Friday Roundup: Behind the Scenes Prep Work and Friday Photos

First, we did a bit of cleaning up of our MailChimp mailing list during the lead-up to the Annual Meeting. A few new member emails have been added (hello and welcome!) and a section of bounced and unsubscribed emails have been archived. If you know someone who is not receiving the weekly emails and wants to stay informed, remind them to sign up in the opt-in form. If you unsubscribe from our mailing list, we cannot add you back in manually at the office, as it needs your confirmation you want to receive emails again. This is done in compliance with anti-spam laws through MailChimp. Thank you for understanding!


Second, next week will be a busy one for the office as we prepare the snail-mail Annual Meeting invitations in advance of the June 27 meeting, as well as some out of the office meetings. Please remember to call or email ahead of a site visit to the Hexagon House, as we may not be in the office.

We hope to help you find out what you member renewal status is with this Annual Meeting mailing, as we know last year we lost all sense of time. Look for your member renewal date (to the month of your renewal) in the membership form block in the Annual Meeting invitation and check its accuracy. Don’t receive a mailed invitation? That means you have fallen off our recent membership list. We hope you will chose to renew and catch up with old friends and familiar faces at the Annual Meeting, which will be our first real event since Holiday House Tour 2019(!).


Third, if you would like to join PHW or renew your membership, remember we are offering copies of our reprinted Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book (a $25 value) as a thank you for your continued support. Copies can be picked up at the Annual Meeting or by arrangement through the PHW office. The reprinted edition was lovingly remade from the original to be as faithful as possible to Walter Kidney’s text and James R. Morrison’s photographs. The revisions and updates were limited to correcting errors and expanding on some omissions from the first publication (like a much-needed index). The book is a perfect introduction to Winchester’s architecture and broad history of development patterns. It may especially appeal if you are new to town, or want to share your appreciation of Winchester with someone less versed in architectural history.


Fourth, we were thrilled to be able to visit the Clowser House in Shawneeland last weekend to see all the progress made at the site. If you were not able to attend, you can catch photos of the event at our Flickr album. The Foundation is doing an amazing job documenting the history of their site and the family connected to the homestead, and PHW is proud to have helped them begin the journey five years ago to preserve their ancestral home for generations to come.

Clowser Foundation Memorial Service
Blaine Dunn and Ruth Perrine, two of the people who stepped up to help save the home from demolition, at the Clowser Memorial Service.

Friday Roundup: Events and A Vanished Winchester Story

First, the Clowser Foundation Memorial Service will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 5 at the Clowser House, 152 Tomahawk Trail. The event is free and open to the public. If it’s been a while since you’ve been into Shawneeland, there are numerous improvements to the house and grounds to see and many friendly Clowser family descendants to meet. The event starts at 10 AM.

Second, if you are looking to travel a bit farther afield for some history tourism, Leesburg will be holding their first ever Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19th beginning at 11:00 AM with a car caravan from Belmont Country Club to Claude Moore Park. Activities begin at noon at Claude Moore Park with the traditional flag raising ceremony by the legendary Buffalo Soldiers, followed by musical performances, kids activities, and mini-Juneteenth classes. Learn more at The Patch.

Are you invested in the future of saving places? The National Trust for Historic Places is developing a National Impact Agenda to help collaboratively guide the future of historic preservation and make it a more inclusive movement. Learn more and take the survey at their website to chime in why old places matter to you and what actions should be prioritized over the next 3-5 years!


In our work sorting through the Mutual Assurance Fire Policies, we noticed a number of buildings we have documentation for are no longer standing. Some are known to us through other means like photographs, town maps, drawings, or recollections like William Greenway Russell or T. K. Cartmell. Some others, however, seem to have slipped through with very little documentation. During some unrelated research, we found a news article on the demise of Jacob Baker’s home on Kent Street. The name was familiar from the recent Mutual Assurance Society policy database work we undertook this spring, and we can now bring a long-ago Vanished Winchester story to you.

