Friday Roundup: Virtual Conferences and Learning

The 63rd annual Germanna Foundation conference is moving online this year. Six presentations will be hosted on Zoom today, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. Registration is $30. If you can’t attend the live sessions, registration will let you watch the sessions at your convenience. Find the full panel descriptions and register at https://germanna.org/conference-and-reunion/ .

Preservation on Main Street is also going virtual in 2020. The event will be held July 29 through July 31 and will feature many educational and interactive panels and activities for board members, executive directors, or anyone interested in sustaining and revitalizing historic main streets across America. Cost for the full event is $25, or free for students with a student ID. Find the full schedule and more information at https://www.preservationonmainstreet.com/ . Registration closes July 28 at noon.

As part of the lead up to the National Trust’s conference, they have posted a Reading List for Change. Like other organizations, this year the PastForward conference (held in the late fall) will be virtual. Find out more about the 2020 conference at their website. At the bottom of the page, you can also find links to past conference recordings to watch on YouTube.

Last, if you have some children in need of fun activities this weekend, the National Building Museum offers online resources for families to explore architecture, design, and engineering. Go to the At-Home Learning tab for coloring sheets, seek and find activities, and building paper models.

Friday Roundup: Links to Preservation Reading

As is usual following the Annual Meeting and the Fourth of July, we have been in “cleanup mode” at the PHW office, tidying up loose ends from the first half of the year and preparing for the next six months. With not much else to report in office happenings, we thought you may enjoy this selection of links to historic preservation articles this weekend.

Volunteers clean up historic alley in City with ties to the Underground Railroad – The alley, located where Canal and Caroline streets meet at the northern end of the Fredericksburg’s Historic District, may have led to a site where slaves crossed the river to their freedom at Union Army encampments in Stafford County. The cleanup may be the first step in bringing the story of this alley and the free black family that once lived here wider attention.

Should architecturally significant low-income housing be preserved? – One of the pitfalls of much modern construction, no matter how architecturally intriguing, is that it is prone to failures in both the mundane engineering and materials as well as the humanistic interactions people have with the building. The article goes in-depth in the case of the Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY.

Mysteries, skeletons abound under Virginia church’s floor – Graves are everywhere underneath St. Mary’s Basilica in Norfolk, VA. The voids were found by ground penetrating radar, confirming the oral traditions that the church was built over a graveyard. Although the find has delayed the needed renovations to the church, the congregation is pleased to turn their church into a small archeological dig site to better understand their history.

A lot is going on inside the historic preservation community, but you may have missed the discussions. The National Trust for Historic Preservation released their Statement on Confederate Monuments and highlighted a blogger working on Building the Mental Resilience of Preservation Professionals. On the Forum Connect, they also compiled Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More).

Schools remain a hot topic for the pandemic and the preservation world. University Business posted How to bring historic buildings new life and purpose for college buildings. Old Sterling Schoolhouse still Standing Today focuses on a center not just of education, but community, in Loudoun County. The school is hoping to be incorporated into a larger development plan; contact information is available at the end of the article if you can help. In more encouraging news, Plans for Old Mount Vernon High School detail hopes to turn the school into a multi-generational learning, housing, and playing uses.

Last, The Most Beautiful Mansions in Every State and From UFO Towers to Tsunami Clocks, Every U.S. State’s Most Unique Roadside Attraction can provide you a bit of armchair tourism this weekend. Stay safe and healthy until we see you next post!

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!

The Annual Meeting Is Sunday!

Last call! PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting is coming this Sunday, June 28th at 5 PM at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. 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. A volunteer will be counting guests and checking RSVPs as you arrive.

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. The meeting will be held outside and no refreshments will be offered. The building will remain closed and no restroom facilities will be available.

The weather is likely to be hot with a low chance of precipitation. You may wish to bring your own water. The back yard should be shady by 5 PM, but hats or parasols are also encouraged.

Please bring your own seating. The yard will be marked with lime to mark off the 6′ social distancing for your chairs.

A livestream of the meeting will be hosted on Facebook. Check our Live tab about 5 PM on Sunday to watch virtually. Virtual watchers will not be able to participate in the voting but are welcome to follow along.

