Friday Round Up: Clowser House, Guideline Updates, and More

Friday RoundupHappy Friday! It’s been a busy week at PHW, so here’s what we’ve been up to:

We have added five images from the Walk and Learn tour we hosted in conjunction with the Clowser Foundation at the Clowser House last Saturday to our Flickr account. Thank you to everyone who came out and saw the house and heard about the efforts so far to save it. The Clowser Foundation needs your support – they are still fundraising for their efforts to repair the back wall before June 2018. You can learn more about their organization at their website and Facebook page.

We had some good questions on the historic farming uses at the Clowser House. As we learned on Saturday, the Clowser family ran a mixed farm with wheat, corn, cattle, pigs, and other crops and livestock. Although not specific to the Clowser family, you can learn more about agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley before and during the Civil War at Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

In Winchester news, we know many people have been awaiting word on the overhaul of the Board of Architectural Review Guidelines. The revised document, which has been in the works for about a year and a half, was presented at the September 26 City Council work session. It appears very likely the new guidelines, which allow for some additional flexibility with non-traditional materials, will be adopted on Tuesday, October 10. You may review the agenda and packet through the city’s website.

In Holiday House Tour news, we still have spaces available for interior full page, half page, and business card ads. You can learn more on the sizes and benefits of the ads here. If you are interested in reserving a spot, please let us know at phwinc.org@gmail.com or by calling 540-667-3577 before October 31.

We also took a few moments this week to update our GuideStar profile and reach their Silver rating. This has also opened up a new donation option for us on the GuideStar webpage. You may use the donation link under our logo as an alternate way to make online donations to PHW. Thank you in advance!

Friday Photos: 3047 Windsor Lane

This Friday we step back to the 1991 Holiday House Tour to visit a home designed and built by the Moldens in 1988. The home has a Florida influence and an open floor plan which allows for panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Round Hill, and Signal Knob. Keep a sharp eye out in the decorations for family antique pieces as well as various animal themes. View all sixteen images at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of the 1991 Holiday House Tour album. Happy viewing!

3047 Windsor Lane

Friday Photos: Newtown Tavern

Happy Friday! Before we get to the images, mark your calendars for a PHW Walk and Learn tour. The event will be held at the Clowser House, 152 Tomahawk Trail in Shawneeland on Saturday, September 30 at 1 PM. This free event will help introduce you to the Clowser Foundation and their efforts to save the ancestral home of one of Winchester’s pioneer families. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Directions to the Clowser House from Winchester: Head west on Rt. 50 (Northwestern Turnpike) and turn left onto Back Mountain Road (State Route 614). Proceed until you see Tom’s Market on your right. Turn right at Tom’s Market onto Rosenberger Lane (State Route 753). Take a left at the intersection entering Shawneeland onto Tomahawk Trail. The Clowser House is the brick house on the right side of the road. There is a small gravel parking lot for visitors. We hope to see you there!

This week, we have 20 new images of the Newtown Tavern in Stephens City when it was open for the 1988 Holiday House Tour. The tavern was built in 1819 and remained in use until 1906, when it was converted to a residence. At the time of the Holiday House Tour, the Newtown Tavern was operating as a bed and breakfast. See the images at the top of the Flickr photostream.

Newtown Tavern

Friday Photos: Indian Spring

This week, we added 23 images to our Flickr account of a building known as Indian Spring from the 1988 Holiday House Tour. The site has roots back to the very earliest settlers who came with Yost Hite to the area in 1732, Jacob and Magdalena Chrisman. Much like the story of Abram’s Delight in Winchester, the original, likely log home was replaced in the 1750s by a more substantial limestone structure. The oldest part of the stone house built by Jacob Chrisman dates to 1751, as recorded in the gable. Two log buildings were also extant on the property and noted in the 1988 brochure; one of those may be Chrisman’s original dwelling.

