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 rushc@wps.k12.va.us.

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.

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 jacksonsvc1862@gmail.com 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: 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: Open House, Newsletter, and Events

We know: the holidays are pushed earlier and earlier every year. (There is not a month of the year we do not have something “Christmas” in the works at PHW, so we fully sympathize with all the eye-rolling and cries of “Not again!”) But we also know it takes artists time to handcraft their delightful goods for the Bough & Dough Shop. In that spirit, we are once again hosting an informal open house at the Hexagon House on Saturday, August 24, 1-4 PM. The downstairs will be partially laid out for a test run of tables and confirmed artist spots.

While the event is geared mostly to returning and new artists, anyone is welcome to attend. And if you’ve been procrastinating on filling out an application, we strongly urge you to do so—most of our spots are filled, but with some advance planning, we may be able to squeeze in a few more artists or keep you on hand if a last minute cancellation opens a spot. You can find a copy of the info packet for artists at www.phwi.org/events/Shopinfo.pdf. We anticipate this session to be very useful for artists looking to discover what display materials they need to bring or how their items might fit into the eccentric Hexagon House layout.

Our summer newsletter is complete and online. Check out the digital version online here. A hard copy should be mailed to our members next week. We did not want to keep the time sensitive events waiting. Inside is a copy of our Holiday House Tour booklet advertising sponsorship levels. We hope you will secure a spot to showcase your business!

Mark your calendars for September 15 for the next 275th event: “From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” at the George Washington Hotel Ballroom, 103 E. Piccadilly St. The French and Indian War Foundation together with the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is heading up this event with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Dr. Carl J. Ekberg is a retired history professor from Illinois State University. Rutgers Un.; Ph.D.  Author of several books, many awards, two outstanding; 2014 Medaille de Valeurs from the French Ambassador and 2015 Best Book Award from State Historical Society of Missouri. Carl resides in Winchester and serves on the board of the F&I War Foundation.

This is a free event to attend; however, you may wish to purchase food or drinks during the mingle. Menu:  Fried chicken plate with greens and mashed potatoes and a biscuit for $15.00. Apple cobbler and coffee for $5.00. There will be a bar. The Hotel has asked that you pay with cash.

If you are out in the Gainesboro area, stop by the Gainesboro Tourist Park. A new sign has been erected commemorating the Stonewall Brigade’s encampment in the area during Jackson’s Bath-Romney Campaign. A small dedication is likely to take place the first weekend of September. PHW was delighted to help write and design the sign for the Gainesboro Ruritan Club to bring their idea to fruition. If you have not heard the story of the soldiers who took part of the expedition, you can learn more at the Bath-Romney Campaign Historical and Preservation Association. While this marker is not affiliated with the six Civil War Trails markers installed in Morgan County, it was written to mesh with them and mark one of the first camps the Confederate soldiers experienced after leaving Winchester.

Friday Roundup: Civil War Weekend and More!

The Winchester-Frederick-Clarke Civil War Weekend starts today! Most events are free or for a nominal charge. The events are too numerous to list here, so see what fits your fancy and time frame at the Visitor’s Center website.

The PHW library received a substantial donation this week from Ed Acker. We now have a complete set of Old House Journals from the inaugural issue of October 1973 through April 1998. If you need a how-to article from the timeless back catalog, we have you covered. You can see some of the other new additions to the PHW library at the top of our LibraryThing account.

Winchester Architectural Details
One of the cornice detail photos from the Loudoun Street Mall.

As teased a few weeks ago, we now have the images from the architectural details folder scanned. Sixty-six images (some very similar to each other) have been added to our Flickr account. Many of these images were part of a “find the building” activity produced by PHW. Challenge yourself to see how many of the details you recognize at the top of the photostream or the end of the Architectural Details album. Most buildings are on the walking mall, with a few outliers that may have been put in this folder by accident.

We were notified that a History Camp is coming to Virginia for the first time, and it’s close to us! The camp, which will be held at George Mason University in Fairfax, will take place on Saturday, November 16. More than 40 sessions on various aspects of history are expected. See the list as it continues to grow or register at historycamp.org/virginia.

Last but not least, our 2019 Holiday House Tour and Bough and Dough Shop is coming together. We are happy to report we have the full lineup of houses to represent the 18th through 21st centuries, and a an exclusive Preview Party house for Saturday evening. PHW representatives will be reaching out soon for advertising sponsorships. We are also looking forward to our informal Bough and Dough Shop open house at the Hexagon House on Saturday, August 24 between 1-4 p.m. If you have any questions about the Holiday House Tour or want to make sure your name is on our volunteer list to be called as a docent, stop by!

