Friday Photos and Events for February Celebrations

Looking for something to do tonight? The French and Indian War Foundation invites you to celebrate George Washington’s 288th birthday with them on Friday, Feb. 21, 5:30-8:30 PM at the Half Note Lounge in the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St. This free event is open to everyone. A cash bar and appetizers at $20/plate will be available.

Next Wednesday, February 26, the City invites you to the Rouss City Hall Reveal from 4-6 PM to celebrate the recent renovation as well as Charles Broadway Rouss Day. There will be guided tours of the historic building, slideshows of the transformation playing on every level, Q&A with the architects Reader & Swartz, and refreshments. February 11 was Charley Rouss’s birthday. All are invited! Learn more about the event here.

If you missed the President’s Day Muster on Monday, we have you covered! Larry Webb provided photographic coverage of the muster and march. The images are available in PHW’s Flickr account at the top of the photostream or in the album.

President's Day Muster 2020
See more photos by Larry Webb on Flickr.

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events and Birthday Celebrations

Today is PHW’s 56th birthday! If you are new you may want to check out the history series from our 50th anniversary to see where we started and where we are now.

Tomorrow is MSV Day! Celebrate the opening of the new MSV exhibition Things Come Apart during this special free-admission day. Activities and events are free to all; bring the family for the fun! See the list of activities at the MSV’s website.

The Virginia Regiment and the Sons of the American Revolution will muster at the site of historic Fort Loudoun at 419 N. Loudoun Street on February 17th for the 3rd annual President’s Day Muster. The regiment will march down the walking mall to George Washington’s office and fire 3 volleys in honor of Col. Washington. The event starts at 11:00 am.  See the event listing on the Old Town website.

Our friends at the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry project alerted us that the Tapestry will be on display and subject of some presentations in Alexandria at the Woodlawn Estate in March. Woodlawn will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Tuesday, with some events occurring at the Estate beyond those hours and shown on the website

There will be a presentation on the history and development of the tapestry at 4 p.m. on March 19. On March 21, Woodlawn Estate will host a Stitch-A-Historic House workshop from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity “take-a-stitch” in a Woodlawn Mansion design. At the end of the month it will be donated to sell in the gift ship. Register for the workshop online here.

See the renovated City Hall on Wednesday, February 26 from 4-6 pm !

The City is proud to announce the Rouss City Hall Reveal event on Wednesday, February 26 from 4-6 pm to celebrate the recent renovation as well as Charles Broadway Rouss Day. There will be guided tours of the historic building, slideshows of the transformation playing on every level, Q&A with the architects Reader & Swartz, and refreshments. February 11 was Charley Rouss’s birthday and we celebrate every year. This year, we’re holding the celebration with some of his decedents at the Reveal event. All are invited! Learn more about the event here.

Winchester once again hit a list of the top ten places to retire in Virginia. In addition to the Apple Blossom Festival, it is important to note the ability of our city to attract visitors and new residents is the blending of our rich history, architecture, friendly residents, and engaging events throughout the year. Much of what is attracting people to Winchester now is based on the longstanding work of PHW and other organizations like us to combine our past with our future in accessible ways. While you enjoy events this weekend and into the spring, remember to thank those who had the foresight fifty years ago to let Winchester evolve while keeping its own character and charm.

Friday Roundup: Events and Tidbits

Formal garden, Colonial Williamsburg
Thanks to commenter Sarah Yi on Flickr, this unmarked slide in PHW’s collection has been identified as most likely being a garden at Colonial Williamsburg. Learn more about the gardens of Williamsburg here.

Looking for something to do this weekend? This Saturday is the 7th annual Chocolate Escape in Old Town Winchester. Look for red balloons at participating businesses between 2-5 p.m., or find more information at the Old Town Winchester site.

The French and Indian War Foundation invites you to celebrate George Washington’s 288th birthday with them on Friday, Feb. 21, 5:30-8:30 PM at the Half Note Lounge in the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St. This free event is open to everyone. A cash bar and appetizers at $20/plate will be available.

A monument at the site where Turner Ashby was mortally wounded in the Civil War was vandalized recently in Harrisonburg. Regardless of your thoughts on the vandalism, cleaning and restoring historic structures and monuments from paint vandalism is especially laborious. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may wish to investigate the technical briefs Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry and Preserving Grave Markers in Historic Cemeteries. The National Center for Preservation Technology Training also has a few blog entries dedicated to graffiti removal and sacrificial coatings for stone monuments (marble specifically for the study linked in the blog).