The first trail on this building through the Mutual Assurance Society comes from Henry St. George Tucker insuring his building on “a square of lots East of Kent Street, West of East Lane” in 1827. According to a footnote in Russell’s What I Know About Winchester, Jacob Baker purchased the property in 1832. Although the footnote would lead one to assume the building was destroyed by fire before Baker’s purchase, it was perhaps a bit of careless reading of Russell’s recollections without deeper follow-up. While the house was indeed destroyed by fire at the time of Russell’s writing, the implied timing does not match the primary sources. In 1845, the Mutual Assurance policy had transferred to Jacob Baker, who was using the building as his personal dwelling.

While the Mutual Assurance Policy sketches are suggestive at best, it appears the house was situated roughly mid-block between the bounding streets of Kent, Piccadilly, Philpot, and East Lane (about the location of the Lewis-Jones Knitting Mill, but set back some distance from Kent Street). A one and a half story stone wing 24’x33′ with a wood roof was to the north (toward Piccadilly St.). The main house was two stories high, 38’x54′, and made of brick and stone with a wood roof. The main entrance was facing Kent Street with a porch around the central entrance. On the eastern (rear) side of the house was a full-width two story porch facing East Lane.

The house remained standing until March, 1866. At about 7:30 AM on March 8, the roof of wood shingles was noticed to be on fire. While it had not progressed far at that point and assistance was sent for, high winds and the dry shingles fed the flames, and the Union fire engine could not help, as its hose could not reach the fire hydrants. Amazingly, soldiers and citizens helped remove most of the furniture from the house so that not everything in the house was lost. Read the full article in the Winchester Journal through Handley’s online newspaper archive. A second account of the fire also ran in the Winchester Times, which survives as a reprint in a Richmond newspaper, below:

Mutual Assurance Policy 21127 from 1860, showing the Jacob Baker house.

Fire in Winchester.—On Thursday morning last, says the Winchester Times of the 14th, the elegant mansion of Jacob Baker, Esq., on Kent street, took fire, and all efforts to extinguish the flames were unavailing, and in a short time this noble old structure together with the out buildings presented a mass of smouldering blackened ruins. At one time fire was communicated to the long dry grass in Mount Hebron Cemetery, and it was feared the wooden head-boards to the graves of hundreds of Confederate dead would be burned, and thereby obliterate every trace of the departed loved ones, but through the almost superhuman efforts of the citizens and soldiers, this most dreadful calamity was spared us. We understand Mr. Baker is insured in the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Richmond for the amount of $5,000, which is perhaps one-third his loss. (Richmond Whig, Volume 75, Number 66, 19 March 1866)

Friday Roundup: Six Degrees of Research Separation

211 S. Kent St.
The photograph of 211 South Kent Street, a research rabbit hole of labyrinthine proportions.

The further we have progressed in captioning images on our Flickr, the greater the sense that everything in Winchester is connected in some way. To those who are students of history, this game of six degrees of separation often leads to some of the most interesting and unusual chains of research – probably not what you intended to find, but nevertheless an amusing, entertaining, or educational footnote to liven up family and property histories.

One such rabbit hole of research was uncovered when a fairly innocuous and straightforward-looking photo came up in our randomizing program. After the direct image explanation, where the matter would have been deemed complete for most, a bit more investigation led to looking at the chain of title for previous owners. As this was a house bought and sold through PHW’s Revolving Fund, Katie Rockwood had completed research as far back as she could on the property. There was, however, a curious gap in the title chain between the purchase of the lot by Michael and John Copenhaver in 1796, and the transfer from Simeon Hillman to Emily Knight in 1860. That is quite a sizeable gap in time, suggesting some kind of unusual transfer took place between the Copenhavers and Hillman.

With that oddity noted, a bit of research began on Simeon Hillman, as the name was vaguely pinging a memory of other local history. The first note, unsurprisingly, in Cartmell’s Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants, was that Simeon Hillman was part of the local reserves for the War of 1812. Many of the homes near the intersection of Kent and Clifford streets have a War of 1812 connection, so that was a pleasant confirmation, but not quite the memory or the ah-hah moment.

