Friday Photos: Pittsburgh Bridge Co. Bridge, Fairmont Ave.

Private bridge with working rail line beneath
Happy Friday! Although we could not show any photos at our Annual Meeting, we thought you would like to see the progress pictures for one of our Award of Merit winners, Charles and Kelly Hyre, for the work done to retain their unique private driveway bridge at 445 Fairmont Ave. The bridge images submitted in the award nomination packet have been added to the 2017 Annual Meeting album on Flickr. The house, known as Dunheath or more commonly Glen Lee, was built in 1869 for Judge William Clark, Jr. At the time, it was one of the first houses built so far north on Fairmont, and as such it was set much farther back from the street than any other home. All was well until a rail line was slated to run along Fairmont Avenue, cross the Amherst and Boscawen Y-intersection, and terminate at the Cumberland Valley Railroad depot at the corner of Boscawen and Stewart Streets. While the rail line passed in the rear of all other homes on Fairmont, for Glen Lee it would cut directly across the main driveway. In exchange for the right-of-way for the tracks, the railroad company elevated the driveway, constructed the bridge, and lined it with a wrought iron fence.

The bridge was constructed by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company, with the firm Nelson and Buchanan as agents, in 1889. At the time, it was common for Pittsburgh Bridge Company to prefabricate the steel trusses and Nelson and Buchanan would act as the agents and contractors for the installation. To help sell their prefabricated bridges, railroad companies and local government officials were the primary targets for aggressive and sometimes ethically suspect marketing pitches.

While an untold number of bridges were constructed in our region by Pittsburgh Bridge Company from the 1880s until their consolidation with American Bridge Company in 1901, many of the large highway bridges have now been lost to age, accident, or new construction projects. The bridges that seem to still be in service are smaller back road bridges or the driveway examples, like the one at Glen Lee. Almost all are facing structural or maintenance issues after more than one hundred years of faithful service. See some other Pittsburgh Bridge Company examples from around the country at and through the search function at For more in-depth information on steel truss bridges, check out Bradford County’s Truss Bridges, which includes construction history, engineering information, and historic bridge manufacturer history. And you can see the Glen Lee driveway bridge at the end of the 2017 Annual Meeting and the Fairmont Avenue Flickr albums.

Friday Photos: Annual Meeting 2017

Happy Friday! If you could not join us last weekend at PHW’s 53rd Annual Meeting, you can experience the event through some photos taken during the business portion of the meeting. Bruce Downing, President of PHW, presented the following six preservation awards on June 11.

Bruce Downing, President of PHW, leading the meeting

Awards of Merit recognize renovations that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city. PHW presented two Awards of Merit this year:

  • Ann Brady and Gary Farrington, restoration of 317 South Braddock St. following the fire last year.
  • Charles and Kelly Hyre, restoration of the private steel and wood bridge (c. 1889) leading to their home at 445 Fairmont Ave.

The Katherine G. Rockwood Revolving Fund Award is named in honor of Katherine G. Rockwood. Mrs. Rockwood was the driving force behind the original 1976 architectural inventory of Winchester, PHW’s Jennings Revolving Fund, and innumerable other programs and activities of PHW. This award recognizes the outstanding renovation of a Jennings Revolving Fund property. PHW presented one Rockwood award this year:

  • E.G. and Joanne Hamill for the exterior restoration and porch reconstruction at 513 S. Loudoun St.

The Ben Belchic Award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. He was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic Award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours. This year, PHW recognized one scholar:

  • Wil Johnston for On the Town! Celebrating James Wood and the Founding of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Carroll H. Henkel Award is named in honor of Carroll H. Henkel, PHW’s first president in 1963-1964. This award recognizes outstanding leadership for historic preservation in the Winchester-Frederick County area. This year, we recognized one outstanding coalition:

  • The family members, residents of Shawneeland, and elected officials who came together to formulate the plan to save the Clowser House, recognized under their official organizational name the Clowser Foundation, and accepted by its president, Larry Webb.

PHW presented a special President’s Award to recognize the over fifty years of service put in by the entire Orndoff family, stretching all the way back to before PHW was even an organization itself. Betty Orndoff is one of the last people left who stood in protest in 1962 before the bulldozers came to raze the Conrad House. Edwin, Betty, and their daughter Eydie have since volunteered at almost every Holiday House Tour and attended nearly every major event of the organization since that time. It is truly a remarkable record of service!

