Friday Photos: Dutch Mess Grave Marking Program

First, just a friendly reminder PHW’s 55th Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, June 23 at 529 Jefferson Street, beginning at 3 PM. While we are busy preparing for that event, we have a light Friday post for you from Larry Webb of the Clowser Foundation.

Grave Marking Program
See the full album at Flickr.

We have uploaded 11 photos shared of the grave marking program held by the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution for John Schultz, Dutch Mess Monument at Mt Hebron Cemetery.

Pvt. John Schultz, Captain Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen, was born in Philadelphia, PA. He was part of the 96 riflemen recruited by Captain Morgan in Winchester. He was with them on the Beeline March, eventually ending at the Siege of Quebec where he was captured. He was exchanged after two years and served the remainder of the war. He was a member of the Dutch Mess and remained close to this group throughout his life.

You can find all the photos shared by Larry Webb at Flickr. Happy viewing!

PHW’s 55th Annual Meeting

Printed invitations were mailed on Thursday, but we also wanted to send out our invitation digitally. All PHW members are cordially invited to the Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 23, beginning at 3 PM.

PHW’s 55th Annual Meeting will be held at Carter Hill Manor, 529 Jefferson Street, the home of Linda Ross Gibbs and Tommy Gibbs. This Georgian Revival house of rose brick was built in 1949 for Louise A. Patten, the seventh direct descendant of King Carter. The home, built by the Shockey Company and designed by Fredericksburg architect Philip N. Stern, harkens back to the ancestral home of Mrs. Patten, Mannsfield. The stone wall surrounding the property, the brick walkway, and the interior woodwork are direct callbacks to Mannsfield. Carter Hill is situated on one of Winchester’s highest points. The Jefferson Street address is actually the rear of the home; the front was built to face “The Old Lane,” with a view of the three acres of gardens and yards.

Parking is available on-street, and additional parking may be found in the former John Kerr School lots across the street from Carter Hill. The meeting will be held outside, so dress for the weather and in comfortable, low-heeled shoes suitable for walking in the gardens at Carter Hill Manor. In the event of inclement weather, we have several options for shelter both outdoors and inside. The meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

We hope that you will join us in this yearly reflection on our past year, celebration of completed preservation projects, and election of new members to the PHW Board to continue our work for the next year.

Carter Hill Manor, as seen from Jefferson Street.

The 2019-2020 PHW Board of Directors

Nominees for election or re-election to the Board for a 2-year term

  • Patrick Rodgers, Assistant Treasurer
  • Ed Acker, VP for Education
  • Jim Stewart, VP for Issues and Advocacy
  • Rose Eberhardt
  • Callie Fitzwater
  • Heather Merchant
  • Anne Scully
  • Dan Whitacre *

* Elected by the board to fill the unexpired term of John Flood

Directors whose current terms expire in 2020

  • Bruce Downing, President
  • John Barker, Past President
  • Mary Scully Riley, Treasurer

Friday Roundup: End of the Year Wrap Ups

PHW will be starting our 55th year in June. Thank you to all who have supported us. Your membership, interest, and engagement in our local community is a huge part of why Winchester has a thriving and active historic downtown. While it is well worth congratulating ourselves on the success we have had in the historic district protecting and valuing our local buildings, we always need to be aware and engaged in activities that will shape the development of our downtown in the future for the next fifty years. We look forward to supporting preservation and adaptive reuse projects, and we are always available to anyone who is looking for resources on collaborative and innovative solutions to development and design issues.

Today may be the last day of Preservation Month, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop celebrating our local history and architecture. The annual Clowser Memorial Service is this Saturday, June 1 at 10 AM. Come out to the Clowser House at 152 Tomahawk Trail in Shawneeland for a service open to all individuals who support the preservation of the historic Clowser House. The event will be held rain or shine. Learn more on their Facebook page!

While the school year is coming to an end for most students, you may want to peer back in time to see the growth and value of public education in Winchester and Frederick County. The article What Winchester Is Doing for Its Public Schools ran in the Richmond Times Dispatch on December 3, 1911. It is a copiously illustrated article, so be sure to check out the images of some of the old county schoolhouses!

Peonies cascade over a marble statue on the grounds of Carter Hill Manor.

PHW is also pleased to announce the details of our 55th Annual Meeting. We will be convening at Carter Hill Manor, the home of Linda Ross Gibbs and Tommy Gibbs, 529 Jefferson Street on June 23, beginning at 3 PM. Carter Hill Manor, a Georgian Revival style home of rose brick, is situated on one of Winchester’s highest points. The Jefferson Street address is actually the rear of the home; the front was built to face “The Old Lane,” with a view of the three acres of gardens. We plan to meet outside and enjoy the tranquil setting. In addition to the annual business portion and election of officers, we will also recognize the PHW preservation award winners for 2019. This is a great chance to celebrate local preservation projects and to meet our incoming PHW board members.

