This week for Friday Photos, PHW brings you a look back at business in the mid-1970s. This series of photographs was taken at a Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce event. The images are all unmarked, however, so particulars about this event are unclear. If you can help PHW identify anyone in the photos or provide more details about what might be happening, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 667-3577.
View the album on Picasa.
This week for Friday Photos, we look back at some images of one of the first large scale membership and fundraiser events in PHW’s history. The gathering – the forerunner of today’s Memberfest – was held at Glen Burnie on September 14, 1973.
As with most stories, a bit of background is necessary to set the stage. In August of 1971, PHW had started working in earnest on fundraising for what would eventually become known as the Jennings Revolving Fund. The first substantial loan went to the Roberts family, whose front wall of their limestone home on South Braddock Street collapsed prior to their stabilization efforts could begin.
By 1973, PHW was gearing up to increase this corpus of funds to begin purchasing endangered buildings for resale through the Revolving Fund. The “Grand Event” was conceived with a twofold mission to begin the Revolving Fund and increase membership to 300.
The committee, made up of Joe Headley, LouAnne and Ray Jennings, Barbara Laidlaw, Buddy Orndoff, George Robertson, Lee Taylor, and Elanor White, organized the event. There was a puppet show, various musical acts, and a square dancing demonstration. Much like the Open House at the Noakes House this spring, architectural artifacts and other interesting donations were auctioned off to raise funds. The ticket cost to the event – a modest $5 for a single or $7.50 for a couple – served as the membership dues for that year.
While no written report was filed at the end of the event, we can surmise from the happy faces in these photographs and that the Revolving Fund was in negotiations to purchase its first building in 1974 that the “Grand Event” was a grand success.
Today’s photos are images of a greenhouse once located at the Virginia Agricultural Experimental Station/Winchester Fruit Research Laboratory on Valley Avenue (Route 11), approximately where Hope Drive is located today. Several greenhouses on the site had been abandoned and were decaying after the Research Laboratory moved into larger facilities in the mid 1990s.
Theodora and Benjamin Rezba salvaged, relocated and restored one greenhouse left behind at the Valley Avenue facility. These images, given to PHW in 2006, show the greenhouse in its dilapidated state and during the reconstruction and restoration phase. The unusual project was recognized in 2006 by PHW with an Award of Merit for retaining this piece of Winchester history, even though it had to be moved from its original location. Today, it is once again a functional greenhouse.
Read more about the history of the Fruit Research Laboratory at Virginia Tech’s website.
Curious about what other projects have received recognition with PHW preservation awards? Find a list of past winners at Preservation Award Recipients.
In 2001, a team of PHW volunteers canvased South Kent Street to gather more information about the properties in that neighborhood as part of our Revolving Fund efforts at the Blues House, 401-403 S. Kent St. Although it was not a complete survey, some buildings in the 500-800 block – properties just outside the Winchester Historic District – were captured and documented, along with a few of the field volunteers in action. Take a look back and “remember when…” on South Kent Street!
This week we step back to 1984 and visit “Willow Brook” near Kernstown at 3105 Shawnee Drive. Willow Brook, also known as the Hamilton-Triplett-Copp House, was once a 300 acre working farm consisting of a dairy, icehouse, large barn and a brick smokehouse. Although the house is solidly vernacular from the exterior and the homeowners were not prominent in local history, the house still displays remarkable architectural details. The most prominent piece, an elaborate mantelpiece featuring a large handcarved eagle that was originally in the living room of Willow Brook, was purchased by E.I. DuPont in the 1930s and became part of the Winterthur Museum collection. By 1984 the farm was whittled down to the main house and a root cellar on 1.3 acres. Shortly after these photographs were taken, the house was sold and converted to an apartment complex.
Friday Photos returns this week with a look back at a massive renovation project at 510-512 South Loudoun Street. The building, known as the Grim-Moore House, is comprised of a log building circa 1760 and a brick building circa 1795-96. The house was purchased by Preservation of Historic Winchester through the Jennings Revolving Fund in 1975. At the time of the purchase, the once grand Federal-style home had been subdivided into multiple apartments, resulting in truly horrific living conditions. Bill and Virginia Miller purchased the property from PHW and worked diligently from 1976-1982 to restore the home to its original splendor.
Virginia Miller documented the process in over 500 photographs and captions. PHW was fortunate enough to be allowed to scan and transcribe the notes from this scrapbook, and now we can share them with you. This is a fascinating and telling example of how PHW’s Revolving Fund can save “junky” properties from neglect and almost certain demolition and restore them to contributing structures in the Historic District. We hope you take some time this Apple Blossom weekend to remind yourself that this is what PHW is all about.
Step back in time to the early to mid 2000s and remember the Frederick County Court House before it became the Old Court House Civil War Museum. Be sure to visit them on the web at www.civilwarmuseum.org, or even better, stop by the museum at 20 N. Loudoun St. in the heart of Old Town Winchester, Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Edit: If the wording of this post has caused confusion, the 2000-2006 dates reference the dating of these photos of the renovation work at the Court House, not the age of the building itself, which is 1840.
PHW is sharing a selection of our photo collection online each Friday. This week, you can revisit 1999-2000 with the Blues House. As you may recall, PHW purchased the property at 401-403 S. Kent and performed the majority of the renovation ourselves. To do so, we started the Blues House Showcase to raise the necessary funds. The Blues House Showcase was an unexpected hit, attracting crowds far larger than anticipated. The event has since been taken up by other organizations for their fundraising needs, currently benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Winchester-Frederick County, but this is where it all started. Learn more about the event at winchesterblueshouse.com.
Link to the photo album.