PHW also elected the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, quickly recapped our last year, and we heard some brief remarks from Terry Heder, our host at the Bell House, about the plans for the building’s future uses and roles in telling the story of the Civil War in Winchester. After the meeting, guests could see the inside of the house for guided tours, or stay outside for some light refreshments. All in all, it was a beautiful and joyous afternoon!

See all the photos in our album at Flickr. Happy viewing!

Annual Meeting and Clowser Memorial Service Photos

The Bell HouseReminder: PHW’s Annual Meeting is this Sunday, June 11, at the Bell House, 106 North Cameron Street in Winchester. We will begin the business portion of the meeting, including election of the PHW board members, at 2 PM, followed by six preservation award presentations, and finish up the meeting with some remarks by our host, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Afterwards, please stay for light refreshments, socializing, and building tours. If you have stories to share of the Bell House and its history, our hosts would also love to hear them.

Last weekend, we attended the Clowser Foundation’s memorial service and lease signing celebration at the Clowser House in Shawneeland. If you weren’t able to attend, you can catch a few images of the event in our Flickr album. Happy viewing!

Clowser House Memorial Service

Friday Photos: More Holiday House Tour 1991

Happy Friday! We have added 30 new images from the 1991 Holiday House Tour to our Flickr album this week. The houses featured in this batch are 2848 Windsor Lane, which was designed by William E. Poole in the style of an antebellum planter’s cottage and was featured in the April 1989 issue of Colonial Homes magazine. The second home in this week’s set, 3106 Windsor Lane, was designed by the owners Mr. and Mrs. Robert Snyder and their builder Kay Dawson. In keeping with the home’s sleek and modern design, even the greenery featured in the home was unusual in materials and composition.

Catch all the new images at the top of the photostream, or at the end of the 1991 House Tour album.

Holiday House Tour 1991

Friday Photos: Holiday House Tour 1991

Happy Friday! It has been a busy week at PHW, but we fit in enough time to add 35 new photos of the 1991 Holiday House Tour “A Neighborhood Christmas,” which was held on Windsor Lane, off Cedar Creek Grade. The homes were all contemporary, most having been built in 1989. Have fun exploring the images of the first two sites at Flickr, and look forward to more photos of homes from this tour in the coming weeks.

2937 Windsor Lane

Friday Roundup: Tax Credit Talking Points and Greenway Court

The Historic Tax Credit Coalition has shared their research into some of the challenges they heard about the necessity of a federal level historic tax credit when other incentives may be enacted. If you are interested in being an advocate for the historic tax credit, you can find some questions and answers – both technical and simplified versions – in Answering the Hard Questions from Capitol Hill about the Future of the Historic Tax Credit at the National Trust for Historic Preservation blog.

For Friday Photos this week, we have added 14 images of outbuildings at Greenway Court. Although outside PHW’s geographical mission area, we helped spread the word on fundraising to stabilize the outbuildings. These images were taken by Frank Wright during a group site visit to raise awareness of the project, likely in the fall of 2008. You can see them all in our Greenway Court album on Flickr. Happy viewing!

Greenway Court

Friday Photos: Bough and Dough Shop 1997

Happy Friday! Before we get to the photos, mark your calendars for our Preservation Month Lunch and Learn Lecture “A House Without a Porch Is Boring,” coming on May 11, noon, at OakCrest, 126 N. Kent St. We’ll have more details on the presentation available soon.

This week, we found a few more images from the 1997 Holiday House Tour in the files. Brand new are 25 photos taken of the table setups at the Bough and Dough Shop in the Cannonball Restaurant, 229 South Loudoun Street. The Saturday of the Shop that year coincided with the first limited opening of the restaurant. The Shop was set up in the dining booths, while the bar area served lunch to promote the new restaurant. The Shop featured twenty vendors that year, most of which were documented in the photos. Not pictured were the greens, centerpieces, and wreaths by Cheryl Crowell, Evergreen Tree Farm, James Wood Agriculture Department, and handmade jewelery by Mary Teer. We also found a second photo album from the 1997 Tour with duplicate photographs, which verified some very early uploads in our Flickr account were from the 1997 House Tour at the Red Lion Tavern. Those photos, plus the new Shop photos, have been added to the 1997 Holiday House Tour album. Happy viewing!