The Trapezium House was an unusual find in our news feed this week. Similar to theories we’ve heard about the Hexagon House, the house in Petersburg was built without parallel walls in an attempt to make the building free of evil spirits who would become trapped in the corners. A bit more history and images are available at Clio.

The Board of Architectural Review will have multiple positions opening at the end of April this year. If you are interested in joining the board, or another city commission, the online application can be found at the city’s website.

The new cover for Limestone features the Hexagon House. Copies are available for purchase for $25 plus tax at the PHW office, Winchester Book Gallery, or the Gift Shop at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

Mark you calendars tentatively for April 3 and 4, when we hope to host a book launch party and sale weekend for the revised copy of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture. In addition to those books, we hope to have a small book sale of other new and used books (including copies of Why Old Places Matter) and magazines relevant to local history and architecture. If you have books or magazines in good condition to donate as you downsize your collections, stop by the Hexagon House between now and April. Sandra will be happy to look over your items and see what is suitable for the sale. More information will be finalized and available soon!

Around the Internet: Education New and Old

From the Winchester Star comes news of the Douglas School Alumni Memorial Wall. The wall, which is expected to cost about $80,000, will list the names of students and faculty who attended the school. Fundraising efforts for the memorial wall are underway now, and the first benefit event for the Douglas Alumni Memorial Wall will feature the Richmond-based band Soul Expressions. Tickets for the concert, which will be held Feb. 28, 7-11 PM at Handley High School, are available now on EventBrite. For more information on the fundraising efforts, contact Carl Rush at Winchester Public Schools, 540-667-4253 or

Digging into the Archives, UVA Library Brings Old Folksong Recordings to Light highlights the story of how nearly 700 songs were preserved from an esoteric early recording format. As part of the preservation grant stipulations, the songs retain the lo-fi imperfections of the original aluminum discs. If you would like to travel back in time to hear these rare records, the collection is available online here at the University of Virginia Library.

Interested in dendrochronology? Why Trees Are the Most Reliable Historians of Early America has photos of both log construction and the coring process accompanying an easy introduction to the topic. Further reading on dendrochronology being used to unravel mysteries of early – or not so early – construction is available at Traditional Building.

You may have spotted the article on the “witch bottle” in the Winchester Star. If you’d like a chance to see the image in higher resolution, Civil War-Era ‘Witch Bottle’ Used to Keep Evil Spirits at Bay Discovered in Virginia has you covered. More information on the dig and the history of Redoubt 9 in the Civil War can be found at William & Mary.

Last, if you are looking for something to do this weekend, all three branches of the Handley Regional Library will be conducting events for Come out of Hibernation Day on Feb. 1. All programs are free and open to the public. Check out the list of activities on their website.

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.

Friday Roundup: Insight Academy and Shop Sneak Peek II

Have you attended the Insight Academy? The next round of events begins in January. Read more about the purpose and activities of Insight Academy and learn how to register at the city’s website.

The Bough and Dough Shop officially opens in one week! Due to a number of feedback suggestions last year, the Shop will be open until 6 PM on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23. There will also be extended evening hours in December to coincide with the Holiday House Tour. You can find a day by day breakdown of the shop times at the website. If you asked for later hours, we encourage you to utilize them in 2019!

Several more artists dropped off goods for the Shop. Hide your wallets while we whet your appetite for opening day next week!

The Clowser Foundation returns with notecards, calendars, and ornaments this year. As in past years, all proceeds from goods sold through the Bough and Dough Shop go back to the Clowser Foundation to save and restore the Clowser House in Shawneeland.

New in 2019 is Angel’s Roost Quilts. Not only are there quilted ornaments and wall art of flora, historic buildings, and Santas, but artist Carol Spalding also creates outfits for 18″ dolls. The outfits are cute enough you’ll wish they were your size!

TL Cards and Crafts is back this year with her paper crafts and cross stitch. New this year are shadowboxes and small artificial arrangements. Be on the lookout for a large snowman pillow that is just asking to be hugged! Her cross stitch pieces will be displayed around the house as well.

Norma Fredrickson of Fibergig has a selection of one of a kind bags, scarves, hats, and garments for you to see and sample this year. There are also notecards featuring past fabric designs and fabric-covered journals for your special writing.

Libba Pendleton has a delightful assortment of felted critters, food ornaments and snowmen salt and pepper shakers this year. In addition, she has hand knit children’s winter hats, framed art, and “Christmas in a cup” mixed assemblages.