Next, records for Simeon Hillman were checked in the census available through the Handley Library. Here the real lead began – toll-keeper was his stated profession. Although it seemed likely this was the Simeon Hillman in question, we continued to laterally research to find corroborating evidence. An “Out of the Past” article reprinted in the Winchester Star gave the family memory of the Hillmans beginning their toll-keeping career in 1840. Simeon died in 1860, leaving the business to his wife, Charlotte, who continued until her death in 1892. In a twist for most stories, Charlotte Hillman is the more recognizable name of the two, as her counting of soldiers passing through the gate during the Civil War to turn in – and receive – payments for the tolls from Washington is a well-known tale from that era.

While that alone is a notable find and makes the story of 211 S. Kent more relatable, there was still the question as to how Simeon Hillman acquired it from the Copenhavers. While it could be an association of the families through the War of 1812, it seemed likely there was something else, too. The further lateral research continued, this time on Charlotte. Knowing her death year, it was possible to search for her on the Find a Grave website, which turned up a piece that brought the search full circle. Her maiden name was Copenhaver. Through the family connections available on the website, we learn Charlotte was the daughter of John Copenhaver. While the exact method and date of transfer is not known, the connection from John Copenhaver to Simeon Hillman, at least, is there through Charlotte.

While there are certainly more jumping off points for future research on 211 South Kent, the point that will tie many items together in the six degrees of Winchester history is, of course, the Valley Pike, the road where Simeon and Charlotte Hillman and later their descendants were toll-keepers. Although the home Simeon built at the gate was demolished, at least a piece of the family property still lives on Kent Street.

Hillman’s Tollgate, Frederick County 250th Anniversary Collection, 736-389 thl. Available at the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA.

Friday Roundup: Photos and Assorted News Bites

Fort Loudoun Day 2021

It’s been a while, but Friday Photos brings new content! Visit the Fort Loudoun Day 2021 album on Flickr for images taken last weekend at the event. There are 70 photos in total.


You still have about a week to get award nominations for the 57th Annual Meeting in to PHW. Anyone may nominate a project in Winchester or Frederick County. Find the form here and nominate people and projects worthy of recognition!


Looking ahead at our next week, the PHW office may be closed Friday, May 28, depending on how the second round of vaccination goes. We will also be celebrating Memorial Day on May 31. Stay safe and healthy, and we will catch up with any questions we may miss while we are recuperating over the long holiday weekend.

Also, PHW is drawing to the end of its fiscal year. If your membership dues are up for renewal, please try to get your checks in before the end of the month to help our bottom line. Also, if you’ve been enjoying our online content or looking forward to the upcoming Annual Meeting on June 27, remember only PHW members in good standing may vote at the meeting. Membership forms are available online and will be available on-site during the meeting; new or renewing members may pick up a free copy of “Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture” with their membership dues.


An interesting thread has been posted on Forum Connect by Donovan Rypkema about preservationists’ perception by others and actual goals and aims. Perhaps the best example is the poll on historic preservation and affordable housing, which highlights many of the challenges and perhaps unstated goals of wanting to preserving older homes – Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing – as well as the longtime residents which help give neighborhoods their character. Read the full report here.


Log detail

Do you own a log house in Winchester? Do you think your building may contain logs repurposed from Fort Loudoun? Would you be open to volunteers taking some images and possibly wood samples to better explore this possibility? Please get in touch with your contact details to the PHW office at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577 and we can fill you in on this idea for an accounting of logs from the Fort.


Save the date for June 12 for “Experience American Military History in Action” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hosted by the American Military Heritage Museum. The event is free, rain-or-shine and will feature re-enactors and living history displays. Meet World War II veterans from 10:30 a.m. until noon, check out a large collection of World War II equipment and military vehicles as well as historic museum displays. The museum is located at 811 Fairfax Pike in Stephens City.

Friday Roundup: Save the Date for the Annual Meeting and Other Tidbits

Join us on June 27, 3 PM at the Hexagon House for this free membership event!

