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 Virginia.org, 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: 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: Event Photos and Upcoming Events

Thanks to everyone who came out to the PHW table for Celebracion. While we did not capture images from that event, we do have some other recent event photos to share this week. Larry Webb provided two sets of photographs from September 21 events. The French and Indian War encampment held at Abram’s Delight can be viewed here (24 photos) and the Constitution & Bill of Rights Celebration can be viewed here (17 photos).

Next, don’t forget about our fabulous upcoming book talk and signing with Tom Mayes on “Why Old Places Matter.” The event will be held October 4 at the Handley Library between 3-5 PM and is free and open to the public. We hope to have a full crowd to hear our author and speaker Tom Mayes, who serves as the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The talk should be accessible to anyone interested in how our history and built environment impacts our enjoyment of life.

If you are thinking of doing some shopping on AmazonSmile , you can now support Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc. in the Amazon shopping app on your Android device! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations:

  1. If you have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App, open the App on your Android device.
  2. View Settings and select AmazonSmile.
  3. Follow the in-App instructions to complete the process.

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App, update your App. Click here for instructions.

AmazonSmile is not currently available for iOS users.

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 and Weekend Events

600 Block S. Loudoun St.
The 600 block of South Loudoun Street, primarily the Conrad Crebs properties, shortly after purchase by the Revolving Fund. See the rest of the images at Flickr.

This week, we added 20 more photos from the Revolving Fund documentation files to our Flickr. All the houses in today’s batch are on South Loudoun Street in the 500-700 blocks. Be sure to see the large limestone block that used to be the front porch at the Crebs House!

Explore a unique mix of food, history, and architecture with Taste Winchester History! The Winchester Food Tour is tomorrow, and the Beer and Cider Tour is Sunday. The tours repeat every weekend with a variety of restaurants and cafes. Find more details and book a tour at www.tastewinchesterhistory.com.

Marker-Miller Orchards is also celebrating peach season on Saturday, 9 AM – 5 PM. Stop by the orchard at 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, for homemade peach cobbler, peach pie, peach turnovers, peach ice cream, fresh peaches in the market, and of course pick your own peaches. There will be scenic wagon rides around the farm, multiple vendors and crafters, and Misty Mountain Meadworks will be sampling their mead. Robbie Limon will be on hand for musical entertainment from 1-3 while sitting in the pavilion or on the porch. Learn more at their Facebook page.

Don’t forget tomorrow is the Rt. 11 Yard Crawl. It is probably NOT the best day to leisurely enjoy our scenic byway for sightseeing; however, if you are into shopping for unique and vintage items, this could be the event for you. The official crawl is from New Market to Stephens City. You may start your shopping adventure at any point. It will be held rain or shine. Expect traffic congestion along Route 11 most of the day and watch for pedestrians.

Stay safe this weekend, remember your sunscreen, and have fun!

Friday Roundup: Etched Glass, Photos, and Why Old Places Matter

While looking through our Old House Journal collections for indexing this week, we came across the April 1978 edition with a lengthy write up on the history of glass and glass manufacturing and production in Europe and America. Of particular interest may be the section on the etched and rolled glass patterns. The examples in the Old House Journal were taken from the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. The book, written in 1923, is available as a free Google ebook. It is filled with images of behind the scenes production photographs as well as finished products and sample storefronts and is well worth a flip through. The etched and patterned glass samples begin on page 131.

This week, we added 29 documentary photographs of our Revolving Fund files for 804 and 810 Amherst Street (plus a few from South Loudoun) to our Flickr. See the images at the top of the photostream or the end of the Revolving Fund album.

810 Amherst St.
Gable window detail, 810 Amherst St.
Please join us for this free event on October 4 at the Handley Library! The event will take place between 3-5 PM. Look for your mailed invitation in September, or find the event now on Facebook.

We are also extremely pleased to announce the fall book talk and reception we had previously teased. Please join us on Friday, October 4 at 3 PM at the Handley Library for a book talk by Thompson M. Mayes,Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on his recent book Why Old Places Matter: How Historic Places Affect Our Identity and Well-Being (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). This special event is free and open to the public.

Thompson M. Mayes

Tom Mayes is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  He is the author of many articles relating to, and has lectured widely on, preservation easements, shipwreck protection, historic house museums, accessibility, preservation public policy, and the future of historic preservation. For many years, he taught historic preservation law at the University of Maryland. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Historic Preservation in 2013, Mr. Mayes is the author of Why Old Places Matter (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018).  Mr. Mayes received his B.A. with honors in History in 1981 and his J.D. in 1985 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Friday Roundup: Photos and Curated Reading

535 W. Cecil St.
This week, we added six photos of the house fire at 535 W. Cecil St., taken by C. W. Yerkes. You can see all the images at the end of the Cecil Street album, or at the top of our photostream on Flickr.