Last, mark your calendars for the Godfrey Miller Lecture Series of 2019! All lectures will be held at 7 PM in the Woltz Pavilion, 28 S. Loudoun St., Winchester. Cost is $10 (cash or check) for each evening, collected at the door.  Proceeds benefit programs at the Godfrey Miller Historic Home and Fellowship Center.  Door prizes will be given away each evening. For more information, visit https://www.winchesterva.gov/275th-anniversary

  • July 16 — 1700s in Winchester – Tom Maccubbin on early business life in Winchester through ledgers; Gene Fisher on history of the Godfrey Miller Home
  • July 18 — 1800s in Winchester – Rebecca Ebert on life before the War Between the States; Keven Walker on life during and after the war
  • July 23 — 1900s in Winchester – Trish Ridgeway on benefactors to the area; Judy Humbert on integration in the second half of the century
  • July 25 — 2000s in Winchester – Kris Tierney, Frederick County administrator, and Eden Freeman, Winchester city manager, on the present state of the area and future goals

Friday Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

Hexagon House Sign
Found! This sign was on the Hexagon House in the mid to late 1980s. We’ve spoken with more than one person who remembers having their portraits taken on the Hexagon House staircase with Cookie and Larry Sullivan, so we were delighted to find this little bit of history tucked behind some boards.

First, the PHW office will be closed on Monday, May 27. We hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Second, we are closing in on the end of PHW’s fiscal year on May 31. If you haven’t renewed your membership from the 2018-2019 fiscal year or want to make a donation, you can still send in a check to 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601. We also have two online credit card options. If you want to make a one-time payment or donation, we recommend the donation option. If you’d prefer to have yearly renewals set up automatically, you can select your membership level from the drop down menu on the Subscription option.

Third, if you have noticed a preservation project that deserves recognition in Winchester or Frederick County at PHW’s Annual Meeting, fill out a nomination form and let us know! For best consideration for a 2019 award, please return nominations by May 31. You don’t need to have all the information, but as much as you can provide will be helpful. Winners will be recognized at the 55th Annual Meeting on June 23.

If you know or have children in the 10-14 year age range and you need some ideas for summer activities in July, check out “Expedition Winchester.” This summer camp is themed around Winchester’s 275th anniversary and has a fantastic slate of programs, sites, and activities. Week 1 (beginning of Winchester through late 19th century) runs from July 8-12, and week 2 (late 19th century Winchester to today) runs July 15-19. Both camps are held between 9 AM and 3 PM. Each week is $55, or you can register for both weeks for just $100. Spots are still available as of May 23, but make sure you register by June 12! Go to https://webtrac.winchesterva.gov, click on “Special Events and Trips,” and you should see the options for Expedition Winchester.

Last, we found another history account of Winchester in the August 1, 1900 edition of Musical Million this week. While we spotted a few factual errors, there were also some tidbits we had not seen before. You may read the article “The City of Winchester and its Historic Associations” on Virginia Chronicle.

Nominations Open for the 2019 Preservation Awards

Do you know of a person or place that deserves recognition for their preservation contributions in Winchester or Frederick County, Virginia? PHW is now accepting nominations in several categories. Click for a PDF of the nomination form. You may nominate yourself or any project for consideration, and you may make more than one nomination. Work should be complete or near complete at the time of nomination. Winners will be announced and given a few moments to talk about their project at PHW’s Annual Meeting, likely to be held June 23 or 30, 2019.

There are a variety of categories to choose from, so see if you can give a boost of recognition to a project that may have gone under the radar this past year. Remember to get your forms in by May 31 to the PHW office, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601!

54th Annual Meeting Wrap Up

Did you miss the Annual Meeting on Sunday? You can get a glimpse of it online at LocalDVM.com. The initiative that was alluded to in the news report is our goal to become more involved in the North End of Winchester to preserve buildings and places that may not be seen as traditional “historic preservation” projects, but ones that focus on the broadening goals of historic preservation and cultural significance. (A CityLab article from last summer, How Do You Measure the Value of a Historic Site?, discusses these kinds of goals and topics for a 1930s neighborhood in Singapore.)