Preservation of Historic Winchester’s 57th Annual Meeting: Meet your friends or make new acquaintances in the local preservation community on Sunday, June 27, 3 PM at the backyard of the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street. The gathering will elect PHW’s board of directors for 2021-2022, touch on the past year’s challenges and accomplishments, and conclude with the presentation of preservation awards. Please bring your own chairs; liquid refreshments will be offered. The organization will be following any restrictions in place at the time of the meeting to comply with state mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Only PHW members in good standing may vote at the meeting. Membership forms will be available on-site; new or renewing members may pick up a free copy of “Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture” with their membership dues.

Don’t forget to turn in your award nominations by May 28 to help recognize people and projects at this event!


Requests Requested! Is there a photo in our Flickr collection you would like to see captioned for more information? Drop us a note and we’ll add the photo to the queue to highlight in a future social media post.


We have received one of our first donations of historic materials and images following our call last newsletter. While we did not put all the material online, we are delighted with the digital materials shared by Howard Lewis on Hawthorne at 610 Amherst Street. The items that are not publicly available on our Flickr have been added to our hard copy and digital collections on the historic district for future researchers. If you also have material to contribute, drop us a note at phwinc.org@gmail.com to see if it fits our collection scope.


In-Kind Donation Wish List: PHW is looking for basic materials to help keep the office in shape and running, such as paper, mailing labels, and file folders, and likely in the future things like ink cartridges and toner. If this kind of item donation calls to you and you have an Amazon account, please refer to our Amazon Charity List for ideas. If you have opened or slightly used items on this list (like a half-used pack of mailing labels or legal size paper you no longer need), we are also happy to take them in-person at our office. Arrange a drop off time by emailing phwinc.org@gmail.com or calling 540-667-3577.


Research Request: Are you interested in helping Winchester clarify and confirm its African-American community’s history? We are continuing to work on questions posed to us by Mark Gunderman in his deep dive into the history of John Mann UMC. This week, we are hoping to gather additional information on George Smith, mentioned in William Greenway Russell’s recollections as “a colored man of the town” who left money to the congregation to build the brick church about twenty years before the recollection was written (thus around 1856). His contribution to the church was undoubtedly great, but his name has disappeared from public memory. If someone wants to take up the research mantle and run with what we (think we) know about George Smith, please get in touch with the PHW office.


If you are missing Kidzfest this year, don’t fret! Two history-themed activities the whole family can enjoy are taking place this weekend. Fort Loudoun will host a living history event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday May 15 at 419 N. Loudoun St. Visitors will learn about the history of the French & Indian War era at the site of Col. George Washington’s headquarters for the Virginia Regiment. Meet living history interpreters and tour the site. Admission is free. Information available at 419-971-3493 or www.FIWF.org.

The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Museum and Visitor Center will host a living history day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16, at 8437 Valley Pike, Middletown. Costumed historians will host photography workshops, cooking demonstration, muster in new recruits and practice drill, have Civil War medicine displays, play period games and tell stories and the cavalry will have their horses to talk about the roles of horses during the war.

Friday Roundup: Celebrate National Preservation Month

Happy Preservation Month! We hope you’ll take a moment to show your love for our local history and architecture with a few of these ideas and activities:

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a new set of daily informative activities you can do to celebrate this year’s theme “Tell the Full American Story.” There is reading material, videos, images, interactive maps, and petitions and letters of support you can join and share.


Click to view the full letter. The donation form is at the bottom.

The French and Indian War Foundation is looking for your help! The organization has launched a fundraising campaign to help them retire the debt on the Baker-Hardy House, and every donation will be matched by the Wilkins Family Trust. The Baker-Hardy House serves as the organization’s resource center, and the hope is once the mortgage is paid off, other long-term goals for interpretation can take place. See the letter and donation form image for more information and how to contribute to the campaign.


