Valentine Roundup: PHW’s 57th Year

Happy birthday, PHW!

Most of the world will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Sunday. This is also the weekend PHW marks its first officially organized meeting in 1964, during the grassroots movement to preserve Winchester’s architectural heritage. We will be marking PHW’s 57th year in 2021!

To get you in the Valentine spirit this weekend, we have gathered a few newspaper stories from around Virginia of Valentine celebrations of yesteryear.

Jolly Comic Valentine Party (Clarke Courier, 17 February 1904) “A most delightful Comic Valentine Party was held at the residence of Mr. A. Moore, Jr. . . . Cards and dancing were indulged in until a late hour, when refreshments were served. Everyone present had a merry time.”

Valentines for the Lady Fair (Morning News Item, 12 February 1907) “For St. Valentine’s Day comes Thursday, which is a good two days before pay day. If each young man’s particular affinity expects some material expression of her admirer’s adoration and it’s ‘up to him’ to cut down temporarily, at least, personal expenses.”

Valentine Parties (Morning News Item, 14 February 1907) “Although this is the Lenten season, it is understood that a number of valentine socials and a few select dances will be held this evening. It is said, however, that those who rigidly observe Lent will not be in attendance.”

A Valentine party (Peninsula Enterprise, 19 February 1910) “The interesting features were the shooting at a heart by each guest with a bow and arrow, and the fishing from a lover’s pond for the name of his or her intended. After punch, fruit, jelly and cake were served the favours were drawn from a Valentine pie.”

West End Hotel Valentine party (Times-Dispatch, 25 February 1912) “The parlor and halls were decorated in ferns, potted plants and red hearts, the color scheme being red. Many games were played, but the fortune telling by Mrs. A. P. Goldsmith and Cupid’s post-office, where Miss Brownie Delp presided, were the main features of the evening.”

Valentine parties delayed (Culpeper Exponent, 12 February 1920) “On account of so much sickness it was decided it would be best to postpone the entertainment until it is safer to bring the children together.”

Valentine Bridge (Crawford’s Weekly, 21 February 1931) “A very realistic castle lighted within and flying cupid’s flag, stood in the hallway where the guests were greeted, and pretty hand made tallies bearing cut-out Cupids paired off the partners for bridge”

Surprise birthday and Valentine party (Farmville Herald, 22 February 1935) “Due to the weather and condition of roads there was only a small number present. . . Miss Mollie was presented with some nice and useful gifts including an autography album in which many of her Sharon friends had written wishes of love and scripture verses and a large white birthday cake and home made candy in a large heart shaped box in red.”

Valentine costume party (Sun, 12 February 1937) “Guests came in costume and games suitable for the occasion were enjoyed. A prize for the most original and the most beautiful costume was given.”

Enjoyable Valentine Party for Service Men (Farmville Herald, 19 February 1943) “No paper decorations were used because of fire hazards and because of war shortage, but gay big red and white balloons bobbed from each light in the game room and lent a festive air.”

If all this talk of parties has you in the mood to celebrate, you may want to visit Click Americana’s website to pick up a vintage sweet heart-shaped cake recipe (1949), ideas for setting themed tables (c. 1950), and some Valentine games (c. 1900). Celebrate safely and responsibly this weekend!

Correction on the Construction Date of 201 North Loudoun Street

The Winchester Star has been publishing the bank building at 201 North Loudoun Street, most recently a Wells Fargo, was constructed in 1950. The Beaux Arts style building was actually constructed in 1903 for Shenandoah Valley National Bank. The bank appeared in a newspaper special on Winchester commercial enterprises published in 1904 and has been documented extensively since that point via postcards throughout the 1910s and ‘20s.

Shenandoah Valley National Bank 1904
Shenandoah Valley National Bank, 201 N. Loudoun St., circa 1904.

For more information, you may also wish to refer to the 2011 architectural survey of the building, which can be found here.

Friday Roundup: Historical Articles, Applications, and Archived Video

We enjoyed the article “Thanks to the Internet Archive, the history of American newspapers is more searchable than ever” from Nieman Journalism Lab. While we don’t quite have anything of such importance or national relevancy in the PHW archives, we do enjoy searching the newspapers that are becoming more available for researchers. Two articles that stood out this week are a description of building a house that rotates to catch sunlight all day long, as well as a small slice of life on Christmas dinners on Braddock Street long ago. We have also had fire stations on the mind this week, so to nod to the ongoing adaptive reuse taking place at the Sarah Zane Fire Company building, here is a short note on the old engine donated to the fire company by the aforementioned Sarah Zane.

