Around the Internet: Learning Through Other’s Experience

Following up from our ice skating edition, one of our members let us know a small ice skating rink was newly installed at Bryce Resort, Bayse, VA. You can find more information on their website if you would like to enjoy ice skating there this season.

We know many of our members love their furry friends, so the Virginia’s Travel Blog has put together Fun With Fido for dog-friendly travel ideas to scenic and historic places around the state.

What if you could do a preservation project over again? The Carlyle House in Alexandria is getting just this sort of examination during a reception, presentation, and panel discussion on May 21, from 6-9 PM. Space is limited and reservations are required. Reservations are $10 per person, with APT-DC members and Friends of Carlyle House members $5/person with code.

The Library of Virginia shares the basic outline and lessons learned from a primary document workshop in a high school setting in Primary Sources Force Students to Analyze the Past and Past Penmanship. As many in the history fields have cautioned, the lack of penmanship education for today’s students is making these primary resources practically a foreign language and will present new challenges for future educators and aspiring historians.

Open Culture has gathered together How to Draw Like an Architect: An Introduction in Six Videos. Brush up on perspective, line thickness, and more to bring your architectural doodles to the next level. There are many other related links in the Open Culture back catalog on drawing, architecture, and much more to explore, as well.

Last but not least is Historic Preservation in Philadelphia: New Tools for an Old City from the National Trust. Regulatory changes and new incentives were introduced to make it more feasible to reuse historic buildings instead of demolishing them after the city hit a record number of demolitions in 2018. Read more about how reduced parking requirements, accessory dwelling units, zoning relief and demolition review in Neighborhood Conservation Districts are expected to reduce the number of demolitions and burdens to adaptive reuse at the National Trust’s blog.

Friday Roundup: Preservation News

Thank you all again for the thoughts and feedback on the tour and shop from 2019. Our tentative dates for the 2020 festivities are the Shop from November 20-December 13, and the House Tours on December 5 and 6. More information on the houses and how to apply for a spot in the Shop will be available as we progress through the year.

If you would like to clean out your closets and cupboards, PHW is willing to accept the following in-kind donation items: Gently used shopping or gift bags (paper or plastic, any size), wrapping material like tissue paper and bubble wrap, large lightweight planters, light strings and clip on spotlights, and wired edge ribbon. You may bring donations to the Hexagon House at 530 Amherst St. or leave a message for more unusual donations at 540-667-3577.

If you would prefer instead to give monetarily to a lasting monument, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is looking to place a monument to the soldiers of Maine killed and wounded at the Third Winchester battlefield. According to the Maine at War blog, this will be the first permanent marker to commemorate the soldiers of Maine who fought in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. There is currently a $1 to $1 matching grant challenge on to push the monument to its final completion. An online donation button is available on the SVBF website, or checks may be mailed to Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Attn: Maine Monument Fund, P.O. Box 897, 9386 S. Congress St., New Market, VA 22844. For more information, please, contact Peter Dalton at or 540-325-0787.

Preservation Virginia is beginning their monitoring and coverage of legislative action in Virginia, including actions on tax credits, conservation easements, cemeteries and historic monuments. They invite you to register today for their Legislative Reception on February 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Downtown (formerly Miller & Rhoads) in Richmond. That same evening, the Virginia Association of Museums is holding their annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Reception at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, also in Richmond.

Via the Forum Connect, you are invited to check out the Architectural Plastics & Polymer Composites in the 21st Century: Design and Preservation of Contemporary & Historic Architecture conference. It will be held on March 28-March 29, 2020 at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts and will cover in-depth a variety of issues surrounding plastics in architecture. Continuing education credits will be available. “Early bird” reduced registration rate is offered up to January 20th. Information and registration form on the conference are available online.

Last but not least, the senior living center planned for 333 West Cork St. will be discussed at the January 21 Planning Commission Meeting, 3 PM in Council Chambers at Rouss City Hall. Review the agenda and documents about the requests at the Winchester City website here.

Friday Roundup: Ice Skating Edition

After an unseasonably warm December, winter weather is at last upon us! While it might be hard to find activities suitable for the freezing weather and short days, one of the historical activities people enjoyed would have been ice skating outdoors on ponds and streams. It is believed the so called Year Without a Summer at the beginning of the 19th century and the subsequent stretch of cold winters set the foundation for skating to flourish from Northern Virginia to New England. Indoor ice rinks began to emerge after the Civil War, and coupled with the mass production of ice skates the activity became more accessible to anyone at any time (1).

Many of these early indoor rinks have now been lost, including the examples known to have been in Winchester. The oldest known indoor rink still in use not just in America but in the world is is Matthew’s Arena at Northeastern University, constructed in 1910. If you have a hankering to explore some other ice rinks with a historic past, check out Three Cool Ice Rinks In Hot Historic Spots from the National Trust for Historic Places. One of the highlighted rinks is at Hot Springs at the Omni Homestead Resort.

If you get the urge to skate yourself this winter, it might be hard to find an rink these days, but you can check out options on, several options exist in the Roanoke area, and for a more group based activity, check out synchronized ice skating in Richmond. Happy skating!

Boys skating on Kern’s Dam, 1906. From the Robert Barton Family Papers, 1268-29 wfchs, from the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives.

Welcome to 2020 from PHW!

While the office will be closed until January 6, we wanted to send out a Friday post welcoming you to the new year. We still welcome feedback on the Bough and Dough Shop, the Holiday House Tour, or any other aspect where you think PHW needs to improve. The first discussion of the Tour and Shop will be held January 13, so for best discussion and consideration, get your comments in to the PHW office before then. You may reach us by email at or by phone at 540-667-3577.