The four City-owned museums (Abram’s Delight, Hollingsworth Mill, George Washington’s Office, and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters) reopen for the 2021 season on May 10th. Each museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am-4 pm and on Sundays from 12-4 pm. Stop in and see some familiar faces, learn about our local history, and the view the current exhibit at the Hollingsworth Mill: “Quaker Families of Winchester & Frederick County.”


Demolition
Do you recognize this building? It may have been in York, PA. Share anything you know to help us flesh out our image captions!

We have been captioning images on our Flickr page, and we recently had an unidentified building in the midst of demolition come up on our randomizing program for captioning. Our suspicion is the building may be in York, PA, based on the demolition sign on the building. The slide’s imprinted date on the cardboard is November 1979, and it appears we had a series of three images of this building from different angles to use during informative slide presentations. We suspect the image may have been shared with us by our preservation consultants from Pittsburgh who assisted PHW in the 1970s. If you are familiar with the York area and can provide any further information or possible context on this series of images, please drop us a note!


Help us recognize local preservation projects and preservation leaders by nominating a person or project for a 2021 PHW Preservation Award. We are tentatively hoping to host awards in June, and as such, the award nomination form has been updated. Projects completed between June 2019 to May 2021 are eligible for this combined round of recognition. Awards are open to BOTH Winchester City and Frederick County. People or projects may be nominated by anyone (including the potential award recipient or family member) AND you may nominate an unlimited number of projects. Applications DO NOT need to be complete, but should at least have enough identifying information that the project can be further discussed by the award committee. Return applications or suggestions to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 or by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com. Applications should be sent by May 28, 2021 for consideration for a 2020 or 2021 award.

Out of the Past: Apple Blossom Articles

We hope you are staying safe and healthy as you celebrate Apple Blossom this year. At PHW, we are doing what we do best – finding interesting historical tidbits to share. This week, we are focused on the festivals of yore. Enjoy the apple blossom themed poem and articles highlighting some past blooms that we have found, and be sure to click the article links to see the original newspaper sources. All are available on the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Chronicle archive.


Miss Margaret Thors, Apple Blossom Queen 1949. Image published in Recorder, Number 15, 15 April 1949.
When It's Apple Blossom Time In Old Virginia 
When it’s apple blossom time 
In old Virginia and the bees 
Are busy buzzin’ in the many 
Many million apple trees, 
I’m going to crank my old jalopy 
And go chugging everywhere 
To see the beauty of the orchards 
And to breathe the scented air; 
And the mocking bird a-singing 
In a blooming apple tree is just 
A pleasure worth the trouble 
Going miles and miles to see, 
It’s just a satisfying sight for 
All—though be they old or young— 
To see the beauty and to hear 
The sweetest music ever sung. —W. B. Dennis.

Virginia Star, Volume 29, Number 43, 15 April 1948

Apple Blossom Fete Program: Fifth Annual Festival Offers Many Attractions on Thursday and Friday. Winchester, May 2.—The official program of the fifth annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival here May 3 and 4, announced Monday by Ray Robinson, director-general, provides for entertainment of visitors almost continuously. Apple orchards came through the big week-end snowstorm undamaged and it is expected that the buds will be open for the event. It has been estimated by Federal and state horticulturists that there are 11,000,000 trees in the commercial orchards of the district, embracing the Blue Ridge country from around Adams county, Pennsylvania, southward to Roanoke, Va. reached by good roads. (Virginia Star, Volume 9, Number 46, 3 May 1928)

APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL OPENS: Leaden Skies of Early Morning Give Way to Bright Sunshine As Queen Shenandoah IX Reviews First Parade of Human “Apple Blossoms.” WINCHESTER, Va., May 4.-(AP)— Leaden skies of the early morning broke and made way for bright sunshine which cast a golden lustre over the hillsides and valleys as the ninth annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival was inaugurated today. A parade of “human blossoms,” 5,000 school children of Winchester, nearby counties in Virginia and West Virginia opened the event. Miss Helen Ames Washington of Philadelphia, as Queen Shenandoah IX, reviewed the parade from a specially constructed stand. With her was Paul Claudel, French ambassador, who was selected to place the crown of apple blossoms on her head this afternoon. (Suffolk News-Herald, Volume 10, Number 38, 4 May 1932)

APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL LARGELY ATTENDED. Winchester, Va., May 6.– This city was slowly settling down to a normal pace this week following two days of pageantry and festivity in celebration of the 17th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom festival here last Thursday and Friday. A crowd estimated at 50,000 lined the streets Friday to witness the grand finale event of the celebration– “The Trail of the Pink Petals,” a grand feature parade that wound over a five mile route and lasted for two hours. Heading the procession, as befitted her regal capacity, was Senorita Lillian Somoza, daughter of the president of Nicaragua, who Thursday was crowned Queen Shenandoah XVII by Dr. Henry F. Grady, Assistant Secretary of State. (Southside Sentinel, Volume 44, Number 51, 16 May 1940)

Blossom-less Blossom Festival Scheduled. A blossom-less Shenandoah Apple Blossom festival will go on, as scheduled May 2 and 3 in Winchester. Thursday, the national apple blossom majorette contest was scheduled at 10 a. m., with the coronation of Queen Shenandoah XXX at 2:30 p. m. “In All Generations,” a pageant written and directed by Dr. Garland R. Quarles, presentation times are 3 p m. Thursday and 10:30 a m. Friday. Thursday evening festivities include a firemen’s parade at 6 p. m., a fireworks display and a ground display of a Jamestown 350th anniversary scene at 3 p. m., at 9 p. m. a square dance, and at 10 p. m. the queen’s ball. Seven high school bands will spark the parade and upwards of 20,000 people are expected to see it. (Farmville Herald and Farmer-Leader, Volume 66, Number 64, 3 May 1957)

Friday Roundup: Newsletter and Preservation Month Activities

Hexagon House Backyard
Dogwood and redbud blossom in the back yard of the Hexagon House.

Our spring newsletter is here! Printed copies should be arriving in your mailbox soon (just in time for National Preservation Month), but you can read it on our website now (PDF).

You can get a head start on celebrating National Preservation Month, coming in May, with some of these ideas:

PHW Preservation Award nominations: As you know, last year PHW did not present preservation awards at our truncated Annual Meeting. We are tentatively hoping to host awards this year in June, and as such, the award nomination form has been updated. Projects completed between June 2019 to May 2021 are eligible for this combined round of recognition. Awards are open to BOTH Winchester City and Frederick County. People or projects may be nominated by anyone (including the potential award recipient or family member) AND you may nominate an unlimited number of projects. Applications DO NOT need to be complete, but should at least have enough identifying information that the project can be further discussed by the award committee. Return applications or suggestions to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 or by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com. Applications should be sent by May 28, 2021 for consideration for a 2020 or 2021 award.

Renew your PHW membership dues, or join the organization: PHW is a membership-based organization, so financial support through your membership dues is critical to help us keep the lights on, especially since we have not been able to hold many events during the pandemic. Individual membership is $30, but if you can’t afford that amount, we would still appreciate any amount you may wish to donate. The link above has more information, membership forms, and a link to our PayPal donation button.

Shop for preservation and architecture goodies: You can find a pre-order form in the latest newsletter for several books and art prints. Items are also for sale on our Ecrater store, and can either be mailed or picked up at the office Monday-Friday.

Take a self-guided tour: Last year we compiled all the tours we were able to find and placed the collection on our Holiday House Tour page. See if there’s one you haven’t explored yet to enjoy our local history!

Share your stories or documents: Do you have research materials you have gathered about a historic place in Winchester or Frederick County? Did you find a stash of PHW materials and don’t know what to do with them? We are always working on our research collections. Contact the PHW office to arrange for a donation or copying of materials that will go into our files.

Friday Roundup: Two Grants, Mutual Assurance Policy Database, and Dr. John S. Lupton

Pink Dogwood at the Hexagon House
Pink dogwood is in bloom in the backyard of the Hexagon House.

