Friday Photos: Holiday House Tour

Happy Friday! We have several sets of images from the 2017 Holiday House Tour to share this year. To start, you can view the scrapbook images from the Cornelius Baldwin house that were playing on a slideshow during the tour. You can also do the same to the slideshow images that were playing at 125 E. Clifford St. On top of that, we have a general album with the room setup at the Bough and Dough Shop on Friday night and some of the houses on Saturday and Sunday.

Holiday House Tour 2017

If you haven’t yet, please help us out for next year’s tour and send us some feedback. Average completion time is about 4 minutes. We read and discuss all feedback and take it into account for next year, so thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Take a Quick Holiday House Tour Survey!

Thank you all so much for your support of the Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop. While we are still tallying final numbers, we had at least 400 visitors come through the event, and the overall Shop numbers were close to last year.

We want to keep building on this momentum! Please help us plan for the 2018 Holiday House Tour by providing feedback. The survey is estimated to take 5-10 minutes. All comments are anonymous and will be reviewed in our planning sessions in January and February. The online survey closes on January 31, 2018.

Click here for the survey on the 2017 Holiday House Tour!


P.S. – Mark your 2018 calendars for December 1 & 2 for our 42nd Holiday House Tour!

Holiday House Tour Wrap Up Notes

Thank you all very much for your support of the 2017 tour! Early reports are that we likely had over 400 visitors again this year. While we work on getting the feedback survey for 2017 finalized for Friday’s post, we wanted to update two things very quickly:

1. We discovered our old email address was still showing on PayPal receipts, and this may cause problems if you find an error in your checkout information. We found one more place the old email information was hidden in PayPal and flipped the setting. If you need to contact us for a PayPal payment double charge/dispute, the correct email address is

2. As we were getting to the bottom of the donated paper bags on Sunday (thank you to everyone who chipped in!) we found a pair of prescription glasses in a black leather case in the bottom of the bags. If you are missing your glasses and think they might have been picked up in the donated bags, please let us know at or 540-667-3577. We will hold onto the glasses for a reasonable amount of time before donating them.

Last Notes for the Holiday House Tour

As we near the last hours before the 41st annual Holiday House Tour kicks off, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

If you have questions, the best place to find someone well-versed on the House Tour Saturday and Sunday is the Bough & Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre, 315 W. Boscawen St. The Shop is open Saturday 9 AM-5 PM and on Sunday 11 AM-5 PM.

The normal PHW phone number (540-667-3577) and email ( will not be staffed from Friday-Sunday. Should the weather or some other disaster impact the tour, we will try to push notifications on Facebook, the PHW blog, and the PHW voicemail message ASAP.

The hours for the house tours are Saturday (Preview Party and Candlelight Tour) 6-9 PM, and Sunday (Daylight Tour) from 1-5 PM.

Tickets are still available at the advance ticket sale locations:

The Final Yard, 33 East Gerrard Street
Kimberly’s, 135 North Braddock Street
Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 7 South Loudoun Street
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road

Tickets will also be available at the Bough & Dough Shop on December 2 and 3. Remember, ticket prices are $20 at the houses on Sunday. Tickets will still be offered at the advance sale price of $15 at the Bough & Dough Shop on Sunday.

Admission to a single site on Sunday is $5. Pay at the door of the house you wish to visit.

There will be complimentary warm drinks at the Bough & Dough Shop for all visitors as in previous years.

Look for the red PHW sandwich board for the guided tour meeting spot at the Winchester Little Theatre on Sunday. Tours will leave every half hour from 1-4 PM (last tour leaves at 4 and finishes at 4:30). There will likely be two to three guides on hand to break into smaller staggered groups, as needed.

Costumed carolers from Winchester Little Theatre, organized by Jim and Kendra Getaz, will once again stroll the streets and serenade tour-goers at the open houses on Sunday with festive holiday music. Carolers sing 4 or 5 holiday standards at each stop. They will start and end at the Winchester Little Theatre, and travel to the houses open on the tour.