The National Fund for Sacred Places provides training, planning grants, technical assistance, capacity-building support, and capital grants up to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities. Submit your letter of intent by March 15 to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage. You can also register for an introductory webinar for the 2021 grant cycle on February 10th at 2 pm ET.

Applications are due February 23 for the Spring 2021 Fellowship ARCUS Leadership Program. This leadership development program is for anyone who identifies as an emerging leader in the cultural heritage, public history, and historic preservation movement. The Spring 2021 Fellowship workshops will focus on Developing an Inclusive and Antiracist Approach to Cultural Heritage Leadership. Learn more and apply at ARCUS Leadership Program: Fellowship Spring 2021 Application. Not interested in a fellowship? Individual courses are also available at arcusleaders.com.

Last, from the PHW archives, check out our Lunch and Learn lecture with Chuck Swartz on How to Green Your Historic Preservation Project.

Friday Roundup: Nominations, Grants, and More

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list. The list features buildings, cultural landscapes, cemeteries and archaeological sites that face imminent or sustained threats to their integrity or survival. Nominations are due by February 26th and can be submitted online at preservationvirginia.org. The announcement of the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list will take place May 11, 2021.

The National Park Service’s Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) works towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. URC grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and are administered by the NPS. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites. Applications are due March 31, 2021. Apply via Grants.gov.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the Bough and Dough Shop survey for planning our 2021 event so far. The feedback survey will be used to adjust the event for the next year in regards to timing, location, and the types of artisan vendors you would most like to see. There is still time to voice your opinion before February 8. Find the survey online at SurveyMonkey.

PHW has been following the discussion on the Conditional Use Permit for the conversion of the Selma property to a bed and breakfast with an event center. As many others have noted, the bed and breakfast aspect raises no concerns for PHW and is to be lauded for finding a new use for the property without damaging its historic character. As a neighboring business, we are in favor of a review period and slightly restricted event capacity to see what noise and congestion may arise from the proposed outdoor events. If you have not, you may also want to review the agenda material for the request at the City of Winchester site.

We often find interesting tidbits while we are correcting text in the Virginia Chronicle. A short article on Fine Woodwork stood out for the mention of fine artistry, as well as the use of sycamore wood, in the RMS Queen Elizabeth. The ship itself has been lost, but happily, a promotional photograph of the “Canterbury Pilgrims” does exist. You can see what this panel looks like at Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Friday Roundup: Links to Preservation Reading

As is usual following the Annual Meeting and the Fourth of July, we have been in “cleanup mode” at the PHW office, tidying up loose ends from the first half of the year and preparing for the next six months. With not much else to report in office happenings, we thought you may enjoy this selection of links to historic preservation articles this weekend.

Volunteers clean up historic alley in City with ties to the Underground Railroad – The alley, located where Canal and Caroline streets meet at the northern end of the Fredericksburg’s Historic District, may have led to a site where slaves crossed the river to their freedom at Union Army encampments in Stafford County. The cleanup may be the first step in bringing the story of this alley and the free black family that once lived here wider attention.

Should architecturally significant low-income housing be preserved? – One of the pitfalls of much modern construction, no matter how architecturally intriguing, is that it is prone to failures in both the mundane engineering and materials as well as the humanistic interactions people have with the building. The article goes in-depth in the case of the Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY.

Mysteries, skeletons abound under Virginia church’s floor – Graves are everywhere underneath St. Mary’s Basilica in Norfolk, VA. The voids were found by ground penetrating radar, confirming the oral traditions that the church was built over a graveyard. Although the find has delayed the needed renovations to the church, the congregation is pleased to turn their church into a small archeological dig site to better understand their history.

A lot is going on inside the historic preservation community, but you may have missed the discussions. The National Trust for Historic Preservation released their Statement on Confederate Monuments and highlighted a blogger working on Building the Mental Resilience of Preservation Professionals. On the Forum Connect, they also compiled Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More).

Schools remain a hot topic for the pandemic and the preservation world. University Business posted How to bring historic buildings new life and purpose for college buildings. Old Sterling Schoolhouse still Standing Today focuses on a center not just of education, but community, in Loudoun County. The school is hoping to be incorporated into a larger development plan; contact information is available at the end of the article if you can help. In more encouraging news, Plans for Old Mount Vernon High School detail hopes to turn the school into a multi-generational learning, housing, and playing uses.