Indian Spring

In addition to hosting some of the oldest remaining structures in Frederick County, the original 750 acre tract was also notable for the large spring, which was first called Indian Spring, and later Chrisman’s and Stickley’s Spring as the ownership of the property changed hands. In addition to being an important landmark for the area, the spring was also a hub for early religious gatherings. Bishop Francis Asbury, a famous traveling Methodist minister, was reportedly the first to use the spring for a camp meeting. T.K. Cartmell writes in his Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants (p. 204):

“There was an ideal place [for a primitive Methodist Camp Meeting] near the centre of the Upper Circuit . . . . The place . . . was Chrisman’s Spring . . . . The famous spring and adjacent forests were freely offered by this generous family. The oldest inhabitant to day has no recollection of the first Camp Meeting with the old tent wagons on the ground and roughly improvised annexes to offer shelter to the families who had come well provided with food. The scanty sleeping accommodations were sufficient to induce the Campers to remain on the Grounds for about ten days . . . . Kercheval says, ‘The first Camp Meeting held in the Valley in my memory was at Chrisman’s Spring . . . probably in the month of August 1806.'”

If you are interested in learning more about this important site, more details may be found in Some Old Homes in Frederick County, Virginia by Garland Quarles, p. 67-69. Other images of Indian Spring and the log building thought to be Chrisman’s original home may be found on pages 6 and 7 of Frederick County, Virginia: History Through Architecture by Maral Kalbian. Further historical and genealogical references to Jacob and Magdalena Chrisman may be found at chrisman.org and Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants. Christian History issue 114 is dedicated to Francis Asbury and the history of camp meetings.

Friday Roundup: Patsy Cline, Photos, Tax Credit Updates, and More!

Friday RoundupHappy Friday! There is a lot to cover this holiday weekend. First, the Celebrating Patsy Cline Block Party will be held Saturday, September 2 in front of the Patsy Cline House at 608 S. Kent St. The block party is free but tours of the house are $5. A special exhibit will be presented of an item that has not been on display before at the house. Attendees are asked to bring chairs to the event. For more information, call 540-662-5555 or visit their website.

For Friday Photos this week, we found some reference photos for the house art from Holiday House Tour 2003 and 2004. The houses are primarily on North Braddock Street, Washington Street, and Stewart Street. Check out the the 23 photos at the top of our Flickr photostream.

331 N. Braddock St.

From the National Trust comes the August and early September outlook for the Historic Tax Credit. There is information in the blog post about how to add your business or organization to a letter of support for the historic tax credit, how to check if your representative is a cosponsor for the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, and information on how to sign up for a webinar on the historic tax credit September 21 at 2 p.m.

From CityLab comes the article An Architectural Rescue Gone Wrong by Mark Byrnes. In short, it is a familiar story on the struggles of preserving the recent past for “ugly” buildings that don’t seem to mesh well with a “traditional” city. In an even more familiar refrain, in trying to please everyone, it seems no one is completely satisfied with the efforts to save Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist-style Orange County Government Center after decades of deferred maintenance and hurricane-related damage.

Last, A Short History of Fire Marks, The World’s Hottest Insurance-Related Antiques from Atlas Obscura is a five minute introduction of some various crests, why they were used, and resources to identify them in case you find one in your architectural travels.

Happy reading, viewing, and listening this weekend!

Friday Photos: St. Thomas Chapel and Monte Vista

Happy Friday! This week we have started scanning images of the 1988 Holiday House Tour, which took place predominantly in Frederick County. This set of photos poses a bit more of a problem during digitizing than some of our past collections, as the images were placed in a photo book that does not have removable pages for ease of use on a flatbed scanner. On top of that, the pages themselves are of the adhesive variety, and the photos seem to be well and truly stuck in place. While that’s normally not much of a problem with photo editing software, a number of photos in this book were placed overlapping each other.

In order to not lose the overall look of both photos, on a number of the Monte Vista pages we have scanned the entire page without trying to crop them down to individual images. Also, the risk to try to unstick photos from the page (and the plastic cover sheet) to reveal what is beneath is unacceptable due to the likelihood the images would be damaged. The entire album (which is, as you would expect, rather bulky) is held in place with the binding supported during the scan and kept as still as possible, but a few pages do show some anomalies from this technique. The anomalies are an acceptable trade-off to making these images available and for making a digital copy before the adhesive material deteriorates and damages the images. You can view the images of Monte Vista and St. Thomas Chapel at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of the Frederick County album.