PHW's 54th Annual Meeting
We are also pleased to announce our slate of PHW preservation award winners for 2018:

Awards of Merit
These awards recognize renovations of houses or buildings that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city.
Scallan Properties
Coca-Cola Bottling Works, 1720 Valley Avenue

The Clowser Foundation
The Clowser House, 152 Tomahawk Trail

Christ Episcopal Church
The Old Rectory porch reconstruction, 134 West Boscawen Street

The Shendow Family
The Bell’s Building, 122 North Loudoun Street

Lucille Lozier Award
This award is named in honor of Lucille Lozier, a founding member of PHW and president of the organization in 1969. It is one of our highest honors, awarded for the renovation of a significant structure retaining 75% of the historic architectural fabric.
Richard and Melanie Lewis
21 South Washington Street

Ben Belchic Award
This award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. Ben Belchic was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours.
Timothy Youmans
Winchester Street and Alley Name Origin Database

Past award winners and the nomination form for future award nominees, can be found on the PHW website. Find more images from the 54th Annual Meeting at Flickr.



PHW’s 54th Annual Meeting This Sunday

Another year has flown by at PHW! Please join us at the Hexagon House on Sunday, June 24, 3 PM to recap the last year, elect the board of directors, and see the presentation of the 2018 preservation awards. Stay afterwards for light refreshments and building tours. This event is free and open to PHW members.

As you may know from past years, we generally set up the seating for the business portion outside. As is the running theme this year for events, we are anticipating an alternate plan for holding the event indoors to beat the afternoon thunderstorms. Rain or shine, we will have the meeting, but dressing for the weather is recommended in case we need to make a quick run for the indoors.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!



Friday Roundup: Indices, Trees, Photos and Fun!

Friday RoundupOne of the research resources we have at PHW that has been long neglected is a thick stack of photocopies of Mutual Assurance Society records. PHW volunteers obtained these copies in the 1970s as we were preparing for the 1976 Architectural Inventory. These insurance policies are very useful in seeing how early buildings grew and expanded, even giving details about the uses of certain wings, additions, or outbuildings. These are helpful for dating buildings that predate the Sanborn maps.

Thinking these records had already been sorted and it would be easy to find a policy for a quick fact check, it was quite a surprise to find that was not the case at all. After an afternoon of painstakingly deciphering names, it seemed more efficient to see if anyone had indexed these records already. Indeed, such a resource exists! The University of Mary Washington Department of Historic Preservation has a publicly searchable index of policies with a variety of search field options. In the case of these photocopies, the policy number is often the most legible identifying information. The document images are not available from this search, so this resource may not be of use to all researchers. However, you may want to experiment with the owner name search to see if a previous owner may have had a policy. For example, we know that George Norton had a Mutual Assurance Society policy on his home. By searching for his name, it brings up his Amherst St. home, as well as two other policies he took out at the same time. However, be careful! As with all old records, spelling can be haphazard and transcribers may not be able to make modernizations to help researchers. In Norton’s policies, we have creative street names like Piccadilla, Boscowan, and Loudon. If you find a record, don’t forget to consult the list of abbreviations to find out what was insured on the property and its construction materials.

Many of us have never seen, but heard the tales of the American chestnut tree. With the ongoing efforts to revive the species through blight-resistant hybridization, the question arose as to how large the trees really were. You can read and listen to a recent NPR interview of Roanoke College Biologist Rachel Collins, who warns us to temper our expectations of the mature chestnut hybrids reaching the massive proportions reported in historic documents due to some simple math confusion between diameter and circumference. If you are interested in learning more about the history and efforts to restore the American chestnut, visit the American Chestnut Foundation at www.acf.org.

Of course, it would not be Friday without some photos. This week’s upload has pushed us over 10,000 photos milestone in our Flickr collection! (“Only” 9,500 are publicly viewable, with the remaining 500 mostly historic photos or artwork we do not have rights to share.) About 50 older photos were identified, added to albums, and made public for searchers. We also added 36 photos of 518 and 401-403 South Kent Street, both Revolving Fund properties, again at the beginning of the rehabilitation. Catch them at the top of the Flickr photostream.

Clean Up Day, Blues House

Lastly, mark these dates on your calendars for upcoming PHW events! (Times may be subject to change.)

May 19, 2 PM: National Preservation Month walking tour, highlighting Winchester historic plaque and Jennings Revolving Fund properties in the Potato Hill neighborhood. Volunteers are still needed as tour guides! Contact PHW at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577 to add your name to the guide list.

June 24, 3 PM: PHW’s Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards, planned for the Hexagon House rear yard.



Friday Photos: Pittsburgh Bridge Co. Bridge, Fairmont Ave.