Happy Friday! While doing some filing this week, we discovered more photographs tucked in file folders. Look for some architectural treasure hunts coming in future editions.

We are hard at work behind the scenes on a number of projects, including (of course) Holiday House Tour (December 7 & 8 in the West Clifford and Amherst Street neighborhoods) and the Bough and Dough Shop. We are also planning to have walking tours at upcoming fall events downtown like Friday Night Live, Celebración, and Oktoberfest. We’ll let you know as we get closer to the dates on where to find our table.

We have another very special lecture and book signing in the works for Friday, October 4 with Thompson M. Mayes. Mr. Mayes is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  He is the author of many articles relating to, and has lectured widely on, preservation easements, shipwreck protection, historic house museums, accessibility, preservation public policy, and the future of historic preservation. Mr. Mayes is the author of Why Old Places Matter (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018).  We are looking forward to hearing him speak on his book in Winchester this October. You can find a blog post covering his book at the National Trust, Why Do Old Places Matter? as an introduction to his book.

In a similar vein, you can also check out the blog and podcast from Strong Towns on Why We Should Build Cities for Our Unconscious Brains. The podcast is just a hair under one hour, so settle in with a snack or drink and enjoy the discussion. This is an interesting intersection of psychology and architecture – things that we “get” intuitively but often have a hard time putting those feelings into words. The next time you are out an about looking at buildings, see if you can spot how some of these traditional building techniques encourage social interaction, and, inversely, how more modern techniques can be off-putting or unpleasant.

Last, you may also enjoy the article Mapping the Effects of the Great 1960s ‘Freeway Revolts‘ and the related links from CityLab. It is not just a look at the successes of the protests that saved neighborhoods, but also at places where the revolts failed and those freeway projects fractured and destroyed neighborhoods. A freeway, in theory, should be a route of transportation to encourage travel point to point, but in many ways it is also a “pseudo-barrier” that unconsciously (or deliberately) prevents crossing that imposing concrete and asphalt line. For a deep dive into the research, you can find the working paper Freeway Revolts! at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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.”

Friday Roundup: Photos, Lecture Series, and Planning Survey

We hope you had a great celebration for the Fourth of July. There was a great turnout on the mall for the Rockin’ Independence Eve celebration. If you took a coloring sheet and made a masterpiece, let us know! A few images from the event are available at Flickr at the end of the Kids Events album, or top of the photostream.

We also have a few photos from the Annual Meeting held at Carter Hill Manor on June 28. Many, many thanks are owed to our hosts Tommy and Linda Ross Gibbs for opening their home, garden, and yard to us. It was the perfect venue and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time at the event.

The Godfrey Miller Historic Home and Fellowship Center’s annual summer lecture series begins next week.  The series will be part of the celebration of Winchester’s 275-year history. Lectures will be given four evenings, starting at 7 p.m. in the Woltz Pavilion, 28 S. Loudoun St., Winchester, and will cover highlights of the centuries. The dates and topics are:

July 16: 1700s in Winchester – Tom Maccubbin on early business life in Winchester through ledgers; Gene E. 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 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, 28 S. Loudoun St., Winchester. For more information, visit www.winchesterva.gov/275th-anniversary or call 540-247-0968.

You may have also heard of the survey being undertaken to update and guide the Winchester Comprehensive Plan. There is a survey available online now at the city’s website. The survey covers various topics on greenspace, housing, and corridors to town. The survey will be available until July 31.

If you are interested in attending the in-person planning sessions related to the above survey, you need only attend one session that best fits your schedule. Sessions will be held:

  • Thursday, July 25th – 2:00 pm at Frederick Douglass Elementary School Gym, 100 West Cedarmeade Avenue
  • Monday, July 29th – 10:00 am at Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School Cafeteria, 550 Virginia Avenue
  • Wednesday, July 31st – 6:30 pm at John Kerr Elementary School Cafeteria, 427 Meadow Branch Avenue
  • Tuesday, August 6th – 6:30 pm at Quarles Elementary School Cafeteria, 1310 South Loudoun Street

We know many of our members are concerned about and engaged with the future of Winchester, and this is a good opportunity in both the survey and in-person sessions to share your thoughts on the direction of Winchester for up to the next decade and beyond.

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!