We hope you will join us in looking forward to a fruitful and successful year ahead!

Friday Roundup: End of Shop Survey

The PHW office will be closed next week for winter vacation. In the meantime, we hope you will fill out the Bough and Dough Shop 2019 feedback form. Responses collected will be added to the report in the January 13 PHW board meeting for our after-event debriefing. The survey consists of three open-ended questions to help us plan the types of vendors and items you want as well as other ideas for improvement.

Thank you, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season. We’ll see you again in 2020!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from PHW!

Last Weekend for the Bough and Dough Shop

We’ve had a fantastic season at the Shop this year. If you haven’t made it here to the Hexagon House yet, there are still many beautiful and unique products to buy for yourself or a loved one. If you have been here and were thinking about a product or two, stop back in! Several artists are offering end of shop discounts,and all remaining greens (including wreaths from Blackthorn Estates Nursery) are half price.

The Shop is open Friday and Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, and Sunday noon-5 PM. Deck the Walls upstairs at the Hexagon House is only open through Saturday. After Sunday we are finished for the 2019 season!

Thanks again to all our artists who helped us produce one of the best shops in the 43 year history of the Holiday House Tour. It’s hard to imagine how we will top this in 2020, but if you came by and shopped or just looked around, please fill out the feedback forms you may have picked up in your shopping bags or look for an online survey next week so we can begin our planning in January.

Holiday House Tour Last Notes

Did you procrastinate on getting tickets? You are in luck! We still have both Party tickets for Saturday and daylight tickets for Sunday available for purchase at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. You can also pick up Sunday tickets at The Final Yard, Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, and Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. Sunday tickets are also available for order online through EventBrite.

Even better, the Bough and Dough Shop at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St., will be open until 6 PM today, tomorrow, and Sunday to accommodate shopping during First Friday and the Holiday House Tour.

The weather forecast for the weekend appears decent, with overcast skies and no 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.

We heard from multiple guests Courtfield Avenue may be the hardest address to find, so if the wind doesn’t take them out, we will have additional signage directing you from Clifford Street and Academy Lane toward Courtfield Avenue. You can also check the map on your phone via Google Maps.

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.

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!

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy the tours and stop by the Hexagon House for hot drinks and some holiday shopping!

Ticket Sales and Website Updates

About 25 Preview Party tickets are still available for the Saturday evening event at the Hexagon House. Tickets are $50/adult member and $80/adult nonmember. Nonmember ticket price includes a 1 year membership to PHW.

Holiday House Tour Tickets for Sunday are still available at the following locations: The Final Yard, Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, and the Hexagon House. Sunday tickets are available for order online through EventBrite. Tickets are $25/adult, $6/child 6-12, and free for children under 6.

We successfully completed the move to the new server for the PHW website yesterday. Only one post was lost (and will be recreated when time permits). We hope but cannot guarantee the Friday email will go out as expected.

Due to the uncertain nature of how the next few days will go, we encourage you to thank and look for all our business card level sponsors for the Holiday House Tour: Belle Grove Plantation, Frederick Block, Brick and Stone, and Maral Kalbian. Look for their ads in the House Tour booklet and be sure to check out their services and events!

Maral Kalbian, Architectural Historian

Website, Tour and Shop Updates

The PHW website will be moving to a new server shortly. We know this is a terrible time to be doing this sort of move, but it should be relatively painless for you and our address will not change. If the website is unavailable for a while, try not to panic! We may lose one or two things along the way, but hopefully we’ll be mostly functional.

Preview Party tickets for Saturday, December 7 are still available through PHW at the Hexagon House. Tickets are $50/adult member and $80/adult nonmember. Nonmember ticket price includes a 1 year membership to PHW.

Holiday House Tour tickets for Sunday, December 8 are on sale now at the following Winchester locations: The Final Yard, Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, and the Hexagon House. Sunday tickets are available for order online through EventBrite. Tickets are $25/adult, $6/child 6-12, and free for children under 6.

The Shop will have extended evening hours this weekend to accommodate First Friday and Holiday House Tour activities. We will be open until at least 6 PM Friday-Sunday.

We have also received a new stock of jelly from Donna Sheetz, including more red and green pepper jelly. Various other artists have or will be replenishing and bringing new stock. If you were here opening weekend, you should stop in again and see what’s new!

Thanks to our sponsor in 2019 Belle Grove Plantation. Look for their ad in the Holiday House Tour booklets and be sure to check out their upcoming December event while you enjoy our house tours!

Friday Roundup: Black Friday Edition

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Bough and Dough Shop so far! We have received restocks for a number of items, including Blooming Hill lavender products, Eye of the Needle embroidered towels, mittens and ornaments from Very Merry Mittens, and a new original watercolor by Linda Haile of the downtown. We also had a last minute addition of 18″ doll clothes from Stitchery Studio. If you are tired of shopping in crowded box stores looking for Black Friday deals, come see us! We are open at the Hexagon House Tuesdays-Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays noon-5 now through December 15.

If you are looking for pottery, we also suggest you visit the Shenandoah Potter’s Guild sale this weekend at the War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park. Both our Bough and Dough Shop potters Brenda Fairweather and Lin Hausnecht will be there!

We know you may also be worrying about Holiday House Tour tickets. Both the Sunday tickets at $25 and the Preview Party tickets at $50 for PHW members and $80 for nonmembers are still available. Party tickets are only available through the Bough and Dough Shop, so stop by the Hexagon House to get yours!

Thanks to our sponsor in 2019 Virginia Dwelling. Look for their ad in the Holiday House Tour booklets, their display in the Bough and Dough Shop, and be sure to check out their services!