Friday Roundup: Photos, Lectures, and August Events

Old Frederick County Court House
You may have seen these photos before, but 15 digitized slides were added to our Flickr this week, with most being buildings on Loudoun Street. Find them at the top of our Flickr photostream!

We hope you have been enjoying the Godfrey Miller summer lecture series. The final two installments will be held next Tuesday and Thursday at the Godfrey Miller Historic Home and Fellowship Center, 28 S. Loudoun St., Winchester:

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 E. Freeman, Winchester city manager, on the present state of the area and future goals

Cost is $10 (cash or check) for each evening, collected at the door. Door prizes will be given away each evening. Proceeds from the lectures benefit programming for seniors at the Godfrey Miller Historic Home and Fellowship Center. For more information, visit www.winchesterva.gov/275th-anniversary or call 540-247-0968.

The Civil War Weekend returns August 16-18, 2019. There are too many events to list here. See the full schedule of activities and events at visitwinchesterva.com/event/civil-war-weekend/

Are you an artist or volunteer curious about PHW’s Bough & Dough Shop? Stop by the Hexagon House at 530 Amherst Street on August 24 between 1-4 PM to see the space partially set up for the shop, pick up a vendor application, or chat for a bit at this informal session. While this event is aimed more at new or returning artists to get an idea of the space, anyone is welcome to stop by and the event is free. Vendor packets with more information about the Shop are available at www.phwi.org/events/Shopinfo.pdf.

Last, you may want to read the recent article posted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation: Heritage Conservation as a Civil Right. This is an interesting overview of the perceived issues of historic preservation and the similar environmental justice movement origins and their intersection with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The two movements diverged in application over the years, and as the author John H. Sprinkle, Jr. concludes: “The question remains: In viewing both differential access and impacts to cultural resources from a civil rights perspective, how would our national system of heritage conservation fare? Perhaps it is high time to find out.”

Civil War Weekend Events, August 15-19, 2018

There is a full weekend of events planned with local historical organizations, starting on Thursday and continuing through Sunday, for adults and children alike. Get the full schedule and downloadable flyer at visitwinchesterva.com or peruse a sampling of events below:

Thursday, August 16, 2018, 7pm
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Civil War Roundtable Meeting: “Stuart’s Finest Hour: The Ride Around McClellan”
Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, 20 N. Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601.
Author John Fox will speak about Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s famous around ride the Federal troops besieging Richmond in the summer of 1862.
Cost: Free

Friday, August 17, 7pm
History at Sunset “When the conflict is ended mercy again asserts it: Treating the Wounded at Cedar Creek”
St. Thomas Chapel, 7854 Church Street, Middletown, VA.
The Battle of Cedar Creek left over 8,600 Americans killed, wounded or missing in its wake. This special program includes living history demonstrations presented by staff of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and will be held at St. Thomas Chapel, which was used as a hospital following the battle.
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 9am
“Monuments and Signs: Sentinels on the Cedar Creek Battlefield”
Meet at the Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645.
A 2-hour car caravan tour exploring the monuments, markers and memorials on the Cedar Creek battlefield. Who built them? Who do they honor? And what do they symbolize?
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 2:30pm
“Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life Judah the Enslaved Cook”
Meet at Belle Grove, 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA.
A 30 minute program on the life of Judah, the enslaved cook at Belle Grove.
Cost: Free

Saturday, August 18, 7:30pm
Legends by Lanternlight, Berryville: Using a County Seat to View the Civil War
Clarke County Historical Association, 32 E. Main St., Berryville, VA 22611
Partnering with the Clarke County Historical Association, the members of the Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group (MHAIG), in a twilight-lanternlight walking tour, will bring alive the memorable experiences of Berryville during the American Civil War through costumed first-person interpretations in the historic downtown. Learn how our preserved landscape still tells us stories.
The period-dressed Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group will offer their story-telling ability against the backdrop of historic Berryville, featuring stories of Clarke County’s commissioner to the Virginia Secession Convention, the visits of two famous Civil War generals, Mosby’s Wagon Train Raid in Berryville, and the story of Eugene Ferris, a Medal of Honor recipient from his days of fighting Mosby’s Rangers.
Cost: $15 per adult, $8 per student; tickets can be purchased at the door of the event or in advance HERE.
www.mosbyheritagearea.org

Sunday, August 19, 1, 2, and 3pm
“Saving Newtown” Escape Room Experience
Newtown History Center, 5408 Main Street, Stephens City, VA.
Experience an exciting challenge based on the events related to the near burning of the Town of Stephens City (Newtown) on the 1st of June 1864. Solve puzzles in an historic house and help prevent soldiers of the 1st New York “Lincoln” Cavalry from carrying out General David Hunter’s order to burn the town.
Advanced RSVP Required. Call (540) 869-1700 to RSVP or for questions.
Groups of 2 to 5 people per session.
Cost: $10 adult (age 18+); $5 child (age 6-17); not recommended for children 5 and under.