Last, The Most Beautiful Mansions in Every State and From UFO Towers to Tsunami Clocks, Every U.S. State’s Most Unique Roadside Attraction can provide you a bit of armchair tourism this weekend. Stay safe and healthy until we see you next post!

Friday Photos and More

This week, we uncovered a stash of 30 more Holiday House Tour photographs while cleaning old files. The exact year of the tour depicted was unknown until some careful background detail sleuthing revealed the home was on Seldon Drive. With that knowledge and the database in progress cataloging our past tours, we were able to determine the images came from the 1990 tour “A Neighborhood Christmas,” the only year (so far!) Seldon Drive was featured. Enjoy this look back at the past in our Flickr album!

Holiday House Tour 1990
One of the images from the 1990 Holiday House Tour held on Seldon Drive in Winchester.

As a friendly reminder, PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting is coming up on June 28th at 5 PM. The Annual Business Meeting will consist of the Proposed Bylaws Amendment, President’s Annual Report, and Election of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors. A full copy of the bylaws is available on PHW’s website.

Only PHW members with current dues who attend the meeting in person may vote on the actionable items. If you plan to attend the meeting, RSVP your name and number of attendees to 540-667-3577, phwinc.org@gmail.com, or on the Facebook event page. The meeting is capped at 50 guests.

The meeting will be held outside and no refreshments will be offered. Social distancing due to COVID-19 will be in effect. Wear face coverings and do not attend if you have been exposed or feel ill. Please bring your own seating. A livestream of the meeting will be hosted on Facebook. The meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

Last, we have a few curated reading links for you to enjoy this weekend along the theme of Juneteenth celebrations:

Early Photographs of Juneteenth Celebrations from the Public Domain Review

Stand for LOVE: 18 Museums and Historic Sites to Learn about Virginia’s Black History from Virginia’s Travel Blog

Take Free Courses on African-American History from Yale and Stanford: From Emancipation, to the Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond from Open Culture

Friday Roundup: RSVPs and Reading Links

PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting will be held on June 28th. The meeting will be held at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street, beginning at 5:00 P.M. The Annual Business Meeting will consist of the Proposed Bylaws Amendment, President’s Annual Report, and Election of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.

A full copy of the bylaws is available on PHW’s website.

Only PHW members with current dues who attend the meeting in person may vote on the actionable items. If you plan to attend the meeting, RSVP your name and number of attendees to 540-667-3577, phwinc.org@gmail.com, or on the Facebook event page. The meeting is capped at 50 guests.

The meeting will be held outside and no refreshments will be offered. Social distancing due to COVID-19 will be in effect. Wear face coverings and do not attend if you have been exposed or feel ill. Please bring your own seating. A livestream of the meeting will be hosted on Facebook. The link will be made available approximately one week before the event. The meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

For further reading and researching this week, we have a selection of links:

It seems many people are taking the pandemic time to research their homes and towns. Atlas Obscura has been providing a steady stream of informative articles on how to get started, including How to Dig into the History of Your City, Town, or Neighborhood.

If you are looking for early Winchester Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to help with your research, you can find them at the Library of Congress. You can also look at other maps PHW and other local researchers use to date local buildings at Historic Map Works.

Do you like transcribing old documents or going on deep history searches? East End and Evergreen Cemeteries in Richmond are accepting remote volunteers to help make their documents more accessible and preserve Richmond’s African American history. Follow the links to register for Biography Writer, Cemetery Research, or Record Transcription.

If you are interested in similar efforts to document, preserve, and tell forgotten stories, you may also enjoy Architectural History Fieldwork Project Seeks to Find ‘Suppressed and Erased Histories’ and When Architecture and Racial Justice Intersect.

AmazonSmile customers can now support Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc. in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
  2. Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into ‘Settings’
  3. Tap ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen 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.

Friday Roundup: Annual Meeting Updates and Internet Reading

First, a quick update on PHW’s plans for the Annual Meeting in June. The expected date is June 28th, at our normal start time of 3 PM at the Hexagon House. The meeting will be a business-only event with a proposed bylaws amendment to allow for teleconferencing for meetings, clarify the mission statement, and minor consistency edits throughout. We will also elect the board of directors for the next year.