St. Thomas Chapel

If you are wondering what to do with an album or scrapbook in a similar state, you may want to read Preservation Basics: Preservation of Scrapbooks and Albums and Preservation Guidelines for Digitizing Library Materials. Each album is unique and will have its own challenges, but these Library of Congress guidelines can give you a good idea of where you might have the most problems and some best techniques to avoid damaging one-of-a-kind artifacts.

Friday Photos: John Margolies Roadside America Photograph Archive, Belle Grove

When a tantalizing story of a photographer who went around the country taking photographs of dinosaur statues and other roadside attractions crossed the PHW news feed, of course we had to check if Dinosaur Land made the cut. While we haven’t found the iconic brontosaurus, we did find a two other locally famous kitschy landmarks:

The apple at Kimberly’s (photo taken in 1982)
Two angles of the lighthouse on Weems Lane (now dismantled, removed from the site, and re-purposed), also in 1982. Sharp eyes can also spot a corner of the distinctive Hardee’s in the background of one picture.

If you too would like to browse or search the John Margolies collection, you can find over 11,000 images in the Library of Congress prints and photographs catalog. As you can guess, the collection is not just dinosaurs, but also gas stations, signs, drive-in theaters, mini golf courses, motels, and other interesting roadside follies.

Perhaps less impressive, this week we discovered an envelope of photos tucked into a file folder of Belle Grove Plantation while doing other filing tasks. These five images are circa 1986. You can see these photos at the end of the Frederick County album, or at the top of the photostream. Happy viewing!

Belle Grove, Middletown

Friday Photos: Renaming Ceremony for the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum

Renaming Ceremony for the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum

Happy Friday! If you were out and about this morning, you may have seen the crowd gathered on the lawn of the old Frederick County Court House. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) held a ceremony to officially announce that the former Old Court House Civil War Museum is renamed the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum. The exhibit areas in the museum will be upgraded with new and renovated exhibits, improved signage and displays, new interactive and digital tools, new lighting, new youth activities and exhibits, and a greater focus on the broader story of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley – the Union, Confederate, civilian and African-American perspectives.

Winchester Mayor John David Smith, Jr., Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Delegate Chris Collins, SVBF Board Member Jim Wilkins, Jr., and SVBF CEO Keven M. Walker among others made remarks on the museum, its history, the changing of the exhibits and way it can enhance and expand upon the interpretation of the Civil War past the experience of names and dates at a battlefield. At the end of the proceedings, Mr. Wilkins was presented with the Graves Family Philanthropic Leadership Award in recognition of his philanthropy on behalf of battlefield preservation and other worthy causes.

Be sure to stop by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum at 20 North Loudoun Street (most exhibit upgrades will not take place until winter, so there is still plenty of time to visit) or check them out online at civilwarmuseum.org. If you couldn’t make the event today, you can see twelve images of the ceremony at PHW’s Flickr account.

Friday Photos: More Holiday House Tour

Please excuse the abbreviated update for this week, as we have been busy at PHW leading walking tours and attending meetings out of the office, in addition to several days of tree work at the Hexagon House. We added twelve photos to our Holiday House Tour photo collection this week. This batch is tentatively dated to 1998 and 1999 and features the Bell House, the Kurtz Building, the Feltner Building, and the Old Frederick County Court House. See the photos at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of the Holiday House Tour album. Happy viewing!

Holiday House Tour

Friday Photos: Holiday House Tour and Valley Avenue

Happy Friday! This week, we have added 50 photos to our Flickr account. Seven images are recent photos taken of the block of Valley Avenue at the McDonald’s, from Gaunt’s Drug Store to James Street. They may be found at the end of the Valley Avenue album.

The remaining 43 images are from miscellaneous Holiday House Tours, all likely in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Until the years of the tours can be verified, the new Holiday House Tour images will be at the end of the generic Holiday House Tours album.

You can also see all the new additions at the very top of the photostream. Happy viewing!

Holiday House Tour