This week, PHW was informed of two upcoming grant opportunities from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. First, do you live in a town of less than 10,000? Your project may be eligible for the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns. Funds range from $2,500 to $15,000 and applications are due May 3.

Second, applications are now open for the June round of the National Trust Preservation Fund Grants. Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for planning and education projects. Grants range up to $5,000 and applications are due June 1. Find the online eligibility guidelines and application here.


We have completed the database entries for all the Winchester Mutual Assurance Policies that are in hard copy at PHW’s office. The database has been added to our Google Drive if you are curious to see our holdings. While we had previously assumed our policies were identical to the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, that is not the case. We lack many of the earliest policies, but have a number of others extending into the 1860s. We used the information from the Archives database as the starting point and modified certain entries to update potential addresses of properties. The updates came through using the adjacent property owners listed in the policies and cross referencing the footnotes in Russell’s “What I Know About Winchester.” In general, the Archives may have copies of the pages PHW does not own. Information may still not be 100% accurate or complete, and only the Winchester holdings in PHW’s collection were indexed. You can also check out the Library of Virginia for more finding tools related to these records.


Last, as we noticed the apple trees blossoming around town, we felt it was a fortuitous time to share a story on Dr. John S. Lupton, credited as the pioneer of the local orchard industry. He was the owner of a particular plot of land we have been researching in downtown Winchester, which led to a bit of newspaper archive reading. One article in particular stood out for painting a picture of the early struggles of a fledgling apple orchard (other articles specify his apple of choice was the Newtown pippin). The article states:

“In all that has been said about Frederick county’s great apple industry, little note has been taken of the men behind it — those who bore the brunt of the early campaign and who were at times in danger of becoming penniless should their fruit fail of expectation. In this connection it is no exaggeration to call Dr. John S. Lupton the “grand old man” of the apple industry. . . . At times the future seemed black and hope almost blasted, but he persevered, with the splendid result of today, when he can look out upon prolific trees and his wide acres of fruit. . . . It is a known fact that he went hungry and ragged and sacrificed his credit before that orchard came into bearing, and had it been one year later bringing forth its fruit, he would have been a financial wreck. . . . However, when he realized handsomely from his orchard (which is now thirty-four years old) what numbers were ready to profit by his experience: for in the wake of the orchards followed the cooperages, cold storages, heavy shipments of fruit etc., with the employment of labor that all these industries mean, and what business man of Winchester, whether he be liveryman, hotel keeper, merchant, banker or professional man has not felt the benefit to the community of this fruit industry? The apple business brings money to those who were fixtures here, hence the money is spent right at home. So it is perhaps not putting it too strongly to say that no man deserves more credit for the material development of our community than Dr. John S. Lupton.”

Read Father of the Fruit Industry in Shenandoah Herald, November 17, 1905 (republished from Winchester News).

Friday Roundup: Community Survey, HTC-GO, and the Frankfurt Kitchen

Have you taken the City’s new Community Survey? The results will be part of the 2021 Strategic Plan update, which will guide the City’s future decision-making process for the next five years. Be sure to get your feedback in by April 30.


It’s been making the rounds in preservation circles, and PHW agrees: Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor HTC-GO! Last week, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced a new version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO) in the House of Representatives. It includes temporary tax provisions that will bring relief to projects impacted by the pandemic and permanent provisions that will add value to the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), improve access to the credit and increase investment in smaller rehabilitation projects. Introduction of companion legislation in the Senate is expected soon. Locate the name and phone number of your House Representative at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. In your outreach, please share the HTC-GO Fact Sheet as a link or attachment.


Last, for a bit of history on modern kitchen design, we invite you to visit Open Culture’s article “Discover the First Modern Kitchen – the Frankfurt Kitchen – Pioneered by the Architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1926).” Much of what we experience in a kitchen today was influenced by her assembly-line, efficiency-minded innovations. Be sure to watch the embedded videos to see the kitchen layout and the famous “golden triangle” between the sink, countertop, and stove in action!

Watch the Frankfurt Kitchen on YouTube (with German title cards).