We are also expecting Jim Moyer of the French and Indian War Foundation to be on hand at 420 North Loudoun Street in his period reenactment uniform to help tell the story of Fort Loudoun on Sunday afternoon.

The weather forecast is partly cloudy on Saturday, to sunny on Sunday. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s, falling to the low 30s overnight. No precipitation is expected and winds should be mild.

Have a safe and happy Holiday House Tour, everyone!

Special Thank Yous

First, you can catch up with Tourism Tuesday on the River 95.3. Our board member John Flood was in the studio sharing stories on the houses and about the tour.

Also, we are very indebted to our advertising sponsors for helping us to cover some of the expenses related to running the tour. Be sure to check out their ads in the program booklet, shop at, and thank the following Holiday House Tour sponsors!

Bank of Clarke County
Summit Community Bank
Winchester Little Theatre
Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative
Belle Grove Plantation

We are also very thankful for our volunteer ticket sale locations. They are a great help to spread out the burden of ticket sales. Be sure to stop in and say thank you to the workers at:
The Final Yard
Winchester Book Gallery
Wilkin’s Shoe Center
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center

Bough & Dough Shop Artisans and Greenery

The heart of the Bough & Dough Shop are our vendors who lend their unique talents to the tour. Proceeds from the sale of Shop items will benefit the Winchester Little Theatre Restoration Campaign and PHW. Do some holiday gift shopping or pick up some sweet treats from these local artisans:

The Clowser Foundation
The Clowser Foundation will have prints of the Clowser House by Michael Martin available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of the Clowser House prints goes back to the Clowser Foundation for their effort to preserve this historic landmark of Frederick County.

For more information of the Clowser Foundation or to make a direct donation, visit their Facebook or their website

Lin Hausneckt-Klay Haus Pottery
Lin has been creating art with clay for over 25 years. She first studied pottery in Geneseo, NY, then Towson, MD, & other locations. Her works range from mugs & bowls to birdfeeders & birdbaths. Her goal is to make utilitarian pots that are well-crafted, aesthetically interesting, and enjoyable to use. She currently teaches non-credit classes at Lord Fairfax Community College, and is a member of the Shenandoah Potters Guild.

John and Wendy Venskoske-J&W Farm
J & W Farm started with the idea of adding value to local agricultural products. The signature wreaths use a special blend of birdseed from two local feed stores and custom make them with seasonal ribbon and/or special requests. Our Holiday Birdseed Wreaths are packaged for gift giving and shipping! Be on the lookout this year for cider syrup, as well!

Visit J & W Farm online at and Facebook.

Jennifer C. Komaromi
Jennifer hand paints unique Christmas bulbs – no two ornaments are the same! Each is executed in acrylic paint and sealed with a clear finish to protect the artwork. Her subjects range from kid-friendly to fantastical and are sure to bring whimsy and delight to your Christmas tree.

Jose Montero—“Madeira” hand-carved woodwork
Jose has admired trees and loved wood. After his mother-in-law asked if he could make her some spoons from scraps, a new line of products was born and has been refined over the years. Jose has expanded from spoons to bowls and other utilitarian accessories. Most of the wood comes from the Montero wood lot, trees that have been damaged by storms or attacked by insects.

You can find their products at craft fairs in Virginia, West Virginia and at Farm Markets. Our spoons are in gift shops at Belle Grove Plantation, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia.

Preservation of Historic Winchester
If you have ever admired the African Violets Sandra Bosley grows at the PHW office, this is your lucky year. Propagated violets from the classic and hardy purple and bi-color white and purple office violets are being sold for the very first time. There is also a selection of “mystery” violets that can be purple, white, lavender, blue, or bi-color white and purple, or white and pink – it’s a mystery until they bloom! There will also be young pregnant onions started from the PHW office plant, which is at least twenty years old.