Hexagon House
We’ll see you in person or virtually on Facebook this Sunday!

Friday Photos and More

This week, we uncovered a stash of 30 more Holiday House Tour photographs while cleaning old files. The exact year of the tour depicted was unknown until some careful background detail sleuthing revealed the home was on Seldon Drive. With that knowledge and the database in progress cataloging our past tours, we were able to determine the images came from the 1990 tour “A Neighborhood Christmas,” the only year (so far!) Seldon Drive was featured. Enjoy this look back at the past in our Flickr album!

Holiday House Tour 1990
One of the images from the 1990 Holiday House Tour held on Seldon Drive in Winchester.

As a friendly reminder, PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting is coming up on June 28th at 5 PM. 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 meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

Last, we have a few curated reading links for you to enjoy this weekend along the theme of Juneteenth celebrations:

Early Photographs of Juneteenth Celebrations from the Public Domain Review

Stand for LOVE: 18 Museums and Historic Sites to Learn about Virginia’s Black History from Virginia’s Travel Blog

Take Free Courses on African-American History from Yale and Stanford: From Emancipation, to the Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond from Open Culture

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 Photos: Limestone Covers and Our Instagram

While we were doing some filing this week, we found the selection of images taken for the 275th Anniversary Edition of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture. If you would like to see behind the curtain, check out the album on Flickr and see 17 larger and untouched images that were considered and used for the book.

Limestone cover
One of the cover images, and a recreation of a shot from the original Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book.

We are also happy to announce work on the Bough and Dough Shop for 2020 is progressing. In addition to the nuts and bolts changes to make the shop as safe as possible for visitors, we have been working behind the scenes with artists. You can also get more updates on our new Bough and Dough Shop Instagram. If you would like a sneak peek at our online ordering platform, visit our online store. You can use it now to order both the remaining limited quantity of the first edition and the 275th edition of the Limestone volume, as well as other books and prints. At least some portion of our Shop items will be added to the store for remote shopping from home this winter. If you want to use curbside pickup at the Hexagon House, remember to put in the promo code “Curbside” to get free shipping!

Friday Roundup: Annual Meeting Updates and Internet Reading

First, a quick update on PHW’s plans for the Annual Meeting in June. The expected date is June 28th, at our normal start time of 3 PM at the Hexagon House. The meeting will be a business-only event with a proposed bylaws amendment to allow for teleconferencing for meetings, clarify the mission statement, and minor consistency edits throughout. We will also elect the board of directors for the next year.

Because of the continuing restrictions on gatherings, the meeting will be held outdoors with spacing between people. No refreshments will be served. Only PHW members in physical attendance will be able to vote at the meeting for the bylaws amendment, but we plan to livestream the event on Facebook. More details and the proposed bylaws edits will be made available online in full and in a condensed version in your invitation. The Facebook livestream link will be made available approximately one week before the event.

Unlike past years, we will be keeping an RSVP list for PHW members who wish to attend so we can prepare for the proper spacing. Please respond at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577 with the number of attendees. This information will be included in your invitation as well.

We will still accept award nominations for a later event or for the next year’s Annual Meeting. Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions so far. Please know that your projects have been filed and saved for later discussion.

For your reading pleasure this weekend, we have a selection of links:

The Farmer’s Apprentice: African American Indentures of Apprenticeship in Virginia features a Frederick County document. At the end of the entry are the links to the Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative database and the transcription project Making History at the Library of Virginia.

To match the story of the plank house we shared on Facebook earlier this week, The History Blog has posted another incredible find beneath the floorboards of a private home in Norway.

If you’ve seen some interesting signs while you are out exercising or getting supplies and you like taking photos, the Library of Virginia is collecting signs from the pandemic for their collections of ephemera. You can find more information at RichmondMag or BoomerMagazine.com or visit the Library of Virginia’s Tumblr. If you just want to see the images, the Tumblr is the place to go!

History is a strange and twisting tale, and April White at Atlas Obscura highlights How the Influenza Pandemic Popularized Lemons. Without giving too much away, the article follows the tale of changing marketing strategies and timing to world events in 1918 turned what was once considered a luxury into a household necessity.

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!