Our favorite Basket Cases Virginia Stultz and Jean Whetzel return this year with their woven ornaments and handmade baskets. Be on the lookout for more antler baskets, a big hit last year, as well as the angels, bells, corn, deer and stars ornaments hanging on their tree.

Making their first appearance at the Shop is Hackwood Farm’s pickles and applesauce. In addition to the aforementioned, there is also a selection of relish, chili, and apple crisp. By the time the Shop opens, we should have recipes to go with all of their delicious canned goods. While they could not make it in 2019, we think the wait will be worth it!

Thanks again to our artists, and thank you as well to our major sponsor in 2019 Lisa T. McCoig, CPA, PC. Look for their ad in the Holiday House Tour booklets and be sure to check our their services!

Friday Roundup: Curated Reading and Watching Selections

If you missed Carl Ekberg’s presentation in September on “George Washington and the Making of Winchester,” we were informed the program will be running again on C-SPAN Sunday, November 3 at 8 PM and midnight. Check it out if you get the chance!

Larry Webb once again provided us images from the 2019 Battle of Cedar Creek. You can check out the photos on our Flickr album and the top of our photo stream.

Building Tomorrow’s Heritage: Correcting “Architectural Myopia” is part of a series about compatible new development in historic districts. This is often a topic of discussion in Winchester surrounding our historic district.

In a similar vein, The Beauty of Degraded Art: Why We Like Scratchy Vinyl, Grainy Film, Wobbly VHS & Other Analog-Media Imperfection may explain why humans prefer old places – the wear and imperfections of an old place are nostalgic and comforting reminders of our past.

If you are looking for a short road trip, you may want to visit the Camera Heritage Museum in Staunton. They are currently on vacation, but the museum is open six days a week and showcases thousands of cameras from the high tech to your everyday Brownie. We know we have many photographic enthusiasts in our ranks who may enjoy a look back at the cameras of yesteryear.

While we put the final touches on the Holiday House Tour booklet, we thought this video and article How Magazine Pages Were Created Before Computers: A Veteran of the London Review of Books Demonstrates the Meticulous, Manual Process was fitting. Digital copy and pasting is much easier than the manual version!

And just for fun to round out Halloween week is Searching for ‘Spooklights’ in Southern Georgia. Not only is it a look at this strange phenomenon, but also tells the story of a small, forgotten town that is more known today for its ghost lights than the people who lived and worked there.

Friday Roundup: The Holiday Season Approaches

We had a great time at Oktoberfest! If you missed the event, PHW volunteers will be back again for Holly Jolly Celebration festivities in December.

Did you miss out on getting a copy of “Why Old Places Matter” at the October 4 book talk with Tom Mayes? Drop us a note at PHW if you are interested in purchasing a copy. We plan to have a number of copies available during the Bough and Dough Shop as a bit of a make-up. (We also hope to have the revised Limestone books in hand by then as well; keep your fingers crossed.)

Although it’s hard to believe, October is halfway over. If you committed to a Holiday House Tour booklet ad, remember to get your ad in to PHW by end of day on October 31. You may email questions or ad files to As always, we are eternally grateful to our major Holiday House Tour sponsor, Bank of Clarke County, and all our other advertising sponsors for enabling us to produce the full-color tour booklets and postcards we have come to enjoy. (Thanks to our advertising sponsors’ support, we were also able to secure high quality printed tickets again this year!)

As some of you may know, we also had some issues processing online ticket sales last year for the Holiday House Tour via PayPal. In an effort to avoid the issue this year, you may begin ordering Sunday Daylight Tour tickets for December 8 online now through Eventbrite.

No PayPal account? No problem! Look for the guest checkout option, highlighted by the red arrow.

If you do not have a PayPal account, that’s okay! Begin the checkout and when you are redirected to PayPal, scroll down past the log in information to the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” option (highlighted with a red arrow on this sample image). You will be directed to the guest checkout option on PayPal.

You will be given the option for a printable PDF ticket from Eventbrite; we highly suggest you print them! You should also receive a reminder email from EventBrite prior to the event. The venue address is given for the Hexagon House, so if you have problems or questions during the tour you can visit PHW at the Bough and Dough Shop for a quick and professional resolution, pick up some tour booklets, or get a free hot drink and to do a little shopping.

If you run into other issues with Eventbrite, let us know at, as this is the first time we’ve used their platform for a paid event and we might have missed something.