Private bridge with working rail line beneath
Happy Friday! Although we could not show any photos at our Annual Meeting, we thought you would like to see the progress pictures for one of our Award of Merit winners, Charles and Kelly Hyre, for the work done to retain their unique private driveway bridge at 445 Fairmont Ave. The bridge images submitted in the award nomination packet have been added to the 2017 Annual Meeting album on Flickr. The house, known as Dunheath or more commonly Glen Lee, was built in 1869 for Judge William Clark, Jr. At the time, it was one of the first houses built so far north on Fairmont, and as such it was set much farther back from the street than any other home. All was well until a rail line was slated to run along Fairmont Avenue, cross the Amherst and Boscawen Y-intersection, and terminate at the Cumberland Valley Railroad depot at the corner of Boscawen and Stewart Streets. While the rail line passed in the rear of all other homes on Fairmont, for Glen Lee it would cut directly across the main driveway. In exchange for the right-of-way for the tracks, the railroad company elevated the driveway, constructed the bridge, and lined it with a wrought iron fence.

The bridge was constructed by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company, with the firm Nelson and Buchanan as agents, in 1889. At the time, it was common for Pittsburgh Bridge Company to prefabricate the steel trusses and Nelson and Buchanan would act as the agents and contractors for the installation. To help sell their prefabricated bridges, railroad companies and local government officials were the primary targets for aggressive and sometimes ethically suspect marketing pitches.

While an untold number of bridges were constructed in our region by Pittsburgh Bridge Company from the 1880s until their consolidation with American Bridge Company in 1901, many of the large highway bridges have now been lost to age, accident, or new construction projects. The bridges that seem to still be in service are smaller back road bridges or the driveway examples, like the one at Glen Lee. Almost all are facing structural or maintenance issues after more than one hundred years of faithful service. See some other Pittsburgh Bridge Company examples from around the country at Bridgehunter.com and through the search function at www.historicbridges.org. For more in-depth information on steel truss bridges, check out Bradford County’s Truss Bridges, which includes construction history, engineering information, and historic bridge manufacturer history. And you can see the Glen Lee driveway bridge at the end of the 2017 Annual Meeting and the Fairmont Avenue Flickr albums.



Friday Photos: Annual Meeting 2017

Happy Friday! If you could not join us last weekend at PHW’s 53rd Annual Meeting, you can experience the event through some photos taken during the business portion of the meeting. Bruce Downing, President of PHW, presented the following six preservation awards on June 11.

Bruce Downing, President of PHW, leading the meeting

Awards of Merit recognize renovations that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city. PHW presented two Awards of Merit this year:

  • Ann Brady and Gary Farrington, restoration of 317 South Braddock St. following the fire last year.
  • Charles and Kelly Hyre, restoration of the private steel and wood bridge (c. 1889) leading to their home at 445 Fairmont Ave.

The Katherine G. Rockwood Revolving Fund Award is named in honor of Katherine G. Rockwood. Mrs. Rockwood was the driving force behind the original 1976 architectural inventory of Winchester, PHW’s Jennings Revolving Fund, and innumerable other programs and activities of PHW. This award recognizes the outstanding renovation of a Jennings Revolving Fund property. PHW presented one Rockwood award this year:

  • E.G. and Joanne Hamill for the exterior restoration and porch reconstruction at 513 S. Loudoun St.

The Ben Belchic Award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. He was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic Award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours. This year, PHW recognized one scholar:

  • Wil Johnston for On the Town! Celebrating James Wood and the Founding of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Carroll H. Henkel Award is named in honor of Carroll H. Henkel, PHW’s first president in 1963-1964. This award recognizes outstanding leadership for historic preservation in the Winchester-Frederick County area. This year, we recognized one outstanding coalition:

  • The family members, residents of Shawneeland, and elected officials who came together to formulate the plan to save the Clowser House, recognized under their official organizational name the Clowser Foundation, and accepted by its president, Larry Webb.

PHW presented a special President’s Award to recognize the over fifty years of service put in by the entire Orndoff family, stretching all the way back to before PHW was even an organization itself. Betty Orndoff is one of the last people left who stood in protest in 1962 before the bulldozers came to raze the Conrad House. Edwin, Betty, and their daughter Eydie have since volunteered at almost every Holiday House Tour and attended nearly every major event of the organization since that time. It is truly a remarkable record of service!

PHW also elected the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, quickly recapped our last year, and we heard some brief remarks from Terry Heder, our host at the Bell House, about the plans for the building’s future uses and roles in telling the story of the Civil War in Winchester. After the meeting, guests could see the inside of the house for guided tours, or stay outside for some light refreshments. All in all, it was a beautiful and joyous afternoon!

See all the photos in our album at Flickr. Happy viewing!