our Vote Be Cast:” African American Women and the Suffrage Movement in Virginia and Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. Colonial Williamsburg is also hosting a bevy of programming for March, which can be found on their website. For more general topics related to women’s history, the National Trust has put together a page of Distinctive Destinations: Women’s Heritage sites across the country.

The Virginia Museum of the Civil War will present a History Day program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 28 at 8895 George Collins Parkway, New Market. This event is open to families seeking a day of fun, exploration and learning for hands-on activities for all ages such as joining the army and learning to drill, dancing the Virginia Reel, have fun with 19th-century games and crafts, watch the Emmy Award-winning film “Field of Lost Shoes,” take a guided tour through the battlefield, learn 19th-century cooking techniques, visit displays from local history and ecology organizations, enjoy lunch and home-baked goodies from the food booth. Registration is $5 per person for ages 6 and older and required before March 20. Call 866-515-1864 or visit the website.

In Richmond, you can experience some of the finest ornamental ironwork in the state. If the article piques your curiosity, check the Vintage Virginia website to see if a tour will coincide to your next visit to Richmond, or just enjoy more photos of the finely-crafted wrought iron in our state’s capitol. You can also see more photos inspired by the book Cast and Wrought – The Architectural Metalwork of Richmond, Virginia: in this blog, or purchase a copy from Amazon. (Don’t forget to use AmazonSmile and make PHW your charity of choice if you’d like to help us out a bit, too!)

The American Battlefield Trust is once again organizing Park Day across the nation on April 4. As stated on their website, “Since 1996, the American Battlefield Trust has sponsored Park Day, an annual hands-on preservation event to help Civil War — and now Revolutionary War & War of 1812 — battlefields and historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. Activities are chosen by each participating site to meet their own particular needs and can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and buildings trails.” Visit the site to find volunteer opportunities near you!

For our West Virginia members, the Old Opera House Theatre Guild, a volunteer organization essential to running the historic theater in Charles Town, WV, is now offering night meetings for those who cannot attend the standard lunchtime meetings. These nightly meetings will alternate with the luncheons. The first night meeting was held March 12 in the Old Opera House Theatre, 204 N. George St., Charles Town, WV. If you are interested in volunteering, you may want to watch the Guild’s Facebook page for information.