Bough and Dough Shop 1997

Friday Photos: People, Places, and Things Edition

Happy Friday! This week, we have added 25 photos to the PHW Flickr account of some different subjects:

  1. In the “people” category, we have scanned 13 photos provided by Linda Ross of PHW members at various events. The photos were taken approximately 2001-2007.
  2. In the “places” category, we added five photos taken by Mary Riley during the 2010 Holiday House Tour, plus two images from the interior of E.E. Bayliss, Jr.’s office on East Piccadilly Street (now demolished, and also serving double duty in the “people” category), plus a photograph of the Lee-Jackson Service Station and Tourist Court provided by John G. Lewis.
  3. In the “things” category, we have a few different images from John G. Lewis’ history file, including another look at nail chronology and pit sawing illustrations, and a marker some of you may remember was once installed at the corner of Braddock Street and Fairfax Lane commemorating George Washington’s lot. This marker was replaced with a more durable metal marker on a small grassy strip after the building housing it was demolished.

Find all the photos at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of their respective albums. Happy viewing!
Sleigh at 303 Fairmont Ave.

Friday Roundup: PHW Newsletter, File Indexes, Clowser House Update, and Photos

Friday Roundup The first PHW Newsletter of 2017 is available online now, with a recap of the 2016 Holiday House Tour and a fairly lengthy update on PHW’s ongoing archiving process. If you think you should be on the PHW mailing list of current members and you don’t receive your hard copy, please let us know at 540-667-3577 or (If you spot a typo or need to update or confirm your current mailing address, please let us know that too!)

As part of the archiving process mentioned in the newsletter, we have made a working index of the dead PHW office files available online. At present time the list consists only of the file name and box number, but more information on the contents may be added in the future. This index only covers the files moved to storage, so most of the Revolving Fund, newer Holiday House Tours, and historic building files are not indexed (yet!).

We are also very excited to share the indexing of the Winchester Star’s “Out of the Past” articles completed to date. This indexing project was started by summer intern Marlena Spencer as we were beginning to sort and file the newspaper clipping boxes in 2013. Hopefully this will help you locate some stories you may have read in the Out of the Past section. Expect more additions to this index as time goes on.

The Clowser House has cleared its next hurdle in the ongoing preservation efforts. On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to move the Clowser House proposal to a public hearing to be held on April 26th. If all goes well, the April 26th hearing will be the final step needed before the Clowser House Committee can lease the property for 99 years and start the preservation process.

Last but not least, we added 22 photos to Flickr this week, all of one location: 219 South Loudoun Street. The brick house was likely built by Abraham Lauck around 1823 for his daughter Sarah at the time of her marriage to Charles Finn. In addition to a selection of shots from the 1997 Holiday House Tour, we were also able to identify the rear garden springtime photos, which had long been in the unknown photo file at PHW. We also did a bit of housekeeping at Flickr and created a dedicated album for those Holiday House Tour 1997 images we have been sharing recently. Enjoy both the festive photos and a taste of spring at the top of the photostream.

219 South Loudoun Street

Friday Photos and Preservation News

Happy Friday! We have some preservation news to pass along before we get to the photos.

The Clowser House Committee has invited anyone interested to stop by the Purple Room at the Frederick County Administrative building in Winchester from 6 to 7 PM on Wednesday, March 8 to meet before the Board of Supervisors meeting. Enter from the North Kent Street side and go down the hall next to the elevator and enter the room to the right at the end. They will have the Clowser House matted prints for sale at $30, as well as information and photos for viewing. The committee is also interested in any old photos you may have relating to the Clowser House and Clowser family for their archives. Please extend this invitation to others, and then stick around for the Board of Supervisors meeting at 7 to show your support for the Clowser House!

For Friday Photos this week, we have added 40 photos to Flickr, including images from Tim Youmans’ tour of City Hall for Rouss Day 2017, two contact prints from the Kurtz Cultural Center exhibit and gift shop areas, and the check presentation of the 2016 Bough and Dough Shop proceeds to Winchester Little Theatre.

We hope you like seeing Christmas decorations year-round, as almost all the photos we have left to scan are from Holiday House Tours. This week we added more images from the 1997 tour of two houses on South Loudoun Street. One is 217 South Loudoun, the Rutherford House, which was built circa 1775 by one of Winchester’s early prominent citizens. Likewise, 522 South Loudoun, the Dr. Cornelius Baldwin House, was open for the 1997 tour. The frame house was built circa 1795. In addition to its famous owner, the house is also recognized for its family connection to Mary Julia Baldwin, Dr. Baldwin’s granddaughter, who founded Mary Baldwin College. Catch all the new photos at the top of the photostream, and keep an eye out for a new album just for the 1997 House Tour images soon!

522 S. Loudoun St.