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).