There are many other activities taking place – this is just a sampling of unusual experiences you may not have had before during Civil War Weekends of the past. Please see the full schedule at visitwinchesterva.com



Friday Photos: Renaming Ceremony for the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum

Renaming Ceremony for the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum

Happy Friday! If you were out and about this morning, you may have seen the crowd gathered on the lawn of the old Frederick County Court House. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) held a ceremony to officially announce that the former Old Court House Civil War Museum is renamed the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum. The exhibit areas in the museum will be upgraded with new and renovated exhibits, improved signage and displays, new interactive and digital tools, new lighting, new youth activities and exhibits, and a greater focus on the broader story of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley – the Union, Confederate, civilian and African-American perspectives.

Winchester Mayor John David Smith, Jr., Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Delegate Chris Collins, SVBF Board Member Jim Wilkins, Jr., and SVBF CEO Keven M. Walker among others made remarks on the museum, its history, the changing of the exhibits and way it can enhance and expand upon the interpretation of the Civil War past the experience of names and dates at a battlefield. At the end of the proceedings, Mr. Wilkins was presented with the Graves Family Philanthropic Leadership Award in recognition of his philanthropy on behalf of battlefield preservation and other worthy causes.

Be sure to stop by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum at 20 North Loudoun Street (most exhibit upgrades will not take place until winter, so there is still plenty of time to visit) or check them out online at civilwarmuseum.org. If you couldn’t make the event today, you can see twelve images of the ceremony at PHW’s Flickr account.



Friday Photos: Millbank

This week, PHW has added 47 photos of the Millbank House on Route 7 to the Flickr account. The images were dated between November 1984 and March 1986 as PHW volunteers documented the farm and advocated against demolition as part of the plans for a nearby water treatment plant.

Millbank

The house was constructed circa 1850 by Issac Wood and his son Daniel T. Wood. The Woods owned several mills along the nearby Red Bud Run. Because the Wood family were Quakers, abolitionists, and Union sympathizers, General Robert H. Milroy issued a protection order for the property in 1863. The house was heavily involved with the Third Battle of Winchester and served as a makeshift field hospital in the aftermath of the fighting. Daniel Wood continued to live at the home until his death in 1915, and his heirs retained the property until 1964, when it was sold to Robert Koon.

Millbank porch columns before vandalism The ongoing preservation battle began in 1983 when the Frederick-Winchester Service Authority condemned the 88 acre dairy farm for a new water treatment plant. The last owner, Robert Koon, Jr., was forced to vacate the property in May of 1984. Despite numerous offers from private individuals to purchase the house and either relocate or renovate it, Millbank languished and suffered vandalism of key architectural features while teetering on the edge of demolition for two years. In the end, only the threat of losing the federal funding for the treatment plant – reported as 75% of the $22 million project in 1986 – if the house were demolished appears to have halted the push in the 1980s. The issue continued to resurface from time to time as the house further decayed.

The house and three acres of surrounding land has at last found its way into preservation-friendly hands with the Fort Collier Civil War Center in 2013, which was founded to preserve the earthworks of another important Third Battle of Winchester site. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 for its significance during the Third Battle of Winchester. Efforts to stabilize and weatherproof the house are ongoing. Learn more about the current condition of Millbank at the Fort Collier website.

See the documentary images of Millbank taken by John G. Lewis from 1984-1986 at Flickr.



Coming This Weekend: Kernstown Battlefield Opening Weekend

KBAOpening weekend at the Kernstown Battlefield is this Saturday and Sunday, May 7th and 8th! Please meet at the Visitors Center for the regularly scheduled battlefield tours on Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm. In addition to tours of the battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the museum and artillery building, the Liberty Rifles will be presenting a living history all weekend. The living history event’s interpretation will focus on May of 1861, and the organizing of local Winchester citizens into state service following Virginia’s secession from the Union. The participants will represent volunteers who would eventually muster into Confederate service as Company D, 33rd Virginia Infantry. These men, largely from the Winchester area, would serve in the Stonewall Brigade and fight at both Kernstown battles.

Time: Early May until the end of October
Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm
Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm

Place: 610 Battle Park Dr., Winchester, VA 22602

Tours Include: The battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the museum and artillery collection. For those in need, a golf cart is available to lend assistance.

Cost: All programs are by donation.

Other Information: The Kernstown Battlefield Association is an all-volunteer, non-profit preservation organization. Tours can be arranged throughout the year by contacting the KBA. They have a gift shop with diverse items for purchase, and can accept checks and credit cards.

For more information visit www.kernstownbattle.org or Facebook, or by phone at (540) 869-2896 or (202) 302-9129.