Because of the continuing restrictions on gatherings, the meeting will be held outdoors with spacing between people. No refreshments will be served. Only PHW members in physical attendance will be able to vote at the meeting for the bylaws amendment, but we plan to livestream the event on Facebook. More details and the proposed bylaws edits will be made available online in full and in a condensed version in your invitation. The Facebook livestream link will be made available approximately one week before the event.

Unlike past years, we will be keeping an RSVP list for PHW members who wish to attend so we can prepare for the proper spacing. Please respond at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577 with the number of attendees. This information will be included in your invitation as well.

We will still accept award nominations for a later event or for the next year’s Annual Meeting. Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions so far. Please know that your projects have been filed and saved for later discussion.

For your reading pleasure this weekend, we have a selection of links:

The Farmer’s Apprentice: African American Indentures of Apprenticeship in Virginia features a Frederick County document. At the end of the entry are the links to the Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative database and the transcription project Making History at the Library of Virginia.

To match the story of the plank house we shared on Facebook earlier this week, The History Blog has posted another incredible find beneath the floorboards of a private home in Norway.

If you’ve seen some interesting signs while you are out exercising or getting supplies and you like taking photos, the Library of Virginia is collecting signs from the pandemic for their collections of ephemera. You can find more information at RichmondMag or BoomerMagazine.com or visit the Library of Virginia’s Tumblr. If you just want to see the images, the Tumblr is the place to go!

History is a strange and twisting tale, and April White at Atlas Obscura highlights How the Influenza Pandemic Popularized Lemons. Without giving too much away, the article follows the tale of changing marketing strategies and timing to world events in 1918 turned what was once considered a luxury into a household necessity.

Friday Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

The PHW office will be closed Memorial Day. Stay safe and healthy as you enjoy your long weekend! For your reading pleasure, we have gathered links for you to enjoy:

Protecting Family and Heirlooms – If you started organizing photographs or sorting through other family memorabilia and are concerned on how to safely handle or sanitize them, this blog from the Library of Virginia may put some fears at ease and help keep your precious documents safe.

More Than Maintenance: Replacing the Glass at the Glass House – The National Trust offers a peek behind the curtain for a unique window replacement situation at the Phillip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut. This is an interesting look at how defining architectural features that wear out are replaced sensitively in respect to the building, its furnishings, and its function as an interpretive site for most of the year.

Atlas Obscura offers two articles, Fun Ways to Get Kids Into Photography and Dig This: An Online Field School for Junior Archaeologists to whet your children or grandchildren’s appetite for skills useful in historic preservation.

You may also want to check out Use Online Time with Family to Record Family Stories from West Virginia Public Radio. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for additional links to help you get started with question suggestions.

One of the things I have enjoyed is looking through some long forgotten boxes and finding treasures inside. If you like that thrill as well, you might enjoy the story On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive Detective following the discovery of missing items and the effort to recover them with Mitch Yockelson. (Sometimes, though, the items are just misfiled!)

If you’re looking for a longer read, Public Domain Review recently highlighted a book Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time (1896). In addition to the highlighted summary of what to expect from the Review, you can enjoy the entire book for free online and see what other traditions you may not have heard of before.

Clowser House Painting
Larry Webb shared ten more photos of the exterior painting progress at the Clowser House. You can drive by to see the exterior yourself at 152 Tomahawk Trail in the Shawneeland subdivision off Back Mountain Road in Frederick County. You can see the other photos at our Flickr.

Apple Blossom Articles

Apple Blossom, 1959
Apple Blossom, 1959
Apple Blossom, 1959
Images of the 1959 Apple Blossom provided by Larry Webb

To tide you through a weekend without a celebration, we have uncovered and OCR corrected a number of historic articles on past Apple Blossom celebrations on the Virginia Chronicle website. Don’t forget you can watch last year’s Grand Feature parade on thebloom.com from 1-3 PM on Saturday to recreate some of the spring festivities in your home. Stay safe and enjoy a healthy Bloom!

Rappahannock Record, March 29, 1928: “Apple Blossom Festival

Highland Recorder, March 25, 1932: “Apple Blossom Queen of Family of Washington

Highland Recorder, May 13, 1932: “The Apple Blossom Festival in Retrospect

Highland Recorder, April 16, 1937: “Apple Blossom Festival

Highland Recorder, April 12, 1946: “19th Apple Blossom Queen

Highland Recorder, April 18, 1947: “Apple Blossom Queen

Southside Sentinel, February 19, 1970: “Winchester to Present 43rd Festival