In addition to the cheerful houseplants, PHW will also be offering a selection of prints, including the Community Food Store limited edition print, and both sets of eight sheets and individual map sheets of the 1897 Sanborn fire insurance maps which were used in the 1976 architectural surveys. Looks for other books, small handcrafted ornaments, and crocheted toys, too.

Cyndie Rinek—Blooming Hill Garden and Gift Shop
Cyndie Rinek, along with her husband Peter, a landscape architect and arborist, is the owner of Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop, located in the tiny Western Loudoun County hamlet of Philomont, Virginia. Over the years and through hard work as well as a lot of trial and error, Cyndie has taken what was once an interest in flowers and plants, to a passion and then turned it into a business specializing in lavender at her home, aptly named Blooming Hill. She now has a collection of one thousand lavender plants in almost one hundred different varieties and also tends the many formal, informal and herb garden beds that fill the 4 1/2 acres patch of paradise with a view of the Blue Ridge that make up Blooming Hill.

Blooming Hill is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays and other days by appointment, April through December. Visit Blooming Hill online at

Jackie Tobin—Handcrafts of the Shenandoah Valley
Jackie has been creating something for as long as she can remember. Encouragement and inspiration came from her multi-talented grandmother, who not only taught her to sew, but provided her with self confidence and unlimited materials to make things. Create something from nothing? Of course!

Over the years, Jackie has participated in many Shenandoah Valley Craft Fairs and Shops. She was a partner in Stone Soup Gallery on Winchester’s walking mall, where you might find her creating hand woven baskets or painting detailed images on newly designed Holiday ornaments. Currently, she has added upcycled wood creations to her palette, greenery arrangements and dried flowers from her garden, and so much more. Visit Jackie at her Facebook page.

Emily Whitesell—The Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard
Emily will be doing “double duty” this year as both our purveyor of baked treats and locally handmade items. The Homestead Farm has been in her family since the early 1800s when their great, great, great grandfather James Thwaite started farming at the location. There will be a variety of gift items from the farmer’s market, like candles, soap, body cream, body/room spray and milk bath tubes. Even more tempting will be the selection of freshly baked sugar cookies, gingerbread men, rice krispie treats, small and large cakes, truffles, cake pops, pies, candied nuts and peppermint bark.

Visit the Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM at 2502 N. Frederick Pike, Winchester, Virginia, or online at Facebook and

Nate Windle
Nate Windle will return again with fabulous finished greenery creations. In addition to the traditional fresh greenery wreaths and arrangements you have come to expect at the Bough & Dough Shop, Nate will provide some artificial greenery decorations so you can enjoy his artistic skills for years to come. If you are making your own arrangements from the bulk greenery, you can also expect a selection of bows made by Nate that are suitable for adding the finishing touch to your handiwork.

Fresh Greenery Team
Outside on the deck of the Winchester Little Theatre awaits a bounty of freshly-cut greenery for your holiday decorating. Buy greenery in bulk by the bag at the Bough & Dough Shop this weekend, including pine, juniper, magnolia, holly, nandina, boxwood, and cryptomeria. Greenery is priced $3 by a small bag, $6 by a large bag, and magnolia is priced by the branch based on size. Other greenery or related items may also be available.

Special thanks to our greenery cutters Cheryl Crowell, Donna Downing, Pam DeBergh, Nancy Murphy, and Mary Riley, and to our greenery sources Howard and Joan Lewis, John Rosenberger, Winkie Mackay-Smith, Beth DeProspero Elgin, the Bauserman family, Mount Hebron Cemetery, and Valley Health/The Winchester Medical Center.

Bough & Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre

Winchester Little Theatre
The Bough & Dough Shop
Winchester Little Theatre
315 West Boscawen Street

Open to the Public – No Entry Fee
Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Winchester Little Theatre occupies a former Pennsylvania Railroad freight station built circa 1890. The hipped roof over the brick exterior provides cover for the freight loading dock. The interior was modified to accommodate live theatre performances by the Winchester Little Theatre. The Theatre moved into its railway home in 1974 and has provided critically-acclaimed, professional-quality live theatre to the community ever since. 

Since 2011, the Theatre has been the home of PHW’s Bough and Dough Shop during the Holiday House Tour weekend. The Shop is a holiday gift shop run by volunteers from PHW and Winchester Little Theatre featuring talented local artisans. You will find unique handmade items for holiday gift-giving, freshly-baked goods to enjoy now or use at a holiday party, as well as a selection of freshly cut greenery, wreaths, and arrangements for your holiday decorating.

This year, PHW will split the proceeds from the Shop with the Winchester Little Theatre Restoration Campaign. PHW is committed to seeing this local landmark restored and remain a vital arts hub for the Winchester-Frederick County community. You may also buy a print of the Clowesr House. The Clowser House prints will 100% benefit the Clowser Foundation, which is working to save this home from years of neglect and deterioration.

When you purchase artisan goods or greenery from the Shop this year, you will be helping us to continue our mission to preserve the best of the area’s past. We could not do it without your support!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, highlighting our artisans and fresh greenery.

Online Ticket Orders Reminder

The last batch of tickets for the Holiday House Tour have shipped. You may still order your tickets online, but note we will not attempt delivery by snail-mail. Please keep your email receipt for your ticket purchase handy – either printed off or on your phone – so you can pick up your tickets at any of the locations open for the Holiday House Tour. We recommend stopping at the Bough & Dough Shop, 315 W. Boscawen St., on Saturday between 9 AM-5 PM, or on Sunday between 11 AM-5 PM for your best chance to get a tour booklet or two. Preview Party attendees will also have their names on the check-in list at the Party House on Saturday evening, 6-9 PM.

You can also still get tickets at all of the advance sale locations around Winchester:
The Final Yard, 33 East Gerrard Street
Kimberly’s, 135 North Braddock Street
Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 7 South Loudoun Street
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road

Holiday House Tour Guided Walking Tours

New this year, as part of the Sunday Daylight tours we will be leading guided walking tours for history and architecture along Boscawen, Washington, and Stewart Streets. The guided walking tours will leave from the Bough and Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre, 315 W. Boscawen St., every half hour between 1-4 PM. The first leg of the tour will go to 21 South Washington Street and will take about 15 minutes; guests may break off for the house tour, and guests finishing the home tours may wish to join up with the guide to complete the loop back to the Bough and Dough Shop. The sidewalks are in generally good condition in this area, but they may narrow or have trip hazards in spots.

This is the first time an exterior guided walking tour has been a part of the Holiday House Tour since 1978. The walking tour is included with the purchase of either a Two-Day ticket or the Sunday-only ticket. If you just wish to take the guided walking tour, it will be priced like a single site ticket at $5 per person that day.

420 North Loudoun Street

420 North Loudoun Street
The home of Karen Thomason

While the home is new, the built history on this site extends back to the construction of Fort Loudoun in 1756. The Colonial Revival-style home was built circa 1954 in the approximate area of Fort Loudoun’s northeast bastion. This symmetrical three-bay structure shows a conservatively decorative flourish of a smaller central second-story window, affixed shutters, and a small porch with square posts and a simple arched gable end. Houses like this one have provided the first opportunity of home ownership to countless Americans and are now joining the ranks of historically significant buildings in Winchester’s Historic District.

Karen Thomason has created a botanical oasis inspired by her membership in the Front Royal Garden Club. The home is decorated in a French Country design, with 18th century antiques throughout. Her interior decorations will include two primitive Christmas trees, magnolia, variegated holly, Leyland cypress, white pine and handmade wreaths and bows. The outside of the home will be enlivened with white pine roping along the wrought iron fence, and the northeast bastion will be illuminated for viewing.

The home will be open for Candlelight Tours on Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m., and Daylight Tours on Sunday, December 3, 1-5 p.m.